Cedarwood Virginia United States

Essential oil

Juniperus virginiana


General data

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Product details

Fragrance side

A woody note par excellence, Virginia Cedar essential oil is used in many types of perfumes. It can be found in woody, oriental and ferns as well as colognes. As a masculine note, it is generally more discreet in women’s fragrances where cedar nuances other woody notes.

Eastern Red cedar is a large, slow-growing evergreen that reaches 30 meters in height. It is native to the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in North America. A member of the Cupressaceae family, it shares botanical attributes with juniper (Juniperus genus) and its cousin, the cypress, for the evergreen foliage is composed of overlapping scales and needles. The fruits are globular, purple-brown berries reminiscent of juniper berries. The red-brown heartwood earned the tree the name “Red cedar.” Eastern Red cedar essential oil is distilled from sawdust and shavings from American wood mills.

Before 1917, red cedarwood was used mainly for making pencils. This industry used only old wild trees with wide, straight trunks free of knots, with abundant heartwood. The wood residues were recovered for distilling essential oil. However, in 1910, the natural resource began to see a decline, triggering an equivalent drop in pencil production. Beginning in 1917, distillers turned to the cabinetmaking industry to source sawdust and Eastern Red cedar chips. The trees used are younger, with more sapwood, but the quality of the oil produced remains the same. Today, Eastern Red cedar essential oil is sourced exclusively from this industry.

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