Ready to know more about San Diego?


The Best Smelling Body Washes for Men (2022)

Body washes are one personal care item that can help us achieve a great scent as well as clean up after a hard day’s work
Best Body Washes

Best Body Washes

We all want to smell good. No, scratch that – we all want to smell amazing! No one wants to get out of the shower still reeking of sweat and dirt. The entire point of taking a shower is to cleanse the body, so we might as well smell fantastic afterward, right?


Body washes are one personal care item that can help us achieve a great scent as well as clean up after a hard day’s work. While some may think that body washes are all the same, they vary in different ways. Some body washes are gentle and target sensitive skin, while others lather up well. Still others provide an extra dose of fragrance that invigorates the senses and can keep us smelling great all day long.

What Is a Body Wash?

A body wash comes in liquid form and is usually administered by a pump or a squeeze bottle. Body washes do the main job of any soap in cleansing the skin, but many body washes include extra ingredients to help target specific skin conditions. While body wash can be used straight from the bottle and applied with the hand, it is better to use a physical exfoliator, like a washcloth, brush or loofah, to help lather and break up dead skin.

Body Wash vs. Shower Gel

We’ve all been at the store and reached for a bottle labeled either body wash or shower gel. They’re the same thing, right? Wrong! There is a significant difference between the two products. While shower gel is usually administered the same way as body wash, through a pump or squeeze bottle, shower gel has a thicker consistency with high concentrations of fragrance. Typically, shower gels are less moisturizing than body washes. 

Body Wash Ingredients

As educated consumers, all of us have become more aware of labels and the ingredient lists on products that we use every day. While some products have long lists of ingredients that we can’t even begin to pronounce, other brands stick to natural ingredients that provide benefits to the skin.

The Good Ingredients

As with any product, there are ingredients to look for when checking out the ingredient list on the back of the label.


Water is usually part of the equation when it comes to the best smelling body washes for men. The addition or lack of water directly affects the overall consistency of the product.


Creating foam is the prime responsibility of emulsifiers. Foam is the primary way that the body wash is spread over the skin so that we aren’t using half a bottle every time we wash. Common emulsifiers include beeswax, borax, carbomer, cetearyl alcohol and lecithin.


Some body washes include an added exfoliant, which provides a gritty texture to the product. Exfoliants are used to help break up the dead surface of the skin and to clean off stubborn dirt and grime. Microbeads, or small plastic pieces, have been pulled from products because of fish and wildlife concerns. However, many body washes include natural exfoliants like oats, sugar crystals or milk salt to provide a gritty texture. 


Cleansing is good, but it can dry out the skin. Adding hydration back into the skin is one of the reasons why we choose a body wash over shower gel. Using a body wash with added moisturizers helps hydrate the skin. Shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and lanolin are natural moisturizers used in many body washes.


Some body washes may include humectants. A humectant works as a moisturizer that draws water onto the surface of the skin. Synthetic humectants include butylene glycol, glycerin, urea, tremella extract, dicyanamide, sorbitol, sodium lactate and sodium PCA. Natural humectants are seaweed, honey, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and alpha hydroxy acid.


Many of us choose a body wash for its fragrance. This is why we often pop the top off of bottles in the store to check the scent of the product. Fragrance can positively or negatively affect the shower based on our personal preferences. Some men may choose a body wash that only includes natural scents, like lavender or mint, while others prefer a fragrance that is created chemically. 

The Bad Ingredients

As with any product, there are bad ingredients to know and steer clear of when choosing any kind of skin-care product.


While preservatives, also known as parabens, are used in the food industry to keep food from spoiling, the same is true for some body washes. Preservatives keep the product shelf-stable and free of growing bacteria, but they aren’t the best thing to add to our skin. The most common parabens used include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.


Some fragrances in body washes stem from a group of chemicals called phthalates. The most commonly used phthalate is diethyl phthalate (DEP). While the FDA states that it doesn’t pose any known risks to human health, it is something to be aware of. 


Triclosan is a powerful antibacterial agent that can cause issues in the endocrine system. The FDA banned the use of triclosan in 2016, but some body washes made internationally may still include this ingredient.

