Cedar By Any Other Name…..

Just Because It’s Called Cedar, Doesn’t Mean It’s So

One of my favorite essential oils is cedar wood. And I mean real cedar wood oil, which is the only kind Yellowstar*Essentials uses.

True cedar wood oil is distilled from Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara), or Lebanon Cedar (Cedrus libani), or Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica). But there are many essential oils called “cedar,” which aren’t really from cedars at all. So be sure the oil you are using is the cedar you intend to use.

One so-called “cedar” is Virginian Cedar, also called Texas Cedar and Pencil Cedar. Virginian Cedar is a juniper (Juniperus virginiana), which is a member of the Cypress family. Comparing Virginian Cedar Wood oil to pencils is perfect, because the essential oil really does smell like freshly sharpened pencils! It’s a very pleasing scent, but it just won’t do as a substitute for true, sweet and resinous cedar wood oil.

Other so-called “cedars” are White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and Red Cedar (Thuja plicata). These are arborvitae, not cedar. Arborvitae, meaning “Tree of Life,” is a beautiful, stately conifer of the Cypress family. Arborvitae is used in perfumery and spoken of highly, but personally, I don’t know why. To me, Arborvitae smells like Mugwort and Wormwood, neither of which make it anywhere near my top ten list. I have a hard time seeing this used as a substitute for true, balsamic, and woody cedar wood oil.

Port Orford Cedar is (you guessed it!) not a cedar. It’s another cypress. Botanists know it as Lawson’s Cypress, or Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. Lawson’s Cypress is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, so as a one-time Oregonian, I have a special affection for it as a native member of the beautiful temperate rainforest. However, Port Orford cedar isn’t a substitute for genuine cedar wood oil.

We could go on this way, but you get the point. Yellowstar*Essentials has the real thing — genuine Himalayan cedarwood oil (Cedrus deodara) for its wonderful, sweet, resinous and woody aroma. Our Himalayan Cedarwood comes from India where true cedar has been used for thousands of years in Ayuvedic medicine and to make fine incense. We at Yellowstar*Essentials, know there is just no substitute for the real thing. And we make it easy for you to get the best genuine Cedar wood oil too, whether it be Himalayan, Atlas or Lebanon.

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