Plant name (Latin): Aniba rosaedora
Plant family: Lauraceae also known as the Laurels family
Native region: Brazil, India
Growing habit: Grows best in areas of full sun and good soil irrigation
Parts used: Wood mainly from the trunk of the rosewood tree
Extraction method: Steam distillation
About Rosewood OilRosewood is a precious essential oil with a sweet, woody scent. While listed
on the endangered species list, there are certain areas that can still source and
sell this luxury wood legally.
Description of AromaRosewood is a clear to pale yellow, thin essential oil with a medium aroma.
It’s considered a middle note in perfumery.
Why Use Rosewood?Rosewood is a sweet, woody essential oil that’s grounding, and centering,
and can help promote feelings of joy.
How and Where Rosewood Grows?
Rosewood is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil and grows wild from
the basin of the Amazon rainforest. It’s a fast-growing, tropical tree that can
grow up to 9 meters high with a trunk girth up to 30 cm around. Generally,
the tree needs to be at least 6 meters high before it’s considered ready to be
sourced. The tree needs to grow for approximately ten years before the trunk
is an acceptable diameter for distillation.
Rosewood essential oil is surrounded by much controversy. Throughout the
last 12 years, the desire for rosewood has grown exponentially from
approximately $12000 worth taken in 2009 to more than 180 million by the
third quarter of 2014. The Convention of International Trade in Endangered
species, better known by its acronym of CITES, has banned trade for all types
of Rosewood. Although the tree is considered to be endangered globally, it is
not truly endangered in India, where they say it still grows throughout the
country. Each year, India has to reprove that the tree is not endangered there
and is then given a certificate to be able to source a fixed quote of Rosewood
that can legally be exported.
Rosewood essential oil has an affinity for the respiratory system making it a
great oil to use for bronchial infections, tonsilitis, and coughs. It also can help
ease the pain of a headache.
Rosewood has many uses when it comes to the skin. It can help lessen the
appearance and recurrence of acne, eczema, and psoriasis while also being
handy for insect bites and reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
It also makes an amazing massage oil to relax the body and nourish the skin
when mixed with your favorite carrier oil.
Rosewood for Emotions
Rosewood is an exceptional oil when it comes to mental and emotional
health. It’s a good choice to use for depression, anxiety, nervousness, and
stress due to its high linalool content. It’s also known to help promote
pleasant and joyful feelings while also helping with issues of self-confidence
and self-esteem. It is helpful in times of grief or sadness and is also widely
used for spiritual healing and meditation. Its calming characteristic helps to
quiet the mind, center, and ground while opening up the heart.
History of Rosewood
The Rosewood tree grows natively in the rainforests of Brazil. It’s also
known to grow to a lesser degree throughout parts of Africa. The tree is
considered endangered globally, although the country of India still has
enough trees growing there that they can still source a specific amount of this
precious wood each year.
The wood has long been touted as a precious and luxurious wood used in
many Chinese luxury furniture pieces, oftentimes sold to the elite at a very
high price point. The French have long prized this hardy wood to make
cabinets and handles for knives and brushes. It also has a long history of use
in the perfumery industry.
Unfortunately, up to 60% of Rosewood goes to waste when it is sourced. The
trunk of the tree is often the only thing taken and used of the Rosewood tree
with all of the branches being generally left behind. This is incredibly
unfortunate because the young branches of the Rosewood tree contain the
bulk of the essential oil in the tree.
The Science of Rosewood
Rosewood essential oil is mostly made up of linalool with lesser amounts of
alpha-terpineol, 1,8 cineole, and linalool oxide.
Rosewood essential oil has no known safety concerns or contraindications.
Care should be taken in the sourcing of Rosewood essential oil as it is often
adulterated with Ho Wood essential oil or diluted with carrier oils. Do not apply it to skin without diluting. Do not digest.
Blend Rosewood and Lavender essential oils for a sweet, woody, floral blend
that is calming and relaxing.
Blend Rosewood with Frankincense and Sweet Orange for an earthy, woody,
fruity blend that will ground and center you while also promoting uplifting
feelings of joy.
Mix Rosewood, Lavender, and Rose essential oils together with your favorite
carrier oil to create a luxurious facial serum with both anti-aging and
Add 3 drops of Rosewood to your favorite carrier oil for a relaxing and
nourishing massage oil.