Clean Smelling Perfume Like Soap: the Complete List You’ll Love in 2020 Summer

1 minute quick read:

This post is about 5 main types of clean smelling perfume like soap:

which include the perfume list:

  • Chanel N°5
  • Chanel N°22
  • Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps
  • Byredo Blanche
  • Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
  • Worth Je Reviens
  • Caron Fleurs de Rocaille
  • Rochas Madame Rochas
  • Paco Rabanne Calandre 
  • Estée Lauder White Linen & Private Collection
  • Nina Ricci Nina
  • Philosophy Amazing Grace
  • Davidoff Cool Water (for men)
  • Gres Cabaret
  • Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc
  • Cacharel Anais Anais
  • Prada Infusion d’Homme (discontinued)
  • L’Occitane Eau des 4 Reines
  • Philosophy Pure Grace
  • Narciso Rodriguez For Her
  • Jennifer Lopez Glow
  • The Body Shop White Musk
  • Givenchy Ptisenbon
  • Bvlgari Petis et Mamans
  • Mugler Cologne
  • Guerlain Vetiver
  • Halston 1-12
  • Pino Silvestre Pino Silvestre
  • Coty Aspen

Let’s get started.

If you are a frequenter of Fragrantica or Basenotes, you can’t be more familiar with the word “soapy” frequently shown in either long or short reviews of various perfumes, as well as “Is there any clean smelling perfume like soap” or similar posts.

But the fact is, “soapy” seems too abstract to figure out what it really is: remember when you’re immersed in the fragrance ocean of soaps and other personal hygiene products in Walmart?

clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: tehrantimes

In fact, when we talk about “soapy” perfumes, maybe we intend to describe the clean perfume scents, which are mainly given by fragrances – both artificial and natural (essential oils or other plant-based oils).

In soaps, the everyday must-have item, the fragrance is used earlier than perfume, fragrance powder, and products alike. So if you wonder “what perfume smells like soap?”, you’re probably asking: which fragrances used in soaps are also in perfume bottles?

Aldehydes

Aldehydes clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: Wikipedia

It was not until Chanel N°5 did the world get to know how fascinating a synthesis compound – Aldehyde is. The surge in popularity of Chanel N°5 brings Aldehyde to the production of fragrant soaps.

As these soaps became a household item, people would never expect things to get reversed – Aldehydes perfumes are widely considered to have the smell of soaps.

Before perfumer Ernest Beaux created Chanel N°5, Gabrielle Chanel had requested for “a woman’s fragrance that smells like a woman”. Beaux designed Chanel N°5 as a floral composition with Aldehyde, the synthetic fragrance that was just found: especially:

  • C10 (Decanal), powdery, orange-peel scent;
  • C11 (Undecanal), fatty, citrus, rancid scent;
  • C12 (Dodecanal), soapy clean, floral greeny scent.

Soon afterward, Aldehydes above, together with C9 (rose or orris scent) were widely applied to fragrant soaps in fashion history. If you read someone describing Chanel N°5, Chanel N°22, or other Aldehydes perfumes as “retro soapy”, it’s nothing surprising, as retro soaps intended to imitate the scent of some classical perfumes – in a cheaper affordable sway.

Aldehydes perfumes that smell like soap clean

  • Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps

Released in 1948 in eau de parfum and a toilette version, L’Air Du Temps is Nina Ricci’s second, also the most successful perfume.

Needless to say, this retro best seller is absolutely classic top No.1 soapy perfume, a totally “soap water”, but it’s natural with pure soap clean scents. Many other perfumes smell synthetic if you give a sniff to Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps first. Wearing this retro scent takes you back to 7 decades ago.

Check price at:

Sample: Surrender to Chance

Bottle: FragranceNet, London Perfume Company, parfumdreams, NOTINO.co.uk, eBay

  • Byredo Blanche

Blanche is a bright, soft, clean, cool, linear white floral scent for summer, a perfume that smells like fresh laundry. I can feel its obvious intention to create “cool” Aldehydes.

