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The search for "Clean" scents - general discussion

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I'm drawing a blank on sandalwood that isn't Velvet, for some reason. Huh.


For just woody, I'd suggest Yggdrasil (smells really clean and sort of herbal to me) or Hamadryad- which seems to be a craps' shoot. A lot of people get a really wintergreen scent out of it. To me, it was more of a cinnamon with a grounding wood note, and it's one of my all time favourites.


Clean: Embalming Fluid is a smooth, citrusy clean to me, and Whitechapel is another fresh citrus. Whitechapel is probably on my top 5, and EF is among my top 10 favourites.


I'll have to go through my imps and see if I can find any others.

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Bewitched (green tea and blackberries) and Phanotom Queen (apple blossoms and herbs which smell to me like the damp, spring forrest floor) are my favorite "clean wood's" scent, though they remind me of naughty encounters in the woods rather than wood itself! :P


Fae is also LOVELY! It is my favorite "clean" scent. The bergamot makes it so, but it is also very sexy with white musk, peach, and oakmoss (again, a bit like forrest floor...not exactly wood).


What a wonderful friend you are to enable!

Edited by lookingglass

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I would recommend Xiuhtecuhtli - copal, plumeria and sweet orange and the smoke of South American incense and crushed jungle blooms. I find it to be very fresh and clean with a nice woody base. I'm also a fan of Pure Grace and, while I wouldn't say that their scent is terribly similar, I think they have a similar tone, if that makes sense. Good luck!

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Santa Eularia des Riu is herbal and soapy-clean, so she might like that one. It doesn't have a lot of staying power on me, unfortunately.


Kyoto is fresh and outdoorsy to me, and it has a sandalwood note, but I know a lot of people either don't like anise or can't handle cherries/cherry blossoms, so it might not be worth a risk.


If you can get a hold of Ides of March, that's a great lemony-herbal scent (I'm wearing it today).


Szepasszony is a clean, bubbly floral-aquatic.


She might like Kuang Shi, though I personally couldn't stand it.

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The first scent that came to mind for me when I read your post was Silk Road.


Besides that, I'll second the earlier recommendation of Xiuhtecuhtli (at a recent enabling party I attended, it was one of only a couple of scents that almost everyone liked).


Given that your friend likes herbal notes, she might enjoy Envy: it's not as limey-minty as it sounds from its description; it's more like the soft, natural scent of an herb garden.


My own favourite "clean and woody" scent is Dublin, although I wouldn't call it "soft": it's very fresh and bright and long-lasting. (It's also not sandalwood--as far as I know--although I have had folks guess at there being sandalwood in it when they've sniffed it.)

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So, what I need are recommendations for scents that are either very clean or soft and sandalwoody. Her current favorite scents are Philosophy Pure Grace, something called Breathe (which smells fantastic on her!), and the sandalwood roller oil from the Gap. She also likes herbal notes, I think because they have that "fresh" scent.


Berenice is a great clean scent. It's an LE, but you can get still get it.


Other "clean" "fresh/herbal" or "soft" scents:




Embalming Fluid


The Dormouse







White Rabbit





Sudha Segara








Cathedral (+ deeper resins)

Kuang-Shi (+ orange)

Fire of Love


hope that helps!

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I'm a big fan of clean, herbal scents, so please allow me to give my two scents... erm, cents.


Add me to the chorus recommending Dirty. I've finally plunked down some cash to get myself a bottle of it recently (yaaay!).


I'll echo some of the recommendations others have given: The Apothecary, The Dormouse, Embalming Fluid, Sudha Segara, Zephyr. I might also add I didn't find Vinland particularly soft on my skin, more berries than anything. Silk Road was also something I didn't find light, and it's actually a bit more spicy on me than sandalwoodsy. That's skin chemistry for you. She may still like them, though.


One that might be a sleeper hit is my personal most fave BPAL oil ever: The Hermit. It's light, a bit herbal, very clean and absolutely stunning. It's a shame that the Lab no longer gives out imps of the Tarot, but you may be able to find someone willing to decant some for you in the Swaps area. Arcana is another fresh/herbal scent that is a catalogue one could get imps of. It's lovely; I use it as a "sleepytime oil" myself.


The recently-resurrected Phobos is a lovely, refreshing scent that is great if she likes citrus scents. Also, some of the traditionally masculine scents can be very clean, depending on one's tastes: Mad Hatter, Vicomte de Valmont, Villain, Saint-Germain.


Good luck.



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I'm not a huge fan of "clean" (I have a problem with aquatics/ozone) but the clean, fresh scents I love are all tea-based. Tea is a little herbal too so that might be suitable.

