19 Perfumes That Smell Like Fresh Laundry (In the Best Way Possible)

I think we can all envision what it means to smell dirty, but what about smelling clean? It’s a harder concept to grasp, since there are so many different interpretations of what it means to smell clean. To me, cleanness is the smell of fresh laundry straight out of the dryer, an empty street just after a rainstorm, or a squeeze of bright, fresh citrus

I think the biggest thing about a clean scent, though, is that you know it when you smell it. I’m obsessed with fragrance, and I have plenty of scents I’ve labeled in my mind as “clean-smelling” that I rotate through my collection. The biggest similarity they have is that these scents always make me feel fresh and new—like a blank slate. I wear them when I want to feel like I’m giving myself a new start. Keep reading to find my favorite clean-smelling scents (some may even catch you by surprise). 

Key notes: Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, white bouquet, light and musky woods. Without a doubt, this is one of my all-time favorite fragrances. The first time I smelled it, I was so entranced by the scent that I requested my boyfriend start wearing it (and now he does). It smells like a freshly laundered linen shirt clinging to skin in the summer. 

Key notes: Aldehydes, pear, lily of the valley, iris, rose, orange flower, white musk, Indonesian patchouli, ambrette seeds. This fragrance really does encapsulate the feeling of a lazy Sunday. Picture yourself spending a day in bed, lying in freshly washed sheets—that’s what a spritz of this smells like. 

Key notes: bergamot, peony, amber. Consider this the perfume equivalent of your favorite white t-shirt—appropriate for every ocassion.  

Key notes: kumquat, mandarin, orange, orange blossom, jasmine, almond, cashmere, cedar, vanilla. This fragrance smells cashmere hung up to dry on a clothes-line in Greece. 

Key notes: white rose, pink pepper, aldehyde, violet, neroli, peony, blonde woods, sandalwood, musk. What does the color white smell like? That’s the question this scent answers. It’s pure, refreshing, and simple without being boring. 

Key notes: blood orange, water lily, vetiver. This scent reminds me of going for a run in my hometown at twilight in early spring. One of my neighbor’s used to hang their clothes up to dry in their backyard, and the smell of flowers blooming entangled with fresh laundry is nothing short of intoxicating. 

Key notes: citron, mandarin, fresh ginger, magnolia, orange blossom, laminaria blossom, amyris, grey amber, cedar. Waves crashing against rocks on a brisk day—that’s this fragrance in a nutshell. It’s invigorating and fresh, like getting a spritz of salt water across your face. 

Key Fragrance Notes: Orange, mandarin, lemon, petitgrain, cardamom, caramel, and musk. This scent is like smelling a citrusy breeze off of the coast in Capri. 

Key notes: pomelo, saffron, lemon rind, fig leaf, ivy leaves, jasmine petals, olibanum, cistus, labdanum, clear musks, ambrox. This scent is bright and unexpected, with both feminine and masculine flairs. Pomelo gives this perfume a dash of vivid citrus. 

Key notes: driftwood, sea salt, seaweed. Imagine a placid stretch of sea at dawn. This scent is that—grounding, languid, and a breath of fresh air. 

Key notes: water lily, leafy greens, musk. This perfume has a simple elegance to it. A spritz of this squeaky clean scent feels like stepping out of the shower. 

Key notes: linen. Unlike most perfumes, Demeter is known for taking a singular scent note and turning it into a fragrance. This one doesn’t disappoint—it smells like pure, fresh linen. 

Key notes: juniper berry, green leaves, patchouli, rain. If someone were to ask you your favorite smell, would your answer immediately be “rain?” This perfume is perfect for you. It captures the smell of earth after a heavy rainstorm.

Key notes: aquatic accord, coriander, red seaweed essence. Is there a more classically clean smell than aftershave? This smells like you just left an up-scale barbershop. Though it sounds like a more masculine scent, it smells incredible on everyone. 

Key notes: lemon, jasmine, vanilla. For me, this is the ultimate Sunday morning scent. Wear it when you’re in the mood to wear an oversized button down and stroll your local farmer’s market. 

Key notes: citron, jasmine, teak wood. Citrus zest meets jasmine and wood for an alluring, unforgettable hit of freshness. 

Key notes: vetiver, cedar, benzoin, pine, patchouli, bergamot. The only way to describe this scent is invigorating. It embodies the feeling of taking a cold shower to clear your head. That’s exactly what it does, too—this unique blend of scents helps you de-stress. 

Key notes: aquatic accord, rose petal, pine needle. Another rain-inspired fragrance, Margiela’s newest scent is infused with pine needle for an invigorating twist. 

Key notes: mandarin, lemon, grapefruit, apricot, rose, magnolia, muguet, violet, amber, linden, blossom, musk. Like walking down a rainy street in London.  For more refreshing scents, read No Lie: These Refreshing Fragrances Are Better Than a Dip in the Pool