The 20 Best-Smelling Shampoos That'll Make You Never Want to Leave the Shower

Featuring a few editors' picks

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best smelling shampoo a collage of shampoos
Paula Boudes/PureWow

We know we're not supposed to wash our hair every day, but it's hard not to when some of the shampoos we have smell so incredible. And since aromatherapy is basically a tenant of self-care, we rounded up the best-smelling shampoos in our showers right now. From floral-scented formulas (ahem, Klorane Soothing Shampoo) to fresh and fruity formulas (including our fav Briogeo Superfoods Mango + Cherry Oil Shampoo) to our best overall pick (hello, Ouai Fine Shampoo), these 20 hair cleansers not only smell divine, they're also great for most hair types.

The Top 5 Best-Smelling Shampoos At a Glance

How We Chose the Best-Smelling Shampoos

We spent hours sorting through countless reviews for the best-smelling shampoos from our favorite retailers like Amazon, Ulta Beauty, Sephora and Target. While scent was the main factor we looked at, we also considered the ingredients panel and how each shampoo performed on different hair types. To round things out, we asked a few PureWow editors to share their best-smelling shampoos. 

Best Overall

1. Ouai Fine Shampoo


  • What We Like: safe for color-treated hair, great for volume
  • What We Don't Like: might be drying for some hair types
  • Scent Notes: Italian lemon, jasmine and white musk
  • Benefits: volumizing, nourishing
  • Promising Review: "I really like how this shampoo leaves my hair feeling more nourished. I have naturally fine/thin, oily hair but after using this [for] the past couple weeks, I can feel how soft my hair has become. I like that it’s made specifically for fine hair. I can see more volume in my hair when I use this shampoo compared to others." — A Sephora reviewer

This shampoo has a devoted following for a reason: It turns volume all the way up on fine locks, while also serving up a fruity, floral and musky scent that smells like a fancy perfume. Plus, it's packed with biotin, which is proven to strengthen strands, keratin to add softness and shine, and nourishing chia seed oil to help address hair damage and dryness.

Best Citrus Scent

2. Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo


  • What We Like: clean ingredients, great for thin hair, contains protein
  • What We Don't Like: not suitable for sensitive scalps, no lather
  • Scent Notes: bergamot
  • Benefits: strengthening, restoring
  • Promising Review: "OMG, the natural bergamot scent of the Vegamour GRO Shampoo is so light and botanical. It’s not at all the [typical] overwhelming (sometimes nauseating) scented shampoo experience. It’s so uplifting, clean-smelling and thickening, which is great." — Dana Dickey, senior editor at PureWow

If you're looking for a protein-based shampoo that also smells like calming aromatherapy, look no further than this shampoo. The formula features B-silk protein, which aims to improve shine and protect strands. It also includes phytoactives that enhance thickness and reduce shedding—plus, karmatin, which has been proven to strengthen and restore damaged cuticles. While the shampoo has an impressive ingredients list, it's the fresh citrus scent that has users excited for their next wash day.

Best Floral Scent

3. Klorane Soothing Shampoo


  • What We Like: offers 24-hour scalp comfort, great for sensitive scalps, safe for color-treated hair
  • What We Don't Like: pricey
  • Scent Notes: peony extract
  • Benefits: soothing, deep cleansing
  • Promising Review: "It smells just like peonies without being overly sweet or artificial. It's light, bright and reminds me of an early spring day." — Catrina Yohay, managing editor at PureWow

Like its name suggests, this shampoo is made with—and thus, smells like—peonies. As a result, you'll find this hair cleanser smells fresh, bright and lovely on your locks. Shoppers say the pH-balanced formula helps soothe irritated and sensitive scalps, while keeping the rest of your hair squeaky clean and free of product build-up.

