Do you prefer your products (makeup or skincare) scented or unscented?


Do you prefer your products (makeup or skincare) scented or unscented? Why? What are your favorite (and least favorite) scents?

I prefer unscented for most products, though I would rather some tolerable scent than a lingering scent as well. For lip products, I like subtle vanilla or unscented. For skincare, I don’t like anything heavily fragranced or perfume-y.

Thanks to Lulle for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

51 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.

Sometimes unscented has a funny smell. Fragrances don’t irritate me, so I prefer them. Mint flavors for lipsticks are a bit acrid though.

Not just unscented, but free of artificial fragrances and certain essential oils completely. I have topical skin allergies and while I don’t react to /everything/ I have to be careful.

100% unscented for skincare and makeup, as my skin is very sensitive to fragrance. It gets red, dry, and irritated. Fragrance is not only an irritant, but can also cause skin damage over time. The only fragrance I can take is a light one for lipsticks/glosses/lipbalms and even then, I prefer not to have it.

I find that I don’t really mind if the product has some kind of light scent, but I really dislike the scent of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, particularly in their face products. I don’t mind if lip products have a particular scent either, I’m not fussed.

I prefer unscented products in general or if scented then light non-floral scents. Anything rose is a no go for me since rose scents tend to be too strong for my taste. I usually like anything shea, lemon, vanilla or fruit scented as long as it’s not too potent. Strong scented skincare usually makes my skin react badly.

Unscented.

I am hypersensitive when it comes to fragrances, so it is my number one criteria when it comes to cosmetics and skincare products.

Unscented for sure. Otherwise my sinuses will be stuffed up the whole day, especially with face products. I generally don’t wear a lot of lotion or perfume to work, either, because I don’t want to be “that coworker” who put on more than she realized and suffocates everyone!

If I do inadvertently get a facial product that’s scented, it has to be light and clean smelling. I absolutely cannot handle sickly sweet or extremely musky fragrances or anything too overwhelmingly chemical-y.

Unscented all the way! Especially for face products, because my eyes are far too sensitive for fragrance.

I used to be an avid supporter of sweetly-scented lip products, but I found that some can taste pretty soapy and clash with my food/drink, so nowadays I prefer unscented. Some scented lip products can be inoffensive and tolerable, but unscented is still best, IMO.

For skincare… Why would you even want scented skincare? Fragrance is potential irritant and really doesn’t have any skincare benefits.

The only exception to this is hair products, but overall, if I want things to smell nice, I’d put on some perfume instead.

I get migraines so I’d prefer no scent on my face, but I’m realistic. Most things on this planet have a smell, so I don’t mind different companies trying to make it pleasant. I just want it to be as mild and inoffensive as possible. And granted this particular scent is pretty strong (at least to me it is) but over the years I’ve grown used to L’occitane’s powdery sort of smell. There’s something about it I find comforting, I think it sort of reminds me of my mum. So that one I don’t mind. I use their products almost exclusively. I like the scent of their almond products best and their skin care line in the green packaging (can’t remember the name) has a very mild sort of fresh scent. It reminds me of plants and the outdoors.

I don’t have a sensitivity to fragrances in skin care or makeup products (at least, nothing so far though one can always react at any time to any product!) and I find the scent of many products to be quite pleasant. But I know a lot of people do have issues, which is why it really surprised me when the TooFaced Chocolate Bar palette made a big deal of its chocolate scent. I mean, I understand that it’s in keeping with the theme but it must have potential problems for a lot of people and yet almost all the reviews I read have women raving about “the yummy chocolate smell”. I mean, it would be like having UD’s Ammo palette smell like gun powder to keep with the theme….makes so little sense to me in a product where it’s totally unnecessary to have a fragrance.

I bought that Chocolate Bar palette last year, returned it just 5 days later. Had to because it has saccharin as an ingredient to make it smell “sweet”, cocoa in and of itself is not seeet smelling, BUT I have a serious allergy to sulfa, and saccharin IS a sulfa! Used that palette for 4 days straight, and each day my eyes became more and more irritated,. Didn’t know why until I called Ulta where I purchased it, the SA asked me if I had a sulfa allergy, which threw me for a loop! I told her “yes?”, she then explained what had happened and that there had been others with the SAME EXACT issue!

Unscented! I just returned the pressed meteorites I bought during the sephora sale because I could not stand the smell!

