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.


Lydia Weissmuller Price

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.

Lauren Weinstock
Lauren Weinstock5 years ago

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.

Julie F.
Julie F5 years ago


Laura V.
Laura V5 years ago


Monica D.
Monica D5 years ago

This sounds nice, thank you.

g             d c.
g d c5 years ago


katarzyna phillips

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!

paul m.
paul m5 years ago

Thanks for

Tanya W.
Tanya W5 years ago


Magdalen B.
Magdalen B5 years ago

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