Great for Fine Hair

4. Kristin Ess One Signature Shampoo

Kristin Ess Hair

  • What We Like: contains avocado oil, rich lather, safe for color-treated hair
  • What We Don't Like: may be drying for some hair types
  • Scent Notes: fruity
  • Benefits: moisturizing, lightweight
  • Promising Review: "The shampoo isn't too heavy for my fine hair, and the scent is elevated. It's floral and lightly fruity—more like a fragrance than your typical shampoo—but it doesn't linger once your hair has dried." — Candace Davison, VP of Editorial at PureWow

With over 3,100 five-star reviews, customers enjoy the pleasant fragrance of this shampoo every time wash day comes along. Featuring avocado and castor oil, the formula adds shine and moisture back to dull strands without weighing down finer strands. And if you can't get enough of the scent, the brand also sells it in perfume form. Win-win.

Most Hydrating

5. Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo


  • What We Like: great for dry hair, contains avocado and jojoba oil, creamy formula
  • What We Don't Like: not great for fine or coarse hair
  • Scent Notes: citrus
  • Benefits: hydrating, affordable
  • Promising Review: "It may not be luxurious or trendy, but Aussie always smells incredible. I recently switched over to drugstore shampoos after spending so much money on brands that weren't doing anything for my highlighted hair. Not only is Aussie giving me volume, shine, softness and length to my locks, it smells like a summer vacation with a splash of nostalgia (since I also used this when I was a kid)." — Olivia Dubyak, commerce editor at PureWow

This drugstore shampoo is a true classic—and has over 1,000 five-star reviews that attest to its greatness. Infused with avocado and jojoba oil, it offers intense hydration to super dry strands and leaves a light citrus scent in its wake. Plus, the budget-friendly price tag is a bonus.

  • What We Like: clean ingredients, great for oily scalps
  • What We Don't Like: watery formula
  • Scent Notes: fruity
  • Benefits: nourishing
  • Promising Review: "The scent is divine! The pairing is so unexpected, but fun. It smells tropical and brings me back to the shampoos I used as a kid. But it has an elevated flair that's not overpowering." — Delia Curtis, editorial assistant at PureWow

Who knew mango and cherry would smell so good together? Our editors, of course. "It smells like fruit stripe gum in the best way—very nostalgic and sweet but not cloying at all," says Katherine Gillen, food editor at PureWow. The nutrient-rich blend includes mango extract, papaya enzymes and cherry extract to support scalp and hair health, balance oil production and improve dullness.

Great for Coily Hair

7. 4C ONLY Too Clean Shampoo

4C Only

  • What We Like: great for 4C hair, contains aloe vera, creamy formula
  • What We Don't Like: pricey
  • Scent Notes: fruity
  • Benefits: nourishing, defining
  • Promising Review: "The shampoo has a sweet, fruity scent that smells good enough to eat, and it's not too overpowering. I especially love how effective it is at removing build-up without stripping my hair of its natural oils." — Nakeisha Campbell, associate editor of Entertainment & News at PureWow

For coily gals, this shampoo should be on your radar. It's formulated with aloe vera and pro-vitamin B5 that cleanses and nourishes your scalp and hair. Fans say the creamy 'poo helps detangle strands, define coils and soften hair. The fruity scent is just the icing on the cake.

Most Calming Scent

8. Aveeno Rose Water & Chamomile Shampoo


  • What We Like: great for sensitive scalps, safe for color-treated hair, contains colloidal oat
  • What We Don't Like: doesn't lather well
  • Scent Notes: bergamot, rose and blackberry musk
  • Benefits: soothing, nourishing
  • Promising Review: "It's very light and fresh and doesn’t smell like fake roses. [This shampoo] leaves my hair feeling so soft and honestly, it makes me smile whenever I use it because of how good it smells." — Rachel Gulmi, operations director of branded content at PureWow

This gentle shampoo is loved by reviewers and editors alike, thanks to its main ingredient: colloidal oat. This key component is known to soothe and cleanse the scalp. Add rose water and chamomile to the mix and you have yourself a spa in a bottle. It's safe for all hair types but works especially well on fine hair and for those with sensitive scalps, as it cleanses and nourishes without causing irritation or dryness.

