After years of hoping and wishing that I would be blessed with the opportunity, today saw my very first experience of a Lush Spa Treatment, and what better way to enjoy it than at one of their biggest facilities - the flagship store on Oxford Street.
Before I go on, I feel I need to state two things: Firstly, this is going to be a very descriptive review of Synaesthesia, so if you're having the treatment yourself or would rather not know about it in detail, I suggest that you stop reading now and just enjoy the pretty pictures that accompany the review.
Secondly, I feel I need to state that I wanted to appreciate and embody the whole experience - take in the sights, sounds and smells; explore the journey that my consultant took me on, and enjoy this gift as a person, not just a blogger. For this reason, the pictures I took were an after-thought and may not be the greatest quality - yet it should hopefully still give you an idea of what to expect if you're the lucky recipient of this treatment.
Upon arrival, I was taken to a beautiful rustic-looking room where I was offered some fruit-infused water and taken through what I would be experiencing during the session. This eighty minute sensory treatment is all about merging the senses together and making you feel 'as one', and even the initial consultation helped to relax me somewhat and begin that process into complete bliss.
It was during the initial meeting that I learnt that Synaesthesia was actually Lush's very first ever Spa Treatment - one that for a while was the only treatment on offer at their various stores across the UK. For this reason, it's very much the leading act on the menu, and the one that a large percentage of people choose to try initially when visiting the spa for the first time.
At this stage, I was asked to observe the eleven jars of massage bars at the side of the room - each one adorned with a single word, and asked to pick one. This choice would govern the main part of my spa experience, and would also be the influence behind the scents used in the treatment room itself.
As most of the massage bars are exclusive to the spa, it is at this stage that I might have been tempted to choose one that I hadn't already tried before, just so that I could review it afterwards. However, a little conversation beforehand with an employee, and the fact that I was determined to focus on my needs today, meant that I opted for the one that stood out to me right away, and that was Esteem. The therapist asked me to write my choice on a blackboard, which was then brought with me into the treatment room.
It is worth noting that at this stage I was asked if I was able to remove all of my make-up. As a facial massage is part of the treatment, it would be rather disappointing to leave the facility with black smudges all over my face, and it's also an opportunity to free the heavy feeling that make-up can sometimes have on your complexion.
In all fairness, being given an opportunity to visit Lush's bathroom to wash it off, was an experience and a half. The room was so incredibly beautiful to look at, and there was an array of products - perfumes, creams, soaps and make-up that were available for you to help yourself to.
Once I had picked the bar, the therapist then asked me to choose a bottle from a large selection of colourful glass vials that were decorating a nearby shelf. Again, I was given no guidance - just directed to choose one that meant something to me. As with the massage bar selection, I choose the first one that stood out to me, and that was Achieve.
Once you're led into the treatment room, the dark hue of purple and the gentle soundtrack of birds tweeting in the background immediately sets the mood. There is a display of bottles on a shelf at the back, and a few scattered tea light candles offer you glimpses of the different colours throughout the experience.
As the therapist talked me through the process, she poured hot water into a couple of test tubes and explained that this was stimulating the essential oils - a fact that was quickly confirmed when a wave of fragrance greeted my senses. It turns out that Achieve is patchouli scented, which coincidentally is my favourite scent. Win!
At this stage I am asked to undress and make myself comfortable on the table, underneath the towels. The therapist leaves the room while I am doing this, and only comes back in when I've rung the bell to let her know that I am ready. It is then that the main part of the experience truly begins...
Starting with my upper body, I am treated to a face and neck massage which works down to the chest. Before beginning, I was asked whether I would like hot stones during my treatment or a stomach massage. As I opted for the former, it is at this stage that hot stones are placed in a line from my stomach to my chest - with ones also being added under my hands and on my forehead.
The therapist then proceeds to massage my arms and legs - pressing down on certain pressure points throughout to inspire complete and utter relaxation. While this is going on, a musical soundtrack - mostly from a band called The Nightjar Orchestra, is playing in the background.
This music is as much a part of the experience as the physical side - it's immersive in the sense that the treatment is supposed to take you through a full twenty-four hour day in the space of eighty minutes, and the music documents this really well - at one point enabling me to envisage the sun rising, due in part to the carefully crafted sounds that were playing at the time.
Halfway through the treatment, the therapist asks me to turn over, where she then gives me a full body massage - this time including my back as well. I should point out that although you're expected to strip down to your underwear, you are never left feeling uncomfortable, and it certainly didn't hinder my experience at all.
Once the massage has been finished, the essential oils are stimulated once more, and you're left to change and head back into the room where you first met the consultant. Here I was offered a hot tea that contained all of the essential oils that had been used in the treatment, and I was also presented with an Esteem Massage Bar and Bubblestone to take away with me.
As Lush's description of the treatment echoes, this is a really immersive treatment - one that takes into account your mind and body, and leaves you feeling well and truly pampered through and through. While some may say it's a little self-indulgent, I loved the fact that the whole experience was about me - it gave me an opportunity to focus on myself and enjoy being in the 'now'.
While I certainly didn't expect to dislike the experience, I certainly didn't expect to love it as much as I did. As if to prove a point, upon leaving I booked myself in for another Spa experience, and I can see this being a regular feature of my life from here on out.