For most men, the bath is a lukewarm mystery not worth solving. But for the ladies in our lives a long soak is an opportunity to decompress and reflect on the finer things. When a guy learns to draw a well-appointed bath for his sig. other, it sends the message, “Baby, I care about you and the tribulations with which this day has burdened you.” (And it makes that statement in a Barry White voice much more suave than your own.) We asked Wilfred Joseph, innkeeper at Arbor View House in East Marion how to draw a mind-blowing, spa-like bath at home.
Fill the tub with water that is about 92 degrees Fahrenheit. As the tub fills, test the temperature with the sensitive areas of the arm, like the wrist and the back of the hand. Too hot and the water irritates the sensitive backside; too cold and the bath won’t be comfortable. “Make the water a bit warmer for cast iron tubs that may steal some of the water’s initial heat,” Joseph said.
Add 1 to 1 ½ cups of Epsom salt and stir it into the filling tub. Fragrant bath salts can be used instead, though the scent should match the essential oil and any scented candles that follow. These salts relax muscles and can help relieve pain, soreness, swelling or stiffness.
Oils and music
Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil into the bath. Because it floats on the surface of the water, it will coat your lady’s skin when she steps out. Playing a specially selected “mix tape” of her favorite songs will also show her that you planned this event in advance—a feeling anyone would treasure.
Playful and mounding, bubbles add a sense of lightness. Any unscented bubbling gel will do, add it when the bath is running. The bubbles also help support rose petals, stripped from about three blooms, adding a layer of luxe.
Light her fire
A dark room relaxes the body and mind. Draw the blinds in the bathroom and light votive candles on the edge of the tub, in sight and near the feet. The goal is to keep the little lights in view of her eyes so she can focus on the dancing flicker.
Give your lover at least 30 minutes of undisturbed soak time. “Guests usually stay in there until they become wrinkled,” Joseph said. “Though some do fall asleep.” Make sure you’ve laid out a plush, clean bathrobe to keep her body temperature high when she finally decides to exit.