There are baths, and then there are baths. If recent TikTok “everything shower” trends have taught us anything, we’re ready to slow down and enjoy the process of getting clean — literally from head to toe.
Bathing is about so much more than getting the faucet temperature right or the mood lighting or the timing. A bath goes from ritual to luxury when we take the time to dig into what we love about it. These are just a few notes to make it decidedly yours.
Timing: A before-bed bath is beloved for good reason — it washes away the day and eases us into sleep. But true luxury can also involve switching up your timing. Trust us when we say that slipping into an 8 A.M bath with coffee and a book, a la Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga) in 2021’s House of Gucci, will change your life. So will a 4 P.M. bath on a frigid Saturday afternoon. In other words, bath time is anytime you need a private moment.
Temperature: The perfect water temperature is the one that you melt into. Maybe it doesn’t need to be said, but the trick is to test the water multiple times as you draw your bath. You want to be able to sink in for at least 20 minutes, knowing that in winter, the water will cool faster. Our ideal temperature is a little warmer than anticipated, knowing full well that it’s fleeting.
Dry Brush: The perfect way to kill time while your tub fills. Dry brushing exfoliates and detoxifies the skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymphatic flow and drainage — when done regularly, it’s truly life-changing.
Products: An elevated bath uses products that celebrate rituals and mindfulness. We carry Surya by Martha Bath Soaks in-store because of their connection to Ayurvedic practices. Other products we love are Classic Epsom salts mixed with an essential oil of choice or Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath after a physically exhausting ski day.
Mood lighting: Candles, always. One of your favorite scents and then as many pillar candles or tea lights as possible. Light your scented candle before you draw your bath so the steam carries the scent through the room.
Music: It may sound like an afterthought, but music is a must. Put on some Alice Coltrane or Sam Cooke. Or give Meridian’s bathing culture Spotify playlist a spin.
Book: Read writing that swirls around itself. Once you open Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking or Slouching Toward Bethlehem, you’ll never think of sentences the same way. If you’ve already weaved through Didion’s work, try Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado or anything by Lydia Davis or Joy Williams.
A Luxurious End: Try this, and you’ll never go back: Let the water drain while you’re still in the bath, feeling the warm water sink around you until it’s almost gone. We can’t explain why — but there’s quiet luxury in that moment when the water’s gone, but you haven’t returned to the rush of modern living.
For more, read the rest of our Well-Being issue.