It goes without saying that I’m a confessed essential oil junkie. Take one look in my house and you’ll see several wire racks filled with different oils and an essential oil diffuser in every room. You might say I have a problem, but I think it’s a very good problem to have! So, when I come across an essential oil I’ve never heard of before, you bet your bum I’m going to get my hands on it. And what an oil I found today! Amyris essential oil!
What is Amyris Essential Oil?
Amyris essential oil is a wonderful woodsy oil that has a subtle yet complex aroma. It begins as slightly sweet and almost vanilla-like, then slowly fades into a warming, woodsy, and slightly balsamic scent. As it dries, the woodsy notes stay behind making it perfect for blending earthy aromas.
Amyris has often been used in perfumery to extend the staying power of top-note heavy blends. It can also be mixed 50/50 with true sandalwood essential oil obtain a cost-effective method of proving the same depth and character as sandalwood.
However, amyris is not botanically related to sandalwood and is therefore not a therapeutic substitute for it, so keep that in mind!
West Indian Sandalwood (though not actually related to sandalwood), candle wood, buddha wood, balsam torchwood
Origins and Traditional Use
Amyris balsamifera is a tropical evergreen that grows in small thickets on the eroded mountain slopes of Haiti. It is called “candle wood” by the natives due to its high oil content with allows the wood to burn like a candle when lit. For this reason, it is often used by fishermen as a torch along the shoreline to locate crabs and other sea life. Peasants who lived in the mountains used it for light when traveling at night with their wares to the local markets to be sold.
Nowadays, the wood is distilled for its essential oil. The large trunks and branches are chopped and “seasoned” for 5-6 months before distillation in order to create an oil that is smooth with a higher specific gravity than if distilled fresh. Unseasoned wood produces a sharper harsher oil that isn’t as pleasant to the senses.
Method of Extraction
Pale yellow, transparent
Antiseptic, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, hypotensive, lymphatic, sedative, tonic.
- Anti-aging – improves skin regeneration and diminishes the signs of aging. Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Improves skin texture. Great for mature skin.
- Calming – its valerianol content gives it strong sedative qualities that can encourage restful sleep
- Cooling – eases irritation, frustration, and general feelings of tension
- Eases depression – uplifts the spirit and mind
- Helps deepen shallow breathing – eases restriction in the muscles
- Improves mental clarity – calms and sharpens the mind
- Loosens tight muscles – excellent for muscle cramps and spasms
- Reduces stress and anxiety – amyris is very calming and soothing
Amyris essential oil has a tenacious, sweet, rich, and complex aroma that quickly fades into a light woodsy, balsamic, and vanilla-like scent that has a peppery/ginger-like high note. It almost resembles benzoin absolute due to its subtle vanilla undertones.
Base note with fixative qualities
Mild-medium (depends on whether or not the wood was seasoned before distillation)
Blends Well With
• Conifer oils like pine, douglas fir, balsam fir, etc.
• Ho Wood
• Jasmine absolute
• Rose absolute
• Sweet orange
• Ylang ylang
Using amyris in your blends will help prolong the aroma of top note oils like citrus and pine. It can be easily overpowered because of its light qualities.
Blending it with other oils may take more effort because of its tacky and somewhat thick consistency.
Amyris tends to blend well with other woodsy oils, resins, citrus, and will round out sharper forest-like blends.
Amyris is generally safe to use and is considered non-toxic, non-sensitizing, and non-irritating for those with non-sensitive skin types.
How to Use Amyris Essential Oil
Since amyris is an incredibly relaxing essential oil, its perfect for relaxation, especially before sleep.
Add 4-5 drops of amyris essential oil to a diffuser and diffuse for an hour before bedtime.
Bedtime Diffuser Blend
Relaxing Mood Blend #1
Diffuse for 20 minutes as desired or mix into 1TB of massage oil. You can also make a room spray by adding the essential oils to a 1oz spritzer bottle with water.
Relaxing Mood Blend #2
Diffuse for 20 minutes as desired or mix into 1TB of massage oil. Make it into a room spray by adding the oils to a 1oz spritzer bottle with water.
Amyris Skin Serum Recipe
Don’t forget to read my other essential oil profiles HERE.
Essential Oil Safety – by Robert Tisserand
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