The daily shower: it's something we all take part in. While some people see it simply as a necessary chore in a day full of necessary chores, others (like me) prefer to make bathing an experience. But you don't need some luxurious rainfall showerhead or a dozen or so steam nozzles to reach bathtime nirvana. One of the easiest ways to upgrade your shower or bath is with some irresistible-smelling body wash. A captivating fragrance can transform a mundane activity into a spa ritual.
There are dozens of finds at a wide variety of price points. I scoured the Internet, read hundreds of reviews, and drew from personal experience to bring you 17 of the best smelling body washes on the market that will make your shower pure bliss.
Our Top Picks
Jo Malone's luxury fragrances are in a league of their own, from their aromatherapy oils to their perfumes and colognes to this hand and body wash.
The fresh juiciness of the citrus is brought down to earth by the herbaceous, slightly peppery basil, which all rests on a wam, amber-like bed. The gel itself includes naturally derived glycerin and meadow seed oil that froths into a velvety foam.
For every Jo Malone-esque ultra luxe product I love, I feel it's only fair to feature one from the other end of the spectrum.
Dr. Bronner's castile soap is the only addition to this list that you could wash your floor with as well as your body. It is made from organic plant oils free from synthetic detergents or emulsifiers, and the peppermint fragrance is as refreshing as a polar plunge, without the cold.
Sol de Janeiro's Bom Dia Bright body wash not only smells like vacation, it's also skincare for your entire body! It contains AHAs and BHAs to brighten, tone, and even out your overall complexion, so sufferers of body acne, this one's for you.
With fragrance notes of black amber, warm vanilla woods, and musk that round out the plum, strawberry, and tropical fruits, this sulfate-free body wash is obsession-worthy.
For my money, a body wash doesn't get much more gourmand than the iconic Warm Vanilla Sugar from Bath and Body Works.
Sweet and creamy without being cloying, Warm Vanilla Sugar balances those yummy dessert notes with florals like jasmine and orchid while grounding them all in sandalwood. It's even enriched with vitamin E and aloe for a lather that nourishes and the bottle is made from recycled material!
This body wash from Weleda is an uplifting, intoxicating olfactory experience while also being ultra-hydrating for the skin. The sea buckthorn extract bursts with vitamins and the plant oils soothe and nourish. From a fragrance standpoint, it's all bright citrus like grapefruit, mandarin, and oranges sparkling above a creamy sugar base.
My older sister had the Body Shop White Musk eau de toilette growing up and to me, there was no more sophisticated fragrance.
Powdery, light, and delicate yet seductive, the body wash captures all the magic of that perfume in a vegan gel formula. Inside this 100% recycled plastic bottle is a sensual blend of cruelty-free musk, clean aldehydes, and comforting jasmine, rose, vanilla, and iris.
Speaking of florals, LA-based Flamingo Estate is an emerging brand for high-end personal care with a fresh-from-the-garden fragrances. It's another plant oil-based castile soap, but unlike the zippy mint of Dr. Bronner's, Flamingo Estate's is full of exotic night blooming jasmine, oil from hand-picked damask rose, Ionian bergamot, and pink peppercorns. They call it "the most beautiful fragrance we have ever made."
The Lemon Sage Soapy Suds Body Wash from Bliss is a bit of a legend. Launched in New York in the mid-'90s, it has steadily cultivated a cult following for its refreshing scent and silky lather. It's an excellent way to start the morning and will leave you feeling the definition of squeaky clean.
Aesop frequently tops roundups of this kind because their products just smell so darn sophisticated. The Citrus Melange Body Cleanser is a low-foaming, purifying gel made from botanical extracts like petitgrain (bitter orange), grapefruit rind, and lemon rind along with other sustainable, vegan ingredients.
I was recently sent a box stuffed full of Lifetherapy's best sellers, and what a treat it has been to make my way through it all! My favorite of their collection has to be the Grounded Body Wash and Bubbling Bath, which is a formula of coconut oil, shea butter, and vitamins E and B5.
I love the way it cleanses my skin without drying it out or leaving a residue, but my favorite thing about it is the fragrance. It is a dream of vanilla, fresh citrus, heliotrope, rose, and dry amber. It's light, sweet, and sexy and lingers pleasantly on my skin all day long.
At the heart of Moroccanoil products is argan oil, which is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins that hydrate and revitalize the skin. Their signature scent, or Fragrance Originale, is a surprising juxtaposition of spicy ambers, musk, and woods with fresh florals like magnolia. It's totally addictive and the Amazon reviews overflow with comments like "Best Shower Gel Ever" and "a treat for the skin and the senses."
Rainbath by Neutrogena has an aroma all its own. Earthy and fresh, meant to invoke a cleansing thunderstorm more than a dessert table or tropical smoothie, this body wash reminds me of the minimalist perfumes of the '90s in the best way. Plus, Neutrogena's formulas are dermatologist favorites so you know it's good for your skin.
Fur is on a mission to create body care products for all bodies, regardless of gender identity. The All Body oil wash is pH-balanced to keep you squeaky clean without stripping away the skin's natural oil barrier or disrupting your delicate microbiome.
It's a head-to-toe cleanser that's safe for the pubic region, sweat neutralizing, and gynecologist-approved. The light fragrance is naturally-derived and ingredients include sweet almond oil, castor seed oil, clary sage, lavender, and apricot kernel oil. Can you think of anything more heavenly?
Another winner for sensitive-skinned individuals is Maude's No. 1 Body Wash. It, too, is pH-balanced and free from all the synthetic ingredients that can irritate the skin. Unlike Fur's All Body cleanser, this body wash has a very intentional fragrance, and it is fabulous.
Warm, spicy, woody, and sweet, it features notes of medjool date, tonka bean, cedar leaf, clove, lemongrass, and amber. It is, by far, Maude's best seller, and the aroma is, as one reviewer put it, "perfect for the upcoming fall season."
Tree Hut is the brand to shop when you want to feel (and smell) like a kid again. Their Watermelon Foaming Gel Wash has gone viral on TikTok for its bursting-with-fruit fragrance of watermelon, raspberry, and lemon zest, with cotton candy coming through as a sweet surprise.
What sets this one apart is that it's infused with vegan collagen, which helps give the skin a plump glow.
Fresh and gender-neutral, with fragrance notes of pine needles, lemon, and sandalwood deepened with vanilla and bergamot, Gypsy Water by Byredo was inspired by the free, unbound spirit of the Romani people. This is a body wash that transforms your daily shower into a spa experience.
Of course, few body washes and shower gels smell better than those that are part of a luxury perfume's line of products. Coco Mademoiselle is sensual and feminine with vibrant, juicy orange on the top note, May rose and jasmine coming through the middle, and spicy patchouli and vetiver at its base.