What an appealing concept. To be able to take a summer bath in one’s garden amidst the flowers and herbs. However, in view of possible neighbourly objections (or inappropriate glee), perhaps it’s best to bring one’s garden indoors and then have your bath.
Wallace Stevens goes on to write in the same poem, “Beauty is immortal in the mind-/The fitful tracing of a portal;/But in the flesh it is immortal./The body dies; the body’s beauty lives.” Indeed, the ancient Egyptians adorned and anointed their dead to preserve the body and make it more attractive for the world beyond. This practice evolved into intricate customs of beauty preparations for religious and other ceremonies. The ancient Greeks personalized beauty preparations, with an emphasis on beauty as another aspect of total health and well-being for the individual.
By Elizabethan times, there was an awareness of the vital role a healthy skin played in the pursuit of beauty and recipes for soaps, salves and herbal beauty preparations were passed down through generations. As Shakespeare wrote, “Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.”