Most people in ancient times did not wash their whole bodies often, especially if they lived in the country or in a village. First of all, water could be scarce, so it was saved for more important purposes, like drinking. Plus, water had to be brought from a well, and it wasn’t easy to carry enough to provide an adequate bath.
Cities often had public baths. Most of these charged a fee. The baths usually had separate rooms for women and men, or if they didn’t have enough space, they had separate bathing times for women and men.
In the best public baths, you would leave your clothes in the changing room with your own slave. (There were no lockers, so theft could be a problem if you didn’t have someone trustworthy watching over your clothes.) Then you went to a lukewarm pool or to a sauna room if there was one. After that, you went to the hot pool for a good scrub, then back to a tepid pool to cool down. Last of all, you took a dip in the cold pool, after which you dried off. Somewhere in there, you’d get rubbed down and oiled.
To heat water for the hot pool and sauna, the Romans invented the hypocaust, which was in the basement of the baths. Slaves kept a fire burning under a raised tank of water. The water flowed down from this tank through a pipe in a tunnel and emptied into the pool.
Wealthy people sometimes had pools for bathing at their homes or villas. But wherever and whenever you bathed, there was no deodorant to put on afterward. To smell good, you might scrub yourself with strong-smelling herbs like rosemary or marjoram. Or if you were oiled at the bath, the oil might be scented. Perfumes were also popular.
In Eye of the Sword, Trevin and his friend visit the baths in Flauren, the capitol city of Eldarra, where they are duly scrubbed and oiled.