This perfume smells like an expensive hotel lobby in the best way

Julia Webb
·3-min read

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The first time I walked into the PUBLIC Hotel in New York, I was immediately struck by the lobby. The whole vibe of the space is incredibly moody — the floor is cement, the low ceilings are covered in rich wood and the main attraction is undoubtedly the glowing orange escalators in the middle of the room.

But more than the overtly chic appearance, I was hit in the face with an utterly delicious fragrance. It wasn’t overpowering, but it was undeniably there, and it fit so well with the lobby that if I hadn’t been back to the PUBLIC several times since I might not have realized how impactful the scent is on the space.

Since that first visit, I have been back to the PUBLIC for press previews, birthday parties and a few other events, and each time I pass through the lobby I make sure to take a deep, luxurious breath. So when I first smelled Clean Reserve’s White Fig & Bourbon scent, I audibly gasped — it immediately took me back to that fancy lobby in downtown Manhattan.

While I don’t have confirmation that Clean’s fragrance is the exact one used in the PUBLIC’s lobby, take my word for it — it’s wildly close.

According to the brand’s site, the scent is described as: “Aromatically spiced. Richly textured. Light and deep notes come together in a complex play of opposites.” Pretty much this translates to the scent having notes of black pepper, fruit and bergamot, but to me, it smells like expensive hand soap, supple leather and wood.

Shop: Clean Reserve White Fig & Bourbon, $125

Credit: Clean Reserve

Clean Beauty Collective has been around since 2003 and prides itself on vetting all ingredients before use, packing its goods in eco-conscious packaging and never testing on animals so you can feel good about giving its products a try.

I usually spritz the White Fig & Bourbon scent on at night since it’s a pretty sultry scent in my opinion, but during the day I’ve lately become obsessed with Clean Reserve’s Skin scent. And don’t let the name throw you off — this fragrance has notes of orange blossom, vanilla and honeysuckle. It basically smells like what a warm hug feels like if that makes sense, and I get more compliments when I wear it than any other perfume.

Shop: Clean Reserve’s Skin, $98

Credit: Clean Reserve

Bottom line — I can’t recommend these two scents highly enough.

You can shop both of these scents and more on the brand’s website and you can also snag most of their products at Sephora.

If you liked this story, you might like to read about the best skincare products for acne-prone skin.

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