Great for Dry Hair

9. Shiseido TSUBAKI Shampoo


  • What We Like: contains linoleic acid, great for dry hair, large bottle lasts a long time
  • What We Don't Like: pricey, not great for sensitive scalps
  • Scent Notes: floral
  • Benefits: smoothing, softening
  • Promising Review: "I'm a longtime fan of Shiseido's Tsubaki Premium Moist Shampoo. The scent is fruity, fresh and clean and makes me happy whenever I get a whiff of it. I also like that it comes with a pump top applicator." — Jenny Jin, beauty director at PureWow

If you're familiar with Shiseido's skincare, you're going to appreciate their haircare offerings, starting with this rich shampoo that has a dedicated Reddit following. Formulated with oleic and linoleic acid, two fatty acids that soften and smooth hair, it reduces frizz and leaves dry, coarse strands feeling like spun silk. 

Best Woodsy Scent

10. Ranavat Regenerative Bond Repair Shampoo


  • What We Like: great for dry scalps, contains hyaluronic acid, creamy formula
  • What We Don't Like: not suitable for oily scalps
  • Scent Notes: warm and woodsy
  • Promising Review: "It smells woodsy and warm, kind of like an old cashmere sweater you just pulled out of storage (in a good way). It's bold, yet natural and reminds me of my favorite season, fall." — Catrina Yohay, managing editor at PureWow

Any hair type will appreciate having this shampoo in their rotation. The creamy formula includes hyaluronic acid and ashwagandha to hydrate and soothe the scalp. It also contains pink lotus, hibiscus and amla to soften, condition and strengthen strands. The woodsy fragrance adds a nice touch.

Best Fresh Scent

11. Aēsop Shampoo


  • What We Like: gentle formula, contains panthenol, adds softness
  • What We Don't Like: pricey
  • Scent Notes: frankincense, cedar and bergamot
  • Benefits: clarifying, smoothing
  • Promising Review: "I find all Aēsop products irresistible despite their high price, but their classic shampoo is a really nice woody-citrusy scent that's gender neutral but not overly cologne-y—call it a "quiet luxury" shampoo. I have been nursing a tiny travel size bottle that I snuck from a hotel, but I just might splurge when that runs out." — Katherine Gillen, food editor at PureWow

You deserve the fancy hotel treatment and this shampoo by Aēsop would look great on your shower shelves. The clarifying formula promises to remove build-up, condition hair and smooth down flyaways. It's also infused with an earthy scent—aka a blend of frankincense, cedar and bergamot—that adds a crisp freshness to your locks. 

  • What We Like: promises instant results, safe for color-treated hair, clean ingredients
  • What We Don't Like: pricey, not great for fine hair
  • Scent Notes: citrus
  • Benefits: hydrating, soothing
  • Promising Review: "This stuff smells better than any shampoo I've ever used in my life. It's fruity, but not sickeningly so, and it doesn't overwhelm you post-shower. It smells good enough that you want to just stand in the shower and luxuriate in it." — Nicole Briese, commerce director at PureWow

Dealing with super dry strands? This salon-approved shampoo will add moisture back to your hair. It's formulated with white truffle and marula oil for a deep cleanse that restores strands from root to tip. There's also rose water and ginseng in it to improve scalp health and biotin to encourage hair growth. With rose water, vanilla bean and marula oil in the mix, we’re not surprised that customers continue to shoutout the luxurious scent in their reviews.  

