The Perfect Romantic Bath
by Kat Richter

Marilyn Monroe in the perfect romantic bath
A bath can be the perfect way to help your partner de-stress after a long day. You can either leave them alone to relax and unwind or join them for a sensual soak-for-two. Either way, you'll need to have some romantic bath ideas ready beforehand so follow these guidelines to create the perfect spa experience.

Start Cleaning

Nothing kills the mood like a big splotch of mildew on your shower curtain so before you get started, grab some bleach. Give your tub a thorough scrubbing, taking care to clean the base, the faucets and the surrounding ledge. Be sure to remove any extraneous clutter: bottles of shampoo, bars of soap, etc. and stash them elsewhere for the night. If you're dealing with a severe mold situation, try Lysol Mold & Mildew remover or Foam-tastic Kaboom with Oxi-Clean Stain Fighters. Spray the tub with your cleaning agent of choice and let it sit for a few minutes before you start to scrub. When you're through, be sure to give your tub a good rinse to remove any unwanted residue.

Stock Up

Hit your local Body Shop, Lush or Bath and Body Works to load up on supplies. Between bath soaks, bath salts, essential oils and bubble baths, you'll have more than enough to pick from. But beware: choose one or two products and stop there. You don't want to overwhelm your partner with too many different scents and many products will cancel each other out if you're not careful.
  • For a refreshing bath, we recommend a scented bath salt; aim for a neutral but revitalizing scent like peppermint. This can be great if your partner is athletic and in need of a soak to revive their muscles.
  • If you're going for a more sensual experience, try adding a few drops of lavender, jasmine or sandalwood essential oil to the water. Add a handful of rose petals directly into the bathwater for a romantic touch.
  • Keep it fun and fruity with a strawberry, watermelon or pineapple bubble bath. Lush has some great bath products that literally sparkle, plus they come in different shapes and colors so if you're partner needs a pick me up, this can be a great option.
  • If you prefer to keep it simple and low-key, head to your local pharmacy and pick up a carton of Epsom salt. This simple compound of magnesium and sulfate has numerous health benefits and all you need to do is dissolve a cup or two in your bath.

Set the Mood

Dim the lights and set the mood with a row of candles on the edge of the tub, the windowsill or the back of the toilet. We recommend small tea-light candles (which come in many different colors) as opposed to larger tapers; they're less likely to spill wax onto your tub or get knocked over. If you're going for a heavily scented bath, aim for a neutral, non-scented candle or, if you've managed to restrain yourself in the bubble bath department, try something warm and inviting like vanilla or pumpkin. In addition, put together a playlist of your partner's favorite songs or find a station that plays soothing music. You can also get a CD of "zen" tunes, similar to those you'd hear at a spa or yoga studio at your local library; sometimes stores like Bath and Body works will even sell these CDs with their bath products.

Think Ahead

Stock your bathroom with a bottle of champagne and a pitcher of water. Make sure you have enough glasses for each of you if you're going to be joining your partner in the tub. Prepare a tray of finger foods as well. Strawberries are always a great complement to champagne and grapes work well too. Be careful, however, with foods that are susceptible to high temperatures; chocolate may seem like a good idea but there's a good chance it will end up melting.

The Accessories

  • Make sure you have a nice, thick sponge or loofah handy. Bath mitts are fun too, especially if you and your partner would like to experiment with bathing one another.
  • Keep a small hand towel nearby so that your partner can easily dry his or her hands, especially if they decide to take their favorite reading material into the bath with them.
  • Invest in a heated towel rack to treat your partner to a warm towel, or throw a few into the dryer for the same effect at a fraction of the cost.
  • If you're celebrating and anniversary or a special event, consider purchasing monogrammed bathrobes for yourself and your partner. These will make for a wonderful surprise at the end of your bath.

The Invitation

Presentation matters, so before you stick your head out into the hall to yell, "Hey babe, I filled the tub" see if you can come up with a creative way to invite your partner to join you. You send them an etched invitation in a heart-shaped bar of soap, or a mysterious email at work containing a picture of a bathtub but no explanation. Alternatively, lead them to the tub with a trail of rose petals or a long ribbon. Affix a large bow to your tub's faucet (or to the bottle of champagne) and tie one end of a long, satin ribbon underneath. Work your way towards the front door, allowing the ribbon to unfurl and fall to the floor as you go. When your partner arrives, they'll be intrigued and sure to follow the trail. If you have any other romantic bath ideas we're always happy to read them in the comments below.

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