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The 18 Best-Smelling Hand Soaps of 2024 Will Rival Your Fave Perfume (Seriously)

So nice, you'll wash your hands twice

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Byredo/Aesop/Jo Malone

First, there were luxury laundry detergents—which feature collaborations with designer perfume brands, including Capri Blue and Baccarat Rouge creator, Maison Francis Kurkdjian—that’ll make your leggings smell better than Charlize Theron in a Dior J’adore ad. More recently, though, you’ve probably noticed another home product getting a high-end glowup: hand soaps. And we’re not just talking run-of-the-mill antibacterial bars. We mean moisturizing, exquisitely scented liquid soaps with minimalist labels that look as good as they feel. Intrigued? We were too, which is why we’ve rounded up 18 of the best-smelling soaps that money can buy—from Moroccanoil and Capri Blue to Jo Malone and Byredo.

How We Chose the Best Hand Soaps

To suss out the best hand soaps for your home, we scoured reviews of top fragrance brands and consulted with home editors who've tested dozens of scents to uncover non-drying, great-smelling formulas people couldn't stop raving about. We picked a variety of scents to fit different preferences—fruity to floral, musky to woodsy—as well as a mix of price points.

The 10 Best Smelling Laundry Detergents of 2024


THE BEST-SMELLING HAND SOAPS, AT A GLANCE 

1

Best Overall

Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash

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2

Best Woodsy Scent

Hawthorne Hinoki Wood Hand Wash

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3

Best Value Soap

Method Violet and Lavender Gel Hand Soap

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4

Best Luxury Soap

Byredo Suede Hand Wash

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5

Best Fruity Scent

Capri Blue Hand Wash

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Best Overall

1. Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • not overpower
  • understated, elegant aesthetic
  • can buy refills

What We Don't Love

  • expensive

Aesop

From Instagram to Twitter to Pinterest, we’ve been seeing this Aesop scent everywhere. Somehow, it’s become the Bottega Veneta cassette bag of hand soaps. So, what makes it so special? Well for one, it has an instantly recognizable scent palette of lavender, orange and rosemary that’s citrusy and woodsy—without overpowering. However, what really makes this guy worth its $40 price tag is its exfoliating properties, where it includes finely milled pumice for a super soft finish. One reviewer raves, “It is the perfect amount of exfoliation and makes my hands feel so soft…The scent is subtle yet incredibly calming [and] the bottle is much bigger than I expected!”

  • Scent Notes: Orange, rosemary and lavender 

Best Woodsy Scent

2. Hawthorne Hinoki Wood Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • guarana seed
  • masculine scent

What We Don't Like

  • scent lingers

Hawthorne

Need something comforting and cozy for the holidays? We’d say this number from Hawthorne is the ticket. First, you have its earthy fragrance, where moody hinoki wood is layered with spicy clove and Haitian vetiver for an earthy feel. “[This soap] has a soothing, inside-the-forest kind of scent. Subtle and spicy at the same time,” one reviewer explains. It’s also worth mentioning that this one includes guarana seed in its ingredient list, which is known to fight aging and minimize wrinkles by promoting blood flow (according to the manufacturer). 

  • Scent Notes: hinoki wood, clove, vetiver, guarana seed

Best Value Soap

3. Method Violet and Lavender Gel Hand Soap

Why We Love It

  • inexpensive
  • refillable
  • sustainable bottle

What We Don't Like

  • container feels cheap

Method

This hand soap clocks in at just under $10 but we’d pay extra for its scent alone. The fragrance features a floral blend of lavender and violet that’s botanical yet masculine (and many TikTokers have compared it to Le Labo’s cult-favorite Santal 33 perfume). Plus, on top of its alluring scent, it comes in a sturdy, re-fillable aluminum bottle that won’t interrupt your kitchen/bathroom aesthetic. “[This] smells so luxurious! It gently lingers after the use, [and] it looks/ feels durable and solid for further use. I placed it on top of a marble soap dish and it’s perfect!” one reviewer writes.  