A Word About Surfactants

Sulfates, also known as surfactants, are those ingredients that help get rid of the dirt and oil on the skin. A sulfate is a sulfuric acid that creates a salt when mixed with another chemical. While many body washes include sulfates, there is some concern about the origin of sulfates because they are a petroleum-based product. The most common sulfates include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). 


Now that we understand the ingredients of body washes, it is up to each of us to decide what kind of products we want to use. While some of these best smelling body washes for men use all-natural ingredients and fragrances, others are manufactured using chemicals.

Best Smelling Body Washes for Men?


No matter what kind of body wash we choose, a great smelling body wash can help in many ways. An invigorating scent can help wake us up in the morning, while a soothing scent can help calm us down before bed. Either way, a lasting scent from a body wash can keep us smelling great all day (or night) and kick odor and dirt to the curb. Check out our top picks for the best smelling body washes for men this year.

1. Blu Atlas Body Wash

Enjoy the combination of green tea, aloe vera and coconut with the refreshing Blu Atlas Body Wash. This all-natural product features sugarcane to help exfoliate the skin. Green tea adds antioxidants, which help reduce puffiness and calm redness. Aloe leaf is a natural moisturizer that includes vitamins A, C and E as natural antioxidants. A gel created from coconut alcohol and caprylic acid softens and soothes skin.


Use the Blu Atlas Body Wash for an invigorating cleanse any day of the week. We love that this product uses all-natural ingredients and has a fresh, natural scent. There is no need to worry that any of the ingredients will be harmful to the body, making each shower session a breeze.

2. Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser

Wake up with the refreshing citrus scent of geranium leaf, bergamot and mandarin when you use the Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser. This item is well-loved for its unique blend of citrus that leaves us feeling fresh as well as clean. Glycerin, coco-betaine and citric acid work together to create a body wash that rids skin of dirt and sweat. This is an excellent option for men who want a low-foaming product that smells great. 


All Aesop products are vegan and use ingredients with proven records of safety and sustainability, making this a great choice for those of us who are environmentally conscious. The old-school glass bottle will make you feel like this is a prescription from a century ago that has stood the test of time. 

3. Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser

Enjoy the refreshing scent of rosemary and eucalyptus with the Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser. Get deep into every pore with this body wash that has natural antibacterial agents. The scent of this product is incredible, making it a top choice for many men. Juniper berry, eucalyptus and rosemary extract combine to create a fresh and calming fragrance. 


The Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser from Jack Black is alcohol-free, paraben-free and sulfate-free, so we have no qualms about using it regularly. We also love that it is dermatologist tested.

4. Brickell Men’s Invigorating Mint Body Wash

Enjoy the fresh scent of Brickell Men’s Invigorating Mint Body Wash every morning. This body wash features a purifying minty smell that isn’t overwhelming. Glycerin, aloe and jojoba oil clean and moisturize the body, while vitamin E and tea tree oil provide hydration and antimicrobial properties.


We like that this product is a natural blend of ingredients that won’t strip essential oils from the skin’s surface. Brickell Men’s Invigorating Mint Body Wash is ideal for men with sensitive skin who find other body washes too strong or irritating. 

5. Old Spice Swagger Body Wash

Old Spice is a brand commonly found on department-store shelves. While they offer many scent options, the Swagger scent profile is highly rated and easy to find. A potent mixture of cedarwood and lime creates an irresistible scent in the shower and on the skin all day long. 


Old Spice Swagger Body Wash also includes orange oil, citric acid and other surfactants to clean the body and ensure you step out the door with confidence. The mesmerizing scent will put extra swagger in your step. 

6. Native Eucalyptus and Mint Body Wash 

Clean ingredients are the norm for this Eucalyptus and Mint Body Wash from Native. An herbal, earthy scent washes over the body when you use this product. Your skin will feel soft, and the body wash lathers well, so you know it is working. A mix of coconut oil, citric acid and high-grade cleansing salt work as natural ingredients to hydrate, balance and exfoliate the skin. 


Native is known for adding nothing extra to its blends, and this product is no exception. We didn’t find any phthalates, dyes or sulfates in this body wash, making it an excellent choice for those of us wanting a naturally clean product.

