Cedar is my favourite fragrance note at the moment. It’s a scent that’s really common as a base in perfumes, with some interesting properties:
- Cedar oils in perfumery come from the wood and leaves of cedar trees, but also related juniper and cypress species.
- Depending on the source of the oil, cedar oil can contain different scent compounds. Common chemicals in cedarwood oil include cedrol, ∀-cedrene, himachalene, d-alpha-atlantone and thujopsene.
- Cedrol has been found to have a relaxant effect… and it also attracts pregnant mosquitoes.
- Cedar can neutralise the scent of poop (from the chemical skatole). This odor-neutralising pairing is called a Zwaardemaker pair, named after the Dutch scientist who came up with the concept.
Cedar fragrance reviews
I’ve been working my way through Commodity’s sample sets, and encountered Book. It’s part of their Black collection, which is tailored more towards men. Book has eucalyptus and bergamot framing the cedar, and it smells a lot like a wooden bookshelf. The problem I’ve found with the entire Commodity range is that while the scents are unusual and interesting, they don’t tend to last very long on your skin. Book has decent lasting power – around 8 hours on me.
I kept seeing Sarah Jessica Parker Stash mentioned in reviews of Book, so after seeing that it was $9.99 for 30 mL at Chemist Warehouse I immediately went out and grabbed myself a bottle. It’s a warmer woody cedar fragrance, with an incense vibe at the beginning and a soapy finish. I think it’s definitely a lot more feminine than Book, but not very girly. It smells a bit more like the bottom of a wooden chest of drawers, without the fresh wood scent.
The Original Gap was a destash from my friend Michaela when she moved to Dubai. It has notes of plum, cedar and leather. To me it smells the most like freshly cut wood, with a slightly acrid scent at the beginning which I’m guessing is the leather note. It’s a little harsher on the nose than Book and Stash.
I was surprised to find cedar in Katy Perry‘s new fragrance Indi. It’s quite different from the usual sugary celebrity perfumes – it starts off with a blast of musk and tonka that makes me a bit nauseous on bad days. It has a really pleasant drydown after the first few hours.
Overall I’m really enjoying my foray into woodier fragrances. I find them really comforting (maybe it’s the cedrol’s relaxant effect?).
Do you like woody perfumes? What’s your favourite?
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