  • Scent Notes: Lavender and violet

Best Luxury Soap

4. Byredo Suede Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • luxurious
  • nice bottle
  • not overpowering

What We Don't Like

  • expensive

Byredo

We’ve spoken a lot about luxurious scents, but trust us when we say this number from Byredo takes the cake. Customers have described the fragrance as “intoxicating,” “decadent” and “light and refreshing,” where its notes of pear, bergamot, lily of the valley and violet have created quite the fan base. One reviewer writes, “Yes, it’s expensive, but that smell is amazing and it leaves your hands silky soft—so important when you are having to wash them all the time…I actually look forward to using this. I wish Byredo did Suede perfume too!”

  • Scent Notes: pear, bergamot lily of the valley and violet

Best Fruity Scent

5. Capri Blue Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • smells like Anthropologie store
  • fruity scent
  • refillable jar

What We Don't Like

  • fragile jar

Capri Blue

ICYMI, Capri Blue (aka the "Anthro scent") has come to define Anthropologie’s in-store experience. For years, shoppers have fallen prey to the brand’s signature Volcano scent, where fruity notes of sugared oranges, lemons, limes and exotic mountain greens draw people in like a moth to a flame. “It smells sweeter and softer than the typical bright, tart scent people often associate with lemons, limes and oranges, likely due to the additional tropical notes,” explains Davison in a PureWow review. Hence, why we’re seeing shoppers rave over the brand’s hand wash iteration, which features the same, tropical scent (but with a vegan, cruelty-free formula that’ll leave your hands feeling velvety soft). 

  • Scent Notes: sugared oranges, lemons, limes and exotic mountain greens

Best Musky Scent

6. Moroccanoil Fragrance Originale Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • nourishing formula
  • woodsy scent

What We Don't Like

  • thick to pump out

Moroccanoil

ATTN, Moroccanoil lovers: Your favorite scent is now available in a hand wash. For those who don’t know, Moroccanoil’s argan oil hair treatment has amassed a worldwide fan base for its iconic scent—along with its nourishing, vitamin-rich formula—and the brand’s new handwash combines the best of both properties. First, you have its musky, woodsy fragrance, which features a base layer of spicy amber topped with sweet notes of rose, citrus and vanilla. But on top of that, there’s the formula itself, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids to help increase softness and reduce the appearance of fine, dry lines. 

One reviewer raves: “This soap has a lather that's just as rich while using even less product! It [feels] more moisturizing than a regular liquid soap, too—my hands haven't been as cracked and dry the last week while I've been using it (as they have been for most of winter)…The scent is great and smells luxurious and high end, like a hair salon or spa. It lingers for a while too, leaving an expensive smelling scent on you.” However, they also warn: “If you don't like the scent or are sensitive to stronger scents, it may be an issue for you.” 

  • Scent Notes: amber rose, citrus and vanilla 

Best Fresh Scent

7. Pecksniff’s Sandalwood and Vanilla Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • quant scent
  • unique bottle

What We Don't Like

  • fragile bottle

Pecksniff’s

While you wouldn’t normally characterize sandalwood and vanilla as being “zingy,” that’s the best way to describe this scent. (Take it from this editor, who currently has a bottle sitting on the bathroom sink.) The fragrance reminds me of a quaint bed and breakfast on the English countryside, where the sandalwood base gives it a crisp, clean palette and hints of vanilla offer a subtle sweetness. Not to mention that it gets bonus points for the generous, 16.9-ounce size (which has boasted more than four months of use). 

  • Scent Notes: sandalwood and vanilla

Best Exfoliating Soap

8. OUAI Dean Street Hand Soap

Why We Love It

  • biodegradable formula
  • moisturizing
  • exfoliating

What We Don't Like

  • pump is tricky

OUAI

Next up on the list of haircare brands that are making their way into the bath and body space is OUAI. First and foremost, this soap features the brand’s signature 'Dean Street' scent, which carries notes of citrus, rose and magnolia that’ll linger on your skin for hours after washing. Yet, aside from its fragrance, customers can’t seem to get enough of its exfoliating formula, which gently cleanses the skin with biodegradable jojoba beads and moisturizes with avocado and rosehip oils. “Can we talk about the biodegradable beads...OMG. Amazing,” one reviewer raves. “It helps exfoliate, and you don't have to feel guilty about the beads going down the drain. It smells great but it's not overly fragrant, and it leaves my hands feeling clean but never dried out.”

