"You smell amazing” has to be one of the best compliments to receive, but what if we told you that this coveted recognition doesn’t always have to be the result of an expensive perfume?
While you may think of a scented body lotion as an afterthought, something to quickly apply in a moment and forget about, we think they deserve more of a moment. Not only are lotions one of the easiest and long-lasting ways to fragrance your body, but they can also add instant luxury to your everyday routine.
So, to help you find some of the most beautifully scented options, we’ve taken our time to cherry-pick the very best. We’re not talking over-powering lavender creams that leave you sticky. No, no. The lotions in our line-up are silky, lightweight, and fragranced just as delicately as perfume. They’re so addictive, in fact, you’re sure to be caught admiring your own scent throughout the day.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Body Cream
Blend of hydrating and exfoliating ingredients
Leaves skin glowing
Watermelon is a polarizing scent
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon skincare range is one of our favorites, and this body cream smells just as delectable. It’s inspired by the Korean tradition of rubbing watermelon rind onto the skin to soothe irritation, so it’s formulated with watermelon seed butter, watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and exfoliating AHA. While luscious, it’s not greasy or sticky, so you can slip on your clothes or pajamas right after applying it.
Price at time of publish: $26
Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Best for: Hydrating and leaving the skin glowing | Size: 200ml
Flamingo Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Contains squalene for long-lasting hydration and exfoliating papaya
Several other complimentary products for a long-lasting scent
Hard to remove all lotion out of the tube
Fragranced with notes of vetiver and bergamot, this daily lotion will leave you smelling like you’ve just stepped out of the spa. Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s also formulated with squalene to effectively hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours, and white willow bark and papaya to gently exfoliate. You’ll smell as good as you look.
Price at time of publish: $8
Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Best for: Hydrating and exfoliating | Size: 10 fl.oz
Best With Perfume Match
Byredo Gypsy Water Body Lotion
Has complimentary perfume
Gentle on skin
If you’re addicted to Byredo’s Gypsy Water perfume, have you ever considered enjoying it as a body lotion? Believe us when we say you don’t know what you’re missing. Fragranced as delicately as the perfume, it blends notes of pine needle, sandalwood, lemon, vanilla, and bergamot to transport your senses to late-fall forests and campfires. It also hydrates the skin with high-quality raw ingredients such as vitamin E.
Price at time of publish: $90
Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Best for: Matching with your favorite perfume | Size: 225ml
diptyque Fresh Body Lotion
Can be worn as an alternative to perfume
Works well with various skin types
Can feel like too much of a luxury purchase to justify everyday use
We’re hard-pressed to find many fragrances we like as much as Diptyque, and its body lotions are a gorgeous way to enjoy them. Suitable for all skin types, the brand’s ‘Fresh’ lotion is infused with moisturizing ingredients such as sweet almond oil and macadamia nut oil while leaving behind that signature Diptyque fragrance with orange blossom water.
Price at time of publish: $70
Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Best for: Long-lasting fragrance | Size: 8.4 fl. oz
Best for Firming
Saltair Pink Beach Body Lotion
Fragrance is reminiscent of vacation
Great value for the price
Has complimentary body wash
Some reviewers note it’s not hydrating enough for very dry and mature skin types
Saltair has so many gorgeous body lotions to choose from, but Pink Beach transports us straight to a tropical island with notes of coconut, almond blossom, and vanilla. While it smells heavenly, it also helps to leave the skin softer and more supple with murumuru seed butter, allantoin, and coconut oil. Add a little (or a lot) and enjoy its fast-absorbing, intensely hydrating texture.
Price at time of publish: $14
Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Best for: Firming and improving suppleness | Size: 14 fl. oz
Best for Boosting Circulation
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
Ideal for smoothing areas of skin with cellulite
Ultra creamy formula
Not rich enough for dry winter skin
While this cult cream may be named after the Brazilian posteriors that inspired it, it’s designed to benefit the skin all over the body with its key ingredient, guarana¡. This native Amazonian plant is a potent form of caffeine that helps to stimulate circulation making it especially great for bottoms, thighs, and tummies. Your skin will be left feeling smooth and supple, not to mention scented with the brand’s signature sweet and nutty fragrance.
Price at time of publish: $28
Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Best for: Improving circulation | Size: 75ml
Best for Long-Lasting Hydration
Kora Organics Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
Contains certified organic botanical ingredients
Not for very dry skin
Packed with certified organic botanicals, this hand and body lotion is as kind to the planet as it is to your skin. It comprises antioxidant-rich microalgae and noni to soften the skin and deeply moisturizing ceramides to provide long-lasting hydration. It also smells delectable with a rose, geranium, and basil fragrance.
