Top 10 Scents Used in Women’s Body Products


Women will pay a lot to smell like a million bucks!“Women will pay a lot to smell like a million bucks!Polka Dot/Thinkstock

When it comes to women’s body products, scent is probably the overriding factor in whether or not a purchase is made. The quality and ingredients in the lotion, scrub or moisturizer are important, but if the scent isn’t pleasing to the consumer’s nose then the product has little chance for success. This is why manufacturers, both small and large, take a lot of time to perfect the scents used in their products. Some scents come and go, but there’s a small stable of scents that are here to stay. Here are 10 top scents used in women’s body products.


  1. Peppermint
  2. Lemon
  3. Eucalyptus
  4. Bergamot
  5. Tea Tree
  6. Lemongrass
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Coconut
  9. Vanilla
  10. Lavender

10: Peppermint

You may typically take your peppermint in your candy or your tea, but it’s also a popular scent used in women’s body products. This tingly scent is reminiscent of candy canes and is known to be uplifting and stimulating. Plus, the peppermint herb is famous for its prolific growth, which means it’s fairly inexpensive. Our first experience may have been peppermint foot lotion in the 1990s, but nowadays, you’ll find peppermint in just about all the big lines.

Peppermint Perfume

Peppermint is a middle note in perfume making. Middle notes create balance in a blend.

9: Lemon

Keep it fresh with citrus.“Keep it fresh with citrus.Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock

The scent of fruit that makes arguably the most refreshing summer drink is also a big hit in body care. But if you’ve ever smelled lemon oil by itself, it smells about as tart as it tastes without sugar. Confection type scents are popular in body care these days, and much like lemonade, companies usually mix sweeter scents to make them more palatable. Many companies blend lemon with other citrus oils to sweeten it up, but perhaps the best known lemon scent in body care is mixed with sugar scents.

8: Eucalyptus

What is a staple in the koala bear’s diet as well as a mainstay in body care products? Well, that would be eucalyptus, of course. For years it was synonymous with mentholated rub, but body care makers have more recently adopted it into their products because of its pungent yet pleasant scent and multiple beneficial properties. If used in its essential oil form, it’s great for both clearing up a stuffy head and cleaning a wound. There were some early adopters, but now you’ll find it in a lot of body care lines.

Mixing Menthols

Eucalyptus works well on its own but also mixes well with other menthols, like peppermint and spearmint.

7: Bergamot

Bergamot is one of the most sought after citrus scents in body care because of its slightly floral nature. The plant is a variety of sour orange, so it’s mostly grown for its oil rather than as food. Because it’s not widely available like most other citrus oils, the price tag is on the higher side, so you’re more likely to find the fragrance oil version in most body products. Like most citrus oils, it blends well with many other scents, most notably lavender and the mints.

6: Tea Tree

The benefits of tea tree oil are overwhelming.“The benefits of tea tree oil are overwhelming.Photodisc/Thinkstock

Like sage and eucalyptus, tea tree is a camphor, which means it has a lot of the same beneficial properties. When used in its essential oil form, the pungent but strangely delightful smelling tea tree oil is body care gold. It’s naturally antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antiviral. And it’s affordable, to boot. It’s most typically found in soaps and shampoos, but is also popular in lotions and face care as well because of its anti-acne properties.

5: Lemongrass

This tall, tropical grass makes a delicious spice for Asian soups and a light yet spicy delight in women’s body care products. Its scent similar to lemon in that citrusy way, but it has a little extra somethin’ somethin’ that you won’t find in citrus oils — perhaps a hint of spice or a softer finish — that sets it apart from tangy citrus scents. It mixes well with florals, like lavender, geranium and rose, as well as heavier scents, like ginger and peppermint. While lemongrass essential oil is quite affordable, it isn’t the most shelf stable, so most major product companies use the fragrance oil version.

4: Grapefruit

Continuing along with the clearly popular citrus theme, grapefruit oil is another big hit for body products. This tart yet fresh and fruity oil is incredibly uplifting and energizing and has a naturally sweet scent without being perfumey. It blends well with most any other oil, particularly other citrus and floral oils. These qualities make it a great scent for body lotions and shower scrubs. But, as with lemongrass, grapefruit essential oil doesn’t have a lot of staying power, so most products on the shelves probably contain the fragrance oil version.

Hybrid Fruit?

Although no official hybridization records have been found, it’s believed that grapefruits are a hybrid between a shaddock, which is a large sour citrus fruit, and a sweet orange.

3: Coconut

While you may think of coconut as your smell of choice in sunscreen, it’s also a popular scent in body products. Synonymous with the scent of summer, this rich, nutty scent is available in many different brands of lotions, body butters and shower products. The scent of coconut can’t be made into an essential oil and there are many different versions of the fragrance on the market, so companies tend to have their own signature coconut fragrance. Most coconut scents stand well by themselves, but occasionally, you’ll find one mixed with lime or another tropical fruit.

2: Vanilla

Though vanilla flavored ice cream may have a bad rap as being the plain flavor, vanilla scented body products are anything but. Vanilla fragrance oils are the ultimate smell of decadence, and perhaps the most popular scent in the confection scented body product trend that’s aptly named "foodie beauty." Vanilla stands well on its own but also blends well with mint, floral and citrus scents. While there are products claiming to be vanilla essential oil, there isn’t such a thing. Vanilla bean cannot withstand the heat involved in the distillation method.

Blooming Vanilla

The vanilla plant is a species of orchid that’s grown in the tropics.

1. Lavender

The ability to calm is a beautiful thing.“The ability to calm is a beautiful thing.Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Lavender is a lot like the little black dress — it’s always appropriate and it goes with everything, which would explain why it’s ubiquitous in body care products these days. The lavender plant is known for its heady but not overly sweet floral fragrance. It stands well on its own but mixes well with just about every other scent you can think of. And what makes it so interesting is that the nature of the scent changes depending on what it’s combined with. When mixed with mint, it softens the sharper qualities of the menthol, but it boosts the light notes of citrus oils. Lavender is widely available as an affordable essential oil and beyond having calming properties, it’s also an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Lots More Information

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