Bare Your Toes
I hope everybody had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. Swimming pools across town have opened, many high schools and colleges have held their graduation ceremonies, propane sales have increased for those gas grills, and toes are being exposed as sandals and flip-flops become the preferred footwear. Yes, it’s summer—unofficially at least.
When I think of sandals, I think of cute and comfortable shoes that expose my freshly scrubbed feet and painted toenails. (It’s definitely time for a pedicure starting with our foot scrub!)
For me the word “sandal” also triggers the earthy, musky scent of sandalwood. I assume this heavy and fine-grained wood was historically used for making sandals, but it’s of course best known for its highly-valued fragrance.
Even the thought of the smell relaxes me and makes me feel grounded, and it’s no wonder. Because of where our scent receptors are located in the brain—next to the hippocampus and amygdala, the centers of emotion—fragrances can be a powerful connector to memories and feelings. Sandalwood has been employed for generations as a calming agent, specifically in Chinese medicine.
- Instead of purchasing those cheap car deodorizers that hang from the rearview mirror or clip to the air conditioning vent, try using sandalwood instead. The easiest way to do this is to simply dab a couple of drops on each vent, but you can also coat a wooden charm with a bit of sandalwood essential oil and hang that from your rearview mirror. It’s certainly more attractive that those artificial tree things, and the relaxing properties of sandalwood might actually help reduce stress while driving in traffic. Bonus!
- Do you practice yoga? Sandalwood’s antiseptic properties make it an excellent spray for yoga mats! The warm and relaxing scent will release during your practice to help provide focus and clarity.
- You can also apply it directly to your skin (always test first!) during periods of high stress. Blend sandalwood essential oil with vanilla, lavender, or jasmine for your own custom scent.
Sandalwood essential oil has so many uses. You can even use it to gently clean and deodorize those well-worn summer sandals! Using a cotton pad, apply a blend of sandalwood and alcohol to the surface of your shoes.
Summer is unofficially here, and it’s time to put away those socks—save them for hiking and other adventures. Get out your sandals…and don’t forget the sandalwood!
What are your plans for the summer? Tell us about it.