Updated: December 13, 2020
By Derek Martin
Since fragrance isn’t exactly the primary purpose of a hair pomade, important features like hold, shine, finish, and texture tend to get the most attention during the manufacturing process – scent usually ends up being a mere afterthought.
But the reality of the situation is this: if your hair pomade smells like shit, it doesn’t matter how well it performs, you’re ultimately gonna have a shitty hair day.
That’s why I believe guys like us shouldn’t have to compromise between performance and scent when it comes to pomade. Because let’s face it, not all great pomades smell good, and not all good smelling pomades are great.
When shopping for a pomade, the goal for every discerning gentleman should be to find a pomade that offers the best of both worlds – great performance and great scent.
So in an effort to end my readers’ search for the best smelling pomade for men – I delved deep into my vast collection of hair care products, tested and smelled countless pomades, and even solicited the advice of hundreds of user reviews from men just like you and me.
The end result of this weeks-long undertaking is this hand selected list of best smelling pomades for men.
Not only are the scents of these pomades perfectly capable of giving you a full-on nose boner, but each one offers top-notch performance and quality to boot. Win-win.
- Zeus Pomade – Verbena Lime
- Dapper Dan Pomade – Citrus & Vanilla
- 18.21 Man Made Pomade – Sweet Tobacco
- Blind Barber Pomade – Tonka Bean
- Con Moto Pomade – Cognac & Cuban Cigar
- Battle Born Grooming Co. Pomade – Bay Rum
- TeaTree Grooming Pomade – Tea Tree & Mint
Best Smelling Pomades for Men Reviewed
Zeus Pomade – Verbena Lime
If you’re in search of the best smelling pomade for men, do your nose a solid and consider this Verbena Lime scented pomade from Zeus. If you’re not familiar with Zeus, they are based out of California and offer a long line of premium men’s grooming products such as: beard oil, beard wash, soap, brushes, and haircare products. Since Verbena Lime is one of Zeus’ signature scents, it’s used extensively in their line of products. I first had the pleasure of smelling it in their conditioning beard oil and I gotta say, my nose hairs were hooked at first whiff. The complex scent of Verbena Lime can be described as citrusy, fruity, slightly sweet, and slightly floral. It’s light, clean, refreshing, masculine, and most definitely suited for refined gentleman such as ourselves. Two thumbs up.
What else is great about Zeus pomade?
• It’s all-natural
Awesome scent aside, one of the other things that I really like about Zeus Pomade is that it’s made entirely of all-natural ingredients that offer some benefits for the hair and scalp. What’s inside:
- Jojoba wax – A natural wax that is derived from an American shrub, jojoba wax is full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are beneficial for the hair and scalp. It’s also the source of this premium pomade’s firm, all day hold.
- Aloe vera – Offers a ton of benefits for the hair including conditioning and moisturizing, makes hair smooth, shiny, reduces dandruff, and can even help promote hair growth.
- Keratin – Helps improve hair thickness, fullness, and shine by fusing with the hair shaft and smoothing down the cuticle.
• All-day hold
We discussed scent and ingredients but what about performance, damnit. Thankfully an awesome smell and all-natural ingredients isn’t the only thing Zeus pomade has going for it. It applies very smoothly and easily, and provides a very natural looking all-day hold.
• Natural shine
If you’re the type of guy that likes a lot of shine from your pomade, this might not be the one for you. That’s because Zeus dries to a very natural looking, low shine, satin finish. I consider it the perfect everyday pomade because it looks good in pretty much any setting.
• Washes out easily
Most guys don’t want to shampoo multiple times in order to remove pomade from their hair. At least I know I don’t. Zeus pomade fortunately features a water-based formula that quickly and easily washes out with shampoo and water.
Dapper Dan – Citrus & Vanilla
Nothing in life is certain, but I’m willing to bet one whiff of this pomade’ll have you saying, “I’m a Dapper Dan man!” That’s because it features an awesome (and unique) combination of citrus and vanilla that smells very warm, rich, sweet, slightly fruity, masculine, and very inviting. It’s a far cry from those generic scented grocery store pomades, and it offers superior performance too. Formulated with a water-base – Dapper Dan pomade is soft, smooth, and very easy to work through the hair, while offering a natural looking medium hold and shine. And if you’re worried about hard or crunchy hair, don’t be. Dapper Dan leaves hair feeling very soft and natural with no greasiness or residue left behind.
What else is great about Dapper Dan pomade?
• Natural shine
While Dapper Dan calls it a medium shine, it’s actually very similar to a natural shine finish. It’s perfect for men who aren’t partial to high gloss hair styles, but still want a healthy, natural looking sheen.
• Easy to wash out
Don’t get this medium hold pomade confused with Dapper Dan’s heavy hold pomade. While the heavy hold version is an oil based pomade, and a bit difficult to wash out of the hair, this medium hold pomade is water-based. Because of this, it’s water soluble and very easy to wash out of the hair with just water.
• A little goes a long way
As I already mentioned, Dapper Dan pomade is very easy to style and work through the hair. It’s because of this that you really don’t need to use much to cover a lot of ground. Just a small dab is usually enough for most styles and hair types.
