The 15 Best Smelling Body Washes for Every Preference
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Over the last year, we’ve really come to enjoy shower time. What used to be another rushed task has since become a small moment of personal time to literally wash the day away. Apart from queuing up some calming tunes, we’ve found that using an aromatic body wash can really up the entire experience. Whether you prefer a minty fresh scent, tropical coconut or a floral fragrance, here are the 15 best smelling body washes to suit every mood and preference.
A Quick Look at the Best Smelling Body Washes:
- The Cult Classic: Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower And Bath Gel
- Editor's Pick: Tatcha Hinoki Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash
- Fan Favorite: Necessaire The Body Wash Eucalyptus
- Best Budget: The Right To Shower Body Wash
- Best Splurge: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Foaming Shower Gel
- Best for Itchy Skin: Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash With Coconut Scent
- Best Shower Oil: L’Occitane Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil
- Best for Families: Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap in Peppermint
- Best for Mature Skin: Olay Nourishing Body Wash With Hyaluronic Acid
- Best Value: OGX Smoothing + Coconut Coffee Exfoliating Body Scrub
- Most Sustainable: Blueland Body Wash in Waterlily Dew
- Longest Lasting Scent: Sol De Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-gel
- Best Lather: Alba Botanica Very Emollient Bath & Shower Gel
- Best for Dry Skin: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
- Best Gift: Aēsop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser
The Cult Classic
This gel is a true classic with legions of fans who have been using it for decades. Between the creamy lather it produces and the fragrant scent (a signature blend of spices, fruits and herbs) that fills your shower, it’s like a spa in a bottle. Best of all, it rinses clean and leaves your limbs feeling silky soft without leaving behind any slick residue (for those who dislike that feeling). “I’ve used it for years, tried others, but always come back to Rainbath,” says one reviewer, while another boasts that she’s “been using it for 30 years.”
Every time we use this wash, our humble bathroom turns into a little den. (Especially if we close our eyes to the surrounding clutter.) The woodsy scent is deeply grounding and mood-boosting, thanks to an essential oil blend of hiba, cedar, and hinoki woods, all of which contain phytoncides, or chemical compounds emitted by trees that are scientifically shown to increase well-being. The wash itself has cellulose in it to give a gentle, non-scratchy exfoliation.
With sleek minimalist packaging that complements any bath or shower, this buzzy body wash is a favorite among beauty editors and celebrities alike. What makes it so darn good, you ask? The texture, which is thick and emollient, and the way it leaves your skin feeling clean but not squeakily so. Formulated with a mild pH level and loaded with vitamins and fatty acids, it’s like a cleanser and treatment in one and the eucalyptus fragrance isn’t overpowering in the slightest; instead, it evokes a clean, airy spa vibe in your shower.
The Right To Shower
This feel-good body wash feels good in more ways than one. For starters, the lather is thick and sudsy, and the scents are absolutely delightful. (You have four options to choose from, but we love the tangerine and honeysuckle the most.) The sulfate-free wash is gentle on skin and kind to animals (with its 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free formula). And here’s the icing on the cake: Proceeds from every purchase go to organizations like Lava Mae to transform buses and trucks into mobile showers for people without homes.
File this under: small life luxuries. Or future gifts for mom. This decadent wash features one of Chanel's most beloved scents. Packed with fragrant notes of jasmine, rose, and patchouli, you can absolutely skip your usual spritz of perfume if you want.
Best for Itchy Skin
A consistent derm (and Jen Aniston) favorite is Aveeno, which might as well be synonymous with sensitive skin relief at this point. Made with its signature oats, this creamy wash gently cleanses and soothes dry, itchy skin, while imparting a light coconut scent. As one mom sums up, “My son has really sensitive skin that gets itchy and bothersome when he uses any other soap. This body wash was a game-changer for him and keeps him comfortable in all seasons. The day after my son smells GREAT! I'm saying GREAT! Which can be hard for a 4th-grade athlete.”
Best Shower Oil
A shower oil may sound odd if you haven’t tried one before, but we assure you it’s a pleasant experience. This one has the most incredible oil-to-milk texture that leaves your skin feeling satiny-smooth. Packed with almond oil, which is rich in omega 6 fatty acids, it also has an addictively sweet scent, and the oil can be used for shaving. One reviewer used this oil throughout her chemo treatments and raved about how it “ended her chronic dryness.”
Best for Families
The OG natural body wash, Dr. B’s castile soap has been a go-to for ingredient- and budget-conscious families for decades. And whereas you used to have to scour obscure health and wellness stores to buy a bottle of the stuff, now you can easily find it in most drugstores and online. Made with certified organic oils and 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic packaging and paper, it’s a squeaky-clean formula that can be used all over. The peppermint scent is bracing in the best way and leaves a tingly freshness on your skin.
Best for Mature Skin
This moisturizing wash has a label that boasts many of the same powerhouse ingredients that your face cream does. Hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3 work together to nourish parched skin, leaving it soft and silky for hours after you rinse. As one enthusiastic reviewer exclaims, “I can honestly say my skin has never felt or looked better! My skin feels so soft, like brand new baby skin soft! The scent is delightful, it is light, soft and clean.”
The TikTok favorite wash has a tropical scent that’s delicious but not headache-inducing and a thick, creamy consistency that leaves your skin feeling silky-smooth. It's formulated with hydrating coconut oil, which has been shown to reduce dryness, and arabica coffee grounds, the rough texture of which gently buffs away dead cells without being too harsh on your skin. A yummy smelling body wash and exfoliator in one for less than $15 for a pack of three? Consider us sold.
Blueland, the company known for its household cleaners, entered the personal care space earlier this year with a powder-to-gel body wash. The gel has a light, silky lather that feels cleansing and moisturizing (no post-shower tightness here). Of the three available options, our pick is “Waterlily Dew,” which has a mellow, fresh rain scent with just a tiny whiff of nectarine. At $16, the Starter Kit comes with your reusable bottle and three powder refills, which eliminates a ton of the bulky packaging you typically get from body washes.
Longest Lasting Scent
Sol De Janeiro
“The gel is thick and moisturizing, and it lathers nicely and rinses off easily, but let's be clear: this stuff is all about the smell. If you like this fragrance, you're going to love this shower gel,” says one reviewer. And we co-sign her statement. The scent she speaks of is sweet, nutty and tropical, and it lingers on your skin all day. Lest you think it skimps on hydration, it also features a blend of nourishing ingredients like cupuaçu butter, coconut and açaí oil that melts in quickly and locks in moisture.
If a generous lather is what you seek, look no further than this botanical wash. Packed with emollients like coconut oil and aloe vera, the replenishing formula whisks away the day with a dense and decadent lather. The tropical scent is also of note. “The smell is out of this world. [It] transports me back to the islands on vacay,” says one reviewer.
Best for Dry Skin
Right up there with mom’s home baked cookies, we have a similar affinity for Dove’s body wash, having used it throughout our childhood. Though you really can’t go wrong with any of the brand’s scents, we’re partial to the deep moisture formula this time of year because, as its name implies, it’s deeply moisturizing on dry skin and the scent is clean, never overpowering.
If you’re all about setting the mood in your shower, you’ll love Aēsop's sleek apothecary-style bottles and intoxicating scents. This one has an invigorating citrusy aroma with notes of grapefruit rind, lemon rind, and petitgrain. As one fan explains, “Aesop is pure quality [and] this particular body cleansing gel smells like a garden of geraniums. A little goes a long way so the price reflects cost effectiveness. It's pure heaven in a bottle!”