I don’t bath. I shower. I don’t like the idea of sitting in water that is dirty. Call me a snob, call me a germophobe, whatever, I don’t like a bath. Let’s not think too much into it.
But…. it’s the same with swimming. Yes, yes, yes I know most swimming baths have chlorine in the water, but I remember the last time I went swimming and I remember a man doing the breast stroke coming towards me. His head rising and lowering above and below the surface of the water in time with his strokes. Then I noticed that his mouth was wide open to gasp air and then would go beneath the water, still open, only to rise again and spit out like some sort of Italian art deco fountain, a full mouth’s contents of water! I couldn’t help but pull a face.
Then I thought hold on, his saliva is no doubt floating around and if I get any water in my mouth there’s a chance it’s already been in his mouth! Uurgh. I’m not sharing spit with any man! But then I made the mistake of thinking where else the water had been. Needless to say, I’ve never been swimming since. Not to wish to put anyone off venturing to the swimming pool of course. It is a very good form of exercise and fun for all the family…as long as you don’t think about it.
The bath is similar except the waters been around your own dirty bits to wash them and therefore the remnants of whatever you’ve washed off, you’re still sitting in and it kind of defeats the object to me.
Anyway, I think we’ve established that my preferred method of washing is showering. This evening I had a shower but I had ran out of my manly shower gel. You know, the shower gel that you can use to wash your body AND your hair! With an essence of testosterone and extracts of adrenaline and petrol! Bloody Bloke stuff!
My good lady said I could use some of her Clarins stuff. What a kind and loving lady she is. Whilst I was in the shower I noted a few different Clarins products in that area so I reached down to pick up what most resembled shower gel.
I am alas a simple man and so the fact that this stuff didn’t say shower gel or soap on it left me confused. Man can be great at retuning the tv, building flat pack furniture or lifting the bonnet of a broken down car staring at the engine trying to work out what has happened with no previous mechanical experience. But when he just wants soap and he finds himself with a variety of lady products, it is indeed a strange and alien experience.
Firstly, the only thing I can understand is the word relax. So I’m guessing that whatever this does, if done correctly, I should feel half asleep, de-stressed and free from any tension anywhere in my body. The remaining phrase is in French and I don’t recall any of those words from my 3 years of non-enthused learning from almost 20 years ago! But if it’s French I’m thinking it is quality and my hopes are raised.
Then the bit in English explains that it’s bath and shower concentrate. Concentrate? What does that mean? Does that mean it needs to be diluted? My experience of concentrate is usually from fruit juices being from concentrate or not from concentrate. When does that apply to soap? I’m standing in the shower staring at this bottle wondering whether it is soap or not!…..for 5 minutes.
Then it says underneath with essential oils! Essential for what exactly? Essential for normal body functioning? Essential for the development and well being of future generations? Essential for maintaining a healthy colon? Essential for what?! Clearly it is essential that I have these oils. I need them somehow but I don’t know why. Don’t tell me I need something Clarins and then fail to explain why!! I’m a man, I don’t understand unless you tell me.
I thought I would check the back because surely there would be more information there.
More French, and then it explains that for a bath add so much to running water to create bubbles. Ok, so this is bubble bath. I don’t see bubble bath as soap. It’s, well, bubble bath. Perhaps I have somewhat of a blinkered view of the world, I just don’t know but bubble bath and soap are two different things. You only need to add a little bit of bubble bath to the bath then run the hot and cold taps and hey presto you’ve got a bath full of bubbles. But I’ve never used bubble bath or muscle soak or any other fancy bubble bath as a normal soap. It just doesn’t seem right to me. Soap is for soap essential activities, namely washing and bubble bath is for bubbles in baths based activities.
Then underneath the instructions explain that for a shower, apply two cap fulls to a damp sponge. Firstly, I am unable to measure two cap fulls because the bottle has a top that you kind of pop open. It’s not a screw top so how could I measure that? Secondly, I don’t have a sponge! Clearly, I was not pre-warned that there were stringent guidelines of how to use this concentrate. I was not told that I would need other bathing apparatus! Why does having a shower have to be so difficult? I just want soap!!!
I decide to pop it open and just take a handful. I’m a bloody bloke! I’ll handle this a bloody bloke way and just wash with it. It must be soap, surely. As I started to wash with it, I noticed that it felt a little oily. Thank God, I’m getting those essential oils I thought. I just don’t know how I could have gotten through the day without them. But it quickly washed off and there was no froth, no bubbles, nothing that you’d expect when using manly shower gel when you wash your head and face and you struggle to breathe because of the strong overpowering scent and then scream because you’ve got some in your eye and it feels like someone has thrown battery acid in it only to leave it red and bloodshot for the next 3 days. All this whilst slipping on some gel that has landed on the bottom of the bath and failed to dilute enough and trying to steady yourself you grab onto the shower curtain and pull it and the supporting rail on top of you ending up as a soaked, soapy, blood shot, potent, frothy mess with a shower curtain stuck to you.
But I rely on bubbles. Why? Because that way I have a visual trigger of what has been washed and what hasn’t. Cover myself in bubbles, wash it all off, job done. After the non fragrant essential oily concentrate had washed itself away, I wasn’t sure if I’d missed anything. So I had a second go to be safe.
Did I feel relaxed, de-stressed and without tension? No. I felt confused, frustrated and wet.
I wasn’t convinced. I’ll stick to my non pretentious non-poncy – non-concentrated soap thanks and leave the likes of this Clarins stuff to Mrs Grump who understands that world.
I reached out the shower and grabbed the handwash.