Clean fragrances introduced a set of Clean Reserve fragrances earlier this year. They are the luxurious cousins of the original Clean Perfume. I’ve been trying these out for the last few weeks, and my conclusion is that they are for the most sophisticated fragrance lover. The background of these fragrances is that they were inspired by reserve wines, where the best ingredients go into the formulation of these scents to create truly luxurious experiences. Clean Reserve also has a deep focus on sustainability, with each scent containing at least one sustainable ingredient, as well as sustainable packaging on all of the perfumes.
Let’s start with the packaging – the Clean Reserve fragrances are housed in beautiful, heavy glass bottles with wood caps. The label at the front of the bottle is inspired by labels used on reserve wines – simple, clean, and to-the-point.
The three scents I received were Warm Cotton [Reserve Blend], Velvet Flora, and Smoked Vetiver. They retail exclusively Sephora and are priced at $125 for 100mL – you get a lot of product, hence the price. For a luxury product, it’s not expensive at all, and I definitely recommend you try these out in stores first before buying. I smelled a few of these and thought I’d like them based on the description, but when I actually smelled them it wasn’t all what I was expecting. Fragrance is also a highly personal thing, so please do take the time to smell them in store first, if you can.
If you’re like me and can’t commit to a single scent, Sephora also sells travel kits and layering kits for those who also like to blend their scents together. I would personally buy these over the full size bottles, as the full sizes are quite large and I don’t see myself finishing any of them.
Warm Cotton [Reserve Blend] contains top notes of Aldehydic, Ginger, Watery, Ozonic; middle notes of Mint, Green, Pepper, Floral Cotton Accord; and base notes of Musk, Incense, and Vetiver. The sustainable ingredient is Benzoin, “The unique harvesting method of Benzoin necessitates partnerships with Southeast Asian farmers to ensure only eco-conscious extraction methods are used. We rely on their knowledge and skill in obtaining the sweet, vanilla-tinged resin without harming the tree as part of our ongoing commitment to protecting the crop through education and wide-reaching environmental conservation efforts.” – Steven Claisse, Perfumer, Takasago.
Warm Cotton [Reserve Blend] is the freshest scent out of the three. Sadly, it is also my least favourite. On me, it smells like laundry detergent and soap, which is truly clean smelling, but it almost smells too synthetic and too overpowering.
Velvet Flora contains top notes of Green Bergamot; middle notes of Jasmine, Lily, Saffron Flower; and base notes of Cedarwood Moss, Musk, and Ambery Patchouli. The sustainable ingredient is Bergamot Oil – “We are honored to support the farmers of southern Italy and their commitment to the natural extraction of Bergamot Oil. We will continue to advocate the ongoing development and production of this exquisite quality of Bergamot through eco-conscious education, and the continuous purchase of their elegantly light, romantic floral oils.” – Steven Claisse
I was expecting to love Velvet Flora because of the bergamot, jasmine and lily (loooove jasmine and lily), however I found this oriental woody fragrance a bit too synthetically floral. I also couldn’t really pinpoint the different notes in this fragrance, which I was a bit disappointed about.
Smoked Vetiver contains top notes of Verbena, Bamboo Leaf, Bergamot Oil, Quince Pear; middle notes of Blonde Cedarwood, Cotton Peony, Wild Moss; and base notes of Gold Amber, Soft Musks, Vetiver, Clean Woods, and Myrrh. The sustainable ingredients are Vetiver and Myrrh – “Myrrh and Vetiver have been harvested for centuries, and combining both allowed us to develop a provocative fragrance rooted in sustainability. Himbas women carefully extract the natural resin produced by Myrrh trees in Namibia, while Haitian farmers consider Vetiver an agricultural treasure, and harvest the plant with a focus on reducing soil erosion and increasing yield. Working with both countries cements our dedication to fair trade practices.” – Steven Claisse
Smoked Vetiver is my favourite of the three. I smell a lot of the verbena and bergamot, which are some of my favourite scents in fragrance. Despite it being described as a woody aromatic, I get a bit of freshness out of this scent. The base notes of musk and vetiver also bring out some complexity to the scent, which I absolutely love.
I also smelled Sueded Oud in store at Sephora, and really like the scent. Like I mentioned before, fragrance is a very personal thing as the scents react differently to everyone’s body chemistry. I highly recommend checking these out in store if you can.