Here are a few fun Icelandic products to look out for on your travels.
66°NORTH Workman Hat
Everyone from rural farmers to downtown fuckboys rep’ 66°NORTH. While their winter parkas are beautiful, they also come in at anywhere between 70.000 and 150.000 ISK—not really a casual buy. Another option? 66°NORTH’s workman hats are just as iconic, and cost only 3.400 ISK each. Next to lopapeysa, these knitted beanies are without a doubt the most Icelandic thing you can put on your body. Walk around Reykjavík in one and you’ll easily blend in like a local, ‘cause who wants to look like a tourist, right? 66°NORTH has stores all around Iceland but the most centrally located one is on Bankastræti 5 in downtown Reykjavík.
Are you a fan of schnapps? How about schnapps without sugar? If this sounds appealing, well today is your lucky day. Brennivín—a culinary cross between aquavit and sugarless schnapps, made with fermented potato mash and caraway seeds—is the most Icelandic thing you can take a sip of. Your first shot will taste like licorice, but your second like water. Why? Brennivín’s nickname is “Svarti dauði,” which means “black death.” So if you’re looking to black out the Viking way, pick up a bottle at the Duty Free.
Nói Síríus Lakkrís & Marsípan
Scandinavia is weirdly preoccupied with a material called black liquorice. It’s certainly an acquired taste, but Icelanders like to cover it in milk chocolate. This is called lakkrís. Not only is the mix pretty tasty and addictive, it’s also a great way for non-liquorice-lovers to start eating that zingy black nammi (Icelandic for candy). If you’re doubtful about chocolate liquorice, just think about how much you can find out about a country from eating their junk food. In the case of Iceland, this means they are sweet on the outside, but complicated, spicy, and a little bit weird under the skin.
Bioeffect EGL Day Serum
Bioeffect EGL Day Serum is used by 25% of Icelandic woman, and have you noticed how great their skin is? Made from barley seeds grown in Icelandic greenhouses, this serum is a must-have for anyone worried about aging. It targets dry spots, fine lines, sun damage, and wrinkles, but Icelandic woman—without exaggeration—swear by it. If you’re a skincare junkie looking for a buy you might actually use (more than a stuffed puffin), pick one up at any skincare store in Reykjavík.