They love me, they love me not, they love me… As each rosebud rises to the surface of the bath, ancient love spells are whispered.
Dried rosebuds infuse in the warm bath water and look as if they’ve been freshly plucked from your garden when they rehydrate. The Damask rose (Rosa damascena) is thought to be one of the oldest varieties of rose, native to the middle east. Its delicate petals and exquisite fragrance have been used in medicine, cosmetics, perfumery and love rituals since antiquity.
Speaking of love rituals, tisty-tosty games and spells have been observed all over the UK through the centuries, using different plants and methods. Some remember cowslip flowers tied together to make a ball that was tossed around while singing “Tisty Tosty tell me true, who will I be married to?” And when the ball fell, you knew your matrimonial destiny. Others, like the poet Geoffrey Grigson, have reported spells involving a bathtub, naked frolic, a witch hazel wand and seven rosebuds.