Bath salts have fulfilled a variety of useful purposes over the years. The Ancient Greeks, for example, used them to mimic sea water's supposedly healing properties. More recently, they have served, when employed as a gift, as a succinct, socially acceptable way of expressing utter indifference to another human being.

Right now, however, bath salts are enjoying a mini-resurgence and nobody could be affronted at receiving a jar of the stuff in one of its current forms. Where bubble bath is all about ephemeral frivolity, salts are for the serious bather.

Accordingly, there are luxe formulas designed for mental as well as physical relaxation – or you can plump for invigorating mixes that give both body and soul a little lift.

Yes, the bathtub may require a good once-over when salts are involved, but consider the extra exercise part of their holistic effects.