We Tested 30 Hand Soaps to find the best of the best!

March 22, 2021

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It’s the great spring soap experiment! We bought 30 different hand soaps (a lot of them recommended by you) and put them to the test. I love a beautiful hand soap. I think it can really enhance the look of a room, but also, there’s nothing better than being complimented on the smell of a hand soap. Is that weird? I’ve been known to invest in a really beautiful bottle of soap and refill it with a more budget-friendly or better smelling soap once it runs out. So we set-up a camera and put our sniffers to work. This is one of the more fun parts of the what we do – spending time with Chris, just chatting about something as light-hearted as soap smells. It’s a different kind of spring cleaning. Enjoy!

Top 10 Overall!

Lightwell Co. Tobacco & Bay LeafOuai, Cedar, Savon de Marseille Karite SheaLaboratorio OlfattivoSkandinavisk Fjord, Lightwell Co. No.6, Aesop, Lightwell Co. Cashmere & Fig, Mrs. Meyer’s Rainwater

Aside from our top 10 overall, we wanted to give out awards in other categories. Of course, these are just OUR opinion, but we feel confident about these!

Best Smelling

Lightwell Co. Tobacco & Bay Leaf $30

Prettiest Packaging

Compagnie de Provence Savon de Marseille Patchouli $32

Most Benefits

Aesop $39

Most Eco-Friendly

Simple Human $59

Best Budget

Mrs. Meyer’s Rainwater $3


Ouai $32

Just like anything in life, we all have different taste, and smell is not excluded from that. If you watched the video, you know that some soaps were not for us haha. But we understand that somebody might totally enjoy some of these scents and we are in full support of that. As the saying goes, “don’t yuck my yum,” and without further ado, here’s the 30 soaps we tried. Did your favorite soap make the list? If not, let us know and we’ll be sure to try it next time.


1. Mrs. Meyer’s: rainwater $3
2. Jr. Watkins: lemon $3
3. Puracy: lavender & vanilla $7
4. MOXE: vanilla almond $8
5. Hand Ritual: aloe, eucalyptus, lavender $13
6. Jeremiah Brent x Grove Co. $17
7. Savon Liquide De Marseille: jasmine $18
8. K. Hall: washed cotton $19
9. K. Hall: milk $19
10. Savon de Marseille Karite: shea butter $23
11. Le Labo: basil $23
12. Malin + Goetz Bergamot Hand + Body Wash $24
13. Milk & Honey: lavender tea tree $26
14. Tangentgc: cedar $28
15. Botaniculture Essential Lavender $28
16. Lightwell Co. No.6: sea salt, lemon peel, driftwood $28
17. Skandinavisk Fjord: orchards, wild berries, black currants, raspberry flowers $28
18. Mater: sage, rosemary, fir $29
19 .Lothantique Authentique: linen $30
20. Savon Liquide De Marseille: black tea $30
21. Lightwell Co.: cashmere & fig $30
22. Lightwell Co.: tobacco & bay leaf $30
23. Laboratorio Olfattivo: flowers, fruits and marine $32
24. Ouai: citrus, rose, magnolia, linden blossom $32
25. Compagnie de Provence Savon de Marseille: patchouli $32
26. Sevin London Marble Hand & Body Wash: citrus, bergamot, and clove $36
27. Grown Alchemist: andalwood and ylang ylang $37
28. Amass: lemon, ginger, grapefruit, lavender $38
29. Aesop: mandarin, rosemary, cedar $39
30. Simple Human Dispenser $59

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What do you think?

  1. Alyssa says:

    It looks #19 actually takes me to #20. Just a heads up :) I would love #19 link!

  2. Claire says:

    Definitely need to try the Ouai soap! My BFF splurges on Jo Malone hand soap and it makes such a difference :)

  3. Amy says:

    I wish you would focus on bar soaps instead–the ones that come packaged in compostable paper wrappers. There are lots of lovely scents out there with clean ingredients–and no plastic bottles or packaging.

  4. Cristalia Garcia says:

    You need to try Trader Joes’ options. So good.

  5. Ali says:

    Hi CLJ ! Loved this post. So many great options for hand soaps. Thanks for sharing your research. I can’t wait to try a new brand of hand soap for my home! Quick question how will you decide what to keep and pack and what to sell, gift or donate when it comes to all the items in your home? I remember your last home the buyer wanted to buy a lot of your furniture. You curate such amazing pieces for the home I bet your next buyer will request some of your furniture and decor. How do you process these type of decisions?

    • Julia says:

      That’s such a great decision and probably deserves its own post. But since we know what our next home is, we can easily see what will transfer and what won’t. But we for sure still want to purge a bunch before moving so we’ll have to share that process as we go.

  6. Lacy Ellsworth says:

    I’ve used Dr. Bronners soap for years. It takes takes two tablespoons in a foam soap dispenser filled with water. It’s not fancy, but man is it cheap (I think less than $.75 a bottle) and the ingredients are clean. It does come in quite a few scents too.

