No matter what season of the year it is, I just can’t get enough of the smell (and, sometimes, taste) of spruce, fir and cedar. Maybe it’s because I live in the Pacific Northwest, but most of the time, I want my home to smell of the forest. Evergreens give off such a grounding yet uplifting, comforting and calming scent that seems to appeal to both genders in general. I mean, have you ever met someone who hates the smell of a Christmas tree or a fresh mountainside covered in trees? I think it’s universally pleasing! Anyway, as we’re on the tail end of winter, I wanted to share my my favorite products flavored and scented with conifers. The vast majority are made by small companies in the American West, and they’ve nourished my physical, emotional and spiritual being during these dark, winter months and will probably continue to do so the rest of the year!
(Note: I am not being sponsored by any of these companies :))
–Douglas Fir Facial Tonic, $23, from Evan Healy: This was kind of a splurge for me. I don’t normally spend $23 on a hydrosol, but when I recently went to the Loyly Sauna & Spa in southeast Portland, I saw a bottle sitting on the reception counter and it was calling my name. I had never seen a Doug Fir hydrosol before and the skin specialist at the spa raved about their product line and had gone to visit their farm in Washington. The company is certified organic and sources their material from the wild, small family farms or woman co-ops around the world. The scent is woodier than I expected–an essential oil will probably give you more of a “Christmas-y” scent–but so far, I’m really enjoying it! Hydrosols help moisturize the skin (and maintain moisture), especially if you’re being dried out by your heater during the colder months. I’m cold most of the time, so I keep my heater on steadily, but it’s really affecting my skin and hair during these winter months. So I’m trying to spritz hydrosol all over my face throughout the day to help keep my skin more supple, especially before applying my oil serum, as it helps your skin absorb the oil. Water + oil is a key component to skincare. And let’s talk about Loyly Sauna for a moment here–if you’re in the Portland area and need some pampering and relaxation, you gotta look into this little, Scandinavian-inspired slice of heaven! So good!
(Note: Evan Healy’s Doug Fir hydrosol is now out of a stock, so I feel kinda bad about raving about an unavailable product. But you should check in with them later this year to see if they’ve made some more! I’ve heard nothing but great reviews about the Evan Healy company, so you might want to check out their other hydrosols, like rose geranium and sandalwood. Also, good news, Mountain Rose Herbs has JUST started selling a Douglas Fir hydrosol! I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll definitely be putting in an order soon.)
–Balsam Fir incense, $5, from Paines: I love, love, love this naturally-scented incense! If you want your house to smell like a cozy hearth with fir logs ablaze in the fireplace, this is your jam. It makes me so dang happy. Note: This incense take forever to light! At first, I thought I had received a faulty batch, but after reading some online reviews, you just have to hold up a lighter to the incense stick for about 30 seconds (or you can hold the incense over a lit gas range). Not ideal, but seriously worth a little patience!…