Mulled Wine: [Lush Cosmetics Cocktail]

This deliciously spicy and sticky sweet Lush cocktail resonates everything I love about Christmas. As it is richly scented, deeply colourful, syrupy sweet with spicy notes which offer a balancing warmth that is perfect for the colder months. This cocktail consisted of: Lord of Misrule bath bomb; Shoot for the Stars bath bomb and Dashing Santa bath ballistic.

As mulled wine is my favourite Christmas tipple (including the non-alcoholic version made with grape juice), I could not think of a better way to kick off the seasonal section of this blog than paying homage to this classic Christmas drink. As a devoted Lushie, this cocktail could only consist of Lush Cosmetics bath products. For me, no other company’s bath time ‘treats’ could encapsulate Christmas as well as Lush do through their products. As the most noticeable elements of Lush’s Christmas range each year is the creativity, effort and high quality ingredients put into each product offered.[1]

NB: Whilst the Lush bath cocktails within this section of the blog do not offer full mindfulness recipes per se, there are a few recipes I wish to recommend which I feel would match the sensory awakening properties offered by this bath cocktail. I provide links to each recipe under the section ‘Mindfulness Recipe’, below.

The Products:

As I have a large mental catalogue of Lush bath products and mulled wine is a favourite Christmas tipple of mine, choosing the bath products required to represent the ingredients of mulled wine was not too difficult. When deciding which products to combine for the Lush cocktail, I followed the first three adjectives that came to mind when I thought about mulled wine. These were: fruity, spicy and syrupy. With these words in mind, I mentally categorised potential bathing product candidates into their respective descriptive groups (discussed below).

Lord of Misrule:

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With its versatile nature and aromatic blend of woody and earthy notes, the patchouli within Lord of Misrule (LOM) bath bomb rendered LOM a clear candidate for inclusion within this Lush cocktail. As patchouli’s properties in combination with the black pepper oil which form part of LOM (to me) were representative of the spiced element of mulled wine. This assertion is based on the chemical reaction that derives from the patchouli and black pepper combination, which results in a deeply spiced and grounded aroma with a hint of creaminess.[2]

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As a side note, there is another reason for adding LOM to the cocktail, opposed to a more obvious choice such as, Cinders bath bomb[3] with its cinnamon base scent. The reason is due to the fact that patchouli[4] has a range of therapeutic properties, including: operating as a natural antidepressant; it can reduce the effects of nervous disorders and it can lift moods, consequently increasing mental well-being. Given that many of us[5] can feel low during the cold winter months due to the cooler temperatures and dark nights starting earlier in the day, I felt that LOM with its use of patchouli was a more fitting choice for this cocktail than an obvious choice such as, Cinders. As due to the potential for the aforementioned low moods, the mood-lifting and body warming properties of LOM’s ingredients are elements a lot of us will need to keep our spirits up this winter. Or because LOM smells so gloriously wintery, keep us in the festive mood; if you’re a Christmas fanatic like myself.

LOM was the first product placed into the bath. As you can see from the images above, LOM puts on a beautifully vivid display, as it spews its deep pink innards. The consequent result deriving from the merging of LOM’s outer green shell with its pink innards is a rich, almost burgundy colour. The colour is similar to that of red wine. Hence, another reason for its inclusion in this Lush cocktail. As despite its aromatic qualities, LOM’s aesthetics when fizzing in water provide a vivid representation of a hot glass of mulled wine. This is particularly so due to the fact that a core ingredient of mulled wine is either red wine or black grape juice, for non-alcoholic versions. The next product to join LOM in the bath tub was Shoot for the Stars bath bomb.

Shoot for the Stars:

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To represent the syrupy taste and texture of mulled wine, which comes from the large amount of sugar added during the cooking stage,[6] I choose Shoot for the Stars bath bomb to do the job. Shoot for the Stars was added to the concoction due to its robust creamy caramel scent. Although Shoot for the Stars forms part of the Honey I Washed the Kids range, it does not smell of natural honey. For me, this is a blessing, as the smell of honey makes me gag. As it is a vegan product, the lack of natural honey use and consequent scent is instead replaced with a long lasting, super sweet and creamy caramel aroma. It is for this reason that I opted to use Shoot for the Stars as the sugar representative.

As you can see from the images below, once my Shoot for the Stars bath bomb hit the water it turned to mush instantly. Unfortunately, this was because it was around two years old. However, despite not putting on its characteristic display in the water, it performed its scent function perfectly. As the scent was still very visible. Similarly, its colour function contributed to and deepened the bath water’s rich burgundy colour with its shades of sea blue, pastel pink and lemon. All of these colour elements within Shoot for the Stars created a purple hue when they merged together. The copious amounts of silver lustre within Shoot for the Stars, added some much needed festive pizazz to the concoction. What is Christmas without sparkle and bling?!

