Recently, we’ve noticed a theme emerging in the laundry detergent industry: designer scents. Gone are the days when your detergent was limited to one chemically saturated fragrance. Today’s iterations are far more luxurious. Think: collaborations with designer perfume brands, including Capri Blue and OUAI to Baccarat Rouge creator, Maison Francis Kurkdjian. If you ask us, it seems like a step in the right direction. After all, if you’re dropping hundreds of dollars on a Jenni Kayne haul, you want to make sure each wear feels—and smells—as luxurious as it did when you first tried it on, right? Right. So below, find ten of the best-smelling liquid laundry detergents money can buy.
10 of the Best-Smelling Laundry Detergents, from OUAI to Capri Blue
ICYMI, designer detergent is a thing now
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The Best-Smelling Laundry Detergents at a Glance
How We Chose the Best Smelling Laundry Detergents
We kept our selection limited to liquid detergents, avoiding detergent pods and laundry strips (which tend to be less potent in the scent department). From there, we tapped our editors for their favorite fragrances and poured over thousands of reviews on viral detergents from TikTok. Finally, we narrowed things down to make sure each had A) a scent that was strong enough to linger after washing, B) a minimum of 16 ounces (typically 15 loads) per bottle and C) enzymes and stain-fighting ingredients that will remove dirt and leave laundry looking fresh (scroll to the bottom of this article to read more about that).
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“When I received a PR email about the DedCool x OUAI Melrose Place launch, I knew that I had to try out this fruity, floral concoction for myself,” says assistant editor Delia Curtis. “Doing laundry is one of my least favorite chores because of how much time, effort and energy goes into the process—and this product made me excited about doing my most despised task. From the second I opened the bottle, my nose was treated to a slew of inviting scent notes. Heady rose of course, but also the lychee, white musk, cedarwood and bergamot. Dizzying and delightful, I was set on washing my clothes (no matter how long it took) just so I could put my face in a basket full of warm cotton with this fragrance. I first tried it with a load of whites and a shot-glass-sized cap of detergent in a 28-minute normal cycle on cold. I used this in tandem with their matching dryer sheets, the first time only using one dryer sheet. The first load definitely came out smelling like roses, but I wanted a stronger scent payoff. So, for the second batch, I doubled the detergent and the dryer sheets. Let me tell you, my room smelled like the fragrance for about two to three days after I finished the batch of clothes.”
To that end, they add: “The strength of the fragrance is apparent in the bottle from the first whiff, but you may need to add some extra detergent if you want it to linger longer. I do think that the scent payoff would've been stronger if I wasn't using communal laundry machines—that should probably, most definitely be cleaned more often—but the product is enough to mask the sometimes musty scent of the communal machines and leave my clothes feeling fresh, floral and totally clean.”
- Size: 32 ounces
- Scent Notes: Champagne, pink peppercorn, berry, lychee, peony, rose, freesia, jasmine, bergamot, amber, sandalwood, white musk and cedar-wood
- Scent Strength: 8/10
Tyler Candle Co
With more than 2.7 million views on TikTok, we had to see what all of this #divawash detergent hype was about. Upon first glance, the brand says this scent is marked by ‘delicious fruits and rich florals’ with ‘aromatic chocolate and amber.’ Yet, when we went to TikTok to read between the lines, people were raving over its similarity to Thierry Mugler’s Angel perfume. For those who don’t know, this is a playful, energizing scent that combines a fragrant floral base with a warm and spicy finish. “It has a strong, fresh scent like an expensive hotel—and the scent doesn't just linger on items. It stays on for a while and eventually fills the room if you use it on a regular basis,” assistant editor Destinee Scott says. What’s more, she notes the fragrance is so powerful, you can forgo wearing other scents completely: “It's definitely not for folks who have sensitive noses. If you want to smell like a million bucks without perfumes and lotions and whatnot, look no further.”
And that’s not even the best part. While coughing up $28 per 32 loads of laundry can get expensive—it goes faster than you’d think—TikTok came up with a hack to spare your wallet: Combining it with fragrance-free detergent. Thanks to its ultra-powerful notes, a little goes a long way here. You can buy the mini Diva detergent (4 ounces for $10) and pour it into a budget-friendly bottle from, say, Seventh Generation or Tide that will last you months. Two detergents, half the price of smelling delicious.
- Size: 4 to 128 ounces
- Scent Notes: fruits, rich florals, aromatic chocolate and amber
- Scent Strength: 10/10
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
From the brand behind TikTok’s favorite perfume, Baccarat Rouge, Maison Francis Kurkdjian plays off its signature scent with a detergent that features a warm bergamot and Calabria base topped with delicate hints of lemon, jasmine and Moroccan rose. It’s lightweight yet musky—and crisp enough to provide that classic linen-washed fragrance (which will linger long after it’s out of the dryer). “Yes, there is citrus here, but it's not a high-pitched blast. It's all rounded out by the harmony of florals and one of the cleanest musks I've ever smelled. It's fresh, but it has a soft, fuzzy warmth about it,” raves one reviewer.
