We Tried 7 Flavors of Listerine: Cool Mint, Fresh Burst, and MoreFebruary 27, 2020
Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwash developed in 1879 by chemist Joseph Lawrence, who was inspired by Joseph Lister (whom the brand is named after), a pioneer in antiseptic surgery. It’s made up of mint, thyme, wintergreen, and eucalyptus; of which combined are antiseptic (and maybe even anti-inflammatory).
Oral hygiene is very important to us here at Pepper, especially with the nature of our work. (You can’t eat if the main passage of food in your body has problems!) So we tested seven kinds of Listerine to find out which one’s the best in flavor—and makes our mouths feel good over-all.
7. Tartar Control
The dark blue Listerine smells like external antiseptic; something that shouldn’t enter your body. It also has a medicinal flavor, and leaves a sticky feeling in the mouth. We assume that’s probably due to the amount of chemicals in the formula that facilitates its teeth-cleaning goal. “It’s like ten times the Cool Mint flavor, [plus] poison,” a member of the team described it.
6. Healthy White (Natural Lemon & Salt)
This Listerine comes in a clear liquid, and promises “naturally whiter teeth in just two weeks.” In all fairness, it does taste like its advertised flavor: natural lemon & salt. It kind of reminds us of lemon-flavored Strepsils or hotel/airport toothpaste. It’s refreshing and doesn’t sting, and it’s a great choice for people who’d rather not have minty mouthwash.
5. Cool Mint
The Cool Mint Listerine has a similar medicinal aroma as Tartar Control, though not as intrusive. A member of the team said it was like “a minty Betadine,” if that makes any sense. It tastes like fake menthol gum. But we’re not particularly mad about it.
4. Gum Care 0% Alcohol (Herbal Ginger)
We were pleasantly surprised by the Gum Care Listerine, which claims to be “specially designed for healthier gums.” It comes in a herbal ginger flavor, and it does smell like a ginger menthol mouthwash. It has 0% alcohol, so it’s much milder than the others (though it’s more intense than the Cool Mint with zero alcohol). It’s very sprightly and refreshing, and it truly feels like it’s doing something good somewhere in your mouth.
3. Total Care
The purple Listerine is packed “with 6 benefits in 1 for a healthier mouth.” It’s more spearmint than it is peppermint, making it much milder than the other more menthol-forward flavors. It’s like a “sugar-free gum version of Fresh Burst,” said a member of the team.
2. Fresh Burst
Another spearmint-y flavor, Fresh Burst smells like an adult version of kids’ bubblegum toothpaste. It smells better than it tastes, but the flavor has a safe minty gum vibe going on. It has a slight sticky mouthfeel, but not enough to be annoying. We wish there was a 0% alcohol version of this.
1. Cool Mint 0% Alcohol
Cool Mint 0% Alcohol is similar to menthol gum, both in flavor and smell. (Although, a member of the team said the smell reminded her of her dentist’s office, but that’s just because he uses the same Listerine flavor for his patients.) It stings the least out of everything we tried, and is incredibly refreshing. “It’s minty, but not aggressive.”