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Global bathers: A treat for the imagination

Lush fanatic Monica Coppola was born in Naples and works for an Italian publishing association. Monica talks about her love of bathing as a way to express her creativity and how her niece, Little Frog has inherited her love of bath bombs.

For me, bathing offers a moment to relax, a moment where I can immerse myself in silence, surrounded by a cloud of enchanting scents. But since helping my niece, Little Frog to bathe (a nickname given to her as a baby), I discovered just how magical bathing can be. I learnt to look at the world with new eyes, just like children do. 

How do I bathe? I set the scene with soft lighting, scented candles, sometimes music or a book and lots of essential oils. Even when I use bath bombs which are already rich in natural ingredients, I add other essences to the water. A few drops of rosemary, sachets of chamomile, a little bergamot or perhaps some lavender sprigs. 

Adding other ingredients to the bath makes me feel like an artist - I enter the bathtub and express my creativity. I usually follow the Japanese Ofuro ritual, taking a shower before immersing myself in hot water and massaging a few drops of essential oil into my wrists and temples as I fill the bathtub. I soak in the bath for an infinite amount of time. 

When I was younger my grandma Giuseppina would call up to me: “Monica, get out of the water or you’ll get skin like a cod!” Now, when I bathe, I repeat this sentence that I heard so often as a child and it makes me feel protected, loved and at home. Bathing for me is pure freedom and I enjoy the different effect essential oils can have on the mind.

When I buy bath bombs, I put them in a square box that I call my magic chest of perfumes, ready to use whenever I want an immersive soak. After two or three weeks, a scented sand gathers at the bottom of the box. Coloured and very fine, the sand is what remains of previous bath bombs. From time to time I take the powder from the box and massage it into my skin in the shower so nothing gets wasted. At other times, I will put this magic box in the closet, so the scent lingers on my clothes and linen. But usually, it is my niece, Little Frog who goes in search of my magic box of Lush bath bombs. Handing me the box and asking if we can take a bath. Perhaps she has got her passion for perfume from her sommelier dad, who has taught her to trust her nose. 

Little Frog is my sister’s daughter. You may be wondering why we call her Little Frog, after all girls are usually princesses not frogs. When she was born, my niece weighed just under 2.5kg. Her legs and arms were very long, with tapered fingers like those of a pianist. From then on her nickname stuck. 

When I help Little Frog to bathe, I forget the stresses of the day. Little Frog loves bath bombs because they remind her of magic. Her favourites are those that change colour and dart around the bath because they allow her to invent fables, games and fanciful tales. Sometimes she dreams of being a fairy, sometimes a witch throwing sparkling spells of colour into the water. 

When I watch Little Frog play in the bathtub, I feel the same sense of joy I felt as a child. She is so imaginative and full of creativity. She’ll choose a bath bomb and sometimes will divide it into several parts so she can play with one colour at a time, other times she will use two bath bombs together. Then she begins to swim, dreaming of transforming into a grim witch, a small fish, a woodland fairy, or a unicorn. Other days she will look at me with her wonderful eyes and ask me to tell her a fairytale and I will invent enchanting tales. 

Thanks to Little Frog, I have discovered that observing the world through the eyes of a child can really brighten the mood, especially after a difficult day at work or when feeling down. It’s about giving ourselves a moment to escape daily routine. Children know how to be amazed and how to dream, but as adults we sometimes forget these things. 

Little Frog has cast the most beautiful spell on me. She has taught me that everyone is a little magic and that every person has the power to transform their mood. After all, who said fairytales were just for children?

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