While most really good pomades are kind of pricey, Dapper Dan pomade maintains a very reasonable price tag. So not only does it smell great and offer great performance – it doesn’t cost a small fortune.
18.21 Man Made – Sweet Tobacco
If you’re in search of the best smelling pomade for men, but nothing but a bold, rugged, masculine scent will do, I highly recommend you take a whiff of this Sweet Tobacco pomade from 18.21 Man Made. Once you unscrew the top off the jar, your nose is presented with a very unique, masculine aroma that is incredibly warm and inviting. The complex scent contains notes of spicy saffron, dried fruit, manuka honey, vanilla, tonka bean, tobacco, exotic woods, and powdery musk. If James Bond had a signature scent, I imagine it would smell a lot like this.
What else is great about 18.21 Man Made pomade?
• All-day, flexible hold
Great smell aside, 18.21 Man Made pomade is also a solid performer. The water based formula is a blend of wax and elastic fibers, and provides an all-day, flexible hold that leaves hair looking very soft and natural – not rock hard or crunchy.
• High shine
If you like your pomade to smell great and provide a bit of shine, 18.21 has got you covered. While I wouldn’t exactly describe it as a high gloss finish, this pomade provides a very nice medium-high shine that is suitable for any occasion. If you’re looking for a bit more shine, try applying it while your hair is slightly damp.
• It doesn’t take much
While this certainly isn’t the cheapest pomade you’re going to come across, I will say that a little bit of this stuff does go a very long way. The soft, smooth, lightweight texture allows it to be easily scooped from the jar and quickly worked through the hair. Just try to remember that it doesn’t take much of this stuff to cover a lot of ground. Less is more with this one.
• Washes out easy
Unlike oil-based pomades that are pretty much impossible to wash out of the hair in a single shower, 18.21 Man Made pomade is made from a water based formula. So not only is it very easy to wash from the hair, but it offers many of the same benefits as an oil-based pomade, including: re-workability throughout the day, flexible hold, and shine.
Blind Barber 90 Proof Pomade – Tonka Bean
One of the more unique editions to this list is this Blind Barber 90 Proof pomade for men. It contains some uncommon ingredients that you’re unlikely to find in other hair pomades, including hops (yes, hops) and aromatic tonka beans. Similar in fragrance to vanilla and almonds, tonka beans give this pomade a warm, rich, spicy, sweet, masculine fragrance that smells pretty damn great in the hair. And when it comes to performance, Blind Barber certainly does not disappoint. The water-based formula offers a strong, all-day flexible hold that doesn’t leave your style feeling hard or crunchy. Instead, hair is left feeling soft, natural, and even re-workable if needed. Bottom line: when it comes to high quality, best smelling pomades for men, Blind Barber is a worthy edition to this list.
What else is great about Blind Barber pomade?
• Matte finish
If you’re one of the growing number of men that prefer a more natural looking matte finish to your style, Blind Barber might be the pomade for you. The water-based formula applies easily and evenly, and leaves hair with a no-shine, natural looking finish that is suitable for any occasion.
• The scent lasts
It would be pretty damn disappointing if a great smelling pomade like Blind Barber didn’t have a fragrance that actually lasts in the hair. Thankfully that’s not the case. Once this pomade is applied, the awesome tonka bean fragrance stays in the hair until it’s washed out.
• It contains hops
If you thought hops were only good for brewing beer, think again. When added to haircare products, hops are known for their ability to condition hair and scalp, and even increase volume for a thicker, fuller appearance.
• A little goes a long way
While Blind Barber pomade does cost a bit more than those crappy grocery store pomades, this stuff is infinitely better in pretty much every way. Not only does it smell incredible, but you really don’t need to use much of it to achieve a strong, all-day hold. You really do get what you pay for with this one.
Con Moto Pomade – Cognac & Cuban Cigar
When it comes to great smelling, performance based hair pomades, Con Moto knows a thing or two about quality. Based out of Toronto, Canada, Con Moto offers a premium line of hair pomades that are derived from natural ingredients and smell friggin awesome. Their Original Pomade is a water-based pomade and it offers a strong hold, medium shine, and a cognac and cuban cigar scent that smells even better than it sounds. Once you unscrew the top off the metal tin, your nose is greeted with subtle notes of dried fruit, vanilla, tobacco, wood, and earth. It’s truly a one of kind scent that you sure as hell won’t find in other hair pomades.
What else is great about Con Moto pomade?
• Strong hold
Don’t let the term “strong hold” fool you. Yes, Con Moto pomade provides a strong, all-day hold, but it doesn’t make hair stiff, hard, or crunchy. It actually leaves hair feeling soft, flexible, and re-workable throughout the day if needed.
• Washes out easy
Not only does Con Moto smell great and provide a strong all-day hold, but it’s also really easy to wash out of the hair. That’s because it has a water based formula that quickly and easily dissolves when it comes in contact with water.
