By Susan Romero

Think, “Double, double, toil and trouble,” with a bubbling cauldron in a dimly lit room, and that only begins to describe the Synaesthesia experience at LUSH Spa. Recently opened in New York City, LUSH Spa offers this 80-minute treatment, as well as several other unique spa experiences. I chose Synaesthesia because it is a total body experience designed to heighten all five senses.

The word Synaesthesia is used to describe a state where all five senses are merged together. Before the treatment, you sit at a wooden table in a setting that looks like an old English farmhouse kitchen. Facing the table is a chalkboard with eleven words written on it, and you decide the word that best describes how you want to feel as a result of your treatment. You also choose a second word from labels written on colored apothecary bottles.

I chose “Relax” and “Achieve” as my words for the treatment. Relax was manifested by a massage bar created especially to achieve that state. Achieve was the label on a purple bottle filled with liquid that contained a special blend of scents. LUSH does not reveal the exact combination of scents it uses.

I then proceeded to the dimly lit treatment room that evoked a bygone era filled with magic and spells. The décor was rustic and filled with accents such as a book about spiders and apothecary bottles lining the shelves. As I slipped beneath the towels on the heated treatment bed, I rang the silver hand bell that signaled that I was ready. After working six days a week for the last several weeks, I was eager to “Relax.” I first lay face up and Rick, my masseuse, began to massage my shoulders and arms using the massage bar. Soon he unleashed the contents of the Achieve bottle and what looked like smoke, yet had a heavenly scent, was released into the room. Rick took the bottle, and lifting the towel at the edges, proceeded to waft the bubbling Achieve scent under the towel and onto my body.

During the treatment, I felt at peace and completely involved in the moment. I could have had more Achieve to balance out the use of the Relax massage bar, but the whole experience was still as unique and relaxing as I wanted. Every inch of my body was massaged, including the scalp and feet. The massage bar was used throughout, and left me extremely relaxed while also hydrating my skin.

Synaesthesia is not just a massage; it is a whole mindset and experience. The music is an integral part of the treatment, and was created especially for Synaesthesia. It was composed by Simon Emerson and recorded live by the Night Jar orchestra just for LUSH.

After the treatment, Rick gave me a cup of tea and we sat at the table while I drank it. My time at LUSH Spa felt more like a visit to a home than a spa. I left with a head to toe feeling of well-being and calm that lasted longer than many other treatments I have had. Maybe I really was under a spell.

783 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Originally published March 2014
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