It’s been a fair few months since I had my first ever spa experience, (let alone a Lush Spa) and I think I ought to finally tell you about it all.
5th April 2016
It’s a sunny day in Poole, the Dorset town in which Lush was born 21 years ago. Its quaint little high street, matched with the stunning quays make for the perfect back drop for the most relaxing day of my life. The time between my train arriving and my treatment beginning offers me the opportunity to explore Poole, and take in its peaceful energy, yet there’s that little bit in the back of mind that’s anxious about the idea of a full body massage. Is it going to be weird? Am I wearing appropriate pants?
Of course, the minute I walk through the doors to the Spa, I feel calm. There’s nothing clinical about the space, it’s as if I’ve been invited into someone’s country home,a quintessentially British decor and warming atmosphere. After taking my coat and bag off, I’m offered use of the bathroom…well I never! This place is bathroom goals for sure. A walk in shower, lovely brickwork surrounding the cool tiles, Lush essentials by the sink, books by the toilet.
The bathroom alone is heaven, perfectly capturing the cosy feel of the spa. I am then invited to seat myself in the ‘kitchen’ for a refreshing glass of water. There I am talked through the treatment by my spa therapist Tori. She asks if I know anything about Synaesthesia, what it means, why it’s so important to Lush. I know a little bit, but I’d like to hear more.
The company’s founder, Mark Constantine, an eccentric man who is devoted to innovative ways of combining aromatherapy with everyday cosmetics, feels the effects of synaesthesia, a condition in which one sense triggers another. For example, a smell may make those with the condition taste something, seeing a certain colour may make you feel something. It’s the merging of the senses, and with it being so close to home, it made sense to create a treatment in which all senses could blend into one, and for this to become the pinnacle of the Lush Spa.
After explaining the treatment, Tori draws my attention to a board on the wall to my left. On this board are a selection of different words and I’m to pick one that stands out. It’s not something I should take too much time on, but I find it difficult to decide which word appeals to me the most. At this point however, the answer is clear. I pick ‘Mind Cleanser’. Perhaps there’s too much going on in my head, let’s clear that up a little.
Tori then takes a massage bar out of a jar labeled ‘Mind Cleanser’, this is the essential component to my treatment. Priding themselves on using ‘naked’ products to reduce the need for packaging, Lush opt for a solid rather than a bottle of massage oil. Essential oils are blended with cocoa butter to form a solid bar, that when melted at body temperature, can be glided over the skin in massage.
I’m not allowed to smell the Mind Cleanser bar before my treatment, instead I’m asked to look at the shelves to my right – it looks like something you’d find in an ancient apothecary of sorts, bottles that come in different sizes and colours, all labeled with emotive words and actions. I’m asked to pick one without smelling its contents while Tori makes sure my treatment room is ready. Again, with even more choice, it’s a struggle, but my indecisiveness tells me to ‘Go Do’. Let’s cleanse my mind and get ready to just go do life.
Tori returns and I pass her my ‘Go Do’ bottle. This is going to be used to scent my treatment room. I’ve unknowingly picked the two scents that will blend together for the ultimate experience. I’m shown into my room, and it is evident which essential oil is present in my little bottle of Go Do. (I won’t spoil it for you, but I was intensely happy with my choice.) I am then shown where to leave my clothes and jewellery before being given some time to myself to get undressed, and positioned comfortably under the towels on the table. My little anxious thoughts that I had felt earlier have already drifted and I am perfectly calm.
I ring a bell and Tori enters softly and pops the music on. Each treatment has its own unique soundtrack, but perhaps Synaesthesia is where this is most poignant, we’re talking about merging the senses after all. This treatment comes with a journey of orchestral music, birdsong, and all sorts of calming sounds that just let me drift of into sweet bliss. The treatment starts with a facial massage, complete with hot and cold stones – the feeling is so spectacular and pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to my face.
Tori then carries on with the rest of the massage; even though my eyes are pretty much shut, I catch glimpses of her silhouette, practically dancing along to the specially composed music, among the different coloured lights and fragranced mists in the room. Before the treatment Tori explained two options for part of the treatment – I could either have a stomach massage or a hot stone treatment. Not really fancying a belly rub, I go for the hot stones; these are placed at various points of the body during the massage and removed before I am asked to turn onto my front for my back massage. It’s pure magic, I am in a trance, barely noticing a technical fault as the CD player skips. Not to worry though, Tori gently tells me she’s going to start the track again, I may be missing out on some of the music, but I’m still in a world of my own.
Initially, the idea of an 80 minute massage seemed ridiculous, but as I awaken from my sweet haze, I can barely believe that it is over. I’m left to get myself ready for the outside world in my own time, and invited to a sitting room area just outside of the kitchen before I leave. I kind of don’t want to leave…I stand in the room a little longer, holding on to the aroma of that Go Do bottle and my Mind Cleanser massage bar. As I finally make my way into the sitting room, I’m offered a cup of tea, but this is no English Breakfast brew. This tea is a unique blend to go along with my Mind Cleanser prescription. I’m also given a fresh massage bar to take home with me as well as a matching bubble stone to use in the bath. I was also gifted The Comforter bubble bar as an apology for the soundtrack playing up and even though I really didn’t mind that it had happened, I definitely appreciate the gesture.
I’m blown away by the tailored nature of this special little haven as I finish off my treatment with a beautiful cup of tea, collecting my thoughts to leave a note in the visitors book. A massive thanks to Lush Spa Poole and Tori for a wonderful introduction to the Lush Spa, I will definitely be returning some time soon.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I promise I won’t leave it so long next time, this post just slipped through my hands for a moment (try a few months). You can find much more frequent updates on my Twitter and Instagram.