The Atlas Mountain range stretches around 1,600 miles through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The range highest peak is Toubkal, standing at 4,167 metres. The Atlas Mountains are mainly inhabited by the Berber people. A destination well worth exploring and is definitely on my list!
This is also the home of one of our favourite essential oils - Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica). ‘Cedrus’ originates from the Arabic word kedron meaning ‘power’ and according to the song of Solomon was used to build Solomon’s temple. Used by the the Nordic peoples to invoke the spirit of Wotan, the one-eyed god of storm, magic and harvest. The Ancient Egyptians used it to entomb their dead and employed the oil in the mummification process, as ritual incense, for cosmetics and perfume.
The essential oil has a beautiful woody sweet aroma which is grounding & calming and a little uplifting making it good for relaxation blends and dealing with stress. We find it mixes well with a number of scents but especially good with other woods, florals, earthy tones and some citruses.
The best quality essential oil is obtained from distilling wood chips from trees between 20 and 30 years old. In my experience, the better quality oil has a more rounded scent, is more balsamic, less sweet and has more depth.
The essential oil is really high in sesquiterpenes, a class of terpene that consist of three isoprene units. These chemicals provide much of it's useful benefits.. Cedarwood acts as an anti-inflammatory and is a powerful antiseptic, used particularly for bronchial and urinary tract infections. It is effective against coughs and hayfever as it helps to break down mucus and It has also been used in cases of alopecia. Like many wood essential oils it has insecticide properties.
For skincare it's astringent and antiseptic properties make it good for oily & combination skin and Acne. We find it particularly good for hair as it helps with oiliness, dandruff and strengthens hair growth. These are some of the reasons we use it in our Beard Oils, Réunion Cleanser, Hammam Moisturising Serum and Mańana Shave Oil.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about one of favourite ingredients today. If you have any questions or would like to add your own comments, please feel free.