Olverum, a company with roots dating back to the 1930’s, was known only via word of mouth for a long time. Olverum does one thing only, bath oil. The name Olverum is taken from the Latin oleum verum and translates to the words true oil. Founded by Franz Otto Klein, a German winemaker who became enthralled by an elixir that was used at a spa he frequented in Baden Baden, Germany with his pharmacologist wife Edith, the brand came about in response to devotion and need. Devotion to an elixir that kept Klein and his wife returning to the spa to experience it, and the need to continue to have it. When the spa was unable to keep up with production, Klein and his wife took the decision to attempt to continue the process.
As it happened, their home at the time was once a farmhouse belonging to Cistercian Monks who maintained a physic garden (garden containing healing or medicinal herbs), at the site. Klein and his wife Edith combined their expertise in winemaking and pharmacology and spent some years concocting a formula that mimicked the one offered at the spa. Successfully, they created a new recipe, but production was halted during the Second World War and the remaining bottles were enshrined in an attic. Thereafter, production resumed three years after the war ended. It was at that point that Klein’s son took the helm, named the company Olverum and continued with its expansion.
I can’t even recall exactly how I came to know about Olverum but at the time I knew I wanted to experience it. After it’s arrival, I was quite excited because I had been in search of a well-blended oil for use in the tub, one that had pure ingredients and was expertly crafted.
Olverum bath oil brings its heritage and alchemy straight into your bathtub, onto your skin and into your nostrils and mind. I was calm, meditative, intrigued. It is the embodiment of herbal, the kind of thing your granny may have concocted for a cold. Indeed, it is suggested to be used if one already has a cold or feel one coming on. It is also meant to help one to sleep well and of course, to relax and soothe frazzled nerves, aching muscles and to ease the impact of the day away from the body.
The ingredients in Olverum bath oil are taken from plants that humans have turned to for centuries. Eucalyptus, Lime, Exotic Verbena, Lavender, Lemon Peel, Rosemary, Juniper, Geranium and Siberian Fir Needle are all included. It also contains Ground Nut Oil and Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
I emerged from the bath with soft, hydrated, pleasantly scented skin. I felt better than I did when I had gone in, calmer, clearer in thought but also a little sleepy. The bathroom smelled similarly to earth after the rain but less raw and more rounded, like the rain had fallen only in a tumble of herbal plants. There were no cloyingly sweet smells anywhere, a happy thing indeed. The lingering scents were slightly sharp yet soothing and unmistakably green. Head and nose clearing, especially when the bottle is held directly to the nostrils, this is better than cough syrup or air purifiers. With each use I adore it more, thus it will become a resident liquid balm for when I need to untangle the knots in my joints and unclog the traffic in my head.
For decades, Olverum was only available in Germany and Austria until distribution expanded and ownership changed. Olverum is now made in England and is retained in the portfolio of the Orange Square Company, an outfit that houses some of the most impeccable, bespoke fragrance entities such as Creed, Caron Paris and Maison Francis Kurkdjian among others. If you want this oil in your next bath, a quick search online will yield purchase avenues. It is offered in three sizes, 250 ml, 125 ml and 3×15 ml, which is a travel set. This is a premium item and as of yet, the name is not pedestrian, especially in the US. With new packaging and an elegant holding company now, I hope the bright lights don’t diminish its core essence.