This ‘N That

This n thatWell, I don’t have a post on a specific scent this week. At the behest of my employers I don’t wear scent to the office so I’ve spent the week playing with old favorites after office hours (One time I think I horrified a UPS guy by signing for my new topsiders after having just applied from a sample of JAR Fermez Tes Yeux with it’s full zombie apocalypse wedding glory.) Another day it was a bit of a sample of CB I Hate Perfumes 7 Billion Hearts, all cognacky vanilla and sensuous musk. Then another day it was Frederick Malle French Lover, possibly one of the most well-dressed scents I own- it makes me feel like I’m wearing Savile Row even when I’m in flannel jammies, and yes, I did actually send away to France so I could have French Lover rather than Bois d’Orage. Because I like to call it “fwehnsh luvvahhh”, and Thunder Woods (Bois d’Orage roughly translated) sounds like a 70’s porn star.

So I’ve been mostly farting around and watching netflix streaming. My Bad.

One of my oldest pals always gives me the same birthday and Christmas gift. or at least has the last few years: shower gel, lately from Molton Brown. So far I’ve had a couple of the Orange & Bergamot (yum) and Gingerlily (not as yum.) I’m hoping that the Caju and Lime is in my future. There have beens side trips into Kiehl’s, which are always welcome. I actually purchased from Surrender to Chance a bottle of the Different Company’s Bergamote, which is delightful and I’m rationing. I received for free a bottle of Irish Spring exfoliation whatever for men, which didn’t really exfoliate that I noticed and had an unpleasant smell that lingered. I even got some bath products at the 99 cent store, just because.

I love to bathe, but haven’t gotten much of a chance to do it in the past years (I mean, I’m showering and all) since I no longer have my 1920’s era single on Oakhurst Drive. The downside was that it only had about four electrical outlets in the whole place but the upside was the tub: big enough for my rather tall self to really soak in. I even remember going through a minor earthquake in that tub, one that lasted long enough for me to actually make the decision to exit to the hall and watch waves form on the Floris-scented water.

My next place was built in the 50’s and had a short, shallow tub that try as I might to stuff things in the overflow outlet could not get the water more than two thirds of the way up my admittedly barrel chest and decisions had to be made to it’s lack of length as to whether legs or torso were going to be soaking; both at the same time were out of the question.

I’ve always wondered, why is it that as the population is getting taller (and I am not hallucinating this, I notice that young people these days are really tall- taller than I am and I’m just short of six three) the tubs are like birdbaths and toilets are three inches above the ground?

Personally, I blame Frank Lloyd Wright. Yes, he was a master architect and responsible for (IMHO) some of the most beautiful and exciting architecture ever created. But he also believed that his height at five foot eight was the perfect height and all his architecture should be scaled to him. Actor Jack Larson from the old Superman series has been quoted jokingly that it’s a good thing he’s short or he’s never be able to navigate his Brentwood Wright without hitting his head. Compactness was a Wright hallmark: halls were narrow, kitchens and baths tiny. I think developers took these parts of Wright’s architecture to heart, it not the actual art involved.

If I ever hit Powerball, the first thing I’m going to do is buy a place. The second is that if it doesn’t have a big enough tub, I’m going to put one in. One where I can be up to my earlobes in suds. Perhaps with a wave attachment.

Okay, what are your favorite bath suds? Or salts? Discuss in the comments..

Image: This N That by Bette Davis (which you should read if you haven’t already) from

  • sharviss says:

    My favourite bath indulgence is a glass of wine and a generous splash of Penhalignon’s Elixir bath oil. Heaven!

  • Flora says:

    I USED to be a bath queen but the house I live in now has one of those tubs where your knees are up to your chin if you sit down, and no room to install a bigger one. Ah, the Fifties were not a good time for domestic floor plans. I grew up in a house with a claw foot tub and my last house had a nice big tub as well.

    When I can indulge I love Natori bath cream, it is incredibly moisturizing. I troll for cool bath and body stuff at stores like Ross and TJ Maxx and I am always trying new things. Even though I have to shower now, I always have a good selection of scented body wash on hand, and don’t even get me started on the post-bath routine – I have so many creams and lotions! Natori and various orange blossom and rose body creams, scented oils, the works. It’s partly out of necessity – I am a gardener and I get dirty and my skin dries out from digging in the soil, so repairing the damage is required. I may as well smell good in the process!

