In a charming video on the True Botanicals website highlighting the brand’s addictive new Nature Bathing Forest Bath Soak, founder Hillary Peterson welcomes viewers to the private garden and “secret outdoor bathing area” of her home. of Mill Valley, California. Up a stone staircase, hidden behind a wooden door surrounded by dense foliage, is a clawfoot tub where Peterson is known to relax with an occasional gin and tonic.
“We’ve had it for about 10 years,” Peterson says of the chic outdoor sanctuary. “My most memorable baths have been listening to coyotes, owls and hawks. It’s such a beautiful way to relax and connect with nature.”
A little further north, Canadian neuroscientist and ecologist Maria Ramey also commune with the great outdoors. In fact, her skincare brand, Understory Botanicals, takes its name from the vegetation that grows under the main canopy of the forest.
“When I was thinking of a name for my brand, Understory suited me perfectly,” notes Ramey. “The understory is the middle ground of the forest – a place that is constantly changing, yet effortlessly balanced. It symbolized exactly what my brand stands for, the balance between plants and science, between the garden and the laboratory.
Ramey drew inspiration from her childhood, which included family walks in the Carolinian forest of southwestern Ontario. “Whether in beautiful national parks like Point Pelee or in smaller local forests,” she says, “the feeling of being among the trees always awes me.
Jennifer Walsh, author of the interactive journal “Walk Your Way Calm,” totally agrees. An advisor to the faculty of the Brain Health Initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital, Walsh has led wellness walks in Central Park, which help participants clear their heads, exercise and breathe phytoncides (i.e. healthy volatile compounds that activate our “natural killer” which boosts immunity). cells). Think of these park rides as the New York equivalent of shinrin-yoku, or Japanese forest bathing.
Can’t hang out in the woods right now? No problem. Just spray on the very popular forest lungs of Nue Co.. Created by perfumer Guillaume Flavigny, the unisex “anti-stress perfume” features a blend of woody and citrus notes, namely pine, cedar and bergamot. The fragrance, which has garnered over 800 positive reviews on the Nue Co. website, deploys olfactory chemistry to replicate phytoncides – essentially bringing the outside in. That’s good news considering that, according to the brand’s research, Americans spend more than 90% of our time indoors. And by 2050, 75% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, far from the riches of nature.
But with all the tree beautifiers available now, don’t let urban sprawl keep you from getting your forest fix.