When I was drawing up my 101 Things List a couple of months ago, I looked through my 1,001 Things to Do Before I Die list for inspiration. One of the items listed there was "bathe in rose petals". It was one of those things I added just on a whim, thinking I'd probably never get around to it. But when I saw it again, my thinking on it had changed completely. It went from:
How ridiculously decadent! Where am I going to get enough roses for that? From a florist?! I'd need at least a dozen, that's got to be at least $80. Madness!
Aha! That's a good way to get rid of the glut of roses in my garden every Spring! All I need to do is wait until they bloom, and Bob's your uncle!
Now that a source for the roses is taken care of, my only concern was the timing. The roses bloom in late Spring and Summer, and the weather might be too warm for a bath at this time of year. But then I remembered that I live in Melbourne, where it's equally likely to be 18oC in the middle of Summer as to be 35oC. As it turned out, after blooming began I only had to wait a week for the right climatic conditions. Yesterday I selected some nice fully-open specimens and collected them in my basket. Later in the evening, I plucked them and dropped the petals into the running bathwater. I didn't add anything else because I was curious to see what effect the roses alone would have.
Unfortunately I have to report that bathing in rose petals didn't quite live up to my expectations. I was expecting a strong rose scent, but it was actually very faint, and began to dissipate before long. I didn't step out of the tub decadently smelling of roses, with silky skin from absorbing the oils, or any of those romantic notions that I'd imagined. When I gathered up the petals and used them to scrub myself, more scent was released, but it didn't last, and the petals were left looking worse for wear. I guess roses are bred more for their appearance than their scent these days.
Having said that, the visual effect of the rose petals in the bath was beautiful and made me feel very special. Harvesting them and plucking them was a fun activity, so I wouldn't mind doing that again. I would definitely repeat the experience, but with some essential oils or other scents added next time. And it wasn't until I was editing the photos for this post that I thought to myself, why didn't I light some candles??
I feel a little guilty writing about this, as for such a long time, I thought it was an activity out of my reach. Dear readers, I hope that one day you can try this too. Perhaps you have a relative or neighbour with a rose garden who could spare a dozen or so? I hope so.