Clean Provence is a light-wearing citrus floral fragrance. It’s an airy scent. By the name, I expected for it to be a lavender water type of fragrance. But, it’s not. It’s more of a laundry scent, wet linens. The fragrance is inspired by “fine milled soaps of France”. I love a French soap but once again, I think of lavender. The scent goes on the be described as being “reminiscent of pure soap and water, freshly laundered linen, and open blue skies”. Now this I can see.

At first the fragrance is so tart that I can barely stand it. I love a citrus fragrance but something about this one burns my nostrils. It hurts my nose the way that strong household cleansers do. Clean brand smells too “clean” and industrial.  Once the fragrance settles down after 10+ minutes of wear, I really like it. It isn’t mind-blowing but it is nice. It really does smell like freshly laundered linen being put on the line during a bright, sunny morning. It smells like clean cotton but not in a “dryer sheet” way. This is slightly citrusy and does smell of rose geranium. So instead of sheets being washed in Tide™, they smell like sheets washed in a something more expensive, like Mrs. Meyer’s laundry detergent (geranium, perhaps?). It smells fresh and sunny. I get the citrus and it is toned down and it really compliments the simplicity of the cotton blossom. I smell citrus and cotton throughout the wear. The citrus becomes sweeter. The dry down is “cottony” and musky, but in a floral, sweeter musk way. It’s a very clean, pretty musk dry-down.

This is a fragrance that I’m glad that I wore. If I sniffed this just sprayed onto a blotter card, I would of ran away with scorching nostrils, never giving it a try on my skin. This instead becomes something fresh and feminine when worn directly. It isn’t abrasive and it is a nice fragrance for “work” wear or when you have to be in close quarters with people you aren’t familiar with.  The scent blends right on in with your skin and your environment. But, I do think it is short wearing for an EDP, maybe 4 hours? Because the top bothers me so, this is something that I have to apply to the wrists. The further away from my nostrils, the better.I think this is a fragrance that my fragrance library can live without, but I do like it. And I do recommend it for those that want clean laundry scents.

Many people complain that this fragrance isn’t long-lasting. I don’t know if it is necessarily the fragrance. I feel that it is such a nondescript fragrance and since it does meld with the skin and clothing, that the wearer just doesn’t notice it anymore. Especially if you are used to stronger fragrances or if you wear this daily. You’ll just get used to it. But, I do agree that 4 hours of wear isn’t the norm for an EDP. Oh, and I must add that I do see this is as a feminine fragrance. There are better “laundry” scents out there for men.

Notes listed include: Provencal lemon, cotton blossom, rose geranium, sweet lime, and violet musk.

You may like this one if you like clean scents, other Clean scents,  Fresh Sugar Lemon EDP, Comme de Garçons Odeur 53 EDT, Demeter PMU Laundromat Cologne,  Bath & Body Works Cotton Blossom Body Splash, and/or Bath & Body Works Sea Island Cotton EDT. The 2.14 oz. spray retails for $69. This scent is available at Sephora, beauty.com, and DERMADoctor. It is also available (sometimes) at a discounted price on fragrancenet.com.

Gustave Caillebotte, Laundry Drying on the Bank of the Seine, circa 1892, oil on canvas, 105.5 × 150.5 cm, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne.

I wouldn’t say that “clean” or “fresh” scents are my favorite genre. I usually like chypres or things with aldehydes or rich florals. However, I really do appreciate a “fresh” scent. They are like the comfort or scents. They seem to “go” with everything and aren’t too offensive for work. And sometimes I just want to smell simple and uncomplicated. You know that, “I’m not wearing a fragrance” kind of fragrance. The Clean fragrance house is a brand for those that love fresh, in the modern sense of the word fragrances. Personally, I find bergamot, certain blossoms, and certain musks very fresh. Anyways, Clean Original isn’t what I expected. In fact, I find it quite odd that the fragrance house has been so successful because of this Original fragrance.

Clean Original’s top notes are very citrusy. But, not in that Mediterranean eau de cologne way. It is very “synthetic” like those Valentine’s day Sweet Hearts/Conversation Hearts. It reminds me of sugary, lemony pastilles made by Choward’s. This is the litsea cubeba AKA May Chang. This note isn’t awful, it is just a little abrasive to my sniffer even though my taste buds love Choward’s lemon pastilles. This note is like a fusion of a sweet candied violet and lemon oil used in flavoring. Like I said, it isn’t bad. For some reason it burns my nose. I think it is because it is so citrusy when mixed with notes like orange, grapefruit, and lime. At times I think that this smells like a dish washing detergent. It reminds me of the smell of some serious cleaning. Other times, I find it less antibacterial soap. It all depends on my mood.  I really like citrus fragrances but I find this one is a bit too clean in a household cleaning product kind of way for me. The citrus hangs around and mixes with the rose geranium. Once again, I think this smells like a household cleaning product because I use Mrs. Meyer’s Rose Geranium scented products! I realize that this is my perspective. I get Choward’s Lemon pastilles and Mrs. Meyer’s Rose Geranium dish washing soap. After about 30 minutes of wear, I start to notice the white musk. This white musk is more of a “cotton” musk or a clean linen type of fragrance. It smells like warm, clean laundry. Since I love the aroma of clean laundry, I really like the dry-down of this EDP. It still has a touch of lemon, but it is much milder. The lemon added to the white musk smells like clean laundry hanging out to dry on a sunny day. This I like.

