Also called “false sandalwood,” Buddha wood essential oil is sometimes used as a substitute for sandalwood, though the scent is somewhat different, and the oil comes from a different tree.
The Story of a Small Australian Tree
Whereas sandalwood essential oil comes from the sandalwood tree (Santalum album), Buddha wood is from a large shrub or small tree in the figwort family (Eremophila mitchellii).
More often shrub-like than tree, Eremophila mitchellii or “bastard sandalwood” is evergreen and can grow up to 30 feet tall, though it’s most often found at about 10 feet. The word “Eremophila” comes from the Greek eremos, which means “desert,” and from phileo, which means love, and indeed, these plants do seem to love a desert climate.
The leaves are long and thin, and give off an aroma when crushed. The flowers are a pretty white or cream and tubular shaped with spots on the throat. The plant as a whole is rather sticky because of the resin present in the leaves and branches. It grows so easily that it’s seen as a pest on many grazing lands in Australia, and is not permitted in Western Australia. Therefore, it’s rarely cultivated and the oil is most often wildcrafted.
That lovely essential oil is steam distilled from the heartwood and bark, with a scent that has been called rich, rugged, calming, woody, smoky, resinous, and complex. It’s said to have a “lighter side,” which works well in perfumes without overpowering other notes. The main constituents are eremophilone, 2-hydroxy-eremophilone, and 2-hydroxy-2-dihydro eremophilone, and its said to be somewhat similar to components of vetiver and agarwood.
Its woody, mossy and slightly smoky scent, makes it popular as a meditative oil and it’s also frequently used as a base note in perfumes.
Aromatherapy Benefits of Buddha Wood Essential Oil
Where this oil really shines is in its use in aromatherapy and perfumes. Here, it is coveted as the perfect meditative oil, as it is said to inspire peace and mindfulness, and to provide a pleasant, woody aroma for fragrances. Buddha wood is also said to help center the emotions and to encourage calm and relaxation.
Some ideas for Buddha wood oil:
- Add to massage oils.
- Add a few drops to the bath for a nice scent.
- Use as a base note when creating your own fragrances
- Use in a spritz for clearing energies
- Use in a diffuser for a grounding meditation
- Inhale 15-30 minutes before bed to encourage a restful sleep
This oil also blends well with the following: