August 11, 2022

In a charming video on the True Botanicals Web site highlighting the brand’s addictive new Nature Bathing Forest Bath Soak, founder Hillary Peterson welcomes viewers into the private garden and “secret outdoor bathing area” at her Mill Valley, Calif., home. Up a flight of stone steps, tucked behind a wooden door surrounded by dense foliage, sits a claw-foot tub where Peterson has been known to kick back with a gin and tonic from time to time. 

“We’ve had it for about 10 years,” Peterson says of the chic al fresco sanctuary. “My most memorable baths have included listening to coyotes, owls and hawks. It’s such a lovely way to relax and connect with nature.”

A bit further north, Canadian neuroscientist and eco-enthusiast Maria Ramey is also communing with the great outdoors. In fact, her skin-care brand, Understory Botanicals, is named for the vegetation growing beneath the main canopy of the forest. 

“When I was thinking about a name for my brand, Understory just fit perfectly,” Ramey notes. “The understory is the middle ground of the forest — a place that is forever changing, yet effortlessly balanced. It symbolized exactly what my brand stands for, the balance between plants and science, between the garden and the lab.”  

Alexina Graham wears verdant Versace for Alexa.
Eduardo Rezende

Ramey drew inspiration from her childhood, which included family walks in the Carolinian forest of southwestern Ontario. “Whether going to beautiful national parks like Point Pelee or smaller local forests,” she says, “the feeling of being among trees always puts me in awe.” 

Jennifer Walsh, author of the “Walk Your Way Calm” interactive journal, couldn’t agree more. A faculty advisor to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Brain Health Initiative, Walsh has been leading Wellness Walks in Central Park, which help participants clear their heads, get some exercise and breathe in phytoncides (aka healthy volatile compounds that activate our immunity-boosting “natural killer” cells). Think of those park jaunts as the New York equivalent of shinrin-yoku, or Japanese forest bathing. 

See also  15 best pajamas for women to sleep in style this Mother’s Day

Can’t hang out in the woods right now? No problem. Simply spritz on the Nue Co.’s wildly popular Forest Lungs. Crafted by perfumer Guillaume Flavigny, the unisex “anti-stress fragrance” features a blend of woodsy and citrus notes, namely pine, cedar and bergamot. The scent, which has garnered more than 800 positive reviews on the Nue Co. site, deploys olfactory chemistry to replicate phytoncides — essentially bringing the outside in. That’s good news when you consider the fact that, per the brand’s research, Americans spend upwards of 90 percent of our time indoors. And by 2050, 75 percent of the global population is expected to live in cities — far removed from nature’s bounty.  

But with all the tree-hugging beautifiers available now, don’t let the urban sprawl stop you from getting your forest fix. 

Nature Bathing Forest Bath Soak, $38 at True Botanicals


Courtesy of the designer

Mountain Pine bath oil, $81 at SusanneKaufmann.com
Courtesy of the designer

Canadian Pine & White Sage body wash, $28 at Pangea Organics

Canadian Pine & White Sage body wash, $28 at PangeaOrganics.com
Courtesy of the designer

Forest Lungs anti-stress fragrance, $95 (50 ml) at The Nue Co

Forest Lungs anti-stress fragrance, $95 (50 ml) at TheNueCo.com
Courtesy of the designer


Boy Smells Cedar Stack scented candle, $32 (8.5 oz) at Standard Dose

Boy Smells Cedar Stack scented candle, $32 (8.5 oz) at StandardDose.com
Courtesy of the designer

Pāpr Coastal Forests cedarwood and cypress deodorant, $14 at Paper Cosmetics

āpr Coastal Forests cedarwood and cypress deodorant, $14 at PaperCosmetics.com
Courtesy of the designer

Balsam Fir essential oil, $20 (10 ml) at Saje

Balsam Fir essential oil, $20 (10 ml) at Saje.com
Courtesy of the designer

Bamboo Forest body lotion, $60 at Le Verden

Bamboo Forest body lotion, $60 at LeVerden.com
Courtesy of the designer

Blue Velvet Foundational Cleansing Balm, $46 at Understory Botanicals

Blue Velvet Foundational Cleansing Balm, $46 at UnderstoryBotanicals.com
Courtesy of the designer

Cedar + Sandalwood bar soap, $12 at AlpineProvisionsCo.com
Courtesy of the designer