I never really thought about it until I started working from home, but having a good-smelling hand soap is a must for me. It’s probably because I’m not used to having clean hands all the time (thanks, kids!).
Now I’m a little bit of a hand soap snob. I like my hand soaps to smell good, and I like them to leave my hands feeling soft and clean. In fact, I’d say that one of the most important things about a hand soap is how it smells, because if the soap doesn’t smell good then it’s just not as fun to use.
I love finding new hand soaps that smell amazing. It’s such a small thing, but it can make such a difference in my day.
Of all the hygiene products we use on a daily basis, none are more underrated than hand soap. We often don’t think about it until our hands start to feel dry and chapped from using harsh soaps with high levels of detergent.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of the 20 best smelling hand soaps, based on my own personal experience. Whether you’re looking for a citrusy hand soap that will wake you up in the morning, or a lavender-scented soap to help you relax at night, I’m sure you’ll find one you like on this list.
20 of the Best Smelling Hand Soaps
1. Mrs. Meyer Hand Soap – Best Smelling Refillable Hand Soap
If your hands usually feel dry after using hand soap, Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender scented clean day liquid will be perfect for you. It’s packed with natural ingredients like olive oil and aloe vera that really care for your skin.
I would say that this isn’t for those who want a delicate scent as some say the fragrance is a little overpowering. That said, if you’re a floral fan, I’d highly recommend it. For something lighter, why not try the Organic lavender soap from the Little Soap Company?
2. Aesop Soap – Best Smelling Hand Soap For Sensitive Skin
Aesop Resurrection hand soap is an excellent choice for sensitive hands as it is designed for all skin types. What’s more, it contains natural essential oils that are perfect for people with acne prone skin. And yes, you can get pimples on your hands!
For anyone that loves a warm, woody scent, the aroma of this hand soap will delight your senses. It’s got a real earthy quality and the lather feels incredibly luxurious. But for that luxury, you’ll have to pay the price and the downside of this soap is that it’s quite expensive. Bayliss and Harding do a much more affordable version with just as long lasting a scent.
3. Dial Antibacterial Soap – Best Smelling Foaming Hand Soap
There’s something about a foaming hand wash that always feels to me as though it’s really taking care of my skin. Dial’s anti bac foaming soap contains no nasties and is formulated with spring water so it’s very gentle on the skin, even if it is a little drying.
The delicate pear scent is great for fruity fans. However, it’s not quite as prominent as some other aromas I’ve smelled.
That said, this soap makes your hands feel super clean, leaves behind no residue, and doesn’t cost the earth. I’d recommend it as an everyday hand wash.
4. Diptyque Hand Soap – Best Smelling Luxury Hand Soap
Ok, bear with me; I know you’re thinking that this hand soap costs the earth. And it does. But this negative aside, there is a good reason for this. The Diptyque hand soap smells divine. I’m yet to see anyone that’s used it who thinks otherwise. If you want something nice smelling this is it!
But wait, there’s more! This hand soap is also super softening and will leave your hands feeling clean and nourished. It’s a great choice for a guest bedroom or occasional bathroom.
5. Byredo Hand Soap – Best Smelling Hand Soap For Eczema
I suffer from eczema and I can tell you that there are a lot of things that make it flare up. But the good news is that rose oil could actually treat and heal this skin condition so this soap that contains rose is a great choice.
If you’re looking for a luxurious hand wash but don’t want to pay the price of a bottle of Diptyque, this one is slightly less expensive. But not by much. The delicate yet fragrant scent lasts a long time on the skin. Aside from the higher than average price, there’s not much I don’t love about this one.
6. Bath & Body Works Hand Soap – Best Smelling Hand Soap For Kitchen
Fresh, zesty, and uplifting. That’s how I would describe this lovely lemon-scented hand wash from Bath and Bodyworks. It’s excellent if you’re working in the kitchen and have to wash your hands a lot as it’s packed with shea butter and Vitamin E to keep those hands soft and nourished.
The scent lasts really well on the skin and after washing, your hands feel very clean. The only problem that a lot of people find is that the foam isn’t very frothy. Is that a deal breaker? It depends on how luxurious you want your hand washing experience to be.
7. Method Hand Soap – Best Smelling Liquid Hand Soap
I’ve long been enamored with the Method cleaning products so it was only a matter of time before I also fell in love with the soap. This hand soap feels incredibly luxurious and yet is a fraction of the cost of something like Byredo.
It’s formulated for sensitive skin so won’t cause irritation and the rich, woody aroma is an absolute treat. Although it’s not quite as strong or long lasting as some other soaps I’ve tried.
I’d also recommend this if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option as the bottle is refillable!
8. Molton Brown Hand Soap
Having a bottle of Molten Brown hand soap on your bathroom counter makes you feel like a King or Queen! This is a luxury brand and that’s evident in the scent. This one is fragranced with orange and vanilla but there are plenty of other options depending on your taste. And what’s best is that the fragrance seemingly lasts a lifetime.
I love how soft and refreshed my hands feel after using this. The nourishing qualities are among the best of all hand soaps. This is considered to be slightly more expensive than ‘normal’ but compared to other luxury brands like Diptyque, you’re getting a bargain.
9. Everyone Hand Soap – Best Smelling Natural Hand Soap
This is a plant based hand soap so there are no worries that it’ll contain anything that will irritate your skin. It’s been dermatologically tested for even greater confidence! What’s more, since it’s made with essential oils, you get a really fragrant hand washing experience.
One thing that does let it down is that it isn’t as softening as other products and some people have complained that their skin feels dry after using it. That said, if you don’t usually suffer from dryness, the delicate yet long lasting aroma is worth it!