7. Art of Sport Activated Charcoal Victory Body Wash

Hitting the gym doesn’t mean that you have to smell like it! The Art of Sport Activated Charcoal Victory Body Wash is one product we always keep in our gym bag. Not only does it smell fantastic, but it includes activated charcoal to sop up excess oil and sweat. Aloe vera leaves a soothing finish, and cooling eucalyptus notes help return the body to a natural temperature after a grueling workout. 


The Art of Sport Activated Charcoal Victory Body Wash is paraben-free, sulfate-free and phthalate-free, making it an easy choice. It’s perfect for guys who are always at the gym or have extra-stinky jobs that need a refreshing scent, pronto. 

8. Bevel Dark Cassis Body Wash

Men looking for a body wash that also exfoliates well should reach for the Bevel Dark Cassis Body Wash. Clogged pores are no match for this body wash, which targets stubborn oil and grease. The scent profile stands out from the rest with its mixture of botanical blooms and dark berries. We like that this scent feels manly without getting too floral. Notes of grapefruit, vanilla and white musk top off the fragrance.


The Bevel Dark Cassis Body Wash includes hydrated silica to help exfoliate the skin and clear out pores. Jojoba esters work at removing flaky skin while charcoal soaks up toxins and bacteria. Argan oil adds vitamin E and omega fatty acids to help moisturize the skin for an all-day clean feeling. 

9. Kiehl’s Body Fuel All-in-One Energizing Wash Hair & Body Cleanser

Start the day off right with this Body Fuel All-in-One Energizing Wash Hair & Body Cleanser from Kiehl’s. The unique blend of caffeine and menthol will wake us up no matter what kind of night we had.


Vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc work together to make this product a versatile cleanser that removes sweat and excess oil from the skin. You can use this on hair as well, making it a great option for the shower.

10. 18.21 Original Sweet Tobacco Man Made Wash

Don’t be surprised if this bottle causes a double-take in the shower. The 18.21 Original Sweet Tobacco Man Made Wash looks just like a bottle of our favorite whiskey. While this brand is new to the men’s skin-care market, it has made waves with its unique packaging and branding. This Man Made Wash includes powerful moisturizing ingredients in the nostalgic bottle design. 


As expected, whiskey is the prominent scent of this body wash, along with sweet tobacco, for the ultimate in a manly shower experience. This three-in-one product is also great for use as a shampoo and conditioner if desired. We like that 18.21 is a paraben-free and sulfate-free brand that offers a body wash great for all skin types. 

11. Rugged & Dapper Body Wash + Shampoo

Wake up the senses with this aromatherapy body wash from Rugged & Dapper. A mix of orange peel, rosehip and tea tree oil create a masculine scent that will give a jump-start to the day. This body wash also doubles as a shampoo, making it an easy choice to toss in a gym bag or pack for vacation. 


We like that this is an all-natural product and is free of artificial fragrances. Rugged & Dapper Body Wash + Shampoo is paraben-free and vegan for those who want to choose a body wash that fits a natural lifestyle.

12. American Crew 3-in-1 Body Wash

Popular barbershop brand American Crew offers a lineup of products that may smell familiar. The American Crew 3-in-1 Body Wash anoints the body with a unique clean scent that includes tea tree leaf oil and hops flower extract. Sage leaf extract softens skin, and citric acid helps wake up the skin with a good cleanse.


American Crew 3-in-1 Body Wash can also be used as a shampoo and conditioner if desired. This product is available for purchase online and in stores.

13. Every Man Jack Eucalyptus Mint Body Wash

While this newcomer to the men’s skin-care industry has many body wash scents to choose from, we liked the eucalyptus mint option for those morning wake-up calls. A mixture of plant-based ingredients like glycerin and citric acid helps cleanse the skin. Eucalyptus and spearmint blend for a fresh scent. 


We like that Every Man Jack Eucalyptus Mint Body Wash is made with 97% naturally derived ingredients and that the bottle is made of 50% post-consumer recycled plastic. It is also gluten-free and cruelty-free, making it a great choice for men who want to purchase an environmentally friendly product.

