Every Wednesday in Travel Loot, we find the best products to match our theme of the week.
We're celebrating Happy Places this week on Fathom. Those locales far and close to home that make you feel like a real human being, like you at your very best, every time you visit. Perhaps it's when you're swinging gently on a ski lift high up on a mount in Verbier. Or lazing under a royal palm on a secluded beach in Vieques. Or tuning your ear to the din of a buzzing restaurant on a warm night in London. Or strolling the streets of Paris early morning, baguette in hand.
Wherever it is, all that's left when you come back from that happy place is a souvenir. A tiny token that serves as a reminder of something larger and more meaningful. Below are a few affordable, easy-to-order items that transport you to another time and place in an instant.
1. Almond, Mint, and Argan Oil
Why: It smells like Morocco — in just one spritz.
Wen has a lightweight mist of argan oil, shea butter, and botanical extracts that, when used generously, creates a just-out-of-the-hammam feeling ($33).
2. Salty Black Licorice
Why: It tastes like Scandinavia.
The candy, often misunderstood (maligned!) outside of the Nordic countries, provides a tongue-numbing sensation that's really quite pleasant. Jacobsen Salt Co. uses their fine artisan salts in this chewy licorice version ($30 for two bags).
3. Corner Club Music
Why: It sounds like a night in Brazil.
The Clube da Esquina was a loose group of friends in Brazil (lead by Milton Nascimento) who hung out, drank beers, and made music together in the '60s and '70s. The sound mixes bossa nova, jazz, and progressive rock (you can hear inspiration from the Beatles). We're partial to the record ($25), but there's also a CD ($13).
4. DIY Henna
Why: It looks like a celebration in India. Fine line drawings made on the hands and feet bring luck and joy to the wearer. The ink lingers for a week or more, so it serves as a nice reminder of the place you've just come back from ($25).
5. Factory of Bubbles
Why: It feels like childhood. (In Germany.) Deutschland efficiency married with pure whismy. And quite a conversation piece for kids and adults ($27).
6. Japanese Incense
Why: It smells like a country house in Japan. More specifically, like an old, wooden house in Aoyama. The combination of patchouli, vetiver, and clove are very homey and welcoming ($50).