  • Scent Notes: citrus, rose and magnolia 

Best Floral Scent

9. Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Body/Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • floral scent
  • scent lingers

What We Don't Like

  • tricky dispenser

Jo Malone

This hand-meets-body wash from Jo Malone takes sultry-meets-floral to a new level. The scent captures delicate notes of peony, red apple, jasmine, rose and gillyflower, while a soft suede finish creates a seductive trail. One reviewer raves: “I've used [this] Peony wash in the bath, and the gorgeous fragrance wafts through the house and clings to my skin. The florals smell heady and sophisticated while the apple adds a lovely crisp, clean freshness. It seems to add depth and a lovely floral fruity sweetness to whatever fragrance I wear afterwards.”

  • Scent Notes: peony, suede, red apple, jasmine, rose and gillyflower

Best Sweet Scent

10. Beekman1802 Vanilla Absolute Hand & Body Wash

Why We Love It

  • cheeky container
  • nourishing goat milk

What We Don't Like

  • does not lather

Beekman1802

Another hand/body soap people are loving right now? This foaming wash from Beekman1802. Not only does it feature an irresistible vanilla scent (topped with notes of amber, sandalwood, cedar and orange), but it has a creamy, goat milk composition that’s just as moisturizing as it is gentle on the skin. “This soap smells heavenly. It produces a great lather. I use it in the kitchen where I often have very, very messy hands. It's cleansing powers are fantastic and it leaves a faint but pleasant scent on your hands,” writes one reviewer. 

  • Scent Notes: vanilla, golden amber, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli lily, muguet and orange

Best Citrus Scent

11. J.R. Watkins Lemon Foaming Hand Soap

Why We Love It

  • inexpensive
  • foaming

What We Don't Like

  • lemon scent overwhelming

J.R. Watkins

Sticking with the theme of foaming cleansers, this hand soap is formulated with a zesty lemon fragrance that’ll make your hands smell as fresh as they feel. The scent is lightweight and subtle while the soap’s cruelty-free, plant-based ingredients deliver a rich, foamy lather (and it also includes vitamins D and E for added nourishment). “The scent is light and doesn’t linger on your hands after you use it,” one reviewer shares. “The foam is airy and leaves my hands feeling moisturized instead of dry.” Plus, at $4 a pop, this is one of the most budget-friendly options on this list. 

  • Scent Notes: lemon

Best Multipurpose Wash

12. Malin+Goetz Rum Hand and Body Wash

Why We Love It

  • cruelty-free
  • no harmful ingredients

What We Don't Like

  • some say bottle leaks during shipping

Malin+Goetz

Need a foaming hand wash that also doubles as a body wash? Check. Looking for a scent that’s strong, warm and unisex? Check. Have to make sure it’ll nourish your sensitive skin? Check, check, check. This number by Malin+Goetz hits every category—from its dark rum fragrance (which is complemented to by herbal notes of pear and red fruits) to its hydrating amino acid and glycerin formula (which binds water to the skin and enhances moisture).

“I first found this at a very posh hotel in NYC and fell in love with it. This is a great body/hand wash that isn't too drying, and the scent is fantastic. Not too strong but leaves a nice finish. It's nicely gender-neutral so works great for a guest bathroom,” one reviewer writes. Oh, and did we mention that it’s cruelty-free and made without harmful ingredients, including gluten, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, mineral oils and parabens? 

  • Scent Notes: rum extract, pears and red fruits

Best Eco-Friendly Soap

13. Blueland Hand Soap Starter Set

Why We Love It

  • sustainable packing
  • easy to refill

What We Don't Like

  • only two scents

Blueland

Made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients, this soap kit includes one reusable glass bottle and three scented tablets that are just as pure on the skin as they are environmentally conscious. The fragrances, which include iris agave, Perrine lemon and lavender eucalyptus, are crisp and light—without being cloyingly sweet or overpowering by—and are sourced from vegan ingredients that are paraben-, phosphate-, ammonia-, chlorine-, bleach- and soy/nut-free. “[These soap tablets] really make your hands feel clean and the scents are perfect, natural, delicious, and not too strong. Recycled packaging shipping. Saves on plastic and CO2 emissions by not shipping water weight. I'll be buying these for life,” one reviewer raves. 