The combination of Aldehydes+white floral+soapy clean scents reminds me of a light white feather, a crisp clean glass window under the sun. It’s amazing these ingredients could conjure up such a simple scent.

Byredo Blanche Aldehydes clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: byredo

Check price at:

Sample: Scent Split, NOTINO.co.uk, Lucky Scent

Bottle: Byredo, FragranceNet, NOTINO.co.uk, Twisted Lily

Below are other popular ones I haven’t tried yet:

  • Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
  • Worth Je Reviens
  • Caron Fleurs de Rocaille
  • Rochas Madame Rochas
  • Paco Rabanne Calandre 
  • Estée Lauder White Linen & Private Collection
  • Nina Ricci Nina

Floral

Rose, lily of the valley, lily, iris and other fragrances used in traditional soaps also remind us of clean perfume scents that smell like soap. They are so commonly used in personal care products that we naturally associate them with clean shower fresh perfumes.

floral clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: perfumeoffer

Take synthetic irones as an example. You can smell its iconic smooth elegant aroma in Dove white bar soap. Besides in soaps, many perfumers also add synthetic irones to create iris perfumes.

Floral perfumes that smell like soap

  • Philosophy Amazing Grace

I read some reviews then decided to give it a try. But to be honest this doesn’t work on me. The whole scent is fresh, but it’s artificial, both the spicy soapy start and floral fruity note in the drydown.

What’s worse, it’s so powerful and provocative as if you just ate a big soap! So if you are looking for a perfume to disguise it as a pleasing skin scent, this one isn’t. But a friend of mine once smelt it then asked me about it, she said she loved it! Guess everyone smells different, I wish you good luck!

Check price at:

Sample: The Perfumed Court

Bottle: FragranceNet, eBay

  • Davidoff Cool Water (for men)

It’s a classic, inexpensive men’s soapy perfume. The oceanic lavender opening smells as if you just washed the cloth with detergent, and the drydown is 100% as fresh and clean as a pure soap. You can immediately distinguish its scent from others, perhaps this is why it’s defined as a starter perfume to try.

Longevity and sillage are moderate on me, and it smells more comfortable than other aquatic perfumes I’ve tried, guess that’s due to the synergy of neroli and aromatic ingredients.

Check price at:

Sample: The Fragrance Decant Boutique

Bottle: FragranceNet, NOTINO.co.uk, London Perfume Company, parfumdreams

Below are other popular ones I haven’t tried yet:

  • Gres Cabaret
  • Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc
  • Cacharel Anais Anais
  • Prada Infusion d’Homme (discontinued)
  • L’Occitane Eau des 4 Reines

Musk

You may not smell floral or fruity fragrances in all personal care products, but synthetic musk will show up in 90% of them sold in the market.

Source: huffpost

If a perfume contains too much natural musk as the dominant note, it usually smells dirty animalic; what’s worse, this sweat odor-like scent makes people wonder when was the last time this guy showered!

However, synthetic musk, especially white musk smells totally different. It has a clean, sweet, natural, skin scent-like aroma, which you may smell in soap, shampoo, bath wash, detergent, fabric softener, cosmetics, and most other cleaning/grooming products.

Source: alibaba

It’s also because of synthetic musk that Clean perfumes and some Demeter fragrances have soapy clean scents. So next time if you smell some pleasing skin scent of a passing-by guy, stay wise, that’s probably the scent of synthetic musk from his perfume.

Musk perfumes that smells clean

  • Philosophy Pure Grace

Yes, Philosophy again. It’s hard to distinguish its three notes apart, kinda linear scent.  The whole has the strong soapy, warm, pure and crisp clean scents, reminiscent of a sun-drenched bed sheet. I 100% agree with how it describes the scent written on the package:

Philosophy Pure Grace clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: fragrancenet

I don’t smell lavender as a prominent scent, but it’s a bit milky/creamy though it’s not at the fragrance pyramid. Longevity is the “flow away with wind” thing, sillage is bad either, but it doesn’t matter. And I guess few people would feel nauseating about it.

