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These French Soap Sheets Are My Greatest Travel Hack

By Katherine LaGrave

May 21, 2020

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The soap sheets come in several different scents, meaning one pack is never enough.

Courtesy of Buly 1803

The soap sheets come in several different scents, meaning one pack is never enough.

No soap or hand sanitizer in sight? No sweat.

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Welcome to AFAR Approved: a deep dive into the travel items that we’re totally obsessed with, never leave behind, and can’t stop telling our friends about.

On the spectrum of prepare-for-all-scenarios packers, I put myself somewhere near the top. What if I need an umbrella to get to and from the airport into the car? What if the airline loses my bag? What if I need another bag to carry all of the things I buy in the airport? You get the picture. Inevitably, my carry-on is always packed to the gills with items I’ll need . . . someday. Still, amid my trove of unusable treasures is one item I always reach for: soap sheets. 

In large part, this is because soap sheets are an incredibly practical thing to carry when venturing into parts (read: bathrooms, bars, countries) unknown. No hand soap? Pull out a soap sheet. No hand sanitizer? Hello, soap sheet! Using them also feels a bit more magical than giving the dispenser a pump or two: Just take a sheet, add some water, rub your hands together, and voilà—soapy suds. 

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Not all soap sheets are created equal: My favorites are from Officine Universelle Buly 1803, a Paris-based beauty brand that is definitely a splurge. Each soap sheet set has 40 wafer-thin sheets made of “saponified cellulose,” outfitted in a tidy booklet small enough to fit in a back pocket. And oh, the scents: damask rose, like putting your nose in a fresh bouquet, boosted with vetiver and ginger. Bright orange blossoms and leaves on a sunny day. With just one wash, it’s (almost, sorta) possible to pretend you’re not in an airport bathroom after all—and that’s a hack we can surely all use.

Buy Now: Buly 1803 Orange Blossom Soap Sheets, $17, mrporter.com

Buy Now: Buly 1803 Rose Damask Soap Sheets, $17, mrporter.com

Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. AFAR may earn a commission if you buy through our links, which helps support our independent publication.

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