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Ah, the smell of fresh laundry! The scent that has inspired many candles, air fresheners, and even perfumes. But that classic hot-out-of-the-dryer fragrance isn’t the only one you can enjoy. These days, laundry detergents are practically as varied as candles, air fresheners, and perfumes when it comes to their scents. In fact, some laundry brands have even gone so far as to partner with fragrance specialists in order to craft the perfect scent for your clothing.
So, whether you’re looking for something light and floral, something organic and earthy, or something zesty and fresh, there’s definitely a product out there for you.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best-smelling laundry detergents that might just change the way you feel about doing your Sunday afternoon wash!
The Laundress has made a name for itself for its high-quality, non-toxic laundry detergents, including special formulas for delicates and dry clean-only clothing. One of its most popular detergents, though, is its collaboration with luxury perfume brand Le Labo.
The Rose Signature detergent blends the iconic Rose 31 scent (which is made from 31 ingredients!) with The Laundress’ Signature scent. The result is a perfect masculine-feminine hybrid that centers around rose but finds balance with earthy notes like cedar, cumin, and amber. Yes, it's way more expensive than your typical cleaning aisle find, but your clothes will never smell nicer.
Even drugstore detergent brands have hopped on board the fragrance train, developing far different scents than classic “cotton clean” or “ocean fresh.” Take, for instance, Gain’s Essential Oils line: Each detergent is made with a blend of essential oils that are designed to boost your mental wellbeing.
There’s a calming lavender and chamomile scent, as well as an energizing citrus option, but the best is the Eucalyptus + Mindful Mint scent, which is clarifying and enlightening. Use it when cleaning your bath towels so you can soak up that revitalizing fragrance after a steamy shower!
If someone asked you to picture how “clean” smells, you’d probably be imagining the scent of Tide Original. While it’s rather difficult to describe the scent, it’s recognizable pretty much anywhere, and people absolutely love it.
Of course, change affects us all, even Tide. The scent has been adjusted ever so slightly over the past few years, but it’s enough to catch the ire of Tide loyalists who have been using the product their entire lives. At the end of the day, it's still a classic that'll always smell amazing.
Dreaming of a tropical vacation? Try Method’s Ginger Mango laundry detergent, which combines the zing of ginger with the sweetness of mango for an invigorating fragrance that’s not overwhelming fruity. It doesn’t smell artificial either, but actually conjures up freshly peeled ginger and ripe, juicy mango.
The detergent itself is a plant-based, hypoallergenic formula that cleans deeply, brightens whites, and is tough on stains. It's concentrated, too, so a single bottle (which is recyclable, of course!) will last you a good long while.
Lavender is the ultimate calming fragrance, which makes it the perfect scent for laundry detergent—especially for your bed linens and pajamas. Seventh Generation’s EasyDose detergent is a favorite for many reasons. There’s the lavender scent, of course—the detergent is made from all natural fragrance ingredients, from essential oils to actual botanicals, so it really smells like a fresh lavender field. But you'll also love the rest of the ingredients, which are made up of 99 percent natural biological materials.
On the practical side of things, this detergent is ultra concentrated, meaning a little bit goes a long way. Simply squeeze the bottle once, and you’re good to go.
The scent of citrus fruits—and, in particular, lemons—is known to be energizing and mood-boosting, even decreasing irritability. Beyond that, it simply smells clean, so it’s no wonder that it’s a popular fragrance for cleaning products, including detergents.
If you’re not a fan of the overpowering fake-lemon aroma, opt for Schmidt’s Citrus + Minerals Concentrated Laundry Detergent, which uses all-natural ingredients for its fragrance. The lemony citrus scent is calmed down with mineral and wood notes, keeping things perfectly balanced. In fact, nearly all the ingredients in the detergent are plant-based, and the detergent is also certified cruelty-free and vegan.
As a household cleaning brand, Mrs. Meyers has a bit of a cult following. The products' scents are all based around the idea of a garden, so you’ll find herbal fragrances like Basil, atmospheric ones like Rain Water, and, naturally, plenty of floral scents. One of the best is Honeysuckle, a more subtle scent that won't bother those who are sensitive to florals. As for the detergent’s efficacy, it has top marks across the board, and its plant-based ingredients do a great job at cleaning all types of laundry.
Yes, The Laundress earned a second spot on our list, this time for its John Mayer Out West laundry detergent. (Yes, that John Mayer.) For those who feel that most laundry detergents smell too feminine but don’t want something that smells like Axe body spray, this is the happy medium.
At first whiff, the fragrance smells crisp and fresh, almost like baby powder. But then the undertones come through: sandalwood, leather, amber, spice, patchouli, and musk blend together in woodsy bliss. In short, it’s a scent that'll please just about anyone Even better? Fifty percent of proceeds from this product are donated to the Montana Association of Land Trusts.
If you had to pick one place to be stuck for awhile, a seaside villa on a cliff above the Mediterranean sounds pretty good. While that might not be a reality, using this laundry detergent could just about bring you there mentally, thanks to its gorgeous fragrance.
The scent is a combination of sea salt, lemon, cardamom, and neroli, which is a fragrant blossom of a bitter orange tree, with undertones of wood and musk. It’s what Mediterranean dreams are made of, and is guaranteed to make doing laundry a little bit happier.