Check price at:

Bottle: FragranceNet, eBay 

  • Narciso Rodriguez For Her

It seems Narciso Rodriguez loves musk in For Her flankers. Here I’m talking about the black bottle one.

Narciso Rodriguez For Her clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: fragrancenet

Warming of the musk & amber opening, it smells slightly provocative. However, the musk is not animallic, it’s more natural like white musk, with a hint of cool, soapy scent.

Along with the musk beginning is sharp but powdery neroli and cloying sweet osmanthus – that’s an unpleasing combination. But in the drydown, this scent turns to a gentle sweet floral scent. So please be patient, it can surprise you.

Check price at:

Sample: The Fragrance Decant Boutique

Bottle: FragranceNet, London Perfume Company, NOTINO.co.uk, parfumdreams

Below are other popular ones I haven’t tried yet:

  • Jennifer Lopez Glow
  • The Body Shop White Musk

Baby Perfumes

baby perfumes clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: today

Some baby perfumes are alcohol-free, which means perfumes did create them for little wonders. But I personally think they are more popular among ladies who want to smell powderly and sweet – like a baby.

What gives baby perfumes the soapy clean perfume scents is the magic of citrus ingredients and powderly ingredients including iris, jasmine, and violet, which smell smooth, cool, crisp-fresh. When they appear in perfumes, the whole scent smells like pure soaps.

Baby clean smelling perfumes like soap

  • Givenchy Ptisenbon
  • Bvlgari Petis et Mamans

Soap Smelling Men’s Cologne

Vetiver, citrus notes (bergamot and neroli) and aromatic notes (Lamiaceae plants including lavender/rosemary/verbena/basil/mint) are often added in men’s colognes, as well as aftershave lotion, bath wash, and other men’s grooming products.

Naturally, men’s cologne sprays of these ingredients are associated with “clean”, “fresh” or “soapy”.

What is the cleanest smelling perfume for him

  • Thierry Mugler Cologne

The beginning clean scents of citrus note flashes by, followed by green note and distinguishable soap water scent. The soapy part here is mild and appropriate, like someone who just showered and water is yet to dry out.

The whole is a greeny, fresh, energetic scent, comfortable but not boring. It stays solid for 6+ hours on me, and sillage can remain just right – no worry about overspraying, the scent won’t annoy others. On July days when I’m not sure what perfume to wear while not intending to be casual, this will be a perfect choice.

Thierry Mugler Cologne clean smelling perfume like soap clean shower fresh perfume what perfume smells like soap
Source: fragrancenet

Check price at:

Sample: Scent Split, The Fragrance Decant Boutique

Bottle: FragranceNet, NOTINO.co.uk, eBay

  • Guerlain Vetiver

It starts off powerful with fresh lemon. Unluckily in the middle, I can just smell the soap bubble-like scent, powdery woody note, and slight tobacco. Vetiver is not prominent there.

The drydown scent layered over the skin smells pleasing, a bit like a greeny soap full of bubbles. The whole scent is properly soapy, not artificial nor “cheap” at all.

Guerlain Vetiver has a vintage edition (1959) and new edition (2000). I haven’t the luck to try the vintage yet. But according to some reviews, the vintage edition smells less of an “after shower” scent than the new version.

Check price at:

Sample: The Fragrance Decant Boutique

Bottle: FragranceNet, London Perfume Company, parfumdreams

Below are other popular ones I haven’t tried yet:

  • Halston 1-12
  • Pino Silvestre Pino Silvestre
  • Coty Aspen

Have you found something you’re gonna try from above? The list of “what perfume smells like soap” may never end, as people’s understanding of the clean smelling perfumes like soap greatly differs. How can someone using Dove white bar soap agree with a Yardley lavender soap guy that Eau de L’Occitane is soapy?

Now it’s your turn:

What kind of soapy perfumes interest you?

You want a fresh try on baby perfumes? Or crisp clean men’s cologne spray is in your mind?

Let me know in the comment.

Get perfume insights I only share with Email subscribers

* Indicates required
Sharing is caring!

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get perfume insights I only share with Email subscribers

%d bloggers like this: