What if oil and water could mix? Well, you’d end up with CLEAN RESERVE H2Eau, a water-based fragrance line that delivers gorgeous scents without a whiff of alcohol. Premiering the first water-based fragrance formulated to last for over eight hours, CLEAN RESERVE has cracked the code on nonalcoholic scents, opening up a whole new world of wearable fragrance for those with sensitive skin.
There have been water-based fragrances in the past, but according to CEO of Clean Beauty Collective, Greg Black, there have been traditionally been some sensory issues with them. “Our research shows that consumer perception of water-based fragrances isn’t very favorable—they tend to find it tacky or sticky,” Black explains. “They also find it doesn’t last as long as an alcohol-based fragrance.”
The idea was to address those issues head-on, and create something that was hydrating, long-lasting and didn’t leave a tacky sensation behind.
For the team, that meant figuring out how to surpass an ancient axiom: oil and water do not mix.
“It is so exciting to have new technology in the fragrance world,” Black says. “To create something that enables the stable blending of oil and water in a clear formula is entirely new—all of the latest water-based fragrances are milky.”
According to senior director product and fragrance development at Clean Beauty Collective, Tara Kearns, this might just be the first time a perfume brand has ever filed for a trademarked technology. “This isn’t just a new technology for fragrance, it’s also sensorial and hydrating, as well as long-lasting. It’s also the next level of clean, filled with clean ingredients and built by sustainable practices.”
According to Black, water-based fragrances of the past have suffered from a relatively short lifespan, fading out long before an alcohol-based scent which can last around eight hours.
“We conducted our tests using the same oils, changing only whether it was water- or alcohol-based,” Black explains. “And our water formula was at parity with alcoholic fragrances at eight hours, with our formula beating traditional fragrances at 12 hours.”
Additionally, a little goes a long way—meaning you don’t need to waste product to have a clear, lasting fragrance that can stand up to a full day of wear. CLEAN RESERVE conducted its tests on over 140 participants, including those with sensitive skin.
“We were able to test everyone from fragrance-lovers to people who avoid it altogether due to skin conditions,” Black explains. “And 88 percent of them said that CLEAN RESERVE H2Eau changes how they relate to fragrance, which is so interesting because there hasn’t really been innovation in this space for the last thirty or so years.”
A Fragrance for Everyone
With scents that range from amber cashmere to golden citrus, CLEAN RESERVE H2Eau is an eight-scent collection that can be worn by any gender. The sea glass–inspired bottle and driftwood-inspired cap create an approachable, unisex design that still lets itself get playful in the packaging. The water-inspired blue and botanical details clearly communicate dominant scent notes while embodying a hydrating, refreshing feel, and the collection allows you to easily go from work to night.
“Our customers have always loved that our CLEAN RESERVE scents work in their professional settings where wearing a big bold scent may feel out of place,” Black says. “The fragrances in our portfolio are developed to be closer to the skin of the wearer, not necessarily to be worn for others. However, the portfolio does include bolder, more heady scents that offer larger scent blooms and can be adjusted with blending and layering of other scents.”
Staying on the cutting edge of perfume, CLEAN RESERVE places itself as approachable by both men and women.
“Traditional feminine and masculine notes are no longer dictated to the consumer when they have the option to blend as they desire,” Black says. “Consumers have the choice to make their fragrance as discreet or as bold as they wish, and we’ve found the layering aspect to CLEAN RESERVE fragrances allows for personalized creativity that blurs the boundaries of conventionally gendered scent personalities.”
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