Unusual bathing habits of historical figures

Napoleon would spend hours sitting in a hot bath

Next month (June 18th) is the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, with reenactments taking place on June 19th and 20th. As well as being an interesting topic, there's a bit of Heyland and Whittle history tied up in it - you can get your hands on our new Heyland of Waterloo Commemorative Soap Book for some more information.

With a lot of the focus next month being on Napoleon, who was well known for having very specific bathing habits, we thought we'd take a look at some of the unusual bathing habits of historical figures.

Here are some of the stranger habits throughout history:

Napoleon Bonaparte

It's said that Napoleon had a very acute sense of smell, so it's no wonder that he had very specific bathing habits. 

Napoleon was incredibly fond of baths, often sitting in one for several hours while he read important documents and letters. In fact, he liked a bath so much that the servants of his household had to keep the water hot at all times just in case he decided he wanted to get in the tub.

He'd also sit in the bath for at least two hours at a time, constantly topping up the hot water to keep it comfortable. It's said that one of the reasons he was so fond of baths was because they helped with his painful haemorrhoids.

As well as hot baths, Napoleon also took great care of his hands, being careful to keep them clean and regularly trim his fingernails. He would hardly ever wear gloves, even when out riding, in order to show off his hands.

While we're sure you're not quite as obsessive as Napoleon, you can keep your hands looking and feeling great with our range of incredibly moisturising scented hand lotions

Cleopatra

History is full of unusual and luxurious bathing habits

Another person who was fond of a good a soak was the Egyptian Empress Cleopatra. Rather than sitting in a bath of hot water though, Cleopatra enjoyed washing in fermented asses milk. 

It was thought at the time that this was one of the reasons she was so beautiful and that her skin continued to look so young. In fact, there is actually science behind this belief that shows Cleopatra may have had the right idea.

The milk contains oligosaccharides, which help with anti-ageing, among other things. Some sources say she also used to include honey in her baths, which also helps the skin as it is a natural antibacterial and is very moisturising.

While you may not want to fill your bath up with milk and honey, you can enjoy a relaxing soak and soften your skin by popping one of our bath melts in your tub while the water is running.

You could also try our beautiful Queen of the Nile Soap, which is made with goat milk for soft skin and features a stunning floral scent .

Mary Queen of Scots

An alternative to both water and milk is Mary Queen of Scots' bath of choice: sweet white wine. It is said that Mary enjoyed soaking in wine. According to reports, she also used to use wine when she just wanted a quick wash without a bath.

When imprisoned at Sheffield Castle, Mary's monthly allowance included two barrels of white wine, which were intended for consumption but were also used for her bath. You might think this sounds a bit extravagant, however, it is thought that wine can actually help reduce the signs of ageing, firm your skin and improve your complexion.

If you'd rather enjoy a glass of wine while in the tub instead of soaking in it, why not try one of our scented foam baths instead?

To help you enjoy a luxurious bath at a lower price, we're giving you 15% off and free P&P until the end of May on orders over £30 made through our official site. Just use the code MAYDAY at the check out and enjoy a nice relaxing soak.