Finding Your Scent: What Does Cedarwood Smell Like?

pine cones and green needles on branches

Source: Soyka/

Cedarwood is a wonderfully aromatic scent, taken from a hardy evergreen tree that lasts all through winter. But just what does cedarwood smell like? Here, we define the scent of cedarwood and explore the scents that pair well with it. In addition, we offer a list of our natural soy wax blend candles that have top notes and mid notes of cedarwood and other similar fragrances.

What Is Cedarwood? 

cedar of lebanon

Source: Maurizio Milanesio/

Cedarwood oil is derived from the evergreen cedar tree–the entire cedar tree, in fact! Where you might get scents created from only bark or petals or sap, cedarwood oil is taken from the tree’s coniferous needles, leaves, bark and even the berries. Cedar trees come in many species found all around the world, from the cedars of Olympic National Park to the flat-top cedar of Lebanon. However, cedarwood is not only native to the Mediterranean region, but even as far as the Himalayan mountains. Cedarwood has also been revered by many cultures and civilizations and used as a spiritual and mystical essence.  

What Does Sandalwood Smell Like? Find Out in Our Guide!

What Does Cedarwood Smell Like?

So, what does cedarwood smell like? As you might imagine, since it comes from trees, cedarwood has a woodsy scent. But to describe it this way simply doesn’t do this pleasant aroma much justice. Saying it’s “woodsy” is a bit of an understatement for this complex fragrance. So let’s define it a little better and explore.

Cedarwood has balsamic undertones and a camphoraceous odor that reminds you of an heirloom hope chest or a good aftershave. This aromatic wood scent can call to mind pencil shavings and fine cigar boxes, both of which are often manufactured from cedar. 

Cedarwood is often used as a base note or mid note on scented candles, as well as other scented products. Overall, it acts as a warm anchor to combine floral and citrus-based notes.

Like taking a walk through a forest, cedarwood soothes the soul. Cedarwood’s earthy, woodsy smell is thought to reduce anxiety and even help you relax enough to feel dozy. There’s actually scientific truth to this, too. The alcohol, Cedrol, which is found in the oils of conifer trees, acts as a sedative that makes one feel calmer. Can’t make it to the park for a forest-bathing stroll? Then simply light a cedarwood-scented candle!

What Other Scents Go Well with Cedarwood? 

Cedarwood pairs well with sandalwood, one of the most common candle scents. What does sandalwood smell like? Essentially, sandalwood offers a warm, smooth scent, pairing well with cedarwood’s camphorous aura.

Cedarwood also pairs well with scents such as ylang-ylang, frankincense and bergamot. As mentioned, cedarwood also acts as an anchor for citrus scents, such as sweet orange, ginger and grapefruit, rounding them out pleasantly.

Enjoy the Scent of Cedarwood with One of Our Beach Candles

Cedarwood Scented Homesick Candles

Beach cottage candle

If you love woodsy aromas like cedarwood and sandalwood, check out these scented candles by Homesick.  

Beach Cottage Candle

Ignite a few beach candles to transform your home into a salty beachside bungalow. With top note scents of sandalwood, you’ll feel like you’ve just returned from a sunset stroll along a sandy beach, bringing back a piece of decorative driftwood. Similar to cedarwood, the sandalwood offers a lovely aura with mid notes of plumeria and musk. Beneath it all are hints of sea air and amber to capture the warm ocean breezes.

Colorado Candle

The Colorado candle encapsulates the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, brimming with evergreen spruce and cedar. With top notes of spruce and a warming aroma of sandalwood, you’ll be transported to its scenic mountains and mesas. Hints of cedarwood and amber finish off this candle, too. 

New Mexico Candle

Like the state’s warm deserts and arid climate, the New Mexico candle lends a sweet and spicy aroma of sandalwood mixed with cedarwood and musk for a base scent. With that woodsy base, combined with complex green-like cactus notes, you really catch the spice that reminds you of Hatch chile peppers.  

Gone Hiking Candle

The Gone Hiking candle smells like just that–strapping on your boots and hitting the trail! This wonderful candle offers top notes of pine with a mid note of woody, balsamic cedarwood. Hints of sandalwood and moss deepen the scent further, like you’re in the backcountry wilderness. This candle makes the perfect gift for the outdoorsy person in your life!