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

Courtesy of Buly 1803

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.

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,

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

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>> Next: 8 Hand Creams We’ve Discovered Traveling the World

Katherine LaGrave Katherine LaGrave is a deputy editor at AFAR focused on features and essays.

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