The Queen Bath

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The last time you bathed, do you remember? I’m not talking about that weakling of an experience you had this morning where you slapped on some suds, mulled over your problems, and then called yourself clean after 10 minutes—I’m talking about an actual bath. So when was it? Were rubber duckies your companions? Did you have poison oak? The last time I bathed preempts the first iPad, when Lebron was going to make Cleveland GREAT, and the only magazines that covered any Kardashian were King and FHM. A lot has changed since then, so grow up with me and learn how to bathe like a queen (quite literally).

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Santa Maria Novella sounds like a Raphael fresco or a Fellini character—it’s not, it is much better. The brand is nearly 800 years old, predating the Aztec empire, the Declaration of Independence, and 80 percent of your modern European history course. Started by Dominican Friars in 1221, Santa Maria Novella has famously perfumed Catherine de Medici (a Renaissance Queen of France), Princess Caroline of Monaco, and Hillary Clinton, planetary body and mother of dragons. You get a sense of the brand’s legendary costumer base the moment you walk in its store, which smells like long stem roses, pillars of history, and fat wallets.

It’s not hard to long for a bath (or the kind of life where baths are more common) after entering Santa Maria Novella; the carefully stocked bookcases with their abundance of bath salts, oils, colognes, and candles beg you to take a soak. This was the inspiration behind my bath the very next day; my first bath in years.

What’s your favorite Instagram filter? That’s what a Santa Maria Novella bath feels like: life through Instagram-filtered glasses. First there are the bath salts, which were an infinite step up from Mr. Bubbles. I used melograno (Italian for pomegranate) salts—they smell sweet and comforting. Then there was the jojoba oil, which I added to the bath water, but can also be lathered in the shower to cleanse or post-shower to moisturize. The oil is also pomegranate scented and a little goes a very long way. Never mind the scent though, it moisturizes so well in the bath that I kind of felt like J. Lo. in “Waiting for Tonight” (or J. Lo. on any given day of the week).

The verdict? It was a dream—a really good dream, the kind of dream you think about before falling asleep on the hope you’ll dream it all over again. And when I’m not up to the 45-minute retreat, there’s always the melograno soap bar, which kicks my CVS liquid body soap’s ass, because these days I’m definitely fancy.

Santa Maria Novella is located in five cities around the U.S. (I’m lucky to live near one in Washington, D.C.). If a store isn’t near you, take home a piece of the dream via their online store.

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