I am always intrigued when brands come to market with an interesting story, and when I came across CLEAN’s latest sustainable “farm-to-bottle” Reserve Collection of fragrances, all my senses were wide open.
CLEAN was first founded in 2003 and had built a cult-like following with their non-perfume approach towards fragrances. With names like Simply Soap, Fresh Laundry and Rain; CLEAN was designed to smell… well, clean! More than 10 years later, CLEAN now turns a fresh page (forgive the pun!) and has released a new Reserve Collection of 9 fragrances designed to be dynamic and evocative. 6 of the fragrances are brand new scents – Amber Saffron, Blonde Rose, Smoked Vetiver, Sueded Oud, Terra Woods and Velvet Flora – and 3 are remakes (“Reserve Blend” editions) of older favorites – Rain, Skin and Warm Cotton.
Housed in chic minimalistic glass bottles, CLEAN’s Reserve Collection was incredibly attractive to me. The wooden cap is a surprising twist, not often seen in fragrance bottles and reminds me of vintage wines (especially with the “Reserve Blend” subtexts). But what piqued my interest most was the sustainability claim, which sounds almost an oxymoron. The reality is that whilst it is impossible to achieve 100% natural sustainability, CLEAN has attempted to limit its carbon footprint by using recycled / recyclable / sustainably-farmed materials in its packaging. They have also taken efforts to ensure the formulation of the fragrances are sustainable, e.g. alcohol is derived from corn which is a widely accessible, renewable, natural resource.
The CLEAN Reserve Collection is designed to evoke not memories of the past, but thoughts of the “possibilities and experiences yet to be discovered”. Many of the scents that I tried, bore names that are reminiscent of other luxury fragrances. However, I found CLEAN’s rendition to be much simpler, straightforward, and… clean. Each of the Reserve fragrances are linear without much movement from top to bottom, making them ideal for layering and blending.
CLEAN Reserve Terra Woods is perhaps the boldest of the bunch, and yet it has a certain minimalism to it neither speaks to the lush spicy woods that I am accustomed to, nor does it even feel particularly woody. Instead, there is a coolness to the scent that feels almost like aldehydes but I don’t see it in the notes. Instead, there is Fresh Accord, Fresh Geranium and Jasmine Sambac Petals in the mix, but mostly musk prevails. Tonka Bean and Madagascar Vanilla form the base with some textured woods. I was surprised to see Coconut listed as well, and indeed there is a faint hint of something just a little exotic and sweet in the background.
Terra Woods is an EDP, though it stays fairly close to the skin and does not have much by way of sillage. It is rather curious, as the first few times I sprayed it, I literally could not smell it on myself by the time I get to my office. And no matter how liberally I douse myself with it, it never grows overpowering. However, as the day progresses, Terra Woods emerges as it is warmed up by my skin, and I start to catch wafts of it throughout the day.
CLEAN Reserve fragrances are priced at SGD90 for 100ml, and for an EDP that’s pretty good value. They are available at Sephora, so check them out for yourself!
This post featured a product that was kindly provided for my consideration. Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.