Find Your Scent: What Does Cedarwood Smell Like? | Snif

If you’re looking for a new, sultry scent, welcome to the woody wonderland of cedarwood. Cedarwood adds a spicy, warm, and earthy element to fragrances, and it's a timeless scent that can be soothing and calming to the senses. 

In this article we'll uncover this versatile ingredient's secrets and explore the scents that complement it. And, of course, we'll share our favorite cedarwood scent recommendations for candles to fill your space to fragrances you will love. 

What Is Cedarwood? 

Cedarwood has been used for its aromatic magic for centuries — the ancient Middle East used the oil in perfumes, incense, and medicine. The use of cedarwood later spread all around the world, including Europe and North America, where it is still a common ingredient. 

The scent of cedarwood comes from (surprise) the wood of cedar trees. However, there are actually many different types of cedarwood, ranging from the Virginian cedar, Himalayan cedar, Texas cedar, Atlas cedarwood, and more. Because of this, the cedarwood oil can smell slightly different depending on the species, and there is also a synthetic version of cedarwood commonly used in some perfumery. 

Cedarwood's earthy, smooth, spicy scent makes it a total go-to option in unisex fragrances, and it's got long-lasting superpowers that help it linger on the skin for hours. 

How Are Sandalwood and Cedarwood Different?

Both sandalwood and cedarwood are earthy, natural scents, but they are not the same. Sandalwood has a smoother, creamier scent profile that offers a subtle sweetness, while cedarwood is warmer and slightly spicier and has a fresh, citrusy twist. While they might come from the same forest in some places, they each bring their unique charm to the scent world. 

What Does Cedarwood Smell Like?

Cedarwood is a complex smell that will leave you wanting more. It might sound odd, but cedarwood has balsamic undertones, and it can also offer a bit of nostalgia for those who remember the smell of a cigar box or pencil shavings from a No. 2 pencil. 

You may not want to remember being in school, but we promise cedarwood’s woody aroma is much more relaxing than stress-inducing. In fact, one of the key benefits of cedarwood is its tension-reducing ability, which is often put to use in aromatherapy. 

When you smell cedarwood, you might pick up on the following nuances:

  • Smoothness: Cedarwood is a smooth scent gliding effortlessly through your senses like a hot knife through butter.
  • Warmth: It's a warm fragrance that gives you the feeling of snuggling up by the fireplace. The woody smell reminds you of those toasty moments during the colder months. 
  • Creaminess: Take a whiff of cedarwood, and you may pick up on a velvety finish. The scent is indulgent without being too overwhelming to the senses. 
  • Slight Citrus: There's also a subtle hint of citrusy freshness to cedarwood. It gives the scent a zingy twist that's an unexpected pop, making cedarwood a dynamic and comforting fragrance.

What Scents Pair Well With Cedarwood?

The different scent properties in cedarwood make it the perfect match for a variety of other scent profiles. If you ask us, layering scents is the best way to step up your fragrance game and create your own signature scent. Here are some great fragrances you can layer with a cedarwood scent. 


Thanks to the hints of citrus, cedarwood pairs perfectly with grapefruit scents. Snif's Citrus Circus is a citrus fragrance that combines cedar with creamsicle, grapefruit, lime zest, sparkling water, neroli, violet, and white amber. The cedarwood and white amber add a layer of complexity to this bright, vibrant scent. 


Musk is a popular inclusion in many perfumes, and it combines nicely with cedarwood. Suganami is a natural, woody scent with iris and hints of incense, myrrh, pink pepper, and amber. The finishing scent is cypress, cedarwood, and creamy musk for a fragrance that reads smooth with a slightly powdery after-effect. 


Fig-forward scents offer a warm and sweet aroma. Vow Factor is a fig fragrance that masters pairing fruity figs with cedarwood. This scent also combines neroli, rose, mandarin, galbanum, orris, tonka bean, and ambrette seeds for a feeling of modern sophistication that’s perfect for any occasion that could use a hint of romance.

What Are Some Cedarwood Candle Scents To Try?

Beyond perfumes and fragrances, you can infuse your space with the scent of cedarwood using candles. Candles with cedarwood create a particularly welcoming, cozy ambiance that can transform any living room into your own little retreat.

Here at Snif, we use the same high-quality fragrance in our scented candles as we do in our fragrances. Our candles feature a premium blend of soy and vegetable wax, which can increase the concentration and throw of the candle's scent. 

And if you can’t get enough of your favorite candle scents, we have good news for you – our candles are designed to burn for 50+ hours in the 8.5 oz size, and the 50 oz candles can last for 200+ hours. 

Ditch Plains

Who doesn't want to be transported oceanside? Ditch Plains is a golden, beachy candle that captures the smell of Montauk with a blend of neroli, tuberose, rum, cedarwood, and amber. 

Birds and the Breeze

Fill your space with the light and airy scent of Birds and the Breeze. It's a light and airy candle featuring a combination of mimosa petals, jasmine, galbanum, and cedarwood to keep you grounded while also enhancing your space. 

Into the Woods 

Diving into the world of cedarwood scents can open you up to fragrances and candles you didn't know you needed — this timeless smell has lasted for a reason. If you’re looking to add cedarwood fragrances to your lineup, Snif has what you need to make the most of this woody aroma. 


Cedarwood Essential Oil Benefits, Uses, and Precautions | Healthline

Fact Sheet for Cedarwood oil (wood oils and gums) | EPA

Cedar Tree Facts, Types, Identification, Diseases, Pictures | Coniferous Forest

The sedative effects and mechanism of action of cedrol inhalation with behavioral pharmacological evaluation | NCBI.

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