Fabric conditioner fragrances: how long do they really last?We put Lenor, Comfort, Lidl and Aldi to the test

07 March 2016

Woman smelling freshly-washed towels

Fabric conditioners from Lenor, Comfort, Tesco and Asda are on test: which has the longest-lasting fragrance?

Do you long for fresh-smelling and luxuriously soft sheets all week long? If so, Lenor’s latest fabric conditioner advert and claims from other products, including Comfort, Aldi and Lidl, may have caught your eye.

Which? fabric conditioner tests investigate both softness and long-lasting fragrance to tell you which products really keep your laundry smelling freshly-washed and huggable.

Lenor’s advert claims you can 'enjoy your fresh sheets not only for a day but for a whole week', while competitor Comfort promises '100% more longer lasting freshness' on the packaging of its Blue Skies fabric conditioner.

It’s not just the big brands claiming long-lasting freshness. Aldi says its Anco Ocean Breeze gives '7 days freshness' while Lidl’s Doussy promises laundry that’s 'fresh for 14 days'.

So we’ve tested all these fabric conditioners plus others from big brands and supermarkets to find the very best – and which has the longest-lasting fragrance.

Find out whether the fabric conditioners still smell strongly after seven days – and which products impressed - with our Best Buy fabric conditioners.

Which? tests fabric conditioners

Smell fabric conditioners in the bottle in the supermarket and you’ll find that most have a strong fragrance. But you can’t tell which will still fill your room with the scent of fresh laundry a week later – and which scents fade as soon as you take your laundry out of the washing machine. And that's where we come in.

Our test of 11 fabric softeners included Comfort Blue Skies, Comfort Creations Bluebell & Bergamot, Lenor Spring Awakening and Fairy Fabric Softener. It revealed two products that were head and shoulders above the rest.

One fabric conditioner scored full marks for long-lasting smell – so your sheets really will smell fresh all week long. But we also found a fabric conditioner which leaves freshly-washed sheets barely-scented – and its fragrance is non-existent a week later.

If you like a fragrance, you’ll probably want your washing to smell of it. So we assess how intense the fragrance is as soon as you take your wet laundry out of the washing machine, once it’s dry and how well it retains its fragrance after seven days. Our tough independent tests take into account how you use fabric conditioner, so you won’t be disappointed when you use it in your laundry at home.

Our tests revealed two products that were head and shoulders above the rest.

Besides scent, our expert panel also judges how soft each fabric conditioner will get your towels – after the first wash, but also after five washes to see if it’ll keep them cuddly over time.

Fabric softener: what does yours smell of?

The scent of fabric conditioner is a personal preference; we test how intense the smell is but we can’t rate whether you will or won’t like it. At Which? HQ, we did a blind sniff-test with staff to find out how they described fabric conditioners’ fragrances.

‘Freshness and daisies’, ‘unhealthy burp’ and ‘bubble bath’ were some of the responses. Everyone’s sense of smell varies but some of the comments were at odds with the product names, such as 'Morning Dew', 'Ocean Breeze' or 'Fresh'!

Find out how your fabric conditioner measures up on scent and softness with our full fabric conditioner test results.

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