Soothing bath oils, soaks and salts will no longer suffice. A foamy sea of bubbles is the only way forward. I want to be like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, sitting happily in a huge round tub with bubbles up to her chin while she listens to Prince on her Walkman, or like Friends’ Chandler when he discovers the joy of baths for the first time: encircled by tea lights and bubbles rising like a soapy mountain range. The foamier, the better.
Escapist bathing is a growing trend. Cult Beauty reported that its Bath & Body category grew by 210 per cent in 2020 compared with 2019, with foaming concoctions such as Kai’s Bathing Bubbles (£24) seeing a surge in demand. Sarah Pricaz, international marketing vice-president at L’Occitane en Provence, confirms: “Throughout the confinement of quarantine periods, consumers have not been able to travel geographically, and thus seek at-home beauty and bodycare alternatives that allow them to travel sensorially.” The brand recommends its Shea Bubble Bath (£26) for a creamy, comforting soak, and the Lavender Foaming Bath (£26) for a more experiential dip: close your eyes and you can pretend you’re in Provence.
For those who enjoy an invigorating tub in the morning, Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Geranium & Orange Foaming Bath (£15.50) is zesty and energising, and creates hardy, long-lasting bubbles. If you prefer a relaxing evening soak but still desire some bubbles, there’s Neom’s Perfect Night’s Sleep Bath Foam (£22), which creates a lighter foam that dissolves to release calming aromas of sweet basil, jasmine and lavender.
Susanne Kaufmann set out to create a “soothing and relaxing experience” with her Mallow Blossom Bubble Bath (£47), which uses conditioning mallow extract to moisturise stressed skin. “The wonderful thing about bathing is that you can personalise your bath depending on what your physical or mental needs are,” says Kaufmann. “I think more than ever people have time to stop, rest and indulge. If you’re going to spend 30 minutes in a bath, the bubbles can make it feel luxurious.”
Fragrance connoisseurs will be pleased to hear that a number of perfumiers have recently turned their hands to bubbling bath products. Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady Foam Bath (£95) translates the same heady notes of rose, patchouli, blackcurrant and frankincense into an opulent foam. While Chanel’s latest beauty launch sees the signature Chance scent become a foaming body cleanser that doubles as a bubble bath (£42). It’s also available in the lighter Chance Eau Fraîche and the fruity-floral Chance Eau Tendre, alongside baby-pink effervescent tablets that release the scent of Chance Eau Tendre (£53 for 10 tablets).
“I can actually feel my tension just melting away,” says Chandler as he sinks into the water. Such is the power of the perfect bubble bath.
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