Kumiho - my fav, very fresh and green

Shanghai - a little milder, tea with lemon, sugar and milk, still very fresh

Severin - very dry and subtle, on me the leather is more of a sort of papery note

Amsterdam - bit too generic for me but a very fresh and light and clean spring floral

Embalming fluid, The Dormouse, The Apothecary - other pretty tea scents

Rosalind - might be fresh and grassy on someone who doesn't amp up berries, on me it's candy sweet

Whitechapel - fresh sweet citrusy floral


I'm afraid I can't help you with the woods since my skin and sandalwood are enemies, but try the search engine on BPALs site.

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First of all, I want to thank all of you for your recommendations! I'm really sorry that I didn't post sooner, but the past week has been the week from hell, family drama-wise, and when I did have time I was just too tired and miserable to type out a coherent post.


However! I met my friend today for coffee and brought her a plastic baggie full of imps to try. I brought all the ones you guys suggested that I already had, plus a few more that I thought she might want to try.


(As a side note, it really made me laugh to see how far I've come in my BPAL addiction. First of all, I'm finally one of those people who is happy to get rid of imps so that she can get her imp boxes closed! :D Second, I thought of the imps I brought as "a few," but when I counted there were actually twenty-two of them in the bag.)


Anyway, she sniffed all of them and liked quite a few. She dabbed on Dublin, Bewitched, and Sudha Segara right away, and she's going to try the rest over the next few days. I ended up giving her eight to keep and lending her a few more. These are the ones she liked:


Alice (she didn't take it because she knows I love it, but she liked it)

Annabel Lee (this one she has to give back, but I'll try to track down a bottle if she wants it)

The Apothecary (I knew she'd like this)

Bewitched (I knew she'd *love* this)

Bliss (she said it smells like peanuts, but she still liked it)

Budding Moon (I took this just in case and she really liked it so I gave it to her)

Dublin (this is another one I knew she'd love as soon as I got it as a frimp this week)

Jailbait (she merely liked this one)

Katharina (this is another one I didn't let her take with her--I'm so greedy!)

Kumiho (I figured she'd like this because it's so clean and sharp)

The Lady of Shalott (it reminds me of Budding Moon, and she likes them both)

Montresor (just a bit in the imp, but it hates me and she likes it, so it's hers)

Santa Eularia des Riu (I don't like it, she does, so I gave it to her)

Sudha Segara (I wouldn't let her take this one, either, but I'll get her a bottle if she wants)

The Tell-Tale Heart (she liked this, but not enough to take it)

White Rabbit (she said it reminded her of her grandma, in a good way, so I gave it to her)


I knew she would like a lot of these, but I was surprised by some of her picks. (And her non-picks. She hated Velvet even in the imp, whereas I love it in the imp but it goes icky on my skin.) It was so much fun watching her grinning as she sniffed and dabbed and separated them into Want and Don't Want piles. :D A brand new BPAL addict in the making and I did it! But not by myself, because you all helped. Thank you again! :P

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I'd definately rec Zephyr, which is slightly tart and very clean (white musk and sandalwood) and crisp; it makes me picture a young woman in a crisp white blouse.

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I second the Xiuhtecuhtli (one of my all-time faves), Embalming Fluid (it's very much in the realm of Bvlgari's The Verte) and for the woods, I'll have to resound the Anne Bonny rec (it is EVER so woody, but without being dirty. Great great blend).

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No love for the woody-est sweet wood? Tombstone? It's wonderful!


Also Dragon's Bone is a must-have for the woody fans.


Keep your eyes peeled for the next re-issue of 13. She'd prolly like that. Everyone should like it.

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I merged a number of threads asking for "clean" recommendations - some with qualifiers like spicy, woody, green, fruity, etc - so I thought I'd bump this one up. Clean seems very popular this time of year!

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Hi, I've managed to get my hands on some imps though some very wonderful people, and have discovered some scents that I really like:




The Dormouse

Sea of Glass

(Embalming Fluid)


I adore Amsterdam for having that "green" light floral, Neo-Tokyo is a "heavy" scent for me, but I like the smell, Sea of Glass and Dormouse are ones that I really liked right off, and Embaling Fluid is nice but I'm still on the fence about it.


Anyway, I am wanting to put in another order at BPAL, and was wondering if there are recommendations? I've combed the website and found the following and would love opinions (or any other recommendations?):







Elixir IV: Quietude

Elixie VI: Detox




Baobhan Sith




Thanks so much. :P

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Undertow was a frimp that I got with my last lab order and it is wonderful. Clean, lightly floral with a brightness to it. You might like the LE Et Lux Fuit which is available until the 15th of August. You can read about it here Good luck and have fun :P

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I recommend Kumiho and Shanghai. Kumiho is a very strong green, fresh tea scent. The ginger gives it an extra citrusy kick. Shanghai is a little milder and sweeter but still very fresh.

Dorian is not fresh at all on me, but I like it. It's more of a sweet, cosy, nondescript scent.

Dublin wasn't fresh either, on me it's very sweet and quite strong, lots of pine/fir.

Severin is light and fresh with the bergamot tea, very dry and severe, not at all sweet. You might not like the leather note, but on me it's not a dirty or animalic leather, more like grey cardboard actually, a "clean" and dry leather.

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I agree wtih Caltha - to me Dublin is a heavy pine scent, not particularly light or fresh. Baobhan Sith and Severin are both light and crisp. I find Maiden to be even more floral and sweet than those two - more like The Dormouse, I'd say.


I haven't tried any of the others on your list - sorry.

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Quietude is supposed to be a strong lavender. I haven't tried it since it's un-impable. Baku is the Lavender Hammer of Calm and is wonderful. A lot of the other Somnium blends are supposed to be very good if you like lavender, I just haven't gotten around to trying them all :P.


If you're ok with lavender and with ordering bottles unsniffed, by all means try Quietude. Safari is also heavily lavender.



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I think you'll like Shanghai. I didn't like Embalming Fluid, which surprised me (I expected to like it a lot, but something in it just smelled too harsh and strident), but I thought Shanghai was lovely. Green tea and lemon verbena. Very nice for hot weather.


Dorian is...well...neither clean nor fresh. It's very, very sweet. On me it tends to smell of gingerbread cookies. It does have a bit of lemon to it, also some musk. By all means try it, if you've read the reviews and are interested in it, but it's not in the category you're describing :P.


Lightning is a just-out-of-the-shower ozone. Can go soapy, but definitely clean. Some people don't like that scent family. I happen to like it a lot.


Kumiho is quite nice. It was one of the first imps I ordered from BPAL, and the first one I actually really liked. It's a bit sweet, but still a very nice hot weather scent.


Quietude is a nice, somewhat powdery (at least on me) lavender. You have to really, REALLY like lavender to like this one. I adore lavender and I still probably wouldn't wear it as a day perfume (I wear it to bed). I do wear Safari as a day perfume sometimes, though (and that's pretty much straight woodsy lavender), so YMMV.


Two more that I would recommend that aren't on your list - Olokun and Storm Moon. Olokun is general catalogue so you can order an imp from the lab; Storm Moon was limited edition so you'd have to swap for it (but it wasn't that popular, so maybe you'd be able to get some without much problem).


Olokun is a gorgeous fresh, bright, happy marine scent. I adore it. It's the best hot weather scent I've come across from BPAL. I have to give the caveat that ocean/marine scents are my favorite scent family of all time and always have been, but this scent is amazing. It's one of the few scents that I tried from the imp and ordered a 5 mL immediately.


Storm Moon is an ozoney aquatic. It's very, very fresh and clean. I like it a lot; a lot of other people didn't. Olokun seems to be more to people's tastes in general as far as I can tell from the reviews :D.


Good luck!

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On me, the bright woodsy outdoorsiness of Dublin is very clean and fresh: in fact, I'd say it's my favourite scent in the "clean and fresh" category. It's a strong scent, however: I like that about it, but if the subtle Neo-Tokyo reads as "heavy" on you, then I'm guessing you're a fan of the lighter scents.


I think you would enjoy Pele, which is a lovely super-light clean beach-y floral.


Of the other possibilities on your list, I'll just mention that Envy is more herb-gardenish and less lime-and-minty than I was expecting from the description--but you might enjoy the subtlety of it.

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You might want to try Shango. It was a very cool, crisp, clean apple scent on me at first, and then morphed into something of a chilled fruit salad smell after a few hours. It's clean, crisp, and fruity. "The Master of Lightning’s ofrenda contains red apples, banana, chili pepper, coconut, pineapple, pomegranate and sugar cane." It's not as sweet or artificially fruity as it sounds. At least, it isn't on me, lol.


The Pool of Tears is an interesting aquatic. Sort of a salt water and florals blend. "A sea of salty tears drowning out Alice's light floral perfume."


And I'd recommend The Mock Turtle for a clean/fresh scent, "Not quite Turtle Soup: blurry aquatic notes, with a confusing, contrary splort of iris, ambrette, green apple, vodka, white mint and a squish of lime."


You might also want to try out Sundew. It was all bright lemony sugar and greenery on me. A nice, refreshing, uplifting sort of scent. And Ochosi has a cheery, warm herbal/green sort of smell to it that reminds me a bit of the herbal in The Dormouse. And Aizen-Myoo is "yuzu, kaki, and mikan with cherry blossom and black tea." More floral and fresh...


Off of your current list... Dublin, Dorian, and Envy don't really strike me as clean/fresh scents at all. Dorian is a sugared vanilla tea (sweet and lovely), Dublin was like those foresty air freshener trees on me, and Envy was more of an herbal mint.

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I will second Oro on the Dirty recommendation. I have it on right now, and it smells clean, fresh, and crisp.


I agree with Blood onmy hands about the Pool of Tears, too.


Also you might look at reviews for White Rabbit, if you're looking for a crisp tea scent.

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