I have a confession to make: Up until very recently, I didn’t really understand the appeal of perfumed body lotions. Scent and layering were two words that I never uttered together let alone understood the appeal of. I would spritz perfume on in a slapdash kind of hurry and then be on my merry way. But now, I’m obsessed.
To me, the holy trinity of layering is shower gel, body cream and an eau de parfum or, if you’re fancy, a lotion, perfume and then a dapple of perfume oil on your pulse points—layering either of these ways amplifies all the notes and helps your scent to linger all day. Ever since I’ve started layering my scents, not only have they lasted longer, but the fragrance seems to come alive more as the notes explode together and mesh with the warmth of my skin.
It’s key to note, though, that not all perfumed body lotions, oils and shower gels that come in a range with a scent are up to scratch. Many offer the scent but are awful at the moisturising part with super-high alcohol content leaving your skin feeling drier than before you rubbed it in.
The picks below are the cream of the crop, offering a luxe, long-lasting scent while leaving your skin supple and soft.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Body Cream
This cult scent is a huge fan favourite for good reason. The combination of rich cedarwood, spicy saffron and floral jasmine is a winner for adding warmth to the cosier months. Whether you already have the Baccarat Rouge 540 eau de parfum or use another woody pick to layer over, this will linger on your skin for the whole day.
Byredo Bal d'Afrique Body Lotion
Bal d’Afrique is a stunning, warm fragrance with a gentle woodiness, and this lotion amplifies that. It’s smooth to apply and sinks in so quickly, so it can be worked into the skin in a rush pre-commute. Trust me—I’ve done it.
Neom Organics Great Day Magnesium Body Butter
This is the heaviest-duty moisturiser in the lightest formula containing shea butter, aloe vera, mango seed butter and coconut oil. The Great Day scent in the range scent is strong and uplifting with mint and mandarin combining for a fragrant pick-me-up. If you opt for citrus scents, this will layer underneath perfectly.
Byredo Blanche Body Cream
The undisputed best feeling in the world is getting into a bed with soft, freshly washed bedsheets, right? The scent Blanche from Byredo specifically evokes that feeling with notes like white rose, peony and musk. The body cream is incredibly moisturising thanks to the shea butter in the formula, so this is great for applying after a bath and before bed for that lingering clean feeling.
Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves a Body Lotion
There’s nothing worse than when you spray on your favourite scent only for it to disappear a few hours into your day. Think of the Jo Loves Body Lotions as scent anchors. They’re light but potent and make your skin feel soft and supple. Sidenote: The Jo Loves Eucalyptus and Cedar Woods Hand Lotion is the perfect desk-side pick-me-up scent.
Le Labo Thé Noir 29 Perfuming Body Lotion
I’ll admit this isn’t the richest-feeling lotion. It’s pretty liquidy, and you need a few pumps to do your arms and more to cover your legs. However, the vitamin A and E, aloe vera, coconut and olive oil do give the skin a supple feeling, and the scent potency is incredibly long-lasting, especially paired with the eau de parfum. I have jumpers that still smell of Thé Noir weeks later.
Diptyque Philosykos Hand & Body Gel
I’m averse to recommending body wash to scent-layer, as I’ve found that there aren’t many that hold their smell enough to boost the fragrance it’s paired with; not in the way many body lotions do. But I put this one on the list, as it ticks all boxes the surrounding lotions do. The formula isn’t drying, and the scent fills your shower and truly engulfs your skin.
Ouai Body Crème
Ouai might be on your radar for excellent haircare, but the scents in its bodycare line are also pretty sublime. While the scent used in this body cream is yet to be formulated into a fragrance, the warm floral scent will pair with any spritz with notes of citrus, rose or white musk.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
Summer, beaches, cocktails, glowy tans… This is what the scent of this sumptuous body cream evokes. It’s highly nourishing with cupuaçu butter and Brazilian nut oil, and the fragrance is perfect for sweet scent lovers with notes of almond, vanilla and salted caramel and lashings of sandalwood.