We Compared Laundry Sauce With Downy Fabric Softener And We Smell Victory

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One of my favorite chores to do is laundry. I love the experience of taking my freshly dried, still warm, soft-to-the-touch, and heavenly scented clothes from the dryer. And even though some say we should stop using fabric softener, I love the smell of a light perfume mingling with my clothes and linens straight out of the laundry room too much. I've tried countless scent-boosted fabric softeners over the years, so when I had the chance to put Laundry Sauce's fabric softener to the test, I was beyond excited. 

Laundry Sauce is a direct-to-consumer company that specializes in luxury fragrance laundry products such as detergent, scent boosters, dryer sheets, and, of course, fabric softener. The company claims its scents are so divine that laundry is no longer a chore. Laundry Sauce currently offers liquid fabric softener in several scents, each with heavenly names like Siberian Pine and Indonesian Patchouli. The company says its product smells great, softens clothes, brightens colors, and reduces wrinkles. At first, I was tempted to throw all of the options into my cart, until I looked at the price tag. A single 20-ounce bottle of Laundry Sauce's fabric softener costs $25, which, according to the label, is only enough for 20 loads of laundry. That's an astonishing $1.25 per wash! But with countless rave reviews behind it, I still wanted to try it — but I needed to put it to the test against another big box fabric softener. 

Laundry Sauce versus normal softener

In order to compare Laundry Sauce's fabric softener, I decided to do an experiment between two loads of laundry: I would use the Laundry Sauce fabric softener in one and a big box name brand softener in the other. To make it as fair as possible, I wanted to find a softener that offered a similar scent, as it didn't make sense to compare something pine-scented to something floral. This wasn't super easy, as Laundry Sauce's fragrances are incredibly specific, but after some research, I found a reasonable option in Downy Infusions Sparkling Amber and Rose fabric softener, which I decided to test out against Laundry Sauce's Egyptian Rose. Both are liquid fabric conditioners. According to reviews, Downy has lots of fans of this fragrance. 

Laundry Sauce's Egyptian Rose has aromas of geranium, rose, vanilla bourbon, hawthorn, and vetiver, balancing floral notes with earthier, grassier scents. Similarly, the Downy version balances floral rose with musky notes of amber. Though these aren't identical fragrances, they have a similar scent profile. The biggest difference I noticed straight away was in the price difference. A 64-ounce bottle of Downy cost $9.99 from Target, more than triple the amount of product for less than half the cost of Laundry Sauce, and was labeled to last for 96 individual washes. TDowny requires less product per load than Laundry Sauce to achieve the desired results, according to each brand's measurements. 

Testing Laundry Sauce Performance Fabric Conditioner

Straight away, I was struck by Laundry Sauce's gorgeous packaging, which is a simple slim plastic container with a beautiful metallic rose gold wrapper. But I also noticed that despite the addition of a few adhesive labels, the lid had become loose and a small amount of product had leaked out. This normally wouldn't be a huge deal, but with a costly product, I want to be sure I'm getting every drop. I ordered my bottle from Amazon, so this may have been a third-party packaging issue. Sadly, that wasn't the only downside. Contrary to the photo advertised on Laundry Sauce's website, the label also said the bottle only contained 19.5 ounces and was only good for 19 loads of laundry, making the cost per load even more ludicrous.

I washed a regular load of clothes with unscented detergent sheets and 1.5 capfuls of Laundry Sauce Egyptian Rose softener, as instructed on the label for medium loads. When I pulled my clothes from the washing machine, I noticed a lack of fragrance but hoped it would come through once dry. After a dry cycle without any additional products, I found that I could smell nothing on any article after the drying cycle. The clothes smelled pleasantly clean and nothing more. And worse still, the clothes weren't especially soft either. However, they were free of wrinkles, even a pair of easy-to-crumple muslin pajamas. 

Downy Infusions Bliss fabric softener test

After a disappointing run-through with the Laundry Sauce fabric conditioner, I washed another medium-sized load of laundry with Downy Infusions Bliss fabric conditioner in the same conditions and with the same detergent as before. As I opened the bottle of this softener, I was immediately struck by the strong but beautiful fragrance. After the wash cycle was complete, I already smelled the distinct aromas of the softener. I dried the clothes on their own and found that the perfumes still came through but weren't at all overwhelming. The scent was lightly floral and quite sweet. However, I didn't find the clothes to be any softer than the Laundry Sauce conditioner. 

To (unscientifically) qualify my results, I had split a pajama set between the two loads, with the top in one and the bottoms in the other so I could get a close comparison. This confirmed my thought that both were equally soft but the Downy had a far more pronounced aroma. I then polled my family members about the pajama set in a blind smell and touch test to see what they thought — only one person out of four found the Laundry Sauce top to be softer. The others said they couldn't tell the difference. However, the Downy fabric conditioner was unanimously voted the best-smelling. Most said the Laundry Sauce Egyptian Rose had no distinct scent — one even said it would be good for people who don't like fragrance softeners.

Is Laundry Sauce fabric conditioner worth it?

I would not purchase Laundry Sauce's Performance Fabric Conditioner ever again. Had the scent blown me away, I would definitely want to try the other scents and keep a bottle on hand for certain items that I want to smell great for a long time, like sheets and towels, or I would have given it as a unique housewarming gift. The lack of fragrance is the biggest reason I wouldn't recommend this product, as the luxury scents are its biggest selling point. The product is also disappointing as a fabric softener, as my clothes felt just okay. I have no idea how the price is justified for what I consider a pretty mediocre product, but there are currently over 100 5-star reviews for the fabric conditioner. It isn't specified which scent a customer is reviewing, so it's possible that this particular scent blend is lackluster. 

Downy's Bliss Infusions softener really pulled through in terms of fragrance — I loved the way my clothes smelled and found that the items washed with Downy softener still smelled great even days later. It wasn't an overpowering scent and I was able to wear perfume with these clothes without issue. But if you are looking for a great scent and super soft fabric, keep looking for another conditioner or use wool dryer balls to ensure your clothes come out feeling as soft as possible, as I found the softening results to be just average.