Since its release last November, Saltburn has been my personal thermometer for determining how much I'll get along with people. If you understood, or better yet reveled in, the film's dark-as-night comedy, homoerotic overtones, and dedication to the sexually grotesque, this could be the start of a lovely friendship. If it put you off… well, I'm sure we'll find something to talk about.
Lush has just gifted me another splendidly depraved tool of measurement for this: the Saltbomb, a bath bomb inspired directly by the movie. The scene it references contains the slurp heard 'round the world, so I doubt I need to remind you what the gist is — but just in case: Barry Keoghan's Oliver secretly observes Jacob Elordi's Felix, um, servicing himself to completion in the bathtub. When Oliver is later left alone in the bathroom while the tub empties, he kneels in it as if it's an altar and slurps up what remains circling the drain. Delicious.
While this scene horrified and disgusted many, it absolutely tickled the nation's perverts and weirdos (presently speaking). In the past three months, I have been subjected to numerous TikTok videos of people declaring with their chests that they'd drink Jacob Elordi's salty bathwater if given the chance (maybe we need to calm down on that one, but I respect the masses' wishes).
And while that kind of behavior would warrant restraining orders and court-mandated therapy in reality, Lush went ahead and said, “Hey, let's help those little sickos live out their sick little fantasies.” Hence the Saltbomb, a combination of sea salt and coconut powder, which are supposed to make water milky and moisturizing but with a somewhat mineral… I want to say taste, but one should never actually consume bathwater. A salty vibe, if you will. To recreate the smell of the — you know.
The Saltbomb is, sadly, a limited edition and exclusive to Lush's app and website for U.K. customers (it costs five pounds). Though the product itself isn't all that special, I have to hand it to whoever at Lush saw this marketing opportunity, took it, and danced naked through their mansion with it. Because I don't think any company famous for making bath bombs would ever expect to be confronted with a globally infamous film scene about bathwater.
Lush was not shy about leaning into the gross and explicit nature of the scene itself, either, which is what makes the idea stick. Straight up, the Saltbomb's primary product description on its webpage is just, “Come and relax, or vice versa...” Other marketing copy on the page includes, “Lap it up, Saltbomb's salty, milky bath water is fit for a stately splurge.” And, “…bath water they’ll want to treasure every last drop of.” That's committing to the bit if I've ever seen it.
Recently at Allure, our staff has been having a lot of discussions about how monotonous most beauty marketing has become thanks to the ubiquity of picture-perfect brand ambassadors and the overuse of TV and movie franchise licensing — and how brands opening up to doing more weird and creative shit could be the answer. We just saw that executed perfectly with CeraVe's stunt campaign featuring Michael Cera, and now the Saltbomb is a prime example of how brands can appeal to people's dark and unusual sides to sell a product rather than promising physical perfection or slapping a logo on something.
If watching one hot man slurp up another hot man's salty bathwater is not enjoyable to you, that's fine — but the rest of us will be trying to snatch up this soon-to-be-gone bath bomb just to feel alive at the mere idea of it.
More on beauty marketing:
Now, a buncha drag queens react to TikTok trends:
Originally Appeared on Allure