This fragrance doesn’t wear very long on me. I don’t notice it after about 1.5 hours of wear. I am actually very surprised to see it labeled as an EDP and not an EDT. I really do not see what all of the fuss is about with this fragrance. It’s clean, zesty, and energetic. I don’t like it on myself. If this scent was in a household cleaning product or home fragrance, I would go nuts for it. This is a fragrance that I’d rather have my home and laundry smell like than my skin. So, my verdict is that Clean Original is just too darn “clean”. It’s clean in a clean house way, not in a clean skin/soapy way. It wears on top of my skin, I never feel like it becomes “apart” of me. I love the dry-down but I feel it is a bit low-brow and I can get the same effect with a much cheaper fragrance. I realize that the entire concept of the fragrance is a fragrance that smells “clean” and not like a perfume. I get that. I just think there are better ones out there that fit my personality. I like snuggling linen type fragrances. This one reminds me of all of the cleaning products that I use in my home. Of course I love their aroma, but it isn’t very comforting. This scent reminds me of chores. Not good.

Notes listed include: litsea cubeba, orange, sweet lime, pink grapefruit, passion lily, rose geranium, and white musk.

The scent isn’t bad. It is zesty and fresh. It just reminds me of cleaning. Give this fragrance a try if you like really lemony citrus fragrances, Fresh Sugar Lemon EDP, Tocca Bianca EDP, Malin + Goetz Lime Tonic EDT, L’Occitane Citrus Verbena Summer EDT, Satellite Paris 40 a lombre EDP, and/or Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom EDT Spray.

A 2.14 ounce perfume spray retails for $76 and is available at Sephora and beauty.com.

So far, I am really loving Les Garçonnes fragrance collection. Pompon Gardenia is an amazing heady white floral blend with sweet lime. This is one of my favorite white florals ever. I love a super feminine white floral and this is a winner with its blend of gardenia, lilies, and lime.

I assume that the inspiration for Pompon Gardenia was François Pompon, a 20’s era sculptor and Rodin’s assistant. I’ve always remembered him for his sleek chouettes. But, it could just be pompon as a fashion accessory. I don’t know for sure and I really don’t care. I love the sleek and portable, ecological cardboard packaging. It’s a lovely poppy print with rich green and mauve. I peeled a bunch of ’36 era wallpaper in my rehab home that reminded me of this print and color scheme.

At first Pompon Gardenia is a lush, humid white gardenia. There is a faint aroma of watermelon and gardenia. This doesn’t smell like a Jolly Rancher watermelon hard candy or too fruity. It just adds a humid quality to the gardenia, something that is more a sweet aquatic quality than just “aquatic”. It’s more “watermelon rind”, a bit green and fresh, bitter and sweet,  and what is keeping it from being like a candy-esque body spray. The sweet lime is an amazing touch to this blend. I love limes for their tart fruitiness and slight sweetness. We always have them around the kitchen. I love the smell that they leave on my hands. It is very beautiful and I always thought it would be perfect with a heady floral. Pompon Gardenia has a very pleasant slightly bitter but mostly sweet type of lime. I’m talking you smell the entire little sweet lime, including zest and juicy pulp. It’s beautiful. All of these fruits mix with dainty white lily of the valley (very understated in comparison) and big, white gardenias. Gardenia works very well with these fruits because gardenia has a slightly fruity aroma anyways. Eventually, the fragrance becomes a strong gardenia fragrance with a sweet lime twist, the watermelon rind fades, so do the other dainty white flowers. After a bit of wear, you pick up on the faintest and mildest tobacco ever. In fact the 1st few weeks that I wore this, I could barely pick up on it. It has been many, many years since I smelled the warmness and hay like quality of dried, light tobacco. I ended up wearing this one day in the summer and my husband drug me to a cigar shop. There I smelled the lovely jars of various flavored and unflavored tobacco. I smelled some that the owner referred to as “mild” and “blonde”. I could then smell this ever so slightly in this solid fragrance blend. It is faint and definitely overshadowed by the white florals. It does add some much needed warmth to the blend. Don’t let the tobacco fool you. This is not a smoky blend, “dry”,  nor is it even close to being masculine. This is a pretty girl wearing an old-fashioned gardenia perfume oil and red lipstick in a quaint tobacco shop. That’s it.

This fragrance isn’t what I expected it to be. When I read the notes when it was launched, I was thinking of something much more dry, smokier with a  less fruity gardenia, and maybe the kind of sweet lime wedge that has been swimming in honey colored whiskey. I was thinking something to wear in cooler weather. I was thinking of a sexy but desperate 20’s lady at a smoky bar with messy, uneven pin-curls. This is much more feminine, alive, pretty, and almost coy. It’s much more 40’s cheesecake pin-up. It is glowing with a bright red lipstick smile exposing more than pearly whites. It’s perfect like a Vargas created girl. Like I said, it wasn’t what I expected but it is something that I really like. I am happy that I bought it. It’s fairly simple aquatic gardenia with lime with a very slight tobacco dry warmth.

It retails for about $16 and is available at b-glowing.com and beautyhabit.com. It’s a great price, cute vintage packaging, and wears for a few hours without any touch-ups. I’m touching up my red lipstick more frequently than this stuff.