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Tussie-Mussies: A Refreshing Bath Accessory

Tussie-Mussies: A Refreshing Bath Accessory

Spotted in the bath at Babylonstoren: an herbaceous tussie-mussie bouquet in a glass vase. What is a tussie-mussie, you ask?

The tussie-mussie is a small flower bouquet, an heir to the 16th century nosegay carried or worn on the lapel as an early form of perfume. Tussie-mussies were said to carry hidden messages based upon the meaning of each plant in the bouquet—sage stood for “domestic virtue,” rosemary for “remembrance.”

Babylonstoren gardener Wendoline gathers small groupings of flowers and herbs from the tea garden (see Through the Looking Glass: Karen’s Tea House in Cape Winelands)—peppermint pelargonium, sage, yarrow flowers, and indigenous buchu leaves and wild dagga flowers. The herbs and flowers are selected for their natural oils, which are released after the posy is tossed into bath water. For those without access to South Africa’s native herbs, consider using lemon verbena, eucalyptus, tea tree flowers, and rose geranium.

Above: The fragrant tussie-mussie sits just above the bath at Babylonstoren.

Above: A grouping of native South American herbs and foliage, along with peppermint pelargonium.

Above: Babylonstoren recommends that guests toss the tussie-mussie right into the bath.

Interested in exploring more flora? See Gardenista‘s post on English floral arrangements.

Read more: Bed & Bath, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Green Home Decor, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Remodelista, , , , ,

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Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.


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8:25AM PDT on Mar 11, 2013

Lovely idea as far as scent goes, but like everyone else here, I would worry about the bits and pieces floating in the water. They might clog the drain. Also, what if your kitty or doggie eats them? If they're on the back of the tub, small children and pets could reach.

8:49AM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

We live on the American prairie and there's nothing blooming outside now. I wouldn't put dried flowers in a bath because of the floating bits.

9:43PM PST on Mar 9, 2013


7:56AM PST on Mar 8, 2013


7:48PM PST on Mar 7, 2013

This sounds nice, thank you.

1:19PM PST on Mar 7, 2013


9:09AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

to be honest, i'd rather 'toss' some of my own homemade bath salts with essential oils in the bath! mush better than having a bouquet with bits coming off floating on me!

8:07AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Thanks for

4:51AM PST on Mar 7, 2013


4:39AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

If you chuck them in the bath, won't you get bits floating about, not to mention greenflies.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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