Viewer Mail: I Want to Smell Like Laundry

Dear Katie,

I've not been well versed in perfumes because I used to associate strong perfumes with itchy noses as a kid. I've outgrown that and have started to enjoy perfumes but I'm picky about what I want to smell like all day. Basically, I want to smell like a dryer sheet without having to rub dryer sheets on me. Trust me, that doesn't work well. I love laundry day but I would like that smell everyday without washing laundry all the time.

I know that I really dislike sweet scents like sugar or vanilla. They smell very suffocating to me, like I really need to step outside for some fresh air.

Can you help me out and point me in a direction?


Hi GoodLookingCorgi - you are so in luck with your urge to smell fluffed and folded, because in current American perfumery, cleanliness is next to goddessliness. I’m going to start with a mention of the obvious detergent - I mean, fragrance line for you, which is the Clean range. Their Warm Cotton in particular smells like laundry sheets. But laundry sheets the size of a queen-size duvet stuffed up your nose and down your throat. Talk about suffocating! The Clean line - not my favorite. Can you tell?

But there are plenty of other perfumes that elevate soapsuds to an art. My top recommendation for you is Narciso Rodriguez's Essence, in that gorgeous sculptural glass flask. Essence is steam-cleaned purity, a transparent rose sun shooting out beams of aldehydes and musk.

In the “try these too” laundry pile, we have:

Estée Launder - oops, Lauder - Pleasures (clean, sparkling floral) and White Linen (bright, soapy aldehydes)
Gendarme by Gendarme (Woolite cologne)
Philosophy Pure Grace (soapy soap)

And these have a bit of fruit in them, but still read as brightly clean:

Tocca Cleopatra (cucumber/grapefruit with woods)
L'Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc (blackberries & musk)

I’d be interested to hear if any of these work you into a lather. Does anyone else have some soap bubbles to blow in GoodLookingCorgi’s direction?


  1. Here are a few that all read as "dryer sheet-y" to me: Hierbas de Ibiza (= Bounce dryer sheet, I think the "original" scent if they have come out with new scents now), L'Artisan L'ete en Douce, Ineke After My Own Heart, Stephanie de Saint-Aignan Amande Honorable.

  2. Ahsu, so many fancy ways to smell like hygiene is a priority! Just read up on those three, and they do indeed sound perfect. I've heard tell that Puro Lino eau de toilette is also an exalted fabric softener smell. Has anyone smelled that one?

  3. I recently visited the CB I Hate Perfume gallery, and I must say his Beautiful Laundrette (in the clean accord series) smells EXACTLY like laundry day. You will undeniably love this one.

  4. ilovebabies52, I've never been to the CB I Hate Perfume gallery, and would love to, someday. Leave it to Christopher Brosius to cover the fragrance spectrum from clean to dirty, Beautiful Laundrette to Dirt. And then some.

  5. GoodLookingCorgi, I thought about you and your dryer sheed today when I smelled another possibility: Dream More by Gap.