Monday Question – Do You Love Scented Soaps And Other Bath Products?

I am back from a long absence, first in Italy, then in our country cottage and hope to share more about it all with you soon. Today let’s start with a Monday Question, I want to know:

Can you be enticed by scented products other than perfume too?

Do you use scented soaps, shower gels, lotions, hand creams etc.?

Do you worry about them clashing with your perfume of the day?

Do you coordinate them? Use the matching products if available?

Or are you only using unscented stuff?


My Answer:

I used to stick to unscented products, but lately I have embarked on a love affair with scented everything. The Diptyque line of body products (see my review of the body lotion here) is outstanding and I enjoy testing my way through the variety of products available. More of that at a later date…

When in Italy I visited the famous Santa Maria Novella pharmacy and fell for the Pasta di Mandorle hand cream which smells divinely of almonds and is very soothing and rich for dry hands (unfortunately it is so expensive 😦  )

As for the shower, I discovered a very affordable, no, outright cheap option in Italy (gotta counteract the SMN investment). A line called Le Petit Marseillais that offers affordable and lovely scented shower gels, soaps, body lotions and creams. I stocked up on the shower gels in Orange blossom, Almond and Milk as well as a few scented hand soaps for the whole family. I like the brand’s presentation and the performance of the products a lot. Of course it inevitably follows that it is not available here in Austria, as it seems to be the rule for stuff I like.

Are you familiar with the line?

Is Le Petit Marsellais available in your country?

What about you and your scented preferences aside from using perfume outright?

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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60 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Love Scented Soaps And Other Bath Products?

  1. AnnaT says:

    I am not a big fan of unscented stuff, but tend to use them in my morning shower to avoid nasty perfume accidents (unless I have the same/similar scent as perfume and shower gel). But the evenings are entirely different story… My favourite shower gels are Amouage Lyric and Ormonde Jayne Tolu. They don’t dry my skin and the scent is divine. Tolu is really potent too. Last night I used only a tiny bit and hy husband asked whether I was wearing perfume three hours later. Planning to get Honour and Ta’if next, but I really need to finish some bath products first. I am trying to cull my perfume shopping but seems like I am hauling bath& body products instead…

  2. LeSputnik says:

    Hello! Welcome back, I was awaiting your return!
    I used to be completely addicted to all body products declined from my perfume many years ago, but I guess it got too much (very strong body creams from Chanel for instance); and since I now love at least 15 perfumes, it would be too expensive (when it is available).
    I nevertheless play with essential oils and unscented body cream quite often, and always enjoy bath oils – which contrary to bath foam or salts doesn’t dry the skin.
    But I think these scented products make for excellent gifts – especially for people with a one love perfume in their life, it is the little something people will not buy themselves.
    As for Le Petit Marseillais, it is available in France, my native country, but not where I live, Netherland.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, LeSputnik, that is so kind of you!
      I agree that these products make excellent gifts, much easier to find the “right” thing that way.
      Speaking of Chanel, I find the body cream that is part of the Les Exclusifs very good since it matches well with many perfumes. Unfortunately the price is less ideal… but what else would one expect from Chanel. 🙂

  3. Ines says:

    Oh, I use Le Petit Marsellais as well. 🙂 love them.
    I’ve always enjoyed scented products (even before the perfume part of my life began) so I use them all the time. I mean, yes, I think about the possibility of them clashing with my perfume but only when I use creams and oils (I don’t think shower gels and soaps leave that much of a scented trail).
    The thing I worry about the most is hair products. As I use sth every day in order to force my short hair into some submission, those products have a strong smell and one that is close to where my perfume emanates from. So far, no luck in finding an unscented or lightly scented hair wax (if anyone know of any, please let me know).
    So, yes, I use them and love them and don’t worry much about clashing. 🙂

    I still haven’t gotten round to trying the hair mist by Chanel – that is one perfume product I’d love to have. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love that you use LPM as well, Ines!
      It is hard indeed to find good smelling hair products, the ever present apple scent is hard to escape. 😉
      I find the Phytologie line smells rather good, but I’m not sure they have styling products as well. Hopefully you get a good tip today.

  4. andrewsmells says:

    I recently had a similar topic on my blog started by a question about deodorant… Coincidence!
    I use cheap sanex shower gel, neutral deodorant only (sanex again), the most fragrant thing is probably herbal essences shampoo which I rotate with tresemme.
    I sometimes use Endymion shower gel because I love the smell.
    And all my hand soaps are the cheapest available.

  5. Sabine says:

    Welcome back, Birgit.
    There are a few scented products that I love and re-buy whenever needed, mainly the Blue Orchid oil from Clarins (a hydrating face oil with a divine smell, wish someone would make a perfume that smells like it) and an orange blossom moisturizer from Nuxe. Shower stuff is either Body shop or R&G, and because I’m in France right now I will look out for Le petiti Marseillais line later. Is it supermarket, pharmacy or own brand shops where you can find it? Hand soaps and hand creams I prefer with sublte or no scent, probably I have yet to find a hand cream that does the job AND smells good. And then there are the bath oils…I love them but because they are often ridiculously expensive I have started to make my own.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Sabine,
      you can find LPM in drugstores and large supermarkets in France I guess (it was that way in Italy at least).
      I don’t like scented things on my face, but I’ve heard many rave reviews about the Clarins oil.

