Imagine you’re at a chic hotel, having a martini at the bar, or maybe you’re jet-lagged in that sort of nice, time-for-a-nap way, waiting for your club sandwich to arrive by the pool. You walk into the beautifully designed bathroom off the lobby to wash your hands, lather them up with a few pumps of soap that smells like herbs and money, and dry them with a square of freshly pressed linen before heading back out. Your hands are so soft, so fresh and fragrant, that it’s a struggle not to sniff your fingers in public like some kind of tragic creep.
In an attempt to make the most basic form of hygiene feel like less of a chore, I’ve been channeling some of that Fancy Hotel Energy into a life spent mostly at home (while daydreaming about all the places I’ll eventually go). I’ve dabbled in Aesop’s scrubs and Le Labo’s woodsy aromas, tried almond-scented bars from an ancient Italian apothecary, and invested in Byredo’s elegant pump bottles. But one brand helps maintain the illusion best (perhaps because they’ve been stocking the sinks of some of the best hotels in the world for decades): Molton Brown.
The 50-year-old English company makes liquid soaps in a kaleidoscope of colors and scents, from Rhubarb and Rose to Cypress and Sea Fennel, all of which leave your hands soft, clean, and exquisitely perfumed. My personal favorite is the Lime and Patchouli, which is tinted a delicate shade of green and also contains notes of eucalyptus, cardamom, and cedar.
And in an age of hyper-minimalism and sans serif fonts, there’s also something so fabulously old-school about the bottle’s silver cap and lettering.
Until the next time I check into a nice hotel somewhere far away, this fabulous hand soap is a drop of transportive luxury—one of those little things that elevates the mundane into something worth daydreaming about.