What to Look For
The smell that wafts from your shower through your bathroom, defining your personal bathing moments, is no small thing. The scent can define you, as it remains in your hair and on your skin--comprising much of the smell you give off daily. Since that's the case, you need not settle for something that smells mundane or has an unpleasant chemical smell.
While scent is very personal, if you're an olfactory connoisseur, you may come to find that shampoos with strong herbal content are the most pleasant and powerful. Look for brands that focus on herbs, organics or flower scents. Avoid brands that use artificial fragrances, which are most of the grocery and drugstore shelf products from the major soap and personal care companies.
Two brands that repeatedly come up in reviews--including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Mother Nature Network and Alive!-- are Herbal Essences and Aveda, both known for making natural ingredients and fragrance their cornerstones.
There is too much of a good thing, in some cases. Some people are sensitive to strong smells, and shampoos that focus on smell tend to lay it on thick. Esquire notes that Aveda's shampoo for men is strong enough to replace the need for cologne. That's great if you like it and want to save on expensive fragrances, but not so great if you don't want your shampoo overpowering you.
The other issue is cost. Aveda is a premium salon product. Herbal Essences is not, but it's also not the cheapest selection on the shelf. Great smell costs extra.
Where to Buy
Aveda comes only from authorized Aveda retailers--usually salons and certain beauty supply stores--and of course Aveda company-owned stores, salons and spas, which often appear in malls in metropolitan areas. You can find Herbal Essences in most drugstores, supermarkets and general merchandise retailers.
Of course, you can explore numerous varieties of organic and herbal products that may also be great but just don't get as much attention and hoopla, at natural foods and lifestyle stores such as Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Henry's and whatever is prevalent in your area.
Aveda charges $9.50 for the 8.5 oz. and $26.50 for the 33.8 oz. bottles of both Shampure and Rosemary Mint shampoos--two of their most popular and highly rated for fragrance. Then there's a big jump to their fragrant and also popular Smooth Infusion shampoo, which runs $21 for the 8.5 oz and $58 for the 33.8 oz sizes.
Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Shampoo goes for $4 for the 27.3 oz. bottle at Wal-Mart and $7.99 for the same size Hello Hydration Orchid and Coconut at Walgreen's.
Alice! and Mother Nature Network both give Burt's Bees top ratings on smell and natural, organic content. Alive! also likes the John Frieda line as well as L'Oreal Ever-Pure Rosemary Juniper, all available in retail stores.
Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.