Raise your hand if you’ve ever been walking behind someone in public and they smell so good, you feel compelled to ask them what they’re wearing? I personally never hesitate to ask—maybe it’s a beauty editor thing, but it’s a compliment after all!—and I’m surprised when the answer is often body lotion rather than perfume. These eight body creams, butters and lotions get rave reviews for their gourmand scents, and though a couple are seasonal, the majority have been topping best-smelling lists for years.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream ($48)
This body cream has become one of the most famous for its irresistible signature scent that put the brand on the map: Cheirosa ’62, a scrumptious mix of pistachio, salted caramel and vanilla. The firming formula is also a winner, as it helps smooth skin with caffeine-rich guaraná, cupuaçu butter and Brazil nut oil, and leaves behind a subtle, pretty sheen.
FarmHouse Fresh Marshmallow Melt Shea Butter for Body ($31)
If you’re not familiar with FarmHouseFresh and you love scented body products, take a few minutes to peruse the site and I promise you’ll want everything. This rich, shea butter–infused cream is great for dry skin and has a super yummy scent thanks to a blend of marshmallow, sandalwood and tonka bean, which come from natural ingredients.
The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Whipped Body Butter ($22)
New for the fall season is this vegan, whipped body butter from The Body Shop that smells like pumpkin pie drizzled with vanilla caramel. It’s so cozy, and applying it after my shower on damp skin, and breathing in the scent as I relax before bed is such a treat. Plus, both key ingredients—shea butter and babassu oil—are Community Fair Trade and ultra-nourishing.
Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion ($20)
When I first smelled this body lotion, I was hooked. It smells like an almond cookie, but not in an overly sweet, headache kind of way. Somehow the texture is rich yet quick to absorb, which I always appreciate with body moisturizers, and it’s packed with all-star ingredients: plant oils and butters, squalane, amino acids, ceramides, and sodium PCA.
Bath & Body Works Vanilla Mocha Martini Daily Nourishing Body Lotion ($15.50)
Espresso martinis are all the rage right now, and this body lotion serves one straight up. It smells like sweet, creamy coffee—the after-dinner adult version; not a boring morning cup of joe—with notes of cappuccino, vanilla orchid and white tonka bean. It also provides 24 hours of moisture with shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E, and it most definitely takes the place of perfume.
Laura Mercier Ambre Vanillé Soufflé Body Crème ($72)
Luxurious and decadent, this whipped, lightweight cream has an addictive quality to it, and I know several people who have been buying this for years and consider it one of their signature scents. The fragrance is a mix of amber, vanilla, almond, brown sugar and sandalwood with a hint of tangerine and tiger orchid to balance everything out, and the formula makes my skin feel like silk.
tarte Sugar Rush Cake Butter Whipped Body Butter ($28)
If you like candy-sweet, cake-like scents that linger on your skin, this body butter is for you. The triple-whipped texture is fluffy and lightweight, yet feels rich and moisturizing on your skin. Shea butter and a mix of oils—macadamia, orange peel oil and sweet almond—pamper parched skin for a baby-soft feel.
NATIVE Coconut & Vanilla Body Lotion ($11)
Along with sweet vanilla and coconut, I also get a whiff of maple syrup in this hydrating lotion, which is made with moisturizing glycerin, aloe, and squalane from sugarcane for oh-so soft skin.
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