Byredo’s $35 hand sanitizer is 2020’s must-have luxury accessory

Please don’t call it hand sanitizer.
Please don’t call it hand sanitizer.
Image: Byredo
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With fall 2020 Fashion Weeks now in the rearview, a champion accessory has emerged. It is not Jacquemus’ most miniature micro-bag, Bottega Veneta’s mushy pouch, or Marine Serré’s full-skirted baseball cap. No, if you must leave the house for a fashion show, premiere, or Positano getaway in 2020, just be sure to bring your hand sanitizer.

Thanks to the rapid spread of coronavirus, an easy way to de-germ one’s hands in a pinch is now imperative—but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in style. As the New York Times reminded us yesterday, rich people are not just like us. They do many things differently, and one of those things is hand sanitation. Rather than dousing their hands in slippery, high-alcohol gel that leaves one’s skin feeling clean but also like highly flammable paper, they can instead use something a little more like … suede.

Suede, which also has notes of bergamot and pear, is one of three scents of sanitizer—sorry, “rinse-free hand wash”—available from Byredo, a Stockholm-based maker of perfumes, candles, and accessories, with stores in New York and Los Angeles. For just $35 per ounce (as opposed to about 37 cents for Purell), a person could rid their hands of bacteria, and leave them moisturized and smelling, as per The Cut, “like a more fragrant version of the brand’s $2,000-ish handbags.” That is, if a person could get their hands on it.

Despite a price tag around 100 times that of Purell’s, Byredo’s rinse-free hand wash is sold out at online stockists including Neiman Marcus, Net-a-Porter, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Violet Grey. Already, the tulip-scented version is going for upwards of $70 per ounce on Amazon. Suede is nowhere in sight.

But if you’re not afraid to touch your phone—or to send your assistant to an actual store—there was a single tube of Suede left at Byredo’s New York store at the time of writing. And two each in the lesser cult-y scents, Tulipmania (more floral) and Vetyver (more green). After this, said a store associate, it might be a while before more is in stock.

If you’re going to get price-gouged on hand sanitizer, it might as well smell nice.