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Woody Essential Oils

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Woody Essential Oils


Cedarwood trees are enormously tall, broad, strong trees and the essential oil has a warm woody aroma.  It is useful for encouraging self belief and helping less confident individuals tap into their own inner-strengths.  Like the tree itself, this oil is all about, standing true, tall and unwavering in the face of challenge.

In natural perfumery cedarwood is a lovely sweet woody heart note that has wonderful versatility in blending.  Don’t be fooled by its soft aroma – it can dominate a fragrance if used too heavy handedly – although, would that be such a bad thing…?  It is particularly yummy with other woody notes and loves resins.

Cedarwood Atlas essential oil blends well with:

sandalwood, pine, spruce, frankincense, lavender, juniperberry, rose otto, neroli, jasmine, myrrh lime,


Spruce essential oil has a relaxing effect on the mind, but it also great for stimulating organic systems of the body – It helps is to elevate the mind, calls on inner strengths and is a valuable oil to use to support any spiritual practice.

In natural perfumery spruce is used as a middle note. If you are looking for a slightly softer, sweeter more rounded note than you find with the other evergreen notes, try spruce.  It brings a fresh, clear aroma that is uplifting and its definite woody undertones have a touch of spice about them.  It’s really lovely when blended carefully in equilibrium with other notes.  Too much and you run the risk of your end result smelling like a natural cleaning product.  Nice, but probably not what you want in a perfume…

Spruce Hemlock Essential Oil blends well with:

pine, frankincense, cedarwood atlas, lemon, rosemary, benzoin, lavender


One of the world most loved and well-known oils, true East Indian Sandalwood has become a controversial ingredient due sustainablility issues and its endangered species status.  However there is an abundance of sandalwood from other more sustainable sources – Australia, New Caladonia, Vanuatu.

Sandalwood is a woody base note that is warm, slow and sensual with a depth of sweetness about it that is invaluable in natural perfumery.  It’s aroma is subtle and may not even be particularly noticeable until the perfume has partially unfolded.  It leaves its lovely soft aroma lingering on the skin for hours afterwards.  The sort of scent that makes people close their eyes for a moment in order to fully appreciate it.

Sandalwood essential oil blends well with:

cedarwood, liquidambar, frankincense, rose, myrrh, peru balsam, buddhawood,


Amyris essential oil is otherwise known as West Indian Sandalwood.  It has very similar properties and a similar fragrance and can be used in place of or to extend Sandalwood oil which is wildly expensive and less sustainable.  In its native countries the branches are used as torches because they are so abundant in oil that burns well.

For centuries, amyris essential oil has been used as a meditation aid, for its ability to quiet the mind and open the heart to receive.

For the natural perfumer, amyris has a soft woody aroma similar to sandalwood, a little drier and not quite as sweet or deep. It is a highly effective base note that is more subtle than most.  It easily sits beside most other base notes tempering them if they have a tendency to be a little loud and is particularly useful when an oil is required for its fixative qualities not so much for its aroma.

Amyris essential oil blends well with:

Rose, labdanum abs, mandarin, frankincense, myrrh, vanilla, sandalwood, neroli, liquidambar, cedarwood,


Juniperberry essential oil is valuable for cleansing and detox. in both the physical and emotional realms.  Its cleansing properties mean that it is a very useful oil to turn to for space clearing at home – blend with lemon and frankincense in your oil burner –

For individuals who are feeling psychologically ‘stuck’ juniperberry can help create a shift, clearing out old thought patterns, particularly worrisome ones or those that are involved with too much focus on self, in order to refresh and make room for the new.

Taking an aromatic bath with a few drops of juniper combined with grapefruit will cleanse and uplift like no other mix.

In natural perfumery juniperberry is a top note that is fresh and zesty but not as ‘out there’ as citrus oils.  So if you are looking for a light refreshing aroma thats not overly sweet juniperbery could be a possibility. It compliments citrus oils and helps keep them in check.

Juniperberry essential oil blends well with:

cedarwood atlas, grapefruit, frankincense, lemon, clary sage,  lavender, bergamot, geranium, lemongrass


Buddhawood is native to Australia (Yay!!) and is a slightly unusual woody oil with a warm, rich, honey, whiskey-like aroma that lends itself beautifully to blending.  It is a base note that is quite noticeable in blends although won’t easily dominate. Buddhawood might be considered for floral perfumes as its sweet-woody notes make a nice bridge.

In aromatherapy, like many woody oils, it is calming and sedating and therfore used often for spiritual practice. Indigenous people also have a history of using buddhawood as an antiseptic.

Buddhawood essential oil blends well with:

sandalwood, amyris, michelia champaca, jasmine, vanilla, cedarwood, palo santo, ginger, coriander, ylang ylang


Guaiacwood essential oil is highly valued in natural perfumery because it has a lovely warm woody scent with smokey undertones that just lovely.  Its also an excellent fixative.  Guaiacwood is solid at room temp and needs to warmed to 104-122 degs C in order to liquify.  It starts solidifying again reasonably quickly as it cools so work fast.

Guaiacwood is native to Paraguay and is steam distilled from the wood (no surprises there given the name!)

In aromatherapy guaiacwood is useful for calming and relaxing and is often found in meditation blends where its calming, grounding and balancing properties come into their own.

Guaiacwood essential oil blends well with:

sandalwood, cedarwood, grapefruit, jasmine, lime, coriander, ylang ylang, ginger, frankincense,

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