Clean Beauty

9 of the Best-Smelling Hand Soaps to Lather Up With

Saanya Ali

Photo: Getty/Mike Kemp
Lesson one in hygiene: Wash your hands. Hum the happy birthday song (or in my case the chorus of ABBA’s Dancing Queen) and scrub for 20 seconds before every meal and each time you walk through the door. And now, with reminders everywhere from elevator walls to TikTok ads telling us how important it is to lather and rinse (and repeat, ad nauseam), life in a pandemic has made hand washing more important than ever.

Hand care is getting its fair share of attention these days, and that extends to our focus on and desire for nicely scented soaps. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, [because] clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.” With so many options to chose from when it comes to sudsy scents, these are nine of the most hydrating and best-smelling hand soaps on the market that are sure to have your hands feeling squeaky clean.

1. Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Hand+Body Wash, $24

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: MALIN+GOETZ

This eucalyptus-scented hand wash is a hard-working gel that lathers and foams in the sink or in the shower. In addition to the relaxing and invigorating fragrance, it’s made with amino acids and glycerin that strengthen and hydrate your skin. Made with natural fragrances and color, the formula is perfect for sensitive hands.

Shop now: Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus Hand+Body Wash, $24

2. Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, $39

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: Aesop

This hand soap has tiny pieces of pumice that gently exfoliate as you scrub, and the gentle formula hydrates rather than strips the skin. Pair it with one of the brand’s famous lotions for a truly unstoppable duo.

Shop now: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, $39

3. MAAPILIM Soap, $19

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: MAAPILIM

Don’t let the simplicity of the bottle fool you: This hand wash serves double-duty with both cleansing and moisturizing properties. Aside from whisking away germs, it’s made with argan oil, which helps to hydrate skin, plus a blend of mint and essential oils that will give you an energetic boost in a single whiff.

Shop now: MAAPILIM Soap, $19

4. OUAI Hand Wash, $32

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: Ulta

If you like Ouai’s cult-fave hair-care products, you’ll love the brand’s first foray into skin care. The hand wash gently exfoliates the skin with jojoba beads, and avocado and rosehip oils work to lock in moisture and leave your hands feeling refreshed and hydrated.

Shop now: OUAI Hand Wash, $32

5. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap, $23

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: Amazon

If you’re looking for something elevated—yet affordable— in the best-smelling hand soaps category, Mrs. Meyer’s has got you covered. With a bevy of different scents—and new ones coming out more frequently than we can count—there is sure to be an option that sparks your fancy.

Shop now: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap, $23

6. Hunny Bunny Boutique Black Toffee Hand Soap, $9

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: Hunny Bunny Boutique

For hands that smell like your favorite dessert, this black toffee hand soap is the perfect pick. With notes of chocolate, this soap oozes decadence, and its use of olive oil and honey is sure to leave hands feeling supple and hydrated without drying them out.

Shop now: Hunny Bunny Boutique Black Toffee Hand Soap, $9

7. Diptyque Exfoliating Hand Wash, $62

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: Bloomingdales

For something as exfoliating as it is cleansing, this refreshing wash packs a whole host of purifying and paraben-free ingredients into a chic glass bottle. The ground olive stones leave skin feeling soft, and the woody fragrance lingers on your palms for hours.

Shop now: Diptyque Exfoliating Hand Wash, $62

8. Byredo Suede Hand Wash, $65

best smelling hand soap
Photo: Nordstrom

Byredo’s hand care line is the perfect combination of minimalism and luxury. With notes of bergamot and violet, this wash hydrates and softens while cleansing and smelling amazing.

Shop now: Byredo Suede Hand Wash, $65

9. D.S. & Durga Big Sur After Rain Hand Soap, $35

best smelling hand soaps
Photo: Saks Fifth Avenue

Made with vitamins C and E, this vegan and cruelty-free hand soap smells like memories. The notes of coastal rain and eucalyptus make the perfect fragrant combo that brings you on a Big Sur road trip.

Shop now: D.S. & Durga Big Sur After Rain Hand Soap, $35

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