Also known as "holy wood," Palo Santo wood sticks have been used for centuries by indigenous Amazonians hoping to ward off evil spirits. As we recently discovered, they also lend a more practical service by freshening up your house with the slightly sweet smell they emit when lit. Unlike traditional incense sticks, the little logs burn slowly allowing them to be used many times. The soothing scent is also harnessed for homeopathy, helping with colds, asthma, arthritis and other ailments.
Special permits are required to harvest the wood, leading to strict laws surrounding the export of the sticks. We picked up some at NYC's Love, Adorned shop but also found a few online purveyors following fair trade practices, including Ellaflor and Floracopeia.