Best for Dandruff

13. Oribe Serene Scalp Shampoo


  • What We Like: contains salicylic acid, great for dry scalps, safe for color-treatment
  • What We Don't Like: not great for sensitive scalps, pricey
  • Scent Notes: bergamot, white jasmine and sandalwood
  • Benefits: clarifying, nourishing
  • Promising Review: "If I had to describe the scent, I would say it has the perfect balance of earthy and floral notes. It's like a spa in a beautiful bottle." — Destinee Scott, assistant editor of sales & deals at PureWow

If you're working with flakes and/or an irritated scalp, this clarifying shampoo promises to give you a soothing, deep cleanse. Its key ingredient, salicylic acid, is known to exfoliate the scalp and eliminate dandruff with every wash. Also blended with bilberry fruit and sugar maple extracts, the shampoo works to soothe, protect and restore your hair and scalp. And let's not forget Oribe's signature scent: an otherworldly blend of bergamot, jasmine and sandalwood that makes the whole washing experience that much better. 

Best Shampoo Bar

14. Viori Shampoo Bar


  • What We Like: plastic-free, ethically sourced, vegan formula
  • What We Don't Like: may be drying for some hair types
  • Scent Notes: grapefruit, orange, lemon and vanilla
  • Benefits: restoring, conditioning
  • Promising Review: "It's delicate and citrusy, with a strong (but refreshing) orange note. Plus, a little goes a long way. The secret ingredient is rice, so it helps repair and volumize the hair." — Marissa Wu, associate SEO editor at PureWow

Shampoo bars are a great sustainable option and this one has rave reviews for cleansing and restoring the scalp and hair. The main ingredient, longsheng rice, has a history of renewing and repairing hair. The formula also features cocoa butter, shea butter and aloe vera that aims to condition and strengthen strands. With over 8,000 five-star reviewers, customers enjoy having the fresh-smelling bar in their routine. 

Great for Thin Hair

16. R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo


  • What We Like: great for thin and fine hair, contains biotin, safe for color-treated hair
  • What We Don't Like: small bottle, pricey
  • Scent Notes: cardamom, pineapple, citrus, lavender and bamboo
  • Benefits: nourishing, strengthening
  • Promising Review: "This shampoo has been great! I have fine hair, but LOTS of it! I'm a natural blonde, so my hair tends to be dry and flat. This shampoo has allowed me to cut down washing to every 5-6 days and provides so much volume than I had before!" — Kayla, an Amazon reviewer

Fans say this shampoo smells warm and romantic with hints of cardamom, pineapple, citrus, lavender and bamboo. The scent mixed with its formula, which promises to nourish and strengthen strands, is a top pick on our list for thin and fine hair. It's formulated with biotin, which promotes healthy hair growth and pro-vitamin B5 that offers intense hydration. It's also infused with coconut oil and saw palmetto berry extract, which intends to promote overall scalp health.

Subtlest Scent

17.  Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo


  • What We Like: gentle formula, silicone-free, adds softness and volume
  • What We Don't Like: doesn't lather well, pricey
  • Scent Notes: coconut oil
  • Promising Review: "[I] love this shampoo! First of all, the slight coconut smell and the smooth texture is just luxurious without being overwhelming. It's a mild shampoo that doesn't strip my hair or cause build up. I use it for this reason. " — Levy, a Nordstrom reviewer

If you prefer something that won’t overwhelm your nostrils in the shower, this cleanser makes hair feel next-level soft, while smelling practically edible. Mixed with coconut oil and amino acids, it adds fullness and body to limp locks and you’ll also find wheat proteins to condition, soften and strengthen strands for a more voluminous 'do.

Best Shea Butter Scent

18. Fekkai Shea Butter Shampoo


  • What We Like: clean ingredients, rich lather, great for curly and coily hair
  • What We Don't Like: might be drying for some hair types
  • Scent Notes: musky, toffee and citrus
  • Benefits: moisturizing, smoothing
  • Promising Review: "I have very dry, thick 4B hair and was hesitant to try this because intense moisture on some products don't really be moisturizing [on my hair]. But honeyy, this one did. I was shocked! [It] smells good (very light coco smell), my hair doesn't feel stripped, it lathers good and it's vegan. This might be my new go-to." — An Ulta reviewer

We don't know about you, but we can't get enough of shea butter. Not only does it improve softness, but it also deeply moisturizes your strands. So, of course, we're obsessed with this one by Fekkai. The formula aims to smooth strands, eliminate frizz, reduce split ends and add softness. According to reviewers, it's best for curly and coily hair.

