Substitutes for Rosewood Essential Oil

rosewood logThe first essential oil I ever bought was Rosewood oil. I remember having a little extra money and wanting to treat myself to something nice. I was attracted to the rows of essential oils in tiny bottles with pretty labels. I really had no idea what essential oils were at the time – I just knew I had to have one. I carefully sniffed each bottle. Some of the ones I liked were out of my price range – neroli and sandalwood. But then I discovered rosewood!  Rosewood has that earthy, forest scent that most essential oils extracted from wood have, but with floral notes that made it smell fresh. It had such a sweet, subtle scent that I bought it and carried it home. I remember dabbing a tiny bit on the inside of my wrist. It was as if I had a special secret that I would never tell anyone.

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Unfortunately, Rosewood essential oil is now endangered, being native to the Brazilian rainforest. It was probably endangered back when I bought it, too, but I was unaware.  You may have noticed that Dreaming Earth no longer carries rosewood essential oil, and that we are now substituting Ho Wood essential oil in our blends, which is a more environmentally friendly choice.  Ho Wood essential oil is very similar to Rosewood in its chemical makeup, but comes from a renewable resource. Both Rosewood and Ho Wood have antiseptic, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties, and are emotionally uplifting. Ho wood supports the immune system and is a good remedy for insomnia because of its soothing qualities. The scent is somewhat sharper than rosewood, but with beautiful floral notes that make it a great substitute.

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Another possible substitute for rosewood is coriander. Coriander has a rich history: it is one of the bitter herbs eaten at Passover; it is cited in Sanskrit texts and is traditionally used in Chinese medicine and cooking. It was also used by Romans to flavor wine. Coriander essential oil is very soothing and can be used to treat pain and inflammation. It is antiseptic and antifungal. Like Rosewood, it is emotionally uplifting and can be very relaxing.  Coriander’s scent is grassy and green, and blends nicely with with the more floral notes of rose geranium or ho wood.

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Although I love Rosewood essential oil, from now on I’ll be using Ho Wood in its place and growing to like it just as much. And I never knew about all the properties of Coriander . . . so, it just goes to show you, one door closes and another opens.

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