Imagine being in a fancy hotel, having a martini at the bar, or jet lagging at that kind of time for a nap, waiting for your club sandwich to arrive by the pool. You enter the beautifully designed bathroom off the lobby to wash your hands, lather them with a couple of soap pumps that smell of herbs and money, and dry them off with a square of freshly squeezed laundry before heading back out. Your hands are so soft, so fresh and fragrant that it is difficult not to sniff your fingers like a tragic sneak in public.
In an attempt to make the most basic form of hygiene less of a nuisance, I have directed part of this Fancy Hotel Energy into a life that I have mostly lived at home (while dreaming about all the places I will go at some point) . I looked at Aesop’s scrubs and Le Labos woody aromas, tried almond-scented bars from an old Italian pharmacy and invested in Byredo’s elegant pump bottles. But one brand is best at keeping the illusion alive (perhaps because it has stocked the sinks of some of the best hotels in the world for decades): Molton Brown.
The 50-year-old English company produces liquid soaps in a kaleidoscope of colors and scents, from rhubarb and rose to cypress and sea fennel. All of this makes your hands soft, clean and exquisitely perfumed. My personal favorite is lime and patchouli, which are a delicate shade of green and also contain notes of eucalyptus, cardamom and cedar.
And in an age of hyper-minimalism and sans serif, the silver cap and the label on the bottle are so fabulously old-fashioned.
Until the next time I check into a beautiful hotel in the distance, this fabulous hand soap is a drop of transporting luxury – one of those little things that turn the everyday into something worth dreaming of.