I have fond memories of my first trip to Sweden. I was a young tech industry worker, there for a conference. I was astounded at how relaxed and laid-back Malmo was. The working week is shorter, people cycle around without a care in the world, and everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful. It didn’t take long for me to soak up that atmosphere, and to get out of my own “busy, busy, busy” mentality and start enjoying myself and exploring.
One day, instead of booking a taxi, I decided to walk to the convention center. I got a little lost and ended up stopping off for a cup of coffee and a cake in a tiny bakery. I’m a coffee connoisseur, and I must confess that I don’t remember the coffee at all. The cake, however, was one of the best I have ever had in my life. It had crumbly pastry, a dusting of icing sugar, and a soft marzipan center that had the unmistakable smell of fresh almonds.
From that day on, almonds will always remind me of Malmo. Indeed, I noticed that the Swedish seem to use them a lot in their cakes, pastries and even in some savory cooking. It’s a luxurious, filling scent that, unfortunately for my diet, tends to make me rather hungry.
Healing, Protecting, and Soothing
Almond essential oil comes from bitter almonds, rather than the sweet ones that are used to make almond oil, but it’s still very similar. Almond essential oil is traditionally thought of as something that can soothe the skin, in addition to a range of other health benefits.
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The main—and very important—difference between bitter and sweet almond is that sweet almonds are edible, while bitter almonds contain amygdalin, which is a glycoside that becomes toxic when processed. If you eat bitter almonds, then at best you could get very sick, and at worst, the poisoning could be fatal. Thus, almost essential oil should not be ingested.
The scientific name for almond essential oil is Prunus amygdalus amara. It is quite a luxurious oil, which can sometimes be difficult to source because the crops are susceptible to the weather damage. They require good, sunny conditions, so most producers import them from places like Morocco.
I’m a huge fan of using almond oil to help relieve muscle aches and to shake off fatigue. My trips to Sweden for trade shows would involve intermittent bursts of walking around crowded show floors, followed by sitting for endless hours listening to keynotes and presentations. By the end of the day, I was stiff, tired, and pretty run-down from the whole experience.
Almond oil provided to be incredible in providing me with relaxation. A quick shower, then a massage with the protein-rich aromatherapy oil helps with both the physical knots and the mental strain. I would leave the oil on for half an hour or so while lying down wrapped in a nice warm towel.
Then, once I was alert and awake, I’d head back out for a walk in the evening to clear my head. The river is particularly beautiful, especially in the spring, and it’s amazing how calm and quiet the streets can be.
Make Your Own Memories
It’s been a while since I went to Malmo, but I hope to go back soon. If you’ve never been to Sweden, then why not go? Malmo is less expensive than Stockholm, and since it’s near Copenhagen, Denmark, you can hit two great destinations in one go. For now, I’ll be remembering Malmo with the scent of almond essential oil.
We hope you enjoyed this personal account by a fellow essential oil lover, Kyle D. Check out more Cityscape stories here!