Price at time of publish: $55
Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Best for: Long-lasting hydration and organic ingredients | Size: 10.14 fl.oz
Moroccanoil Body Lotion
Has six Mediterranean-inspired scents
Formulated with blend of moisturizing oils
Reviewers say the fragrance fades quickly so you need to re-apply
If your skin is in need of a good dose of hydration, but you don’t like the sticky, heavy feeling of some lotions, then may we suggest this one from Moroccanoil? While it’s weightless and fast absorbing, it’s not short of seriously moisturizing ingredients such as argan, Tsubaki, and evening primrose oils. Aloe leaf extract also helps to soften and smooth the skin.
Price at time of publish: $28
Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Best for: Lightweight yet intensely hydrating texture | Size: 12.2 fl.oz
Best Long-Lasting Fragrance
Philosophy Pure Grace Body Lotion
Made with vitamin E and aloe for added moisture
Some reviewers note that the fragrance isn’t as strong as it used to be
There’s nothing better than that freshly showered feeling, and this hydrating lotion helps it linger for longer. It does this with a signature fragrance that marries water lily, leafy greens, and frosted musk alongside hydrating vitamin E and natural extracts that condition the skin. Some reviewers do note that the fragrance isn’t as strong as it used to be, but we don't think this is a deal breaker.
Price at time of publish: $45
Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Best for: Fresh and hydrating texture | Size: 16 fl.oz
Best for Gifting
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Body & Hand Lotion
Can be paired with the matching fragrance
Jo Malone’s skincare isn’t cruelty-free yet
Jo Malone’s fragrances are instantly recognizable, and this lotion allows you to enjoy one of its most popular all day long. It features delicate notes of pomegranate, pink pepper, and Casablanca lily and uses coconut oil to intensely hydrate the skin. Massage it onto your body after a morning shower, and leave it on your desk to moisturize your hands throughout the day. Jo Malone’s signature packaging also makes it the chicest gift!
Price at time of publish: $65
Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Best for: Using on the hands and body | Size: 8.4 fl.oz
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Pink Body Cream is our favorite body lotion for bringing a taste of paradise to everyday life. It smells great and is packed full of skin-loving ingredients that absorb quickly, leaving your skin hydrated in no time. For doubling down on a cult perfume, we don’t think you can beat Byredo Gypsy Water Body Lotion. Lather it on before a date or dinner to ensure you smell incredible all night long.
What to Look for in Scented Lotions
Body lotions are usually contained in a pump bottle or a jar. Generally speaking, a pump keeps the contents more hygienic as you don’t have to dip your fingers into it every time you use it. Pump bottles also don’t expose the lotion to the air, which can degrade some ingredients. On the other hand, jars make it far easier to scoop out every last bit of lotion, meaning less waste.
If your skin is very dry, look for ingredients such as glycerin, urea, and hyaluronic acid in a scented lotion. These are types of humectants that absorb quickly and keep moisture locked into the skin–without making the lotion stick to your clothes or pajamas. Natural ingredients like almond and macadamia nut oils are also amazing sources of moisture that you’ll find in many lotions. Acids such as glycolic and salicylic, meanwhile, (which you can find in Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C Glycolic Body Lotion) will also add an exfoliating element to a lotion, revealing glowing, smoother skin. They’re also particularly good for using on rough patches of skin and improving conditions such as keratosis pilaris on the back of arms.
How often should I apply a scented lotion?
There are no rules to how often you should apply a body lotion, but for best results, apply yours straight after coming out of the shower or bath. If you slather it on while the skin is still a little damp, it will help to lock in moisture and make the most of the humectants within it.
What are the benefits of a scented lotion?
Scented lotions are a nice way of fragrancing your skin and adding a luxurious element to your routine. While they are by no means essential, they can bring a fresh feel to your skin after your morning shower or help you to wind down before bed in the evening. We see them as a gorgeous added extra, especially for date nights when you want to smell even more amazing than usual. They also come in a wide range of price points, so can be enjoyed by everyone. Just tread carefully if you have sensitive skin, as it may react to a stronger fragrance.
Why Trust Byrdie
Catherine Hufton is an experienced lifestyle journalist and has been a contributing writer for Byrdie since 2022. She digs deep into all things fashion and beauty to find the very best shopping must-haves—from the most effective collagen serums to the best drugstore makeup essentials.