“Clean” really isn’t a smell by itself. It smells like something different, depending on what the thing is that is clean. And different things have different particular artificial “clean” scents.
Crest tried to screw with this with its Whitening Expressions toothpastes, but I don’t think anybody’s really buying it. That stuff is weird. Clean teeth smell like mint. (Although, apparently if you make a buffet of the different flavors you can have a fun time, according to this blogger.)
Clean floors are supposed to smell like pine. Clean counters are supposed to smell like orange. Clean dishes, too. Clean babies are supposed to smell like baby powder (whatever that’s made of). Clean cars are supposed to smell like – what’s new-car smell? Chemicals coming out of the plastics? Clean clothes are supposed to smell like more exotic things, like mountain breezes and springtime streams. Clean people, too – freesia and lavender and such.
I guess some of them make sense, like probably originally floor cleaners like Pine-Sol really had some actual pine component in it … aha, yes it did, and apparently Palmolive was made from palm and olive oils, isn’t this educational. But who says that mint should be what my clean teeth smell like? And taste like, for that matter? Why not parsley or something? Who made this decision?
(I like mint just fine. I just think too much while I’m brushing my teeth.)