While we’re working from home and staying in as much as possible, we find ourselves reaching for the small luxuries we can afford. Instead of splurging on fancy meals in Michelin restaurants or snapping up the latest “it” bag, we’ve been indulging in luxury hand washes. Here are the ones that are worth pampering yourself with.
BYREDO SUEDE HAND WASH
$70 (450ml), from escentials.com
Anything from Byredo is instantly cool and worthy of all our homes. But Byredo’s also on the expensive side; which is why you’ll want to make this hand wash really last. Just a small amount is needed for a good lather and to make your hands smelling incredible. The “Suede” scent is a soft amber bouquet with notes of pear, bergamot and fresh aldehydes. We love the clear, matte bottle as well that reminds us not to use too much at a time.
Above: Lather with the Byredo Suede Hand wash
L’OCCITANE SHEA VERBENA & LAVENDER LIQUID SOAP
$42 each (500ml), from sg.loccitane.com
Mom would approve of anything from L’Occitane, especially these liquid soaps that can be used for the whole body. Verbena is a fruity and citrusy scent that uplifts your mood, while Lavender is light and fresh, and very calming. Both soaps contain shea extract that softens the skin and doesn’t dry it out, which makes this a great hand wash for frequent use.
Above: a decent Lather with the L’occitane liquid soap
AESOP REVERENCE AROMATIQUE HAND WASH
$53 (500ml), from aesop.com
Everybody loves Aesop’s iconic hand wash. It’s one of those toiletries that you’ll definitely use when you see it in a restaurant or hotel bathroom. It’s an aromatic blend using botanical extracts and there’s finely milled Pumice that gently exfoliates the skin while cleansing it; resulting in smooth and refreshed hands. The dominant note here is the Mandarin Rind and it’s mood enhancing while not being overpowering.
Above: full Lather with Aesop’s resurrection Aromatique hand wash
GROWN ALCHEMIST HAND WASH
$40 (500ml), from net-a-porter.com
Grown Alchemist is often compared to Aesop because of the similarities in their bottle packaging, and even their scents. This formula uses coconut oil and fennel seed to remove dirt, and cold pressed Sweet Orange Oil and Almond Oil to moisturise and soothe skin. The notes of Cedarwood and Sage are more pronounced in this formula and it smells woodier than the Aesop one.
Above: Grown Alchemist has the least amount of lather, if that’s what you like
LE LABO HAND SOAP HINOKI
$58 (500ml) / $33 (250ml), from Le Labo Takashimaya S.C. #B1-31
Le Labo is one of those cult brands that you chance upon when you explore the side streets of New York (that’s how I discovered it), and there’s now a standalone store in Takashimaya that stocks this marvellous hand soap. The formula contains Sea Buckthorn (an antioxidant), Rosemary Leaf (that’s soothing) and Sugar Cane (for cleansing). The texture is rich and thick, and only a very small amount is needed for a single hand wash. The scent is the strongest and most lasting of all the hand washes featured here (and also the most masculine scent); it is inspired by the Buddhist temples of Mount Koya in Japan, and carry the natural and mesmerising scent of the hinoki trees from the surrounding forest. While there’s no online store for this at the moment, you can order it for home delivery via WhatsApp at +65 89401126.
Above: Le Labo has one of the “thickest” textures of all the hand soaps featured here
MALIN+GOETZ BERGAMOT HAND AND BODY WASH
$39 (250ml), from sephora.sg
This foaming cleansing gel has the thickest texture of all the hand washes here. The formula is also gentle on the skin, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. The bergamot scent is also universally pleasing. If you really want to indulge, run it under a bath for a foamy soak.
Above: Malin+Goetz has the “thickest” hand wash of all the ones featured here
JO MALONE LONDON ENGLISH PEAR & FREESIA BODY & HAND WASH
$75 (250ml), from sephora.sg
This is the most expensive hand wash of the lot, and for good reason — the brand’s signature English Pear & Freesia scent is hard to replicate and beat; the perfume sells out frequently and this hand and body wash version gently scents the skin with the popular fragrance. It smells like just-ripe pears wrapped in a bouquet of white freesias, and with a base of amber, patchouli and woods. Your hands and bathroom will smell like a high-end showroom. The product is also packaged in a very pretty box, which also makes it a great gift for impressing someone that’s hard to impress.
Above: minimal Lather with Jo Malone’s Hand wash