making scents with cinnamon bark essential oil


Musings on making scents with cinnamon bark essential oil take me in the direction of “what you see is what you get”. Cinnamon bark is totally unpretentious and is not out to dazzle you with quick costume changes and olfactive acrobatics, it is what it is. Period. That being said I have the sneaking suspicion that it will take some time, but this very common essential oil has qualities hidden to the untrained, busy, impatient nose.  It’s a very familiar scent that can be easily overlooked but don’t make that mistake. If you’re looking for something to add heat and acceleration to your blend then perhaps cinnamon bark essential oil is that player:

Common name: Cinnamon bark essential oil (Sri Lanka)

Genus name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Supplier: White Lotus Aromatics

Note: Heart/Base

Family: Spice

Diffusion: 6

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: Gourmand and vanilla notes (Cocoa Absolute, Vanilla CO2, Benzoin), other spice oils (Cloves Oil, Cloves CO2, Cardamom CO2, Coriander, Ginger CO2, Ginger Lily CO2), Florals (Rose, Champaca CO2, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine), Sweet citrus notes (Sweet Orange, Blood Orange, Tangerine, Clementine CO2), Herbs (Lavender, Rosemary, Sage), as well as the woodsy-Oriental notes (Agarwood CO2, Frankincense, Labdanum, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Spikenard). (Eden Botanicals)

Chemical components: Eugenol, eugenol acetate, cinnamic aldehyde (about 60%!), benzyl benzoate.

“However, the oil from the leaves of the cinnamon bush has eugenol as the main component, the oil from the root has camphor as the main component, whereas the oil from the flowers has cinnamyl acetate as its main component” (Bo Jensen)

Interesting bits: “Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree. It’s scientific name stems from Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, which means ‘fragrant spice plant’.” (Fragrantica)

“Around 200 species of cinnamon are found in the area covered by Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. In the tertiary period their distribution was much larger. Occasionally cinnamon flowers are seen in Baltic amber! Cinnamons are fragrant. Leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, wood and root always contain essential oil of various composition…Coca-Cola’s original flavour came from cinnamon, lime oil, cola nuts, etc.” (Bo Jensen)

“The sweetness of Cinnamon Bark adds warmth and a spicy appeal to blends when used in minute amounts. Cinnamon is often used in Oriental and chypre perfumes to add a spicy, warm and sweet touch. It can add warmth to dry woody and spicy orientals, and also adds a gourmand touch to sweet, ambery Orientals as it has the culinary association of freshly baked goods (cinnamon buns, apple pie, etc.). It can also be used sparingly in florals as well as in fougère and aromatic herbal blends.” (Eden Botanicals)

Their nose: extremely rich, warm, aromatic-spicy with a delightful sweet powdery woody undertone with great diffusive power and tenacity. (WLA)

“In perfumery, the oil blends well with Oriental-woody notes, and the combination with olibanum(frankincense) is known and often utilized. The warmth and dry spiciness, the immediate sweetness and tremendous diffusive power (or “radiation”) … highly appreciated by certain perfumers.” (Steffen Arctander)

“…its odor is sweet and bitter, hot and sensuous, with a prolonged aftertaste.” (Fragrantica)

“peppery, earthy, spicy, bright yet slightly woodsy.” (Aromaweb)

My nose: What I get upon the opening of cinnamon bark essential oil is candy. Strong, pungent, happy, abundance, extravagant, lush, candy hearts at Valentines! It’s everything I expected from cinnamon. After 15min it’s strong, demanding, invasive and opulent, persistent, sweet too and fiery hot! Yes, the temperature is hot and piccante. 30min after opening and it’s still strong and bold, striking, uncompromising, tough, I would say, there is a roughness to it and only now the bark and wood aspect become apparent. Aha! I get it! The cinnamon “bark” shows up in the texture of the scent, the roughness! At the 45min marker the essential oil of cinnamon bark is drier, it’s definitely cinnamon, sweet, compelling, slightly thin in quality, but at this point it’s the dryness that stands out. It’s now 1hr and the odour is more extensive, fundamental even, there is the bark quality, it’s still strong and gutsy, like a spicy storm. 2hrs now it’s beginning to settle down somewhat into something a bit more composed and well behaved, more elegant and refined. After 3hrs the pungent quality has lessened and I can smell this together in a sweet Oriental mix. This is a first for me, being able to pick it out in a type of perfume! 7hrs later and cinnamon bark essential oil is a bit sweeter, and shares a lot more in common with cinnamon leaf essential oil. But, it’s more golden, hovering just above the surface. I totally missed the 12hr evaluation, damn! And after 24hrs this essential oil is sharply cinnamon. The candy hearts impression is still going strong and potent! Yep, this leaves no doubt that you’re sniffing cinnamon.

And that’s all from me for today.  I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday filled with beautiful smells!