how to smell like a lumberjack (and why you might want to)

The Beauty Algorithm answers its most specific request yet.

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22 January 2019, 8:00am

Welcome to The Beauty Algorithm, i-D’s fortnightly column in which beauty editor Shannon Peter answers the internet’s most niche beauty queries. Want to know how to smell like the cola-scented gel pens of your pre-teen pencil case? Or where to find an eye shadow the perfect shade of EU blue? No request is too specific! This week, the algorithm helps one Redditor looking to unleash their inner lumberjack.

When choosing a shampoo, we all have our non-negotiables. Maybe it is ingredients that will leave hair shiny and strong, or perhaps you need a formula that is powerful enough to rid roots of four-day’s worth of grease, dirt and terrible decisions in a single lather and rinse cycle? Or maybe, just maybe, the only thing that can part you from your hard earned cash, like this extremely discerning Redditor, is a shampoo that will make you smell like a lumberjack?

You know what, u/ponyproblematic? I totally feel you.

Regular shampoo tends to come in a very limited spectrum of scents -- either it’s a overpowering blend of fake flowers and fruits, or something very clinical and bleach-y. So a request for a shampoo that works more like a perfume, and smells like things you actually want to sniff with every swish of the head of makes perfect sense to me.

But what does a lumberjack smell like? Well, let’s overlook the more likely answer of sweat because really, this Redditor is thinking more along the lines of wood, trees, campfires or spices. All that good stuff. Thing is, delicious smelling shampoos are few and far between, so let’s narrow things down.

A few respondents mentioned Grandpa’s Pine Tar Shampoo, although this review has me slightly cautious: “It was like being forcibly fucked in the face by a pine tree. The conditioner was especially pungent and smoky. If you want to smell like [a] large flannel clad bearded man who lives in an evergreen forest and cooks all food over an open campfire this is great choice”. Wow.

If that sounds too extreme, I like Rahua Classic Shampoo. It’s fairly spenny but smells like woody palo santo, that stuff spiritual-types burn to ward off negative spirits. Good hair requires good vibes, duh.

Less smokey, and more green and leafy, is Dizziak’s vegan Hydration Wash, which cleanses afro, curly or dry hair without stripping moisture stores, while Davines Nou Nou Shampoo ticks the earthy, spicy box. Better still, the brand is involved in lots of sustainability projects, like planting and protecting forests around the world to offset their (already reduced) carbon output.

If the bottle-free variety is more your vibe -- and let’s be honest, it probably should be -- Lush’s Soak and Float shampoo is like a solid bar of soap, scented with patchouli, a very earthy ingredient that smells just like a freshly-showered lumberjack. Or so I would imagine.