  7. Alia says:

    You didn’t try my fave, Method Sea Minerals! I too love a hand soap compliment and I’ve gotten them with this one.

  8. Sam says:

    Love that bathroom and all the soap suggestions but right now I’m obsessing over your sneakers. You wouldn’t have a link to them, would you? Thank you!

  9. Rebecca says:

    Great review! Can’t wait to try them! :)

  10. Maha says:

    I just found a new soap and household cleaner company called Blueland. They send you high quality reusable bottles that you refill with water and dissolvable tablets. I just started using the hand soap, and they come with nice glass bottles and nicely scented soap tablets. The company’s goal is to reduce plastic waste. I have been happy with our soap and impressed with the business concept.

    • Kristyn says:

      I love Blueland. The scents are great and it doesn’t dry out my hands as much as other brands (especially helpful now that I’m constantly washing my hands). I use all of their cleaning products.

      • Jocelyn Batko Richgels says:

        I too have used Blueland products. I just wish the hand soaps made just a bit more soap.

  11. Jeanna says:

    Very entertaining! I wish you had gone further and used them all, and rated them on how moisturizing/ bubbly, etc. your favorite 10 were :)

  12. Kristy says:

    If you like the scent of tobacco, try to find that in your fragrance search! I’ve been loving Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille. :)

  13. Chelsey says:

    I bought the Murchison Hume hand soaps for the bottles, very pretty and substantial… and I refill them with Method’s Sweet Water – you can buy it in the big refill bags. I did think the Murchison Hume soap was really nice, I just couldn’t justify spending so much $ on soap. The Method soaps are environmentally friendly and do well for us, they have a nice scent too!

  14. saba KHAN says:

    Also caldrea or caldera soaps are the most exquisite

  15. Laurel says:

    I decided during this past year that I want to just pick one hand soap and one scent and only buy that. The winner for us has been Raw Sugar Moisture Loving Hand Wash in the avocado + cactus pear scent. Light and fresh scent and very moisturizing! As a chronic over hand washer it has been great for me.

  16. Courtney says:

    This was surprisingly fun to watch! Aesop. “‘s fables….” That’s something I would say and then nobody would laugh at me. I’m with you, Chris! You’re clever. :)
    My three year old must have been paying close attention. He just opened a jar of chocolate chips sitting on the counter and took a big whiff. “Gracious! This smells terrible!” he lisped. Hahaha

  17. Melissa says:

    I’m on a kick with the various Trader Joe’s soaps! Love their smells!! Sometimes I decant them and sometimes I don’t – depends on how lazy I’m being.

  18. Saba says:

    I love the new line of simply hand soaps from target especially the “smells like a meadow “Every one complimented on the beautiful smell

  19. Sabrina says:

    I used to get terrible excema on my hands…from too much hand washing!!! Being a SAHM + at-home daycare provider meant I was washing my hands constantly. Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap literally saved my hands! It is so moisturizing and keeps my excema at bay. The rainwater scent is my favorite because it is such a subtle scent.

  20. Kim says:

    I got a big kick out of this. You guys are too funny ????. Thanks for the reviews!

  21. Jen says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t offer anything from Bath and Body Works??

  22. Jillian says:

    I love Mrs. Meyer’s Radish, but it is SO hard to find that scent!

  23. Aly says:

    I’ve tried the Hand Ritual — but the Coconut + Sandalwood and it’s nice! It’s a big bottle too so a good deal for a cute label / good smell.

  24. Veronica says:

    Love Nest Grapefruit handsoap makes washing hands feel like a treat because of the lovely scent.

  25. Courtney says:

    My favorite hand soap didn’t make the list. Its from Trader Joe’s so its not able to be a commissionable link. It’s Trader Jacques Orange Blossom Honey. Not a super aesthetic friendly packaging but I pour it into a clear glass soap bottle. I love the amber color and it smells amazing! I think its like $4.

  26. Sarah C says:

    I enjoyed the descriptions of the ones y’all didn’t like. :D And y’all were right; Ouai IS pronounced “way.”

  27. Susie says:

    I can’t believe anyone would pay anything over 10 bucks for hand soap. Crazy!

    • Allison says:

      I can see that. For me, I splurge on soaps for the master and guest bath (i love Milk + Honey and Aesop) because they also look beautiful and I just feel like it’s something extra special for guests! I use my cheaper soaps for my refillable glass amber bottle in the kitchen. It’s kind of funny but I got into them because a friend had some in her bathroom and I always just thought it was so nice that I wanted to do the same.

    • Jocelyn Batko Richgels says:

      I was also disappointed to see only a few soaps under $10. I can’t understand spending that much on soap, even if I have the disposable income to do it. To each her own of course. My favorite scent is Softsoap Wild Basil and Lime, more of their version of high end soap. But it seems they don’t make it anymore. I had so many people start buying it after they used it at my home.

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