When it comes to lotions, the first thing that comes to mind is moisture since we rely on them to hydrate our skin. The second most important thing (at least to us) is scent. After all, if something smells good, we’re more likely to reach for it, right? Whether it’s earthier scents from Grown Alchemist, fresh aromas from Philosophy or tropical fragrances from Sol de Janeiro (which is our best overall pick, BTW), we picked the 14 best-smelling body lotions to suit everyone’s preferences ahead.
The 14 Best-Smelling Body Lotions Our Editors Can't Get Enough Of
Skip the perfume.
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The Best-Smelling Body Lotions at a Glance
- Best Overall: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Body Cream ($48)
- Best Woodsy Scent: Flamingo Light Hydrating Spray ($10)
- Best Floral Scent: Grown Alchemist Intensive Body Cream ($33)
- Sweetest Scent: HEMPZ Body Lotion (
- Freshest Scent: Philosophy Pure Grace Body Lotion ($29)
- Best Fruity Scent: EOS Shea Better 24H Moisture Body Lotion (
- Best Citrus Scent: Capri Blue Volcano Hand Cream ($22)
- Most Hydrating: Summer Fridays Summer Silk Body Lotion ($28)
- Best Budget: St. Ives Nourish and Soothe Body Lotion ($7)
- Best Body Butter: Mutha Body Butter ($52)
- Best Coconut Scent: Maui Babe After Browning Lotion ($16)
- Cleanest Scent: Osea Undaria Algae Body Butter ($56)
- Best Subtle Scent: Dove Body Love Body Lotion ($6)
- Best Lavender Scent: Dr. Teal’s Body Lotion ($7)
What to Look for in Scented Body Lotion
Plain and simple, you want to find a fragrance that tickles your senses. Ask yourself: Are you into warm and musky scents like vanilla, sandalwood or amber? Or do you prefer crisp notes like eucalyptus, mint or cedar? Maybe fruity scents with apples or berries are more up your alley? Or floral notes like rose, lavender or jasmine? There are so many combinations out there, so don’t be afraid to try a few to find the right choice for you.
How We Chose the Best-Smelling Body Lotions
We polled 12 PureWow editors to share their favorite scented body lotions. To beef up our selection, we also spent hours researching top sellers on retailers like Amazon, Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Target to compile a comprehensive list of the 14 best-smelling body lotions, so you can smell fresh throughout the dog days of summer.
Sol de Janeiro
- What We Like: best-seller on Amazon, adds a hint of shimmer, great for all skin types
- What We Don’t Like: strong scent
- Scent Notes: vanilla, salted caramel, pistachio
- Benefits: smoothing, tightening
- Standout Review: “I've been a fan of the Brazilian bum bum body cream for years! It's rich, thick and nourishing, plus it claims to help firm skin and maintain elasticity. But the real reason I love it is the *unreal* scent, which has notes of pistachio, vanilla and salted caramel. It smells like a tropical vacation.” — Stephanie Maida, PureWow’s Senior Commerce Editor
This body cream is like vacation in a tub. The blend of warm and sweet notes (aka vanilla, salted caramel and pistachio) has us wishing we were on a Caribbean Island. And the benefits don’t just stop at the heavenly scent—just look at the stacked ingredients list. Mixed with guaraná, a native Brazilian plant loaded with antioxidants to tighten and smooth skin, it also contains cupuaçu butter to lock in moisture and improve elasticity, as well as, açai oil to brighten. Plus, it adds a touch of shimmer to your skin, so you can glow all day long.
Best Woodsy Scent
- What We Like: reportedly hydrates skin for up to 24 hours, easy application, great for all skin types
- What We Don’t Like: greasy for some skin types
- Scent Notes: vetiver, bergamot
- Benefits: hydrating, refreshing
- Standout Review: “It's fresh and lightly citrusy but isn't overpowering at all. I also like that it's in a spray form, so it's really easy to apply.” — Katherine Gillen, PureWow’s Food Editor
If you’re a fan of sunscreen sprays then you’re going to enjoy this body lotion by Flamingo. The hydrating spray is praised for its easy application, which offers ample coverage and quick absorption. The brand claims it can provide up to 24 hours of hydration, thanks to squalane, an emollient derived from sugar cane that boosts moisture, along with white willow bark for exfoliation and apple extract for even more moisture and an instant glow.
