Diptyque Softening Hand Wash & Velvet Hand Lotion ~ scented body product review

Diptyque Softening Hand Wash & Velvet Hand Lotion

I wrote about Diptyque's L'Art du Soin collection of body products when it was first launched — can that really have been almost five years ago? — and I recently realized that I hadn't covered some of the later additions to the line. I've been hoarding little sample packages of Softening Hand Wash (Savon Liquide Réconfortant) and Velvet Hand Lotion (Emulsion Velours pour les Mains) that I received last fall, and this week seemed like the moment to use them: my part of the world has been coping with an excess of harsh and frigid winter weather, and my hands need every little bit of pampering that they can get.

My bathroom-sink hand-washing routine usually involves an nearly used-up bar of LUSH soap or some diluted Dr. Bronner's castile soap in a pump bottle, but if I were truly living a life of luxury, my counter would always be graced with a bottle of Diptyque's Softening Hand Wash. It's a thick, amber-tinted liquid, and it's so concentrated that a small dollop is enough to produce plenty of fine lather. It truly doesn't leave my hands feeling stripped of their own oils, and it smells like no other hand wash. It actually reminds me slightly of Diptyque's Volutes fragrance: it has a lavender heart, but there's also a dusky honey note and something like smoky-sweet tobacco. The scent lingers on my hands for a considerable length of time after I wash them, so you really can call this liquid soap a perfumed product.

I can never have enough hand cream, and various tubes and tubs are stashed around the house, in my purse, at my office desk. Even though I have a few other nice products in my current rotation, I'll miss Diptyque's Velvet Hand Lotion when I've used up my sample. It's a lightweight, yet effective, formula that absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a satiny finish and no greasy residue at all. For this reason, it's a very useful "daytime" hand moisturizer. I've also enjoyed it at bedtime, because it has a pleasant and soothing fragrance. Immortelle flower is listed as an ingredient, and the scent does have a strong suggestion of immortelle, but it's more like herbal tea than maple syrup (the way immortelle can sometimes be in perfumes), and it's overlaid with notes of chamomile and a very light almond, both of which I find very calming.

I wish that Diptyque's L'Art du Soin wasn't so high-priced; the products are very good quality, and the packaging is typical Diptyque bohemian-botanical chic, but those numbers do make me wince a bit. What do you think? Have you splurged on these items, or would you do so in the future, especially during a long, skin-chapping winter?

Diptyque L'Art du Soin Softening Hand Wash sells for $38 for 300 ml; Velvet Hand Lotion is $42 for 250 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Thalia says:

    Yeah, no. I use Earth Therapeutics Hand Remedy lotion and got 177 ml. for $3.99 at TJ Maxx. It smells nice (citrus and herbs) and works fine. I would love to have a bottle of the Diptyque version fall in my lap, but $42? No. Although I always said I’d never spend more than $10 for mascara and I had to eat those words, so who knows.

    • Jessica says:

      Same here, on both the bottle-falling-into-my-lap and the mascara counts!

  2. latissia says:

    I have purchased the Baume Généreux (hand “balm” because “cream” would not justify the price?), and I liked it but it is not the best product in the line. I purchased the sample set that Space NK sells and love the body lotion, shower gel, and body polish. If you want to splurge on something for the winter, then I humbly suggest the body polish. It has a fairly straight-forward jasmine scent that is never overpowering (in that annoying jasmine tea-that’s-steeped-too-long way) and it is a fabulous product for exfoliating the skin that doesn’t dry or irritate it.

    • Jessica says:

      That hand balm tempts me… and since I’d just use a tiny bit once a day, at bedtime, it would last for a long time… right? ;)

  3. MikasMinion says:

    I am always a sucker for Diptyque body products, especially as the candles and travel kits are such great gifts I find myself grabbing either the hand balm or hand lotion fairly frequently for myself. I use Gold Bond if my skin is actually dry but if I am just in the mood to smell good I slather on either the “balm” (a light to medium lotion) or the hand lotion and top with Olympic Orchids Osafume which just seems perfect with them. I particularly love the sweet almond scent of the balm; probably reminds me of the Jergens my mom used when I was a kid.

