As the Dune 2 popcorn bucket and the Talk to Me smoking bowl prove, movie tie-in products are getting more and more ridiculous in the best way. Cosmetic retailer Lush has released a limited-edition bath bomb for U.K. shoppers only (sorry, Americans) called “Saltbomb.” It’s clearly inspired by Emerald Fennell’s evocative Saltburn, a black comedy psychological thriller that’s gone viral over its unhinged acts of sexual yearning. In particular, the Saltbomb is meant to evoke one vivid scene involving used bathwater.
[Ed. note: Spoilers ahead for Saltburn, and a content warning for some horny talk!]
In the Saltburn scene that’s made the most waves, Oxford scholarship student Oliver (Barry Keoghan) surreptitiously spies on his rich best friend Felix (Priscilla’s Jacob Elordi), who’s masturbating in a bath. Once Felix dries off and leaves, Oliver climbs into the bathtub, crouching down and lapping the remaining semen-infused bathwater from around the drain. And he really gets in there, running his tongue around the crevice of the drain and moaning in ecstasy.
Lush’s bath bomb shows no sign that it’s an official collaboration, but the connection is open and obvious, from the product’s name to the tagline: “Come and relax, or vice versa.”
And then there’s the product description:
Lap it up, Saltbomb’s salty, milky bath water is fit for a stately splurge.
This salt doesn’t burn, it’s a soothing blend of coconut milk powder, mineral-rich coarse sea salt, while sharing a fragrance with our all-year-round moisturising bubble bar, Milky Bath.
Feel like Hollywood royalty with this limited edition bath bomb that never kills the groove, leaving the bather with silky smooth bath water they’ll want to treasure every last drop of.
How to use:
Pop this little pinch of paradise into your bath to create those silky, milky waters.
How to store:
Keep this creamy concoction somewhere cool and dry until you’re ready to sink into salty seas.
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the product images look like this:
Much like the movie scene itself, this product is inspiring discussion at Polygon, where we shared the page around in open-mouthed glee. So let’s talk about Saltburn, the limited-edition Saltbomb, and everything in between.
Petrana: Before I watched Saltburn, I knew its reputation. But I have to agree with what most of my (very online) friends said about it — if those sex scenes were “freaky” by normal standards, then call me a freak!
Tasha: Wait, are you telling me you’re about to buy a Saltbomb to enhance your regularly scheduled drain-licking sessions? Because we’re all pretty curious about whether this product is actually edible.
Petrana: Hmm, you raise a good point. Lush is known for their organic and cruelty-free products, so perhaps this is actually better for your digestion than the Saltburn bathwater. I’m sure it smells better.
Tasha: It should! I’ve been looking up the ingredients, and all the things in there that aren’t immediately recognizable to non-chemists (Sodium Coco Sulfate, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, etc.) are synthetic fragrances. That said, c’mon. Tell me Felix in Saltburn isn’t lit, shot, and treated at all times as if he smells wonderful.
Petrana: The movie really emphasizes how delicious he must smell and taste at all times.
Tasha: And yet the Saltbomb copy mostly just emphasizes the salt. And the milkiness. That is some deeply saucy, funny copy.
Petrana: I am very proud that the copywriters at Lush were unafraid to be horny on main!
Tasha: But where’s the satisfaction in licking up your own used bathwater, rather than the bathwater of your secret, unrequited crush? One of the reasons the drain-licking sequence in Saltburn has blown up so much in internet circles is that while it’s provocative and shocking, it captures something about the bitter longing for someone you can’t have. A lot of us have felt that ourselves, or at least have seen it in other people, whether they’re obsessing over celebrities or someone who doesn’t reciprocate their crush. It’s an extreme get-it-all-out-there externalizing of a very secret internal feeling!
Petrana: Absolutely. I really like that this movie gets a little gross with its sexy scenes, because I think that adds a very messy, human element that makes them more compelling. Oliver’s big, overwhelming feelings are brazen and imperfect, and even though they’re obviously blown up to the extreme, there’s something recognizable about those emotions.
Tasha: And maybe something recognizable about the implied physical sensations, as well. I’ve never licked a drain, but that shot from the movie is so close in, so raw and visceral, that Fennell and Keoghan made me feel like I could taste the mix of soap, sweat, and semen, and feel the grit of an old porcelain bathtub. Not exactly sensations I was looking to have in the theater! And now Lush is encouraging us to have them at home, with the added flavor of ylang ylang and coconut?
Petrana: I do like coconut.
Tasha: What about ylang ylang? I don’t know what that tastes like. Maybe there’s an expert out there who can give us a hint at how much like a rich, careless, genial-but-ruthless British scion of extreme wealth it does or doesn’t taste?
Petrana: Please, dear readers, if you have slurped up the bathwater of British aristocracy, let us know if there was a distinct ylang ylang zest to it. For now, I’ll just have to use my imagination. Too bad this bath bomb is only available in the U.K. Though I guess it’s fitting that it is elite and exclusive.
Tasha: I reached out to Lush to see if us commoners in America are going to get our own “little pinch of paradise,” but a rep told me the Saltbomb isn’t currently on their upcoming products list for the States. So for the moment, it’s either import-only, or something for us to admire and long for from afar. Either way, we can have our own Oliver-in-love experience!
Now the next question: What company do we look to for a product that helpfully lets us re-create Saltburn’s other most famous sequence, the grave-sex scene? I’m thinking maybe some kind of soothing lotion would be a good idea.
Petrana: I was so worried about the chafing there. I’d also recommend gardening forks to hold and really get a good grip on the dirt.
Tasha: I don’t think Lush does gardening equipment! Sounds like an idea you should start shopping around to landscaping manufacturers. Just remember to tell them we expect any Saltburn-related product to be milky, silky, and delivered with a leer and a wink.