Best Floral Scent
- What We Like: promises maximize hydration, firmness and softness
- What We Don’t Like: pricey
- Scent Notes: floral
- Benefits: hydrating, firming
- Standout Review: “This Grown Alchemist body cream, which is rose-scented (but in an earthy, non-powdery way) is very splurgy but it smells AMAZING.” — Katherine Gillen, PureWow’s Food Editor
This body cream packs a punch when it comes to hydration, but it's the light floral scent that give it an edge over some of its competitors. Shoppers say it leaves a rosy scent with a hint of pomegranate—making it deliciously pleasing on the skin. Scent aside, the formula also features pomegranate and cupuaçu butter, which are both rich in antioxidants that soften, protect and hydrate the skin. As one reviewer says, “As someone who typically uses body oil (which can only really be applied to damp skin), being able to use this cream anywhere at any time has been such a luxury. I can't believe how soft and not tacky my skin feels. I couldn't recommend it more!”
- What We Like: contains 100 percent organic hemp seed oil, sustainable packaging, offers intense hydration
- What We Don’t Like: not suitable for very dry skin, strong scent
- Scent Notes: fruity, sweet banana, floral
- Benefits: hydrating, soothing
- Standout Review: “I’ve been using this body lotion since high school. For context, I’m 26 years old and I've rarely strayed [away]. It smells like those long, twisted lollipops that you get at amusement parks. It’s very sweet, but tangy and refreshing and has a warmth to it. Every time I wear it someone asks me what I have on.” — Delia Curtis, PureWow’s Editorial Assistant
If you love the smell of candy, this classic lotion should be in your cart. While it might be too strong for some, others love the blend of fruity and floral notes (like sweet banana). The formula contains 100 percent hemp seed oil, which promises intense hydration, controls oil production and reduces the appearance of fine lines. You’ll also find sunflower seed oil to help retain moisture, shea butter to soften and hydrate the skin, as well as ginger to soothe irritation. For Curtis, the body lotion has been a godsend for their skin: “It does wonders on my legs, which are always prone to those strawberry patches of bumps and irritation.”
- What We Like: contains vitamin E and aloe, subtle scent, great for sensitive skin
- What We Don’t Like: fragrance doesn’t last long
- Scent Notes: water lily, leafy greens, frosted musk
- Benefits: refreshing, hydrating
- Standout Review: “I will forever be a fan of Philosophy's Pure Grace. I use it on my face because I find that it gives me the perfect amount of dewiness, but it's actually for the body. It smells clean, like freshly washed laundry that’s not too overpowering.” — Destinee Scott, PureWow’s Assistant Editor of Sales & Deals
Love the smell of fresh laundry? Well, here it is in lotion form. Its blend of clean notes, like water lily, leafy green and frosted musk, is a light delight for your skin. While the scent is what draws people in, the formula holds its own, too. You’ll find ingredients such as vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against environmental aggressors and aloe vera to soothe, hydrate and protect the skin. For one buyer it's the best-smelling body lotion they’ve ever tried: “I love the smell of this lotion. It smells like freshly dried laundry that's been hanging on a line outside. It's very subtle and smells clean—not like so many scents that are so obviously fake. The lotion itself is also really good and moisturizes my dry skin even in the depths of winter.”
Best Fruity Scent
- What We Like: promises 24-hour moisture, contains shea butter, lightweight formula
- What We Don’t Like: not suitable for very sensitive skin
- Scent Notes: sweet pomegranate, tart raspberries, lotus blossom
- Benefits: moisturizing, absorbs quickly
- Standout Review: “This eos lotion, [specifically] the pomegranate raspberry scent, smells sooooo sweet. It reminds me of a fruity candy or gum! It's lightweight, but super hydrating and it makes my body feel so moisturized whenever I apply it.” — Karelle McKay, PureWow’s Assistant Editor of News & Entertainment
A fruity body lotion that doesn’t overpower our senses? Yes please. This one has over 1,300 5-star reviews so you know it’s good. Shoppers rave about the lightweight formula and delicious scent (aka sweet pomegranate and tart raspberries) and how it doesn’t leave your skin greasy or sticky. Thanks to shea butter and shea oil, the blend promises to soothe dry skin and offer lasting hydration for up to 24-hours without having to reapply during the day. For one shopper, they couldn’t believe this body lotion held up on its claim: “Reading the reviews I figured the lotion would be smooth, but I did not expect my skin to feel as smooth as it did for as long as it did!! [It has a] great formula that isn't too oily or sticky [and it] works for my textural issues.”