  • Kismet429 says:

    My top two luxuries in the house are a generously- sized tub and a wood-burning fireplace (not necessarily in the same room, although that would be lovely). Even if 30 minutes in the tub doesn’t fix it, it will certainly make it a whole lot better.

  • Jackie b says:

    Hello, Bath Queen here! I have a tub long enough to drown in, which is a bit of an issue when you live in a drought stricken country! But I still love my baths.
    Epsom salts are fabulous and you can add those perfume samples you may not ever wear, but smell nice in a bath. I also make bath bombs. Last night was Kneipp bath essence, these are really good value and come in lots of herbal scents.
    L’Erbolario makes nice bath stuff, my favourite is Myrrhae bath creme.
    Dispersible lavender oil, lots of it.
    Keep on soaking!

  • Musette says:

    Thunder Woods/porn star made me spit out my coffee!

  • einsof says:


    a deep, long claw foot tub was not JUST a luxury back in the Minneapolis days- it was a tool to keep yourself warm and sane in the depth of the winter.

    i think people have forgotten HOW to bathe. they believe soaking in the tub is the same is actually cleaning up. and yes, the tubs are now too small to do so comfortably anyway. few men have enjoyed the ritual of shaving in an aromatic tub- let alone the actual process of a good shave.

    and the time. we’ll dedicate time to our obsessive-compulsive lifestyles, our debts and dues, other people’s rescues and rehearsals, but not to our own silence and solaces. odd, that.

    and here i sit in a house with only a ‘knees or torso’ kind of kiddie pool. *le sigh*

    • Tom says:

      I agree- people have forgotten how to bathe. They also forget that a deep soak in a hot tub is not only the best way to exfoliate but great for your circulation as well.

  • Shirley Munoz says:

    My bath routine is a big deal. After Mixed Martials Practice, I really need girl time. So after washing with Shalimar soap gel, I shut the water and cream with shea butter, wait a few minutes, rinse off and oil again with Lierac’s Huile Sensorielle. You can also put this in your bath. It brings the dead back to life.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for the tip! I love shea butter- I use it as a hair dressing and moisturizer.

  • AnnS says:

    Tom: I totally get it. I am 6’1″. My DH is 6’4″. (And my dear, gorgeous 6 year old daughter is already 4’4″ and will be as tall as a willow tree when she is done growing.) As far as I’m concerned the world is made for short people. Ever try to buy a car – research on head room brings in a small selection in the affordable range? Chop veggies on a standard height counter? Shower (in a hotel) with a head at 5’5″? Legroom on public transit, ha! A lifetime of banging knees on crappy desks. Yes, I am sure you are saying yes to all of this. I could go on, as I am sure you can too. I don’t blame Mr. Wright, I blame cheapness. Stinginess. Where are my high ceilings? Deep, long bathtubs? Luxuriously high shower heads? Legroom in cars? Chairs not for children? Kitchen counters that don’t break my back? Cut a few inches from the mass of anything, and eventually someone saved some money. Yes, stinginess is the curse for a tall person. We live in a cheap world. Years ago when I first met dear hubby, who is a native Portlander, when I briefly lived in Portland, my sister and I shared an old condo in NW on Hoyt. It had the most glorious 72″ clawfoot bathtub. It was heaven on earth, and to this day (15 years later), I am still pining away for a glorious soaking tub. Someday, someday, I’ll renovate our home and get one in, even if I have to eliminate a small bedroom to do it. My favorite product for a good hot soak is very simple: I love epsom salts and a few drops of whatever essential oil has my attention. Normally orange blossom or geranium rose. Sometimes lavender. But a massive scoop of epsom salt makes all my ills go away. Simple and fantastic, just like a good large tub. Maybe we should just move to Europe where they still tend to have massive tubs in regular houses…..

  • rosarita says:

    Between you and Portia I’m longing for the whirlpool tub in my former house. We lived in that place through an extensive remodel that was a nightmare start to finish but that tub was big enough for two and I would often take two baths a day or more. In the ancient bungalow we have now, the tub is too tiny and narrow to use but it will be awhile until I’m up for another remodel.