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For some people, the hallmark of living like a grown-up is owning a nice couch. For others, it's investing in the best mattress money can buy. As for me? I am all about the small luxuries – spending what seems like an unnecessary amount of money on a bottle of hand wash.
It all started when Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash became the default lather of choice for sophisticated adults everywhere. As a frugal college student, I remember spotting these trademark brown bottles on my Instagram feed and coming across them in the bathrooms of fancy restaurants. They had imprinted on my young mind as a symbol of an aspirational lifestyle.
Sure enough, one of my earliest purchases after getting my first big girl paycheck was a bottle of Aesop hand wash (lucky for me, my then-roommate was happy to go halfsies on it). I still get flashbacks of feeling giddy — and firmly settled in adulthood — whenever I recognize the unique lavender and orange scent now.
Yes, it may seem a bit absurd to spend north of $30 on such an expendable product, but this is a form of everyday extravagance that makes me happy. And after all the endless hand scrubbing we've had to endure the last couple of years, I feel like more people are coming around to my way of seeing things. For all we put them through it's high time our hands get some much-deserved TLC in the form of fancy-smelling suds. Plus, these luxury hand soaps often come in beautiful packaging and with refillable options, making them a sustainable asset that will garner compliments from house guests for years to come.
Ahead, we have rounded up the prettiest and fanciest luxury hand soaps that smell like heaven if you are looking to venture outside of Aesop. They will make excellent splurges for a new apartment, a housewarming present — or just a special holiday treat for yourself.
Hailing from Portugal, Claus Porto was one of the first-ever bath and fragrance brands established in the country. The heritage brand’s colorfully packaged soaps are a highly coveted souvenir when people visit, but you can also travel vicariously to the beautiful destination via the Favorito hand soap, named after one of its signature scents. It consists of irresistible notes of tonka, musk, patchouli, and red berries.
It’s a promising sign that the hand wash is named Santal, sharing a name with one of our favorite perfumes, Le Labo’s Santal 33. Ingredients include squalene and avocado, which help keep your skin moisturized, while mimosa, vetiver, and ginger create an extra delicious and pleasing medley of smells. We are partial to the unique forest green bottle design, too.
This Scandinavian beauty brand is known for its excellent hair care range, but its hand wash is equally luscious. Expect the bright and clean aromas of jasmine and citrus will waft through the air as you use the soap then linger on your skin for hours. It's exactly how you want your hands to smell.
This is one of those products that we would want to purchase just for the stunning packaging alone. The bottle is made of recyclable material and will look totally chic on your bathroom sink. The scent smells just as indulgent as a designer fragrance, featuring notes of geranium, grapefruit, sage, hiba wood, and cypress. Your bathroom will smell like a bouquet of blossoms.
If you are looking for a handwash dispenser that will last you for years to come, this minimalist-chic hand wash is a great long-term buy. The refillable clay bottle is handmade in England, and the product inside – which smells of linden flowers, chamomile, and cedarwood – is just as sumptuous.
This gentle hand wash is a great option if you prefer something that smells super dreamy — but not too overpowering. The subtle notes of ylang-ylang and cedarwood give off five-star hotel lobby vibes, while shea butter, thyme oil, cotton extracts, and figs keep your hands soft and exfoliated. Finally, Vitamin E seals in the hydration.
Add this hand wash kit to your shopping cart if you are concerned about packaging waste. The bottle is made of durable hand-blown glass, and the set comes with three pouches of citrus-scented powder hand soap that turns into liquid. All you need to do is add water and you will end up with a detergent that is both kind to your skin and the environment.
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