    • Jessica says:

      Confession: I do buy the candles, both for others and myself!

  4. Lucy says:

    Yeah, I’m at that point of desperation that I would pay $100 for a product that would heal my winterfied skin. (Yes, that is my made up word.) The backs of my hands feel like sandpaper, my legs have been scratched to a red bumpy mess, and my bottom lip is nothing but flakes. To make matters worse, many products I’ve had success with in the past are on the no-no list for use during pregnancy, such as Gold Bond. Dr. says to drink lots of water and wait it out. Ugghhh!

    • Ericgmd says:

      Have you tried a few drops of natural argan oil? It’s about 15 dollars for a small bottle (Please send me the $85 I saved you to this address: …Hahaha)
      OK seriously now. I’m a dermatologist and we don’t usually recommend a drastic ban of all toiletry products during pregnancy but I respect your choice. Creams and lotions with “ceramides” can benefit the skin barrier and may heal very dry skin quickly. So look for them OTC. If you are opposed to any formulated products, Argan oil is all natural and the fatty acids in it can help your skin.

      • Ericgmd – send more tips for us pregnant women! I’m grabbing argan oil today.

        Since your a dermatologist, any idea if I should avoid the Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream? Like Lucy, my hands/body/face/lips are driving me crazy. This stuff seems great, but it has a looooong list of ingredients. I see that it has parabens, but at least it’s at the END of the list.

        Plus it smells decent!

      • Lucy says:

        Eric, I’m sorry it took so long to reply, but thank you so much for the tips. (I had a rough weekend of nausea.) I will try the Argan oil. Overall I am not opposed to most formulated products, it’s just hard to know what is safe and I don’t see my OB for two more weeks. I can look online, but there are just too many non-experts making up the rules. Also, I miscarried with my last pregnancy and figure it’s better to be safe until I reach my second trimester. Again, thank you.

        • Jessica says:

          Lucy, wishing you much luck and more comfortable days ahead!

          • Lucy says:

            Thanks so much. It will all be worth it in the end…but this baby better be freaking awesome!

  5. You and me both, sister! Pregnancy in a dry winter is TOUGH on skin! I’m a few months into my 2nd pregnancy, and my face has started flaking! No joke!

    I hopped over to MUA and asked for tips last week. Most stuff that I’ve found that takes away the flakes causes my face to turn red and break out within 12 hours. Like Ericgmd said below, someone recommended natural argan oil, and I plan on grabbing some at a health store today since I’m back in a city. I heard that you “pat” rather than rub it in? Not sure if that’s true. But I am desperate.

    For the peeling lips, a homemade/natural scrub with olive oil, honey and brown sugar TOTALLY fixes me. It takes away the peelies and seems to re-hydrate. I do it once a week. Similarly, since my hair is a dry mess, I’ve made homemade hair masks with oil and honey, and that seems to help for 4 or 5 days. I also lay off products with SLS during pregnancy.

    I’m not a health nut. I’m just cheap and want to save my money for perfumed products. The homemade stuff really seems to work for me. Good luck!

    • Oye. This should have been a reply to Lucy!

      • Jessica says:

        Not to worry! I agree with the lip scrub idea. LUSH makes some really good pre-made ones; so does Silk Naturals (small e-tailer company). I happen to think that Malin + Goetz’s lip balm is one of the most effective that I’ve tried, but it’s anything but natural!

    • Lucy says:

      Seriously, what is it with the hair? I normally have an oily scalp and my hair is flat against my face by midday…but now, omg! It’s coarse and almost wiry at times. I will try your mask. And the lip scrub. Maybe, with your tips and Eric’s, I can get everything under control.

      I’m curious, did you have the same dryness problems with your first pregnancy? This whole thing has been hard. I didn’t expect it to be easy, I just thought most of the hard stuff would be at the end. I’m actually at the hospital right now getting IV fluids because I’ve developed three kidney stones and the nausea is preventing me from getting enough water. The treatments are helping but I’d really just like the morning sickness to go away so I can eat and drink normally.

      Best of luck with your pregnancy. I hope you and I both keep it all under control.

Leave a reply