  • Scent Notes: iris agave, perrine lemon and lavender eucalyptus

Best Variety Set

14. Senteurs d'Orient Mini Ma'amoul Soaps Tasting Box

Why We Love It

  • multiple scent options
  • bar soap style

What We Don't Like

  • expensive

Senteurs d'Orient

It's the luxe gift you never knew you needed—a set of handcrafted mini soaps inspired by traditional Lebanese pastries. The box features nine neatly placed soap bars that are made to resemble a box of sweets, where each fragrance—including orange blossom, jasmine of arabia, oriental gardenia, honey, amber, rose of damascus, almond exfoliant, tuberose, cedar of Lebanon—captures the region’s most famous flowers. Plus, aside from being sold in a variety of sweet to citrus to woodsy floral scents, each soap is formulated with shea butter, olive oil and vitamin E to smooth and soften the skin. If you’re looking for an impressive gift, or a way to impress company, this is *the* set you should grab (before it goes out of stock). 

  • Scent Notes: orange blossom, jasmine, gardenia, honey, amber, rose of Damascus, almond, tuberose and cedar

Best for Sensitive Skin

15. L'Avant Collective High-Performing Dish & Hand Soap Duo

Why We Like It

  • not tested on animals
  • doesn't dry out skin
  • subtle yet pleasant scent

What We Don't Like

  • pricey

L'Avant Collective

We didn't think a soap bottle could be glamorous, until we spotted L'Avant Collective's matte and gold containers. Scented like the brand's cult-favorite detergent, Fresh Linen, this bundle comes with two types of soap—one for your hands and one for your dishes. Editor Candace Davison tested it firsthand, and appreciated how gentle it was on her skin (thanks to its plant-based ingredients) and mild-yet-refreshing scent.

  • Scent Notes: ylang-ylang, bamboo, basil, lemon, lavender, geranium

Most Sophisticated Hand Wash

16. Diptyque
Softening Hand Wash

Why We Love It

  • iconic branding
  • floral scents

What We Don't Like

  • expensive

Diptyque

Known for its fantastic, high-end candles, Diptyque is dipping its toes in some incredible hand soap to round out a luxurious bathroom routine. The Paris-based brand uses notes of lavender and rosemary floral water with a hint of lavender honey to achieve a mild, yet flowery scent that will linger. Plus, the glass dispenser features the brand's iconic oval label, adding to the sophistication.

  • Scent Notes: lavender, rosemary floral, lavender honey

Best Bar Soap

17. Le Labo Rose 31 Body Bar

Why We Love It

  • no parabens
  • lovely scent
  • bar soap

What We Don't Like

  • scent can be strong

Le Labo

New York based fragrance company Le Labo actually developed this bar specifically for Fairmont hotels, so you'll find the cute personalization on the outer wrapper "For: FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS". This bar soap is incredibly moisturizing and will add a bit of luxury to your sink. The rosey scent is a fan-favorite, and it doesn't does not contain any parabens or animal by-products.

  • Scent Notes: rose
best hand soaps 2
Homecourt

Best Celebrity Line

18. Homecourt Neroli Leaf Hand Wash

Here, a delightfully fresh and floral hand soap that Davison calls “unreal.” The fragrance features a subtly sweet scent with notes of orange blossom, garden herbs and jasmine petals that’ll leave your hands smelling crisp and clean. What’s more, the soap hails from Courteney Cox’s home brand, Homecourt, and is formulated with 1) argan oil to moisturize, 2) hibiscus flower to hydrate and protect and 3) coconut-derived surfactants to remove dirt and debris without irritating skin. 

  • Scent Notes: Apple, green mandarin, orange flower, jasmine petals and vanilla

The 15 Best-Smelling Body Washes for Every Preference


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Assistant Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Assistant Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, beauty...

Courtney Campbell

Freelance Writer

Courtney covers all things shopping and lifestyle at PureWow. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Elon University and has spent more than five years of her career...

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