Most Luxurious Scent

19. Kérastase Chronologiste Shampoo


  • What We Like: great for dry scalps, contains hyaluronic acid, creamy formula
  • What We Don't Like: pricey
  • Scent Notes: musky
  • Benefits: strengthening, hydrating
  • Promising Review: "[It] makes my hair feel amazingly soft. I thoroughly enjoy the smell as well. I have naturally coarse curly hair and this has really made my hair texture look and feel softer while not impeding my curl pattern. This also helps me when I straighten out my hair. It looks healthy not brittle and dry." — Nico, a Sephora reviewer

What does this shampoo smell like? The long answer is masculine cologne with a sophisticated scent that lingers. The short answer? Luxury. Reviewers say this 'poo reminds them of a very expensive perfume that you simply can't get enough of. As for the formula, it was formulated with hyaluronic acid to target signs of aging hair and scalp—aka it helps strengthen and hydrate roots and strands over time.

Best Drugstore

20. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo

Herbal Essences

  • What We Like: rich lather, deep hydration, dermatologist-tested
  • What We Don't Like: not safe for color-treated hair
  • Scent Notes: floral, coconut
  • Benefits: hydrating, smoothing
  • Promising Review: "We have been using this product for many years. We like the way it cleans and moisturizes our hair. The price also makes it great for a family budget. The coconut is a great scent." — Angela, a Target reviewer

Look, it's hard to beat a $6 bottle of tried-and-true Herbal Essences. Shoppers can't stop talking about the creamy, coconut-scented formula, which reminds us of a relaxing vacay on the beach. The hydrating combo (that's paraben-, mineral- and oil-free, FYI) delivers on a deep clean, leaving your hair feeling smooth and soft.

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Why Should You Trust Us

Destinee Scott is PureWow’s Assistant Sales and Deals Editor. She’s been chasing sales and deals for a decade and knows a good one when she sees one for fashion, home, beauty, wellness and more. So whether viral sex toys are marked down or a popular beauty site (like Sephora) is having a secret sitewide sale, she knows before anyone else. She also writes product reviews for PureWow's shopping platform, WowText, so she can give you the 411 on items before you buy them. Her work has also appeared in Prevention, and you can find her babbling about everything from throuples to yoni eggs on her blog ( and on Instagram (@destineetscott).

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet for the latest beauty trends (and testing the coolest products out herself), informing you on ways to be a better ally and offering a native New Yorker perspective on what to do in the Big Apple. When she's not writing, she's spearheading PureWow Cultures that focuses on uplifting and highlighting the BIPOC community.

PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.

Most Clarifying Scent

15. Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo

Paul Mitchell

  • What We Like: vegan formula, offers a deep clean, great for oily hair
  • What We Don't Like: might be drying for some hair types, weighs down fine hair
  • Scent Notes: lemon
  • Benefits: clarifying, energizing
  • Promising Review: "I absolutely love this shampoo. It cleans [my hair] so well and gets all the oily grossness out of your scalp without drying your hair out." — Sarah, an Ulta reviewer

Let's start things off with a little nostalgia. As youths, this Paul Mitchell formula got the chlorine out of our hair post-swim. As adults, the energizing lemon scent delights us just as much during the 500th wash as it does the first. The vegan and color-safe formula aims to minimize oil production, remove product build-up and deeply cleanse your hair.

Destinee Scott

Associate Sales and Deals Editor

Destinee Scott is PureWow’s Associate Sales and Deals Editor. She’s been chasing sales and deals for a decade and knows a good one when she sees one for fashion, home, beauty...

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...