  6. Mahesh says:

    Hi Birgit, hope you had a fantastic holiday in Italy. I was also away in India visiting my parents.

    As far as bath and body products go, I always go for unscented variety. Waitrose in the UK do very good unscented vegetarian soap and also a glycerine soap which I always stock up.

    I also use unscented sanex shower gel and for the deodorant use an unscented spray of alum crystal.

    Sometimes I do pour a few drops of sandalwood/myrrh/lavender/rose oil depending on my mood.

    That’s about it really.. guess I can only have so much of fragrances 🙂
    PS-i just realised at the airport duty free shops that guerlain vetiver is the only fragrance that I can tolerate even after I have sniffed 10 different fragrances.
    I also bought good quality mysore sandalwood oil from my neighbour in india who is into scented sticks and perfume business. It is so divine…

  7. Anka says:

    Good to have you back, Birgit, I hope you had a wonderful time and enjoyed to be offline!

    Normally I don’t use much scented bath and body products but I couldn’t resist to buy the Diptyque lotion…
    At the moment, I like to cut cucumbers for salad nearly every day because I am addicted to the smell. The salad actually doesn’t taste as good as the fresh cucumber slices smell.

  8. annemariec says:

    I’m all over the place with scented/unscented skin care and bath and body products. I don’t have a policy. I love scented soaps but try to use facial products with low or no scent. Otherwise I get sensory overload even before I step out of the bathroom in the morning. Their is a moisturizer by the Australian company Sukin which is mildly but deliciously scented with vanilla. Their rose hip oil pretty much unscented though.

    Have you tried facial oils Birgit? I’ve had mixed experiences. They are very on-trend at the moment, that’s for sure.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The one place I never ever want fragranced products is my face. I think it is unnecessarily irritating. I’m extremely happy with the Paula’s Choice products for the face, so no trendy stuff for me in that case. 🙂

  9. Lynley says:

    Hope you had a great time and look forward to hearing about it!
    I have LOTS. Some unscented for when I get eczmema, but I love scented shower gels, creams, dry oils etc. The first time my boyfriend showered at mine he asked where the other 15 women I shared a bathroom with were.. :-/ lol.
    Favourites include Amouage, Acqua di Parma, Annick Goutal but there’s Hermes, Marni, Bvlgari, Robert Piguet, Aesop, Mor, L’Occitane… most I have the matching perfumes for layering otherwise I use them for evening or when I don’t wear perfume. Just a little bit addicted.. 😉

  10. ringthing says:

    Nice to have you back, Birgit, I look forward to reading about your vacation! I’m always on a tight budget and prefer to use my resources for perfume rather than high end body products. I have an unscented lotion that I really like (Kiss My Face Olive and Aloe) and I love the scent of Dove soap but I think good scented shower gels are the ultimate in luxury and I am always hunting for them on sale.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, ringthing!
      That is a quite understandable budget decision. After all you can always make your own scented lotion by adding a few spritzes of your perfume to an unscented one.

  11. Hey there Birgit,
    Can’t wait to get all your holiday stories.
    I am a sucker for bath and shower products, also moisturisers. LOVE THEM. Currently loving Shalimar Bath & Shower Gel and Honour Shower Gel & Moisturiser. Always have Korres Japanese Rose in Gel & Moisturiser. Halle by Halle Berry is a great dirt cheap moisturiser, smells and feels lavish.
    Portia xx

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hey Portia!
      Ah, to shower with Shalimar – that must be quite an experience… love it!
      I must check out the Korres, thanks for the tip.

    • Alice says:

      I love the Korres Japanese Rose! I can’t quite pin down what it smells of, apart from rose – sometimes I think maybe plums? Also their tea/freesia one is good. Korres doesn’t appear much on the blogs, but some smell great, and I think they even have some nice EDTs. (I also love the DIptyque, but Korres is less expensive). Used to love the Petit Marseilles, and also Yves Rocher, ing the days when I travelled often to France, The French had lots of inexpensive but good body products.

      ..and welcome back, Birgit!

  12. anitathepianist says:

    Hi Birgit,
    I love to use soap and lotions that match my fragrances, but they are a bit hard to find in
    the states. Some of the nicest products I’ve ever used were the soap and body cream of
    “NU” by YSL. It was just fabulous, not only the scent, but the quality of the creamy lotion.
    and the black soap.
    Now that I’m getting older, my doctor recommends Eucerin Calming Lotion. It works quite well and helps my skin absorb fragrance better.

  13. Vanessa says:

    Hello again! Look forward to hearing what you got up to on your hols. Like Annemarie above, I am also ‘all over the place’ with my scented product MO. I have some shower gels I love – Bayliss & Harding Mandarin & Grapefruit, Jasper Conran Woman, The Sanctuary foaming mousse with orange oil, OJ Ta’if shower gel, and an oriental Champneys one. I do try not to clash with my ensuing perfume, though as Ines says, I don’t think much residue gets left behind, so I am not too hung up about it. Facial products I prefer unscented or with light fragrances like the wonderful toner from Liz Earle with calendula and geranium.

