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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Can I Substitute Different Kinds of Cedarwood Oil for Each Other?

by Andrea Butje, LMT, Aromatherapy Educator on September 07, 2020

Can I Substitute Different Kinds Of Cedarwood

There are so many kinds of Cedarwood oil! 

Himalayan Cedarwood, Atlas Cedarwood, Virginian Cedarwood, Texas Cedarwood ...

How do you choose the right kind of Cedarwood essential oil for your purpose?

I’m so happy to help clear things up for you! I’ve been teaching about essential oils since 1998, and Cedarwood has been a long-time friend for me.

In this post, I’ll talk about 3 popular kinds of Cedarwood oil: 

  • Cedrus deodara (Himalayan or Indian Cedarwood) 
  • Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedarwood) 
  • Juniperus virginiana (Virginian Cedarwood)

And then I’ll give you a Cedarwood essential oil closet spray recipe!

Aromatically, there are a few differences between these 3 kinds of Cedarwood oil:

  • Cedrus deodara’s scent is woodsy, with a slightly sharp, balsamic note.
  • Cedrus atlantica has a rich, woody, smooth aroma that’s popular in perfumes (especially scents for men).
  • Juniperus virginiana has a soft, sweet, comforting, woodsy aroma that’s also popular in perfumes. (Try this Woodsy Perfume balm I created for a YouTube video!) 

These 3 different kinds of Cedarwood oil are all great substitutes for one another!

They share similar therapeutic properties. They’re gentle on skin, excellent for respiratory support, relaxation, reducing infections, calming inflammation, and even sending bugs in the other direction. 

While these different kinds of Cedarwood oil are not exactly the same, you can often use them interchangeably in your Aromatherapy practice.

That even goes for the third essential oil on that list, which is not “officially” a Cedarwood—Juniperus virginiana.

Virginian Cedarwood is officially a Juniper. It’s in the same plant genus as Juniper Berry, Juniperus communis. Its aroma is very Cedar-like, though! I like to think of it as being close friends with the Cedarwoods. (They spend a lot of vacations and holidays together ...)

Juniperus virginiana is one of my favorite essential oils to use for children. It’s just so incredibly gentle and effective, and I know it will get results for the child I’m blending for without overwhelming them. (I prefer to use essential oils on the skin with children over 5 years old.)

If you run out of Juniperus virginiana, you can substitute one of the other kinds of Cedarwood oil. They’re still very gentle.

And now, let’s get to a great recipe!

I mentioned above that these 3 kinds of Cedarwood oil are all great for making bugs feel less at home. And the aroma of Cedarwood is especially well known for keeping moths out of our closets and dresser drawers.

So let’s use Cedarwood essential oil to make a closet spray that protects our clothes, and makes the closet smell amazing!

3 Cedars Closet Spray

  • 4 oz (120 ml) water
  • 13 drops Cedrus atlantica essential oil
  • 13 drops Cedrus deodara essential oil
  • 13 drops Juniperus virginiana essential oil
  • 6 ml Solubol (dispersant)

Make this blend in a 4 oz (120 ml) glass spray bottle.

Combine the water, Solubol and essential oils and shake gently.

Use it as a closet spray—spritz it all around your closet, around your clothes where they’re hanging, and in your dresser drawers. Just be careful not to use it on fabrics or materials that don’t respond well to water (like leather or suede). 

3 Cedars Closet Spray

I suggest making a fresh bottle of this every few weeks, since it’s not made with a preservative.

And if you don’t have one of the Cedarwood oils in this recipe . . . yes, you can substitute a different kind of Cedarwood oil! They can all make your closet smell like a forest.


Free Class: Introduction to Essential Oils

Founder at Aromahead Institute
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: how to use cedarwood, cedarwood essential oil uses, cedarwood uses, cedarwood essential oil, how to use cedarwood essential oil, essential oil closet spray, Cedrus deodara, Cedrus atlantica, Juniperus virginiana, cedarwood substitutes

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