In ancient Rome, hand-pressed sweet orange oil was revered as a miracle potion that could instantly illuminate even the dullest faces. The Romans believed that the oil was a dazzling sun-catcher that showered soft sunbeams on the faces of its users, keeping them glowing for days. The oil elevated bathing to a sumptuous art of elaborate cleansing ritual and the transformational power of sweet orange remained a well-kept Roman secret for centuries together.
More than 2,000 years ago, in the lap of the Byzantine empire, the Roman noblesse started a rich cleansing tradition. They would submerse themselves in the blue waters, and release fistfuls of oats onto their trembling bodies. And when they emerged from the water, their bodies would scintillate in the sunlight. The oats would cast bewitching spells on the Romans, easing their discomfort, erasing rashes and abrasions and gently cleansing their skin.