It’s our retreat after a hard day’s work, our sanctuary from constant demands for attention. Fragrant, tranquil pampering … Ah, bath time.
Jane Raphaely, chairman of Associated Media, is known to choose hotels based on whether the bathrooms have a bath. Once, in answer to the question ‘What is the one thing you cannot live without’, she replied ‘A hot bath’.
Oprah Winfrey told Harper’s Bazaar, ‘I love creating bathing experiences – bath gels, bubbles, crystals, salts, lavender milks. I go prune. I go waaaay prune. I’ve gone to sleep.’
For busy people (and who isn’t busy in this day and age?) the bath is the one place we can go off-line guilt free, switch off, stop the world, and just bliss out.
The interiors we shoot for House & Leisure show how important these time-capsule rooms are. Whether the bathroom is a small space or large, each one is clearly a soothing place treasured by the owners, and accessorised with objects and products guaranteed to maximise the sense of peace.
Here, a Persian rug and a freestanding bath with a view into the well-treed garden have transformed a previously functional bathroom into an idyllically pretty and tranquil space.
In this 18th-century Cape house the interiors ‘grew organically, the guiding principle a good eye and a taste for the unusual. It’s about mixing things from all periods and having fun doing it.’ The bathroom is no exception.
This cool, marble bathroom is softened by romantic touches and lots of light, while the one below is home to a menagerie of sculptures and a Fornasetti plate.
Each homeowner has her own measure of bliss. We asked two of Jo Malone’s style makers for their advice on products to add that will heighten the soothing quality of the big soak.
‘I am a typical Cancerian, a true homebody,’ style consultant and curator Asanda Sizani. ‘I love a warm, welcoming, comfortable environment where all senses are awakened. Jo Malone bath products and candles help me create that environment. My favourite is the Nutmeg and Ginger Oil.’
Alayne Reesberg, CEO World Design Capital Cape Town 2014, suggests opening one’s imagination to the power of fragrance, the possibilities for repurposing products, and combining different fragrances. She recently spent a holiday in an old farmhouse in the Little Karoo where ‘the big treat is a completely private outside shower, with a head the size of a flying saucer’. ‘I used Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin shampoo and conditioner doubling as shower goop, and Vitamin E scrub to slough off every last residue of 2014…’ She notes that ‘learning to combine fragrances has been such a revelation, and the key insight that there really is no right or wrong – there is only good and better!’ For example, a bath with Red Roses Bath Oil followed by Peony & Blush Suede body lotion creates a cosseting lullaby of florals. If you need to re-energise after your soak follow Amber & Lavender Body & Hand Wash with a spritz of Grapefruit Cologne. ‘The body and bath ranges are also a wonderful way of giving fragrance as gifts,’ adds Alayne. ‘Receiving a Jo Malone gift is always a lovely invitation to experiment because each can be layered with all the others!’
If you’re looking for ways to enrich your bath experience, visit Jo Malone Bath and Body. From the Body & Hand Washes (consider the iconic Lime Basil & Mandarin), through bath oils (try Asanda’s favourite Nutmeg & Ginger), to lotions, crèmes, dry body oils with scents like English Pear & Freesia; White Jasmine & Mint; Dark Amber & Ginger Lily… And then there are the shampoos and conditioners that leave hair looking naturally glossy and delicately fragranced; the satiny soaps (we adore Pomegranate Noir) and even a Vitamin E range… you’ll get lost in the choices and the fragrance possibilities. And while you’re there, add a few candles, diffusers and room spray to utterly transform your bath time wind-down.
Order your choices through Jo Malone Express – simply phone 0800 005 526 to place your order, 9am–4pm, Monday to Friday.
Don’t forget your guests though! As Alayne says, guest bathrooms are often smallish spaces. She makes her guests feel special with luxurious towels, robes and oils. And there’s always a comfortable chair with magazines that invite people to linger after a hot bath…