Best Citrus Scent
- What We Like: travel-friendly, non-greasy, long-lasting
- What We Don’t Like: pricey
- Scent Notes: fruity, lightly exotic mountain greens
- Benefits: nourishing, silky smooth
- Standout Review: “The scent that Anthro is famous for (aka Capri Blue Volcano) is also a lotion and an ultra-rich hand cream. It's got an awesome-yet-unexpected sugared citrus scent that really lingers [on the skin].” — Candace Davison, PureWow’s VP of Editorial
If you’ve ever stepped into an Anthropologie store, you’ll know the distinct scent it has. The signature volcanic scent features tropical sugary fruits (like orange, lemon and lime) and woodsy mountain greens. It’s also formulated with coconut oil and shea butter, which are both rich ingredients that can leave the skin looking and feeling silky smooth. Although it’s technically made for your hands, shoppers enjoy applying it all over. One happy reviewer said it best: “Quintessential Anthro scent in a lotion, what’s not to love?”
- What We Like: contains hyaluronic acid, rich formula
- What We Don’t Like: strong scent
- Scent Notes: coconut, vanilla blossom, warm almond
- Benefits: nourishing, strengthening
- Standout Review: “It has a distinct enough scent (coconut, vanilla and almond) that I can wear it on its own, but it also somehow goes with any perfume—plus, the thickness is amazing for my always super-dry skin.” — Natalie LaBarbera, PureWow’s Assistant Commerce Editor
Fans flock to Summer Friday for their moisturizing lip balms and face masks, so it’s no surprise their body lotion is a heavy hitter, too. Loaded with a blend of cocoa and shea butters and natural oils (grapeseed, argan, rosehip, to name a few), this creamy formula offers endless moisture. You’ll also find ceramides, lipids that help strengthen and support the skin’s natural barrier, in the ingredients panel. Shoppers love its non-greasy texture and subtle scent (of vanilla blossom, warm almond and coconut) as it wears nicely on the skin in every way.
- What We Like: hypoallergenic, great for dry and sensitive skin, contains shea butter
- What We Don’t Like: finicky applicator, runny texture
- Scent Notes: shea butter
- Benefits: moisturizing, absorbs quickly
- Standout Review: “I swear by St. Ives. My pet peeve with lotions is when they're excessively oily, but this one is 100 percent moisturizing [on my skin]. Also, it has a gentle scent, absorbs quickly and is not slick at all!” — Marissa Wu, PureWow’s Associate SEO Editor
This nourishing cream by St. Ives has been around for years, cementing its place as a classic body lotion people can rely on (as the more than 1,500 5-star reviews on Amazon attest). Its key ingredients are oatmeal and shea butter, which come together to nourish and soothe dry skin. The rich blend is lightened up with glycerin and soybean oil, which fans say help the product absorb instantly, while offering a smooth, non-greasy finish.
Best Body Butter
- What We Like: reportedly hydrates up to 48 hours, contains 100 percent natural ingredients
- What We Don’t Like: pricey
- Scent Notes: citrus
- Benefits: moisturizing, firming
- Standout Review: “I usually opt for scentless body lotions because I'm boring like that, but I’ve been loving thick body butters during my pregnancy, especially the Mutha Body Butter. It's incredibly hydrating and nourishing and has a very light citrusy scent that's so refreshing for summertime.” — Olivia Dubyak, PureWow’s Commerce Editor
This body butter is loved and praised by reviewers (especially mamas-to-be) for its rich formula. Formulated with 100 percent natural ingredients, it offers moisture from head-to-toe. It starts with shea butter, which is known for nourishing and soothing dry skin. Next, there’s cocoa butter, an ingredient high in fatty acids that improve elasticity. Last but not least, it has mango butter, which improves skin tone and softens stretch marks. The lightweight blend also contains vitamin A and E to add even more moisture, and the subtle citrus fragrance is gentle and calming.
