painless shopping

27 Nice-Smelling Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms With Discerning Noses

You may have noticed some posts from our friends at the Strategist on the Cut. They’ll be dropping in every now and again, sharing their expertise on the basics you don’t have time to research and the weird and wonderful things you don’t yet know you need.

You could consider it going the extra mile to gift something that’s useful and evokes the senses, so if you haven’t already picked up a Mother’s Day gift, might we suggest a few things that smell wonderful, many of which we’ve touted on the site before. Note: We’ve actually smelled these things with our own noses, and can vouch for their lovely odors.

Harper + Ari Coconut Exfoliating Sugar Cubes
$24 at Dermstore

These exfoliating sugar cubes have made a fan of the Cut’s Ashley Weatherford because “they leave skin soft and smooth without depositing an oily residue, and come in a range of fruity scents,” though she prefers this muted, nutty coconut one.

Juara Candlenut Body Creme
$35 at Dermstore

This velvety body cream — made from candlenuts found in Bali — was praised by Kathleen Hou as “one of the best-smelling body lotions, period,” if you want to smell like a tropical combination of “powdered vanilla pudding, coconut, and white tropical flowers in the humid sun.”

Apa Lip Loofah
$18 at Violet Grey

We have this Apa Lip Loofah and can tell you that it is the answer to messy sugar-lip scrubs. It goes on smooth and light without littering chunky granules all over your lips, and has a delicious, sweet almond smell that’s not too cloying.

Cocoa Moisture Mask
$69 at Dermstore

An indulgently smooth and rich mask that smells like a chocolate soufflé on your face.

Dr. Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Cream
$36 at Dermstore

Should you want a buttery body cream that smells like sweets, Kathleen Hou says this buttery body cream replicates the post-gommage feel of going to a hammam and “reminds me of the yellow, buttery almond cookies my mom used to buy me in Chinese bakeries.”

Herban Essentials Lavender Towelettes
$16 at Goop

For just the lightest touch of lavender, these wipes come recommended by writer Celeste Ng as “aromatherapy in a foil-wrapped packet” — and incidentally, they’d be a great gift for a new mom.

Skinfood Peach Sake Toner
$15 at Ulta

We own and love this Skinfood toner because it has the most soothing peach scent — like spring in a bottle — and, coupled with the actual cooling effect of the toner, it is a very refreshing way to end a long day.

Sonoma Lavender Neck Pillow
$44 at Nordstrom

After two minutes in the microwave, says writer Alex Ronan, this toasty lavender pillow has a multitude of uses. “I’ll sprawl out with it on my stomach when I have cramps or have eaten too much takeout. Or I’ll retreat to bed and drape the whole thing over my face if I’m feeling particularly unable to face the world.”

Le Labo Hand Soap
$22 at Nordstrom

A distinctive Hinoki-scented hand soap that says she knows what’s in right now.

Diptyque Hair Rose Mist
$48 at Bergdorf Goodman

For someone addicted to the scent of rose, who wouldn’t balk at spraying said scent in her hair, beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton says this Diptyque hair spray “is vibrant and lovely without being too aggressive or hair-product-y-smelling. There’s also camellia oil in it, which provides nourishment for your lovely locks.”

Tata Harper All-Natural Aromatic Stress Treatment
$80 at Goop

Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff says that when she dabs on some of this aromatic stress-treatment oil from Tata Harper, she’s suddenly “someone in an Architectural Digest spread wearing a long camel-colored cashmere cardigan, white pants, a pair of Tods loafers, walking through the atrium of my beachfront Bridgehampton estate to adjust a flower arrangement.”

Cire Trudon Ernesto Candle
$95 at Spring

A smoky offering from Cire Trudon that smells like “the fierce and partisan overtones of leather and tobacco.”

Diptyque Room Spray, Baies
$68 at Saks Fifth Avenue

The intoxicating smell of Diptyque’s Baies, in room-spray form.

La Compagnie de Provence Wild Rose Liquid Marseilles Soap
$28 at Nordstrom

The hand soap that Lesley Arfin can’t live without: “I used to hate washing my hands — it’s so boring! That all changed once I discovered this soap. Sometimes, I do a little bathroom drive-by, skip the toilet business altogether, and just let my hands live it up. The bottle is a sturdy glass, the graphic design is simple and pretty, and you can order refills.”

Byredo Gypsy Water Body Wash
$50 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Bodywash was from Byredo in the brand’s signature Gypsy Water scent, which one Basenotes commenter aptly describes as smelling like “lemon Hostess cupcakes tempered by a dose of dry woods.”

Mario Badescu Facial Spray
$7 at Ulta

When she wants a little pick-me-up: This Mario Badescu facial spray, made with aloe herbs and rosewater, is both “refreshing and soothing, with just the right bit of floral-ness,” says the Strategist’s own Camilla Cho.

Le Labo “Santal 33” Signature Detergent by the Laundress
$50 at Barneys

Her clothes will smell like a Greenpoint graphic designer, in a good way.

Maison Louis Marie No. 2 Le Long Fond Candle
$34 at The Line

This affordable French candle, a favorite of writer Zachary Wampler, “is not abrasive, but rich and warm. It’s the sort of fragrance I could imagine wafting through a chalet in wintry Gstaad while I count the diamonds on my fictional tennis bracelet.”

Kai Body Lotion
$37 at Spring

A cultish scent — with hints of gardenia, jasmine, lily, and white musk — from this Malibu-based, Hawaii-inspired skin-care line.

Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish
$36 at Goop

A lush coconut-oil body scrub that Ashley Weatherford uses weekly, which she says “smells sweet — like rose, naturally — and the scent slowly dissipates as the day wears on.”

Ouai Volume Spray
$26 at Revolve

Your hair will smell lightly of hibiscus when you use this Jen Atkin volumizing spray to zhuzh up your flat hair.

K. Hall Peony Hand & Body Cream
$20 at Amazon

This lotion, with just the faintest hint of peony, comes in a nice, millennial-pink box.

One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil
$42 at Dermstore

A Heyday facialist introduced writer Jen Doll to this organic oil-based cleanser, which has a “gorgeous natural pineapple scent that makes you want to sniff your own face” and has actually made her excited to wash her face in the morning.

Oribe Beach Wave & Shine Spray
$42 at Violet Grey

All of Oribe’s products have a particular light scent — simultaneously flowery and fruity — that’s a big part of the appeal, like this texturizing spray for beachy waves that the Cut’s Amelia Diamond described as “so good that I also use it as an alternative to both perfume and Febreze.”

Jonathan Adler Pop Candle, Grapefruit
$38 at Amazon

Another Lesley Arfin favorite: “This is the best candle that’s ever lived.”

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm
$14 at Nordstrom

This lip balm features a faint (and delightful) scent of sweet lime and mint.

Chandrika Bath and Body Ayurvedic Bar Soap (Pack of 10)
$14 at Amazon

This is made from pure vegetable oils (coconut oil, sandalwood oil, and patchouli oil), and smells a bit like an occult shop.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, bed sheets, coffee makers, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

Get the best of the Strategist.

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.
27 Nice-Smelling Mother’s Day Gifts for Discerning Moms