For centuries, the human race has been obsessed with beauty and improving cleanliness. After a day in the city or a walk in the heat, it’s hard to think about anything else but having a wash or jumping under the shower. Or, even better, taking some time out for yourself to luxuriate in a relaxing bath.
Of course now we have some remarkable products and organic bath oils to make your bathing experience that much richer. The Ancient Romans loved their bath times too, but took them a bit more seriously. Similarly, they were used to using oils, albeit in a slightly different way. Let’s take a look at the way the Romans took their bathtimes in a bit more detail.
Roman Organic Bath Oils
While the wealthier Roman people had their own bathrooms, it was far more customary to attend the public bath houses. The purpose of bathing for hygiene reasons was almost secondary, as almost all business and organisation was carried out between the walls of the baths. People would spend long hours discussing the course of industry, finance, sports and everything else at this incredible social location. The Romans began their working day first thing in the morning, officially finishing at noon, but they would continue with meetings at the baths.
Both men and women attended the baths, although women were charged a 1 copper coin for entry, and men a ½ copper coin. The first port of call was an exercise area, which often included a swimming pool, but there could also be a weight lifting and wrestling area too, along with track and field events for larger baths and recreational spaces. The attendees would change out of their day clothes, apply olive oil all over their body, and wear garments for exercise.
The Beauty Of Roman Technology
After a period of exercise, those getting ready to go into the baths would take off their clothing, and scrape the oil and dirt from the skin. This was done in presence of a slave, who would bring towels and oil flasks, as a strigil was used to scrape the oil. A strigil was a knife-like tool, designed to lift the dirt and oil as it was dragged closely against the skin.
Thanks to the hypercaust, a super heated channel fed by a furnace running under the floors of certain buildings, the Romans managed to manipulate effective heating. By doing this, they could regulate the temperature of water, creating therapeutic pools of different temperatures. Bathers might take their first dip in the tepidarium (warm bath), then the caldarium (hot bath). After another dip in the tepidarium they would probably take a final dip in the cold bath, or frigidarium. There were also steam rooms and saunas, and tables for massage, where Roman bath-goers would be rubbed with scented oils.
Before leaving the baths, the oils would again be scraped from the skin of the bather, and he or she would be ready to go home. The baths were integral to Roman civilisation, and perhaps there hasn’t been such a dedication to this bathing regiment since. Although we can steal a little bit of this luxury with a soak in organic bath oils, or a trip to the spa!
Plaisirs Boutique has lovely Organic Bath Oil to indulge in to please your senses.