Best Coconut Scent
- What We Like: promises to soothe tanned skin, contains aloe vera, great for a post- swim
- What We Don’t Like: not suitable for very sensitive skin, doesn’t rub in well
- Scent Notes: light coconut
- Benefits: nourishing, soothing
- Standout Review: “I’m usually not one for scent, but my Maui Babe After Browning Lotion has a very subtle, slightly tropical scent profile that smells more natural versus too fruit/floral forward. The addition of aloe vera smells calming to me (and does wonders for my skin).” — Stephanie Meraz, PureWow’s Associate Fashion Commerce Editor
Spent all day basking in the sun? You might want to keep this post-sun lotion nearby. This body moisturizer promises to enhance and protect your fresh tan. The main ingredient, aloe vera, has been clinically proven to soothe burns and minimize redness (in case you accidentally fell asleep on the beach). Along with purified Hawaiian water and macadamia nut oil, it provides deep hydration, while preventing any potential peeling from sunburn. Plus, the coconut scent transports us back to vacay mode every single time. The brand recommends reapplying as often as you like to protect your skin, especially after swimming.
- What We Like: rich formula, reportedly hydrates up to 72 hours, great for very dry skin
- What We Don’t Like: doesn’t rub in well
- Scent Notes: clean, fresh
- Benefits: hydrating, absorbs quickly
- Standout Review: “I grab this body butter once a week or whenever I need more moisture. The smell is divine and oh-so refreshing. It has grapefruit, lime and cypress with a hint of mango mandarin. It brings me back to my childhood—eating grapefruits at my grandma’s house by the spoonful. As citrusy-forward as the profile is, I’d say that overall, it smells like a bottled up burst of fresh air by the sea.” — Stephanie Meraz, PureWow’s Associate Fashion Commerce Editor
This body butter looks to replenish and smooth parched skin over time. A quick peek at the ingredients list shows undaria seaweed, a superfood that balances moisture levels in your skin and shea butter to soften and smooth over rough patches. There’s also dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline (DPHP), which is known to repair and firm skin, in addition to ceramides, which support the skin barrier. The brand claims it can hydrate for up to 72 hours, which reviewers are backing up in Ulta Beauty’s comment section, along with praise for its fast-absorption, moisturizing finish and clean scent that’s not too strong.
Best Subtle Scent
- What We Like: reportedly hydrates up to 24 hours, great for dry and/or sensitive skin
- What We Don’t Like: finicky applicator
- Scent Notes: warm vanilla scent
- Benefits: absorbs quickly, restoring
- Standout Review: “I have been a longtime fan of Dove because their scents are never too overpowering. This body lotion smells warm and fresh, while also feeling wonderful on my sensitive skin. I appreciate how it softens my skin, especially after a nice shower.” — Chelsea Candelario, PureWow’s Associate Editor
The best way to describe this scent is that it smells like a warm vanilla candle at a luxurious spa. But the relaxing scent isn’t the only thing we love about this body lotion. We’re also crazy about the creamy blend of coconut oil, ceramides, shea and cocoa butter that leaves our skin feeling impossibly silky. Customers can’t stop raving about the non-greasy texture and how it’s a safe pick for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.
Best Lavender Scent
- What We Like: can promote better sleep, contains shea butter, dermatologist-tested
- What We Don’t Like: thin consistency
- Scent Notes: lavender, chamomile
- Benefits: moisturizing, nourishing
- Standout Review: “I can write a love letter about this body lotion. Now, I don’t know if my mind is playing tricks on me, but it really does help me knock out after a long day. The lavender and chamomile blend has such a relaxing and inviting scent. I swear (and I don’t swear on just anything), it’s a game changer for my nighttime routine.” — Chelsea Candelario, PureWow’s Associate Editor
If you’re curious about trying a body lotion to help you sleep, we recommend this one by Dr. Teal’s. It’s packed with melatonin, a naturally-occurring hormone that can help promote better sleep. You’ll also find key players like shea butter, cocoa butter and vitamin E in the formula, which help moisturize and soften your skin while you fall into dreamland. The soothing lavender and chamomile scent certainly don’t hurt either.
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Why Should You Trust Us
Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet for the latest beauty trends (and testing the coolest products out herself), informing you on ways to be a better ally and offering a native New Yorker perspective on what to do in the Big Apple. When she's not writing, she's spearheading PureWow Cultures that focuses on uplifting and highlighting the BIPOC community.
PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.