How to Perfect the Art of Bathing

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I am very good at taking baths. Haters will say this is not a real skill, but all it takes is one bad bath to appreciate the little details that make a bath great. It’s more than hot water. It’s more than bubbles. A truly great bath takes preparation, planning, and at least two beverages.

Not every good bath is the same, but most of them follow the same basic template, and have one item from each of the following categories:

Some sort of water modifier

Baths are not about getting clean — they are about relaxation. And fragrant, silky and/or bubbly water is more relaxing than plain, scent-free water. Dr. Teal’s makes my favourite bubbly bath. The scents are noticeable but not overwhelming or overly perfumed, and a couple of glugs is enough for a mountain of bubbles. I also enjoy a Lush bath bomb or bubble bar, even though they refuse to keep my favourites (Lord of Misrule and Pop in the Bath) in stock.

An alcoholic drink

The drink you see in the video is a pineapple and Chartreuse cocktail that turned into a slush because I left it in the freezer, and it fucking ruled. I also enjoy a chilled light red or crisp white wine (kept in an ice bucket on the floor beside the tub), but literally any alcoholic beverage will do.

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A non-alcoholic drink

I know I “joke” that water is “not for me” but a large drinking vessel full of cold water is actually something you want if you’re taking a very hot bath, particularly if your alcoholic beverage is big, bold red wine. If you hate plain water, infuse a jug with some sliced cucumber, citrus, or ginger in for “spa water,” which has a “fancy hotel lobby” vibe. Diet Coke is another obvious favourite, but unsweetened iced tea and La Croix make also regular appearances.

Mood lighting

As you can see above, I do love my candles, particularly tall, dramatic candles that fit in my bath tray candle holder, but candles are not the only way you can create a mood. Have you experienced total darkness? That’s pretty fun. Just turn out all the lights and don’t look at your phone. You can also take advantage of natural light. If your bathroom has a window, try to time your bath so it coincides with golden hour.

Mood sounds

I have a fairly long bath-time playlist, but the absolute perfect bath soundtrack is Avalon by Roxy Music (“Mother of Pearl” on repeat also works). If you should — somehow, some way — tire of the smooth vocal styling of Bryan Ferry, my isolation playlist and whatever this is work pretty well, though neither are as relaxing or as perfect as Avalon by Roxy Music.

A hand towel

It’s a must. No matter what you are doing — reading, scrolling through your phone, listening to music or watching YouTube on your computer — you need something to dry your hands with before touching your book, phone, or computer. Sometimes I even supplement the hand towel with a wash cloth, just in case I need to wipe my face.

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