Yet aside from its sophisticated scent, this detergent earns its lofty $45 price for its specially concentrated formula—which targets both light and dark colors in separate bottles—and can restore delicates like silk and linen to their former glory. Because of that, another TikTok reviewer says, “I would only use it for my bedding…because it’s pretty pricey, it’s not something you would necessarily use on your clothes every week.” That said, if you have a special occasion, you might want to consider making an exception for your delicates: “The scent lasts!! I did [try] it with a load of my clothes and they have been smelling for days now.” Either way, be sure to use this guy sparingly, given its small 34-ounce size.
- Size: 34 ounces
- Scent Notes: musks, bergamot from Calabria, Italian lemon, white floral bouquets
- Scent Strength: 9/10
Here, a deliciously-scented detergent that finally got this editor to do her laundry (and dare I say, look forward to it?). At first, I expected the ginger-mango combination to be as mismatched as pickles and cream cheese. But as it turns out, the tamed zing of ginger is offset with the tropical fruitiness of a ripe mango that creates a crisp, clean bouquet with a touch of sweetness. The combination is subtly sugared—without being saccharine—and the scent lasted days after I put my clothing away. It’s also worth mentioning that the detergent did a great job of reviving my dulled whites, and its hypoallergenic formula was great for my roommate’s sensitive skin. Not bad for a bottle that promises 66 loads of laundry (and costs just $57 for a pack of four).
- Size: 53.5 ounces
- Scent Notes: zingy ginger base with fruity mango top notes
- Scent Strength: 8/10
Before trying this detergent (which was co-founded by momager Kris Jenner and Good American CEO, Emma Grede), VP of editorial Candace Davison was skeptical of the celebrity-backed collaboration. “Often, it feels like an excuse for the brand to charge more,” she explains in a PureWow100 Review. “[But] then, a few months later, I found myself frantically clicking refresh on Safely’s website, hoping my eyes were deceiving me that its everyday laundry detergent wasn’t actually sold out,” she retracts after giving it a try. “The Spring scent [which is now called ‘rise’] is like a high-end candle’s take on walking through a field of wildflowers. It features musk, amber, sandalwood and patchouli base notes, middle notes of jasmine, violet and heliotrope and geranium, orris and rose top notes. It seems like a lot, but the fragrances come together to create a clean, lightly floral scent that wafts through the air the moment you uncap the bottle and lingers on your freshly dried clothes.”
Plus, if its 93-point rating is any indication, the detergent’s pros extend far beyond the heavenly scent: “It—combined with a Seventh Generation Laundry Stain Remover spot treatment—has helped me keep my preschooler’s clothes relatively stain-free, a feat considering the 92-degree day when we went out for ice cream and she completely covered herself in it.”
- Size: 64 ounces
- Scent Notes: delicate orange flower, sweet jasmine, earthy woods
- Scent Strength: 8/10
Disclaimer: I have nothing against good ‘ol Tide (especially for stain-fighting purposes). But if you’re looking for a more elevated approach to the OG’s clean, classic scent, I recommend trying L'avant Collective. I first saw this in a collaboration with Goop, where it was touted as a plant-based detergent that’s concentrated (so you need less than you think). Not only was this true—it swiftly removed stains with just one capful per load—but I was most impressed by the scent. It has that signature, crisp linen fragrance you’d think of when you hear the word ‘laundry,’ but it’s elevated by natural notes of geranium, ylang-ylang and bamboo. I like to think of it as a vacay version of Tide that just got back from a stay at the Four Seasons in Bali. The scent lingers on my clothes for days after they leave the dryer and thanks to the enzyme-driven formula, the detergent has actually helped protect colors from fading (while extending the fabric life of my clothes, sheets, and towels).
- Size: 30 ounces
- Scent Notes: geranium, ylang-ylang and bamboo
- Scent Strength: 8/10
By now, you’re probably realizing: Deliciously scented laundry doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re looking to put your money where your nose is, The Laundress’ No. 723 detergent got a rave PureWow100 review for its scent alone: “I’ll be honest, my whites looked crisper and my clothes seemed softer after each wash. The standout, however, was how sophisticated the scent was—I anticipated unscrewing the lid and being punched with an overwhelming potpourri smell, as many rose-scented products tend to skew. Not here. It was a light floral, like what I’d expect every scene smelled like as Keira Knightley ran through the gardens in Pride and Prejudice. It turns out that’s because the Damask rose isn’t one-note; it also features geranium, jasmine, lily of the valley, and amber gives it a little spice. The end result is layered and subtle. You get a waft as you throw in the laundry, but it won’t, say, overpower your diffuser as you fold clothes afterward,” Davison says.
She also mentions: “While I liked the rose scent, I actually wished it was a little stronger. Some reviewers felt the opposite, but I enjoy being able to smell the fragrance as I take clothes out of the dryer. No. 723 is much more nuanced, making me realize that my laundry preferences are a bit like Taylor Swift’s description of parties in “The Last Great American Dynasty”: tasteful, if a little loud. Laundress, you can bump up the scent on that detergent for me any day. Oh, and if you decide to make that scent into a perfume, or a shampoo, count me in.
