I doubt I’m alone when I say I’m a fan of anything that has to do with pampering. Since becoming a mom, though, baths and showers have become purely functional; a five minute rinse just enough to be passably clean. This is why I was stoked when my best friend sent me a birthday package of Santa Maria Novella goods — their Orange Blossom Water and Rose Milk Soap — with a note telling me to make sure to pamper myself. I definitely need the reminder.
Until she sent me this package, I had no idea about Santa Maria Novella, which is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies founded in 1221. I’d say a pharmacy that’s operated for almost 800 years probably has a pretty good idea of how to make a good bath product. The pharmacy originally crafted remedies for use in the Florence monastery, but through the years they gained popularity and became widely used by noblemen and women and was known as a favorite of the Queen of France in the 1500′s. Well, if it’s good enough for her, it’s most certainly good enough for me.
The night I received my package, I decided to go all out. I grabbed a glass of wine, ran a hot bath with some bubbles and added a few splashes of the Orange Blossom Water, which from what I can tell is just sort of an all purpose toner, fragrance and skin softener. It smells absolutely heavenly — very refreshing and light but complex and just smells “expensive”. I soaked in that for a good long time and then lathered up a washcloth with the Rose Milk Soap.