Unscented! My sensitive, rosaceaic skin turns bright red when most ingredients with any discernible scent are placed on it. I’m unable to use most of the skincare and base makeup products on the market because of this. Even if the ingredient is ostensibly in the product because of some skin care benefit rather than for its fragrance, if it’s fragrant, my skin will most likely turn bright red!

I really wish cosmetic companies would offer unscented versions of their products, and, when they do offer them, that retailers would make them more readily available.

UNSCENTED!!! If I’m going to have an allergic reaction to something I’ll be cause by the fragrance. Why put fragrance in makeup or skincare or hair products???? WHY??? Can you tell I’ve had reactions?

I like unscented products, but with skincare I don’t mind a Little fragrance. Natural skincare have sometimes a bad smell and if it has no fragrance and It’s a pain to use it.

No scent! Please!
I still remember this Bite Beauty lipstick Centifolia or something… Gotta return it cause the extreme rose scent gave me headache. If the scent is subtle, I can tolerate it, but prefer scentless.

I agree with you. It angers me that so many companies put fragrances into skincare items. I have super sensitive skin and fragrances are one of many triggers for me. Recently I tried a couple of the Clarins face oils (Lotus and Blue Orchid) and the fragrant essential oils were so overpowering, that I could still smell them the next morning. Essential oils are one of the worst offenders to me, and adding them to facial oils that are supposed to be “good” for skin conditions is ludicrous. Same with adding them to other facial products, whether they’re makeup or skincare.

For anything that I apply on the skin of my face, unscented. Perfumed products can be really luxurious to apply, but on acne prone skin like mine, it’s an unnecessary irritant. I do enjoy scented body lotions for summer and scented lipsticks, though. On my lips, I guess I tend toward vanilla and sometimes fruity. Floral can be tricky because it can read as old timey in a bad way, and I personally don’t like the way minty things feel. For the body, the sky is the limit given that I’m pretty much treating it as perfume and the skin isn’t sensitive. 🙂

Unscented! In particular, anything that I’ll be putting on my eyes or face. As for that citrus-y smell in say, Ole Henriksen Truth products or other products that have certain ingredients that smell by virtue of a particular ingredient, I don’t mind that. But NO added fragrance! Lip products with a vanilla scent, ie; MAC, Maybelline, are fine by me. Although I do NOT like floral or heavy fragrance in my lip products at all. A big pet-peeve I have is that I cannot use any of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palettes, not because of the cocoa, but the ingredient they use to make it smell sweet: saccharin! Severely allergic to it.

For makeup or facial skincare, I prefer my products very lightly scented. Unscented is fine too but then sometimes the products just don’t smell good (waxy or plastic-y smell). For body products I like stronger scents, I’m typically attracted to citrusy fragrances and lavender.

Unfortunately, fragrance causes damage to your skin even if it is not sensitive and you can’t see it in the form of free radical damage. Many people think if they have normal skin and it isn’t red or irritatated it is fine or each person is different. Just like alcohol (but not the fatty ones) is bad for your skin also For the same reason. Personally, I don’t mind Mac’s lipstick scent but had a really bad reaction to a ysl rouge volupe while I was driving nonetheless, LOL! I haven’t had that with others and have since left all of them uncovered for days rolled up hoping to air them out but I’m scared to try them again because first there was a tingle then an itch then there was burning then it was like I need to get this off asap so I’m looking for a tissue and I found a napkin and got it smeared around my mouth and it was a darker fuchsia shade…omg #beautydisaster

TOTALLY unscented.
My skin breaks out even with essential oil used as fragrance. Plus, some of lip products tend to have an awful fragrance (I’m looking at you, Loreal).

I definitely prefer skincare and face products to be fragrance-free, though I can handle some light fragrance. Lipstick I’m OK with having a light scent, because it usually beats the chemical/playdoh scent they tend to have. I hate heavy florals and powdery scents on my face. Body lotions, butters, bath/shower items are much more fun scented, though.

I guess I didn’t say why. Mostly, because I have sensitive skin and eyes. Partly, personal preference. Really strong scents too close to my nose just isn’t appealing.

I haven’t seen it yet, but a friend of my mom’s recently made a documentary called Stink about how fragrance is completely unrelgulated and there is no requirement that ingredients be listed, so having the word “frangrance” on any ingredient list can (and often does) mean almost anything, including carcinogens, etc.

I’m almost not watching it for my own sanity. Applies to cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, etc. I’m veering a lot more towards unscented since hearing about it though.