- Size: 16 ounces
- Scent Notes: Damask rose, geranium, amber
- Scent Strength: 6/10
Here, a highly coveted, vegan and cruelty-free fragrance from DedCool that’s been transformed into a detergent. We’re talking about the brand’s best-selling scent, Taunt, which features an innocent yet sultry blend of bergamot, fresh dew, cassis, vanilla and amber. The brand describes it as ‘a coming-of-age story’ that ‘smells like daydreaming about your first perfume,’ which was so on the nose, one reviewer writes: “If you like that sweeter, amber/vanilla vibe…this is freakin’ incredible. It’s a more mature/sexy twist to the sweeter side of things.”
Yet, aside from its sweet and seductive notes, the detergent is formulated with plant-based and biodegradable ingredients that make it great for those with sensitive skin: “Being well-seasoned in the garment industry, I've always been retentive when any aspect of doing my laundry is concerned. I take the extra time to clean and care for each textile properly, [and] I have eczema that certain industrial fragrances aggravate…This is the *ONLY* laundry detergent I will use! It effectively cleanses, cuts down on single-use plastics, is safe, gentle, vegan, non-toxic and smells bomb dot com (and lasts too)! This stuff is SO worth it to me— and it’s one of the only detergents that hasn't irritated my eczema,” another reviewer raves.
- Size: 32 ounces
- Scent Notes: bergamot, fresh dew, floral, cassis, vanilla, amber
- Scent Strength: 9/10
Yet another highly coveted perfume brand that’s breaking into the detergent game? Capri Blue (aka the "Anthro scent"). For those who don’t know, the Capri Blue Volcano candle has come to define Anthropologie’s in-store experience as shoppers are immediately lured by notes of tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons, limes and lightly exotic mountain greens. “It smells sweeter and softer than the typical bright, tart scent people often associate with lemons, limes and oranges, likely due to the additional tropical notes,” explains Davison in a review. Hence why reviewers are obsessed with the brand’s concentrated laundry soap version.
Not only is it formulated with cruelty-free essential oils (which is great for sensitive skin), but its concentrated formula is tough enough to be used as a separate stain-remover alone; just rub it gently into the fabric and let it soak for five minutes. “I put a tiny bit of it in the laundry dispenser and my clothes came out smelling SO STRONG. I had to re-wash several times and still, the smell was strong,” writes one reviewer. Another adds: “I was hesitant to use it as I have sensitive skin, [but] I was able to use this on my towels with no problem! A little goes a long way… all you need is a capful to have your towels smelling Volcano fresh.”
- Size: 32 ounces
- Scent Notes: grapefruit and tangerine essential oils
- Scent Strength: 10/10
Looking for an organic detergent—both scent-wise and ingredient-wise? This number from Dirty Labs is the ticket. “[It’s a] sustainable laundry detergent that smells like a fresh flower bouquet—not too overpowering, where it makes you want to sneeze, or too light, where you can't even tell your clothes hit the washer—it simply smells pure and clean,” explains Assistant Editor Destinee Scott in a review. “The fragrances are made using natural ingredients when possible, too…the brand's trademarked advanced enzyme cleaning technology, which is made to target stains and odors for fresh-looking and smelling clothes, is made with magnolia, bergamot and cedar scents. [As] a person with allergies, I appreciated that the scent was not over-the-top…I used a lot less detergent with Dirty Labs and I preferred the subtle scent, which got even lighter a day later and gradually faded in roughly three days.”
- Size: 21.6 ounces
- Scent Notes: magnolia, bergamot, cedar
- Scent Strength: 6/10
What to Consider When Shopping for Laundry Detergent
While we’re all about finding a detergent that smells delicious, you want to start by making sure it will do what it’s supposed to: Clean your clothes. That means looking for one that uses enzymes, which are “added to detergents to accelerate chemical reactions and [help] break down stains and dirt on fabric better than soap and water alone,” per the professors at the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety at Michigan State University. “Enzymes target specific types of stains and break them down quickly and effectively. For example, some enzymes will target proteins, starches, or fats and help break down and remove those ingredients quickly.” As a general rule of thumb, however, look for ingredients that end in “-ase,” like amylases (removes starch stains from pasta and potatoes), lipases (removes fat stains from butter and oil) or proteases (removes protein stains from grass, eggs or bodily fluids). Otherwise, if you have allergies or eczema, you’ll want to do some homework on plant-based, natural detergents that won’t irritate your skin.
Once you’ve established your detergent will leave your laundry cleaner than before, you should look to your existing perfume collection for a scent that’s right for you. Do you typically wear florals with notes of rose or sweet scents with amber and vanilla? The Laundress No.723 or DedCool’s Taunt are two options to look into. If you’re more of a musky person who appreciates warm, rich notes (like bergamot and amber), OUAI’s Melrose Place or Tyler’s Diva Wash is the way to go. And of course, if you’re someone who prefers the simple, classic linen scent of laundry itself, you can’t go wrong with L'avant Collective or Safely’s Rise detergents.