Scent Sense: Cedarwood

Cedarwood oil with its grounding, tenacious, balsamic, sweet and woody odour is identified as one of the most prized ingredients used in current day perfumery. It enhances the lasting power of natural and synthetic perfume fixatives and also intensifies their odour. It combines very well with citrusy notes and often encountered in fragrances for men.

“A man should endeavour to be as pliant as a reed, yet as hard as cedarwood”. – Anon –

Native to the mountains of Himalaya and the Mediterranean region cedarwood oil was initially being enjoyed in incense blends. The aromatic wood was extensively used in Biblical times to build temples and palaces. During this time the oils were used for cleansing, trading and as a currency. It was seen as a symbol of security, stability and abundance. The oil was also applied as the base for paints by the ancient Sumerians and in the Egyptian embalming practices. In the 1930’s cedarwood powders were in vogue. Today it finds application in cosmetic fragrances and in soap fragrances, as well as in various household products. Cedarwood has many health benefits from stimulating hair growth and easing a dry, itchy scalp to healing fungal infections. In aromatherapy, cedarwood is said to have an energy that is rooting, grounding and supportive of our emotions. It gives us strength and helps us stand firmly in the current moment. It encourages confidence and eases anxiety. Perhaps, it is one of the reasons why Japanese baths have such a wonderful effect. The cedar lining of the traditional Japanese bathrooms emanates the sweet balsamic scent, which combined with the steam makes for true relaxation.

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