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 our favorite so-fresh-and-so-clean-clean scents.