I use only fragrance-free skincare, no exceptions. I just prefer to stay way out of the way of any irritation. For makeup I’m a bit less stringent. I still prefer fragrance free and usually avoid it, but if a lipstick or other item I will only use a bit of or use infrequently then I don’t mind.

UNSCENTED!!!! I tried some Aucoin lipsticks which were very $$$$, and they tasted like I had swallowed a whole bottle of perfume. Aggrevated my allergies and I hated the smell. Never buying that brand lipstick again. If they don’t offer no fragrance, I don’t buy it. And that includes Olay. They have great products, but the fragrances drive me crazy. I would rather smell like me, not their perfume.

Anything that goes near my eyes needs to be unscented–Guerlain products especially make my eyes red. Lip products can be scented, though–I’m fine with that as long as it’s a scent I like and it doesn’t last long (I’d rather my makeup didn’t compete with my perfume for more than a few minutes!)

For skincare I prefer unscented to very lightly, non lingering scents. For lip products I like only light vanilla, light mint or unscented. I’m the one at the counter sniffing the creams and lip products.

Mostly unscented. The Origins skincare I use (the Dr. Weil Mega Bright stuff) has a pretty faint, sort of green scent and that’s okay with me because it fades really quickly. But, aside from the occasional vanilla scent on a lip product, I want my cosmetics and things like leave-in hair products to be unscented.

It depends on the product – skincare – no – because fragrance acts as an irritant on many complexions. Makeup – no. I don’t want to smell my foundation nor taste my lipstick.
Hand creams and body lotions – yes – but only subtle fragrances.

for make-up, unscented except for lip products. for skin care, i don’t mind a light vanilla (my favorite) or rose scent. one of my pet peeves is scented deodorants. it’s getting harder all the time to find unscented ones. why would anyone want their deodorant to smell like anything?

100% unscented!! I love the Maybelline Color Elixirs but I can’t use them for the scent/taste. I also hate scented powders (sorry Guerlain!). I am ok with scented hair products because they’re not right in my face.

I don’t really mind. I like some of the scented higher end lipsticks (Estée Lauder is a favourite for the fragrance) and I have one vetiver scented Aesop hand cream I love. But I probably wouldn’t usually pay more for or seek out scented products. Also a strong but bad scent is annoying- I don’t like the strong plasticy fruity smell of Maybelline lipsticks even though I like them otherwise.

It depends. As for skincare… well, I love my lotions and body washes to be a bit more fragranced (I like more complex, but refreshing scents… like sweeter citrus, a bit of floral or perfume-y thrown in, but not too much). I loathe really warm, bakery scents, like coconut, amber, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa butter, cookies. As for other skincare, I happen to like the scent of argan oil, and overall, slightly floral or herbal scents, too, but unscented is okay, either,

I was reading all the comments and it’s interesting to see how everyone seems to agree on unscented products.. I’m from France and here we complain when brands reformulate their products to be unscented. Actually I really like scented high-end products, when I buy a Dior lipstick, the scent is part of the “dream” I buy.. for me it’s the extra “plus” you get when you buy luxury things.
What I dislike however is the “chemical” scent of drugstore makeup : in that case, I would prefer having an unscented item rather than a stinky one.

It may sound strange , but I hate unscented and unflavoured lip products. Love scented powders (Guerlain face powders and Too Faced cocoa line) Skin care absolutely without fragrance.

Fragrance free for the most part, particularly when it comes to skincare and anything used near my eyes. Like, Dior mascara has added fragrance. Why????? I’d prefer fragrance free hair styling products too, but those are bloody hard to come by, never mind actually being any good.

I do like some scented products, provided the smell is fairly light and doesn’t necessarily stick around long. Bath and body stuff, mostly. I also like some scented lippies – my favourite is probably the Clarins Rouge Eclat and Jolie Rouge lipsticks, which have this amazing blackberry liquorice smell. And I don’t even like liquorice! But they smell so good. And the vanilla that characterises MAC lipsticks is okay. I’m aware that most brands put vanillin in the lipstick formula to counteract the fact that without any scent added, it will smell like a wet crayon. Vanillin is one of the easiest and cheapest options, and fairly non-allergenic also.

Mostly, I can manage with light non-floral scents, and foodie type scents are best because they don’t aggravate my fragrance allergies (as in, from breathing the scent, not from its topical application).

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!