14. Pré de Provence No. 63 Hair and Body Wash

Get fancy with this great-smelling body wash from Pré de Provence. The No. 63 Hair and Body Wash provides a deep scent profile, with citrus notes that combine with a middle note of plum. Base notes of tobacco and leather ground the scent. Pré de Provence No. 63 also uses aloe vera, shea oil and glycerin to moisturize and soften skin. 


Pré de Provence No. 63 Hair and Body Wash is known for producing a long-lasting scent that carries men through the day. The liquor-style bottle helps secure this product’s place as one of the best smelling body washes for men this year. 

15. Baxter of California Invigorating Bergamot and Pear Essence Body Wash

For a different scent profile, reach for this Invigorating Bergamot and Pear Essence Body Wash from Baxter of California. We like the pear notes, which provide a crisp and clean scent in the shower as well as on the skin. The combination of pear and bergamot creates an alluring masculine scent. 


Baxter of California Invigorating Bergamot and Pear Essence Body Wash uses vitamin E and jojoba oil to clean and hydrate the skin. This is a vegan option that uses high-quality ingredients and energizes the skin.

16. Harry’s Stone Body Wash

A unique blend of charcoal, Japanese yuzu and bergamot go into the Stone Body Wash from Harry’s. We love that this scent is different from other options on this list of the best smelling body washes for men. Everyone needs a change now and then! Use this body wash to thoroughly cleanse the skin and ensure it feels conditioned and smooth long after showering.


Harry’s Stone Body Wash is free of dyes, sulfates and parabens, so you can use it on a daily basis without worry. This product is not tested on animals.

17. Anthony Alpine Wood Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash

Look no further than the Alpine Wood Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash from Anthony if you’re on the hunt for unusual ingredients. This body wash features ingredients that we didn’t find in competitors, like birch leaf, Canadian balsam and alba extract. Other additions include eucalyptus and sage leaf extract to round out the woodsy scent. 


Use this product before a big day at work or on date night to provide an intoxicating smell that is hard to miss. Stand out from the crowd with this unique blend of ingredients.

18. Malin + Goetz Rum Hand + Body Wash

Enjoy the sweet and spicy scent of liquor with this Rum Hand + Body Wash from Malin + Goetz. This brand’s best-selling cleaner is known for its luxuriant lather and rich aroma that helps to refresh the skin. Amino acids and glycerin hydrate the skin to keep moisture levels up. Gentle surfactants wash away dirt, while the rum-based scent adds a touch of warmth to any shower.


Malin + Goetz Rum Hand + Body Wash is great to use at the sink for handwashing that is sure to create a smile. We like that this product is vegan and cruelty-free, and uses PCR recycled plastic during manufacturing. 

19. Oars & Alps California Coast Body Wash

Surf’s up any time you use this Golden State-inspired body wash from Oars & Alps. Their California Coast scent option includes a light and clean citrus profile mixed with grounding scents of patchouli, sandy amber and ylang-ylang. Jojoba oil helps moisturize the skin, while vitamin E and antioxidants strengthen the skin.


Lather up with this sulfate-free body wash option that has us dreaming of sunny skies, blue waves and easygoing beach life. Who doesn’t want to escape reality from time to time?

20. Olivina Men All-in-One Bourbon Cedar Body Wash

This American-made men’s skin-care brand uses what they know best. The Nashville, Tennessee, brand uses bourbon to create this manliest-of-men scent that includes bourbon and cedarwood. We love this signature scent, which is equal parts rich and deep. The woody and smokiness to the smell and the hint of vanilla lighten up the scent perfectly.


Olivina Men All-in-One Bourbon Cedar Body Wash goes a long way, making it an excellent choice for those of us who want to use it in our hair. While the price point is higher than other competitors, you can’t go wrong with this naturally scented body wash from Olivina Men.


When choosing one of these best smelling body washes for men, consider trying a new scent profile to mix things up a bit. Not only do these body washes clean away dirt and grime, but many of them also hydrate and moisturize to keep skin healthy and feeling great. Add in a luxurious scent, and nothing can stop you from taking on the day. 


Ingredient-conscious guys have plenty of natural and organic options to choose from when selecting a great-smelling body wash. For those who don’t care as much, there are plenty of deliciously scented body washes that use synthetic ingredients. Try out a few different scent options to see what works best and enjoy the incredible fragrances these body washes for men provide.

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA