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15 Fragrances For When You Just Want To Smell Clean

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    If you’re a 21st-century woman with a stressful job and a calendar full of SoulCycle classes, then chances are you’re not into super-heady fragrances. Powdery ones smell like your Nana, floral orientals smell like your mom, and fruity body mists smell like your high school bestie. Clean scents (think light, airy, and shower-fresh), on the other hand, are likely more your speed.

    First, let’s clarify what we mean by “clean.” It’s not the smell of your apartment after you’ve scoured it with Pine-Sol. “That’s a more industrial, deodorant clean and, even if you like the scent, there’s a utilitarian quality that will never be truly beautiful,” says fragrance expert Chandler Burr. The clean we’re talking about is more conceptual. “It’s pure luminescence, or light turned somehow into scent,” he says. “New materials, including some terrific fragrance molecules, have allowed scent artists to create them.”

    But what is it that makes "clean" scents so appealing? (Other than the fact that we can get away with washing our hair less when wearing them.) “Clean scents allow women to communicate themselves in a sharper, more clearly defined way than classical fragrances,” says Burr. “They let us speak much more in our own voices.” Intrigued? Click through to find nine of our favorite so-fresh-and-so-clean-clean scents.

    You've never seen beauty quite like this before. Check out our Beauty Innovator Awards for the smartest, funkiest, most fresh to death products of the year.


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    You know that smell of wet pavement during the first 10 minutes of a rainstorm? Derek Lam has figured out a way to bottle that smell — and we want to wear it every damn day.

    Derek Lam 10 Crosby Rain Day, $95, available at Sephora.

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    When we hear "musk," we don't usually think "lightweight." But we'll be damned, because this one — which has notes of fig, grass, and amber — smells like rain on a spring day.

    Nova Green Musk, $35, available at Nova.

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    Finding a woodsy fragrance for fall that feels fresh, not heavy, can be a challenge. This scent mixes fig leaves and cedar to create a day-appropriate take on a spicy scent.

    Diptyque Philosykos Eau de Parfum, $150, available at Diptyque.

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    Think of geranium as a lighter alternative to rose – it's still in that floral family, but with an crisp and fresh aroma that smells like a blooming, springtime garden.

    Diptyque Geranium Odorata, $98, available at Diptyque.

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    This orange blossom scent spritzes on light and crisp in the morning, then fades to a subtle floral accord by evening. The fresh aroma lingers, but never overpowers.

    Chloé Love Story Eau de Toilette, $115, available at Sephora.