As I mentioned when I first bought it, I was completely unprepared for the smell of straight witch hazel extract. I purchased Humphrey's 100% Witch Hazel Astringent way back at the end of November, but it's taken me this long to actually get around to using it. I'm still not sure how to describe the scent, but to me, it is completely unappealing and not something I am inclined to put on my face as is.
I decided to try to cover up the smell with essential oils. I filled a small glass bottle with about an ounce of witch hazel and mixed in some frankincense and eucalyptus essential oils. It wasn't completely successful in masking the witch hazel smell, but rather smells like a blend of the oils and the witch hazel. I wouldn't say it smells great, but it's a vast improvement over the witch hazel on its own.
I originally wanted to try using witch hazel after reading several peoples' experiences with how it had reduced the appearance of large pores. In fact, even the bottle claims that witch hazel "penetrates deep into pores, removing dirt, oil, and makeup" and "refines and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores." The pores on and around my nose are a bit more visible than I would like and I was hoping the witch hazel would help with this. So far, I've been really happy with the results.
I've been using the witch hazel in between washing my face and applying moisturizer for about two weeks now. At first I was using it all over my face, but I started breaking out on the backs of my cheeks, which tend to be acne-prone. I don't know for sure if the witch hazel was the cause, but I switched to only using it on my nose and the very center of my forehead and cheeks (the areas I have more visible pores) and my skin has calmed down again. In terms of reducing the appearance of pores, I've definitely noticed a difference, even in this short time. On my forehead and cheeks, I can hardly see the pores anymore and on my nose, where they were the worst, I can also see an improvement.
I'll definitely update again once I've used the witch hazel longer, but I'm really happy with it so far. It's very inexpensive (I paid around $3 for 8 ounces!) and I've actually gotten visible results, which is more than I can say for a lot of pricier toners!