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My Favourite Things

As a sauna journeyer of almost 50 years I have honed my personal practice to a point that it follows a very predictable pattern. I know just how I like my sauna, how hot and for how long and all the bells and whistles that make me tingle. However it is not uncommon for me to still be delighted by the new and the wonderful.


Whether introduced to me by others or simple random discoveries, the sauna world is replete with products, accessories and customs that continue to enchant. 

My Favourite Things section will be where these discoveries, both new and old, will be catalogued and reviewed. From the simple (my favourite sauna shampoo) to the technical (wireless sauna thermometer fob and app), check back here often to see if there is anything that you might want to add to your sauna shopping list.

Sauna shampoo



















"Erittäin Hieno Suomalainen terva-shampoo" translates to Very Nice Finnish Tar Shampoo. And packaged in an opaque brown bottle no less. I guess tar is brown. The Finns have always had a way with marketing. Nevertheless this product delivers. At the end of a rousing sauna session I squeeze a small squirt of this baby onto my hair and not only is head soon covered in foam but the soothing scent of a pine forest quickly follows. 

Historically, tar (resin) that is made from pine wood has played an important role in traditional folk medicine in Finland. Tar has been used to make lotions and baths to heal skin disorders, wounds and infections. Now I'm not sure if there is any actual pine tar in this shampoo but I like it all the same. 

Erittäin Hieno Suomalainen Terva-Shampoo is available in both Canada and the United States from retailers Finnport and Touch of Finland.

Sauna shampoo

Sauna pillow















The Jokipiin Tuuli Sauna Pillow (direct translation: To the river wind sauna pillow) makes your sauna setting even more dreamy. But be careful to not actually fall asleep! One of my favourite things to do after a long day is stretch out on the top bench of the sauna and relax. With a sauna pillow this is eminently more comfortable. 


Made from a 50/50 blend of linen terry and cotton this pillow is machine washable and fire safe. The Jokipiin Tuuli Sauna Pillow is available at Touch of Finland. Several additional patterns and colours are available. 

sauna pillow

Marimekko sauna robe




















This is the ultimate sauna robe. I received this for my birthday last year and it has become an indispensable part of my sauna attire. Designed in a kimono style and made of cotton waffle it both insulates you from the wind and cold and wicks sweat away without becoming wet and heavy. Originally designed in 1963 this robe is another timeless classic from the house of Marimekko.

Available from Finnport in Canada and Finnstyle in the USA.

Sauna robe

Wireless temperature sensor
















One of the banes of my sauna bathing history is inaccurate thermometers. Finns will tell you they are not necessary anyway as you only need to feel the heat to determine if it is just right and I get that. But sometimes it is nice to know precisely how hot your sauna is and I'm probably not alone in this regard. 

Introducing the RuuviTag Pro, a wireless bluetooth temperature sensor that is built to withstand proper sauna temperatures. Stick it wherever you want, heck get two of them so you can find out where your hot zones are and enjoy real time date on the Ruuvi app on your phone (note it is not advised to bring your phone into the sanctuary). 

Inexpensive yet robust, Ruuvi is proudly made in Finland and ships worldwide.   

wireless sauna thermometer

Sauna scents

















No sauna session is complete without healthy lashings of water onto the rocks (löyly). Dry ambient heat is one thing - and it is a great thing - but the spirit of the sauna is revealed through its steam. And while using pure water is the traditional way of doing things, occasionally it is nice to elevate the experience by mixing in some essential oils. Aromatherapy is its own intoxicating discipline and one can get a small taste (or smell) of it from the sacred sauna rocks. 

Rento is one of the most reputable Finnish purveyors of sauna accessories and their sauna scents are divine. Choose from amongst their range of scents (my favourite is Finnish Pine Tar) and mix a few capfuls into a bucket of löyly water. 

Rent products are widely available throughout North America including Finnport in Canada and Touch of Finland in the USA. 

Sauna scent
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