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Is it worth buying shower gels from perfume companies?


Active member
Apr 2, 2023
I recently finished the book "Deluxe" after a member here recommended it, and it cemented the excellent advice not to get carried away by branding and marketing in the perfume industry. Just a small fraction of the cost of a bottle go to ingredients, and perfumes and small leather goods are cash cows and brand extenders for big brands.

Does this logic mean that you're getting even less value buying shower gels and bath products from perfume lines, that these are the cash cows of the cash cows and the extenders of the extenders?

On one hand, I assume that adding scent to shower gels is simpler than constructing perfumes, and factors like projection and longevity are not relevant to shower gels. On the other hand, I have to say that the last time I checked into a 5-star hotel with Le Labo shower gels, those were some enjoyable showers. Air miles and hotel points geeks do ask if Byredo is supplying the toiletries to their dream destination hotel.

(And still on the other hand, mentioning scent and shower gel in the same sentence makes my dermatologist friends roll their eyes.)

Where do people get their favorite shower gels purchased conscious of scent. Anyone have tips for recreating part of the 5-star hotel experience at home (it's easier to start with the shower gels than the natural stone bathtub, marble tiled shower, and gigantic and high water pressure rain forest shower head).


Active member
Apr 2, 2023
very straightforward. have you found something similar for a fraction of the price, or just prefer your scents coming from actual perfumes?


Well-known member
Aug 16, 2021
They are the biggest waste of money out there to me, at the opposite end of the value for money spectrum are good quality deodorants which are still inexpensive, like those produced by Trumper. I could wear one of those and still smell great without even bothering with a fragrance!


Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
Soap gal here. To me nothing can replace the enjoyment of a bar of soap for washing. While I can appreciate objectively how shower gel could provide a refreshing and luxurious bathing experience, to me using shower gel would be similar to washing in dish detergent—which I don’t use either. (Apologies to the many who prefer shower gel.)

That said, I seem to remember reading someplace that perfuming soap and shower gel is not just a matter of throwing in the desired scent. The chemicals in the cleansing products can apparently distort scent aromachemicals and considerable adjustment and reformulation may be required to duplicate a perfume correctly.

Black Cloud

New member
Oct 22, 2017
It's not really worth it for me to use an expensive shower gel from a perfume company. I've seen some of them cost over £40, which is rather excessive! If it came in a gift set, then of course I'd use it. But in my experience, shower gels are too short-lived to be worth spending too much money on. So I'm fine with using a cheap shower gel or whatever's available.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 3, 2004
I posted this recently: Although my wife and I are fragrance lovers, I do not apply colognes early in the morning. I think the smell of a cologne is too strong at this hour. Instead I do use scented shower gels each morning as they tend to emit a lighter smell.
To add: If I go to a "breakfast place" I feel this is the most inappropriate place to walk into with a fresh application of perfume.


Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
Personal preferences aside, I forgot to answer the initial question. Just like with perfume, ancillary products like shower gel may not have anywhere near the intrinsic value suggested by the hype and the price but if a person derives a lot of pleasure from using them, in my view it’s worth it.


Well-known member
Jul 26, 2011
I've used and enjoyed them, usually either in hotels or those I've received as part of gift sets, but I have occasionally purchased them on a standalone basis too. However, the latter is not something I have or would make a habit of. Aside from anything else, I consider them simply too expensive for what they are.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
I am a bit of a sucker for shower gels and the like (I am probably one of the few users of MFK laundry detergents).

But I think you have the key points down correctly. Ancillary products are typically not a substitute for the perfume. They give a great in shower experience, but they don't last nor are they supposed to. They are also consumed at a faster pace than perfumes. Whether the short in shower experience is worth the price depends on preferences and budget. I find it hard to justify the purchase of a shower gel if that means buying one fewer actual perfume. But if one has the budget and likes it, why not?

I don't think that there are ways to replicate the scent experience with cheaper products. The one exception I can think of is Youth Dew oil. It's superpowerful and a few drops added to an unscented bath products produce the desired effect for that particular perfume. A few perfumes may have occasions on ebay (for some reason, Piguet must have produced many, because one can find Bandit and Fracas ancillary products inexpensively on ebay). But this is not the case for the likes of Chanel, Dior, or Le Labo.


Scent Detective

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 15, 2015
I have bought soaps from perfume companies before and enjoy them quite a bit. Don't know if I'll keep doing it, but when I had more disposable income, I enjoyed ordering some now and then. I've even found that some of the body washes actually smell better than the perfumes do.

Case in point, Pino Silvestre body wash actually smells like pine trees, whereas the perfume smells like thyme...lots and lots of thyme, which I don't enjoy. Not sure why the perfume wouldn't smell like pine since it comes in a pine cone shaped bottle, but it doesn't. The body wash does smell much better to me.

Jubilation XXV body wash smells absolutely divine. The whole bathroom is permeated by this amazing aroma as well. Now, the perfume also smells wonderful, but the body wash might smell even better to me than the perfume does.

Just a couple of thoughts based on my experiences with purchasing body washes from perfume companies.


Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
I have several times indulged in a variety of shower gels matched to fragrances. I would argue in some cases it may slightly enhance the EdT/EdP wearing experience. But in and of itself, using a scented shower gel is not like wearing the scent.

From a purely economic analytical point of view, they are a huge waste of money for sure. (but so are frags). Any analysis of the actual cost of the product versus what you have to pay is silly as is the case for many luxury products.

They are crazily priced, especially when contrasted with "regular" shower gels or soaps which are household staples and available in grocery stores and drug stores. The prices go up in direct relation to the cost of the scent.

To me, they are simply a luxury indulgence. If there is a scent you really love, it feels good to shower up with a soap matching the scent.

If I were a "signature scent" kind of guy- that mythical person who wants to wear the exact same sent all the time - I might be more inclined to invest more heavily in matching grooming products.

I do love Le Labo Rose 31 and have the shower gel and shampoo. It makes the whole wearing experience feel a little more special and opulent.

As a person with a wide range of scents, I have neither the budget or the space to support a bunch of different shower gels or soaps.
I am a wet shaver and really enjoy the whole grooming ritual. I have for years bought nicer shave creams/soaps and shower gels/bar soaps .
But i limit gels/soaps exactly matched to my scents to 2-3 per year.


Somebody made me a mod?
Basenotes Plus
Sep 5, 2013
If a shower gel comes in a gift set, then I use it, but I'm not going to buy it on its own. I've never found the scent to last at all, let alone "layer" with my SOTD.

Side note: Someone once gifted me an enormous bottle of melon-scented shower gel. I detest melon notes, but the shower gel made an excellent toilet bowl cleaner. Clung to the sides of the bowl, you know.


Well-known member
Sep 15, 2009
If a shower gel comes in a gift set, then I use it, but I'm not going to buy it on its own.
On the whole, I agree with this. And I do love gift sets. I once got a TdH EDT gift set with matching shower gel—and I loved it. Felt totally decadent. But unless it’s a scent I really love, and/or I can find it heavily discounted, I don’t think it’s usually worth the money.

My one exception to this is Tabac Bath and Shower Gel, which is truly divine in its own right, but at around $10-$15 a bottle won’t break the bank. 🙂

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