• Hair beneficial ingredients
Aside from having a great smell, Con Moto is known for it’s premium quality. Their Original Pomade is derived from 95% natural ingredients, and includes some things that you simply won’t find in other pomades, including:
- Creatine – Improves scalp health and improves hair growth by helping the body stimulate protein synthesis.
- Biotin – Helps improve and strengthen the body’s keratin infrastructure which results in improved hair health, growth, and can even help reduce breakage and split ends.
- Lanolin – An emollient that attracts moisture to the hair and scalp and then locks it in.
• Made in small batches
Aside from the awesome fragrance, one of the things I like most about Con Moto pomade is that it’s extremely high quality and always fresh. If you ever received an old, dried out hair pomade before, you know that freshness makes a huge difference. That’s why Con Moto handcrafts all of their pomades in small batches, ensuring premium quality and freshness with every order.
Battle Born Grooming Co. Pomade – Bay Rum
When it comes to best smelling hair products, bay rum scented products always seem to find their way to the top of my list. Which is totally understandable considering bay rum scent is extremely popular and has basically been around forever. One of the things I like most about bay rum is that it never smells exactly the same between brands. Sure, the general idea is always the same, but every company puts their own unique spin on it, and that’s what I like most about Battle Born Grooming Company’s bay rum pomade. Once you unscrew the top off the premium glass jar, you’re greeted with a warm, woody, spicy, and slightly sweet fragrance that is incredibly inviting, and masculine as all hell. The best part is the scent doesn’t stay confined to the jar. Once the firm hold pomade is applied, the awesome scent lingers on in the hair until it’s washed out. Bottom line: If you’re looking for the best smelling pomade for men, this offering from Battle Born Grooming Co. is certainly worth a hard
What else is great about Battle Born Grooming Co. pomade?
• It’s water-based
Battle Born Grooming Co. pomade is an unorthodox water-based pomade. This means that it offers all the benefits of an oil-based pomade, but with one big difference: it’s way easier to wash out. Performance wise, Battle Born pomade provides plenty of hold (I’d say on the lighter side of firm), and leaves hair with a nice natural looking sheen.
• It’s easy to work with
One of the things I like most about Battle Born pomade, aside from it’s awesome scent, is how quick and easy it is to work with. It has a very soft, lightweight, fluffy consistency that is easy to scoop out of the jar and work through the hair. It’s not overly sticky so styling is smooth and easy. And since it’s so lightweight, it doesn’t weigh down the hair, making it a good option for pretty much any hair type.
• Long lasting scent
A pomade that smells great inside the jar but quickly dissipates once it’s in the hair is kind of pointless, right? Thankfully Battle Born Grooming Co. pomade does no such thing. Once it’s applied in the morning, you can fully expect the awesome bay rum scent to last until you’re ready to wash it out.
• It’s all-natural
What’s not to like about all-natural ingredients? Hand crafted in small batches in Las Vegas, Nevada, Battle Born Grooming Co. goes to great lengths selecting only the most premium, all-natural ingredients for their pomade.
TeaTree Grooming Pomade – Tea Tree & Mint
If bold, rugged scents aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, you might want to check out this TeaTree grooming pomade from John Paul Mitchell Systems. As you probably guessed by the name, this pomade features a fresh and invigorating tea tree fragrance with notes of mint and fresh citrus. While the smell isn’t as overtly masculine as some of the other options on this list, make no mistake about it – TeaTree Grooming pomade smells fresh, clean, and damn good in the hair. Typically only available online or in high-end salons, TeaTree Grooming pomade offers a flexible hold (similar to a medium hold) and gives hair a nice medium shine finish. It’s certainly worth a try if you’re the type of guy who likes to smell fresh, clean, and well groomed.
What else is great about TeaTree Grooming pomade?
• A little goes a long way
Aside from the fresh scent, one of the great things about TeaTree Grooming pomade is that a jar of this stuff lasts. That’s because you really don’t need to use much of it to achieve full coverage, and a strong, all-day flexible hold.
• Helps condition hair and scalp
When it comes to hair pomades, manufacturers typically prioritize performance over everything else. If we are lucky they might make the pomade smell good too. The one thing you rarely see though is pomades that contain hair and scalp beneficial ingredients. TeaTree on the other hand does things a little differently and actually includes a bunch of vegetable based moisturizing ingredients in their pomade. What’s inside:
- Castor oil – A highly moisturizing vegetable oil that is pressed from castor beans. It also contains ricinoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids that have been shown to improve hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp.
- Coconut oil – Extracted from mature coconuts, coconut oil is known for it’s skin and hair moisturizing benefits, and can also help reduce hair breakage, split ends, and dandruff.
- Glycerin – An emollient that helps attract and lock in moisture to the hair and scalp.
- Tea tree oil – Contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and also helps moisturize hair and help prevent dandruff.
• Easy to work with
Unlike some pomades that can be too firm or overly sticky to work through the hair easily, TeaTree Grooming pomade is soft, easy to work between the hands, and spreads through the hair quickly and easily without tugging or clumping.
Thanks for checking out my list of best smelling pomades for men. If you found this article helpful, check out my list of best smelling body lotions for men. As always, if you have any questions or comments, drop me a line in the comment section below.