One of the things I lament most about the advent of modern architecture is the tiny tub. I personally blame Frank Lloyd Wright. Anyone who knows anything about architecture (and many who don’t) know FLW as one of the most famous Architects ever- Ayn Rand even used him for the model for her Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, for better or worse. One of the things about old Frankie is that he was not exactly tall: about 5’8”. One of the other things about old Frankie is that he had an ego that, when stod upon, made him NBA player sized. So he thought that 5’8” was pretty much the perfect size for a male human and sized his architecture to match. So much so that he (jokingly I hope) used to tell one of his 6’2” students to go somewhere else because he was throwing the proportions off.
Why, you might ask, did I bring this up? Well, a lot of FLW’s ideas came to be adapted as standard in building trades for reasons that had little to do with Wright’s aesthetic: He believed in small bedrooms because they were cozy and the family should gather together in the living room. Halls didn’t need to be much wider than a person and his kitchens (or “workspaces”) were designed by a person who clearly never cooked. All of his space was in the the great living rooms, usually with high ceilings, inviting hearths, and built-ins for seating.
Builders picked and chose: they took the small bedrooms, narrow corridors, galley kitchens and low ceilings and added into that “cozy” living rooms. An 8 foot ceiling suddenly became “soaring” and you were lucky to get a dining “area’ much less a whole room.
Then there were the bathrooms (You never thought I’d get there, did you?) “Luxury” fixtures became almost comically small while the population grew taller: toilets became as low to the ground as sports cars while bathtubs became more like small water features. Good for the builders costs, bad if you wanted to get off the Kohler without a crane.
So, the place I am in now has one of those tubs. It allows about a good 5 inches of water in below the overflow and is fairly short. So bathing isn’t exactly a luxury experience. If I won Looto I think I would put one of those wave pools in and just keep the Mr. Bubble on hand. In the mean time, I use my various scented bath stuff in my shower.
One of my defaults is Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint castile soap. It’s available everywhere (I get mine in the whopping 64oz size for $30 at Amazon and keep refilling) it’s inexpensive, and while some people don’t care for it, I kind of like the mild zing that the peppermint gives. It’s written on it’s side (among other rather nutty things) that it has many other uses which I have not tried. Have you?
Kiehl’s is another good one for bath stuff. I use their shampoo daily and have the Body Fuel wash in the 1 liter pump bottle. It’s pricey at $55 for a liter, but can be had for much less when they are having a sale, which is pretty much twice a year. It also seems to have some minty freshness to it, but less so than the good Doctors and seems to be more emollient.
C.O. Bigelow had been a favorite of mine since I lived in NYC in the 80’s and used to buy sundries from the store in the village. They have hand wash and body washes, in lovely scents like lime coriander, rosemary mint, bergamot, and a particularly nice musk (and yes, I do get the irony of shampooing off your own musk with soap smelling of someone else’s idea of of it) They all seem to be around $20 for 10 ounces, but again you can catch them on sale pretty easily at one or another retailer.
A recent purchase was something from Murdock of London: a jumbo black tea body wash that was marked down to $25 from $99, or so they said. Since I only have enough body wash to clean myself for the next two years or so I got one. It is a very nice and very strong tea scent that actually lingers on skin after the bath. Great if you want to just smell of tea but if you like to perfume yourself not so much. I will enjoy it while I have it.
I do have a bottle of Malle “French Lover” body wash that I hoard and dole out like caviar. It’s truly luxurious, highly scented and just luscious. It was a birthday gift from a very generous friend so I have not investigated the price. But when I run out I will gladly pay it again.
The last one that I have is a staple. Trader Joe’s Refresh Citrus body wash. At $2.99 for 16 ounces it’s practically free, and one of the advantages of my corner of LA is that we have 3 stores within a 5 minute drive from my little hovel. Whatever you do don’t get it from Amazon- it’s over 3 times the price than it is at the source and while I like it, I consider that to be a blatant rip-off. If you don’t have a TJ’s near to you ask a friend to grab you a couple and mail them. Or choose another brand- like I write, I like this one but could manage to soldier on without it if necessary..
So, what do you like in the bath? Do you have a tub that lets you luxuriate? Have a special shower gel you want to share? Let us know in the comments.
All of the items mentioned in this review were purchased by unless otherwise noted. Photo of my shower tower o’suds is mine.