10. J.R. Watkins Hand Soap
This J.R. Watkins grapefruit scented hand soap is perfect if you want something all natural. It contains no nasty chemical ingredients and does a great job at making your hands feel squeaky clean. What’s more, it doesn’t feel at all drying and keeps the hands soft and supple.
100% recyclable and cruelty-free, this is a great choice for people who want an eco-friendly product.
The problem with this soap is that while natural ingredients are used, the scent has quite a synthetic aroma which can put some people off. But if you want something that’s great to leave at the bathroom sink for everyday use, it’s a wonderful choice.
11. Irish Spring Bar Soap – Best Smelling Hand Soap Bar
One of the things I love about this hand soap bar is its versatility. You can also use it for your face and body so it’s an excellent all-rounder. Even better, it has an invigorating and refreshing scent that stays on the hands and makes them feel uber clean!
There are no parabens or phthalates, so it’s wonderfully kind to the skin. However, it can be a little drying, especially if you already have dry skin. In this case, I’d recommend something more nourishing like the Dove bar hand soap.
12. Le Labo Hand Soap
Another excellent choice if you like bar soap is the Le Labo Santal 33 bar soaps. These are a very luxurious option and boast the fragrance of the perfume with the same name. The only downside is that this fragrance is hardly what you’d call overpowering. If you want something intense, this may be too delicate for you.
Where this soap does excel is in how well it cares for the skin. It’ll leave your hands feeling really soft and what’s great is that it can also be used on the body. It is a little pricey so it’s a great choice for an occasional soap or a special gift.
13. Newport Home Hand Soap
I love love love the combination of fresh mint and earthy rosemary in the scent of this soap. They’re two of my favorite fragrances and the smell lasts very well on your skin.
I also love that the Newport Home hand soap is so moisturizing. For those with dry skin, it’s an excellent option and on top of that, it’ll leave your hands feeling very clean.
But this soap oddly comes in a glass bottle which is a little heavy and comes with a breakage risk. That said, the bottle is refillable so that’s certainly a plus.
14. Dove Hand Wash – Best Moisturizing Hand Soap (For Dry Skin)
Come on, you didn’t think I was going to give the title of best hand soap for dry skin to anything else, did you? Dove has long been known for its ability to soothe and soften the hands and this formula is no different. With added moisturizer, it’s a must for dry hands.
It does a great job of cleaning too and will leave your hands free from bacteria. The scent is one of the most recognizable on this list but while it is pleasant, it’s not the most long lasting.
15. Hand in Hand Soap
Bar soap lovers are spoiled for choice by Hand in Hand since these soaps come in such a wide range of scents. This mixed pack would make a perfect gift and comes with different soaps for different skin needs.
The soap will leave the hands feeling fresh and clean. Oh and I should mention that there are no nasty ingredients like parabens which is even better news for your skin. However, you’d think that because it contains cocoa butter the Hand in Hand soap would be super moisturizing, but it isn’t. This one can leave the hands feeling a little dry, which is a shame since the scents are so compelling.
16. Essenza Hand Soap
Another perfect choice for people who want a naturally nourishing hand soap, Essenza offers us this lovely citrus basil scented cleanser. There are no parabens and the soap contains natural moisturizing ingredients like shea butter to keep the hands super soft.
The scent is delicate yet lingers for a very long time so it’s not too overpowering but you will notice it. However, this soap has a strange texture that feels a little weird. If you’re sensitive to things like that, it may be better to stick with something like Molten Brown that has a luxurious and enjoyable texture.
17. Greenerways Antibacterial Hand Soap – Best Smelling Antibacterial Hand Soap
Making sure that your hands are completely clean is a must when choosing hand soap. So I was very encouraged to discover the Greenerways Antibacterial hand soap which does an amazing job at killing up to 99.99% of bacteria.
Not only this but the soap has a vegan formula so is suitable for everyone and has a lovely light lavender scent that lasts well.
While there aren’t any nasty ingredients, some of the chemicals such as benzalkonium chloride could be irritating if you have sensitive skin. And that’s despite the fact that this contains aloe vera to keep the hands nourished and soft.
18. Gelo Hand Soap
One of the biggest attractions of Gelo soap is that you can buy a bottle and they claim it will last for life as you buy the refill pods. The pods are mixed with water so one of the obvious downsides is that you have to get the ratio right.
But when you do, this is a wonderfully cleansing soap that contains moisturizing ingredients so your hands feel super soft. It’s also got essential oils that rejuvenate the skin and the aroma is fresh and lasts a very long time.
19. Dr. Bronner’s Hand Soap
The bar soap that comes in this peppermint gift set is perfect for everyday use. Not only does it have a very invigorating and fresh scent that lasts, the soap lathers up beautifully so you get a really luxurious experience.
However, the scent that is left behind isn’t quite what you would expect and smells much less like peppermint and more like something that one can’t quite describe. That said, the soap will leave your hands feeling utterly clean so it’s great if you regularly handle food.
20. MyKirei By KAO Flower Stamp Hand Soap
It’s super cute, OK so I had to include it. When you push the plunger, a flower-shaped blob of soap comes out and that caught my attention right off the bat. But on top of this, the Flower Stamp hand soap is vegan friendly and dermatologically tested so you can be sure it’ll be kind to your skin.
It’s packed with natural ingredients like yuzu and Vitamin C and leaves the hands feeling clean, fresh, and nourished. While the scent is pretty and delicate, it lasts very well. But the soap lets you down a bit if you have dry skin as it isn’t the most moisturizing product I’ve checked out.
Fragrance Review is dedicated to providing expert opinions, information on trends and the latest product releases from major brands in the fragrance industry. We are passionate about making sure you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing your new fragrance. Read more about us here.