  14. Maria says:

    Hi Birgit, hope your holiday was sweet! I wanted to ask if you have tried 4711 shower gels? They are not available in my country. I have been looking them at webshops and rhubarb & clary sage is calling my name. They are also nicely priced which is a bonus for everyday use 🙂

  15. Martina says:

    Pasta di Mandorle is my Holy Grail.
    Wonderful scent and my hands are so soft and nice.
    I use it on a regular basis, every evening.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lovely to meet a fellow Pasta di Mandorle fan, it is truly an amazing cream. The one that comes close is the Baume Genereux by Diptyque, with even a similar smell, although the price is even worse. 😦
      I love my evening ritual of applying Pasta di Mandorle in bed as well.

  16. Martina says:

    Melograno Soap from SMN ist also fabulous.
    Wonderful scent and you get really soft skin.

  17. Suzanne says:

    Welcome back, Birgit! I haven’t been wearing many scented body creams lately, but I do think Amouage makes a fantastic body cream, as a perfumista sent me samples of both in “Lyric” and “Epic” and they are quite satiny and a great match to the perfume.

    Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel … oh gosh, how I wish I could get my hands on a bottle (well, I did see a bottle on Ebay some time ago, but it was way too pricey). The same perfumista friend sent me a sample of it, and I discovered that all the good things people were saying about it were absolutely true. It’s decadent yet somehow it doesn’t interfere with the smell of your perfume after you’re dry and out of the shower.

  18. Martina says:

    Wonderful and nicely scented hair care products from Vienna: ” Less is more”.

    I am in love with their products.

  19. Tatiana says:

    In general I use unscented body products. That said, if I could afford to, I would have lots of Amouage body creams. I have a few body creams from Frederic Malle that I like better than the perfumes. I use the Portrait of A Lady body cream when I want to wear the scent with a little less potency. Of course, we stayed in a Sofitel Hotel once and they had bath products by Lanvin that I adored and cannot find anywhere here in the U.S. 😦

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, thaks for bringing up the Malle creams, they look and smell amazing, if money were no object I would be all over them too. Especially Carnal Flower cream and the L’Eau d’Hiver lotion.

  20. maria says:

    Forgot to mention above that I am also very keen on trying the new Le Bain Hermes line. Currently I have Jour shower gel and like it very much, but I save it for days when I crave something special 😉

    Also interesting are the Atelier Cologne soaps!

  21. Cybele says:

    Hi, I have shared this before but I love Chanel5 soap and Aveda Caribbean Therapy (soap or shower gel), Acca Kappa White Moss soap, and some of Clarins’ body lotions. Other than that everything please unscented!

  22. Kandice says:

    Welcome back! I hope you had a great time. I love matching bath and body products. However, that gets so expensive that these days I mostly stay with lightly scented or unscented products. But there’s nothing like matching shower gel and moisturizer and perfume to feel really pampered!

  23. Jackie b says:

    I am enjoying all the answers here, and have taken notes. I do love lotions and soap, but my handmade soap is best for my skin and I can scent it with my favourite oils. I like Mor Marshmallow lotion (Australian) and I wear Epic Woman on my hands before bed.
    Also, have you tried the L’Erbolario range? I found it in Italy and it has a huge variety.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Yes, thanks for mentioning L’Erbolario, they have a very affordable and extensive range. My boys love the Mandorle scent which smells exactly like marzipan.

  24. cookie queen says:

    Nice to see you. I cannot bear scented body creams. I use scentless Vaseline Inrensive Body Lotion. It is fab. I like fragranced bath oils or bubbles if I don’t use a perfume afterwards. Amouage in the bath might be cool, I have yet to find out. However I usually throw in half a litre of milk and some olive oil. Makes for lovely skin. xxxxx

    • Olfactoria says:

      Nice to see you too, Val! How are the cookies?

      Do you get the Vaseline Lotion imported regularly? The bath tip sounds nice, I’m not sure about the smell of olive oil on the skin though… is it noticeable?

  25. Absolutely! They are a nice way to make your favourite perfume last longer! And they are also cheaper! 🙂 xx

  26. Figuier says:

    I love high end scented shower & bath products (Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte shower gel being a favourite) but have discovered that my skin does much better if I avoid sulfate-based cleaning products so am sticking to bar soap now. R&G of course does fantastic ones, and for an unscented version Aleppo soap (olive oil based) is gorgeous.

    The problem with soap of course is the build-up of soap scum on sink and bath, & the tedious task of trying to keep it at bay…

    Re. le Petit Marseillais – where I grew up it was widely available, not so much in the UK I don’t think. When I was little we used to use big blocks of their most basic solid soap for handwashing clothes.

  27. I love scented shave soaps and creams, and scented aftershaves. Most of these don’t last long enough to clash with my fragrance. But it is fun to match the scents so that they compliment each other. 🙂

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