The final ‘ingredient’ added to this bath recipe was Dashing Santa bath ballistic.

Dashing Santa:

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Of all the products used within this cocktail, and within my Lush stash in general, Dashing Santa bath ballistic is my least favourite product from each of Lush’s Christmas ranges. As the scent is so one-dimensional and faint that once it hits the water its scent essentially becomes redundant. However, despite this malfunction of Dashing Santa, I opted to use it as the representative of mulled wine’s citrus element for the following reasons:

  1. I had hoped that once the product had merged with ingredients of LOM and Shoot for the Stars, Dashing Santa’s citrusy properties would come to the fore. In essence, I was experimenting in the hope of some form of chemical reaction to awaken his potential. Unfortunately, this never happened. Instead, his scent disappeared as soon as he started to fizzle in the water.
  2. I have multiple Dashing Santa bath ballistics that need to be used up and I cannot bear the thought of giving any away. Nor can I bring myself to ‘dispose’ of them in any other way, such as, binning him.
  3. The use of Orange Flower Absolute, Mandarin and Bergamot Oils, as part of Dashing Santa’s ingredients meant that he had promise to deliver and represent the citrus component of mulled wine. As well as adding to the syrupy goodness that a well-made mulled wine offers; due to high levels of natural sugars that exist within the orange’s branch of the citrus family. However, these properties failed to be present.

Mindfulness: Personal Overview

Mindfulness can be used as a means of distraction during times of anxiety, intrusive thoughts, high emotional distress and so on. All mindfulness exercises discussed throughout this post and blog can also be practiced exclusively for relaxation purposes, to have some much needed ‘me time’ away from day-to-day routines and commitments. To learn more about mindfulness and its core concept please see this sticky.

 ‘Mindfulness Recipe’:

Whilst the Lush cocktails within this section of my blog do not offer mindfulness recipes per se, I would like to recommend a mindfulness exercise for those who wish to enhance their bathing experience through such relaxation techniques. Regardless of whether some emotional TLC is required or you are looking for some extra special ‘me time’, I recommend the following exercise, as I feel it is the most complimentary match to this bath cocktail:

As the bath product combination within ‘Mulled Wine’ offers a complex variety of scents, the mindfulness exercise ‘Times Three’ would be an excellent partner to this cocktail. This is due to the element of ‘Times Three’ that requires the participant to mindfully identify three different smells.

Conclusion:

When it comes to making a bath-time version of mulled wine, this Lush Cocktail’s combination of LOM; Shoot for the Stars and Dashing Santa encapsulates the core elements of the traditional Christmas tipple almost perfectly. I say ‘almost’ because the component that let ingredient representations of mulled wine’s core elements down was the Dashing Santa ballistic. Its scent was far too faint to be noticeable against the other products and as such, it failed to deliver on the sweet citrus element that provides the mulled wine drink with its syrupy tartness.

Nevertheless, this cocktail as a whole was a success. Its visual representation of mulled wine was spot on with its rich burgundy water. Whilst the addition of the silver lustre provided a second tier of festive luxuriousness with its shimmering glow, similar to tinsel on a tree that is lit up by flickering Christmas lights.

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Adding to the above success was the aromatic representations the cocktail ingredients offered. The peppered and spicy notes of LOM in combination with the creamy caramel provided by Shoot for the Stars, resembled the thick textured and cockle-warming properties of a warm mulled wine drink when drank on a blustery day at a Christmas market.

Next time I make this cocktail, I will try another of Lush’s citrus based products such as, Brightside bubble bar or perhaps, the retro and limited edition bath bomb Lemon Days and Ginger Beer. As they both offer sugary citrus aromas.

Have you tried this cocktail? Did you practice mindfulness with it? I would love to hear your thoughts on the product combination, your experiences, any mindfulness exercises you practiced and any recommendations on a Dashing Santa replacement.

[1] Although, admittedly, some products are more successful in these categories than others.

[2] although this scent is not immediately obvious from reading LOM’s ingredients alone

[3] A Lush classic bath bomb that they have brought out as part of their Christmas range for many years in a row.

[4] Which is present in LOM and not Cinders

[5] whether diagnosed with a mental illness or not

[6] predominantly to sweeten the jaw-clenching sourness that can derive from the use of lemons in some mulled wine recipes

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