Trader Joe’s yet again proves that a luxurious touch need not be expensive.

By Maddy Sweitzer-Lammé
Updated October 12, 2020
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I’m pretty sure everyone is delighted by the flower section in Trader Joe’s. No one can resist the pull, right? Right as I walk into the store, filled with pride at actually making a grocery trip, filled with optimism about all the healthy, fresh produce I’m going to purchase, I pass the flower section and think to myself “I deserve some flowers. I should buy myself a nice treat to spark joy this week.”

That’s when I reach past the more expense blooms for a bouquet of eucalyptus, ringing in at a grand total of $3.99. Sometimes, when I’m really feeling myself, I buy two bunches.

It’s not just a good deal: eucalyptus branches are far superior to flower bouquets. They last so. much. longer. A typical bunch of eucalyptus will stay perky for no less than three weeks, and even after it starts to cross over, the branches simply dry out, but they keep most of their color and they don’t droop. At this very moment, I have a bunch of eucalyptus hanging out in my bathroom that has been there over a month, and it still looks beautiful.

Credit: With love of photography/Getty Images

With love of photography/Getty Images

In addition to adding an aesthetically pleasing element to my home, the scent has very real benefits. While roses smell great, they don’t give off the same spa-like, super-calming vibe that these fresh branches of eucalyptus do. In aromatherapy, eucalyptus essential oils are used to help increase focus and bring calm—the fresh stuff has the same effect. It’s also common to put a couple drops of the oil in a steamer to help battle coughs and other cold symptoms (which, hello, have we ever needed that more than this year?). The scent can also help relieve headaches and repel insects (it’s basically a cleaning product!). It’s truly an all-purpose addition to your home.

Credit: SOPA Images/Getty Images

SOPA Images/Getty Images

I usually divide a bunch of eucalyptus and leave one small vase on my kitchen table for an extra-nice work-from-home vibe. The other handful goes in my bathroom, where the steam from my shower spreads the scent of the eucalyptus and makes every morning feel special. If I’m sick or just in need of a little extra pampering, I’ll wrap a small bunch of the sprigs in kitchen twine and hang them from my shower head. That way, when I turn on the hot water, it catches the leaves and releases a little more of the scent. If you want to impress a guest, this is a very good way to do it.

Wherever I put my monthly bunch of eucalyptus, I always know it’s going to bring a smile to my face and a sense of calm to my brain. I can’t resist the pull of a fresh spray of the branches when I hit the Trader Joe’s, and I recommend you give in to the pull as well.