Thermal baths have long been the stuff of legends, recommended as the cure for ailments ranging from minor aches to prolonged youth. In the 19th century, a hamlet in the German Black Forest became the fashionable place to bathe, and its name Baden-Baden — literally bath bath — reflects the town’s main industry.

About 400 kilometres north in the town of Hemer, Friedrich Grohe began to make a name for himself by specialising in high quality sanitary faucets to control water at home. As indoor plumbing became more common throughout the 20th century, people began to enjoy bathing at home rather than trekking out to Baden-Baden. Today, GROHE is Europe’s largest manufacturer of sanitaryware, and still operates out of Hemer with its headquarters in nearby Dusseldorf.

GROHE understands that everyone has his own preference for water temperature, flow, pressure and duration. Sometimes that preference varies; in the morning, a short shower with intense pressure is sometimes necessary to help with the wake up process, while at night, a relaxing spray of rain with massage jets ease the transition to rest and sleep. GROHE Rainshower SmartControl was designed with the mandate of drucken, drehen, duschen — German for push, turn, shower.

This 3D shower experience combines push button technology with contemporary design that is intuitive to use. A knob starts and controls the water’s flow volume with a push and a turn; even with slippery fingers, the textured surface facilitates adjustment. The same knob stops the flow and stores the flow rate in its memory for future showers. Spray jets can also be directly selected, with the option to blend spray patterns such as a gentle GROHE PureRain or more intense TrioMassage. Oscillating between the hand and overhead shower is also a simple push of a button. All controls are indicated with explanatory diagrams. When used with the GROHE Rainshower 360 DUO head shower and a GROHE Power&Soul hand shower, the ultimate shower experience can be enjoyed daily.

In nearby Iserlohn, about eight kilometres west of Hemer, Aloys F Dornbracht founded the company that bears his name in 1950 to concentrate on crafted bathroom fixtures, enhancing the home bathing experience. Its latest product is Sensory Sky, a product that creates an atmosphere of showering in natural surroundings. Created by Sieger Design, Sensory Sky’s settings were inspired by weather patterns; different types of rain, fog, light and fragrance combine to form distinctive ambiences that heighten all the senses. Although the technology behind Sensory Sky is robust, it is hidden through minimal design. A wide, flat rain panel generates separate shower fields for head sprinkler, body sprinkler and rain curtain along with a cold water fog nozzle, light and fragrance functions.

The scents are unique to Sensory Sky, as fragrances are synchronised to the flow of each water pattern. They were also inspired by nature’s moods, and employ high quality essential oils and balms created in collaboration with Kemitron, a company that specialises in spa and wellness fragrances. All the fragrance compositions have been tested by the International Fragrance Association and are certified to be safe and of superior quality.

Achieving the ultimate bathing experience has never been more pleasurable, with GROHE and Dornbracht’s latest offerings.