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Cypress essential oil: discovering its uses, properties and history.

The cypress is a genus of trees belonging to the Cupressaceae family. There are several species of cypress, one of the best known being the Common or Mediterranean cypress. Its species name, Cupressus sempervirens (evergreen), refers to its evergreen leaf.

With a pyramidal appearance, especially marked in its youth, this tree with its thick, smooth bark and particularly fragrant branches can reach heights of up to 40 meters. It has exceptional longevity, as it is a tree capable of living for centuries, as demonstrated by the Abarkuh cypress in Iran, which is over 4,000 years old.

Although they are mainly cultivated as ornamental trees thanks to their great resistance and adaptability that allows them to grow in different soils and climates, one of the most appreciated characteristics of these cypresses is their wood, highly valued for its resistance and durability, which makes them suitable for use in the construction of buildings, bridges and boats.

It is from the common cypress species that most of the cypress essential oil on the market is obtained. It is cultivated for this purpose in countries such as France, Italy, Morocco, Croatia and Spain.

Its essence is usually extracted from the branches, leaves and stems of the tree by steam distillation, achieving through this process to release and condense the essence in a separate container.

The aroma of this oil, intense and fresh, is reminiscent of pine, evoking coniferous forests and sensations of serenity and purity.

Other species of cypress from which essential oil is also extracted may include the Monterey cypress (Cuppressus Macrocarpa) and the white cedar (Cupressus lusitanica), which -contrary to what its name indicates- is not part of the genus of the cedars (Cedrus).


History of cypress essential oil

Since at least ancient Egypt, and up to the present day, the cypress has been a symbol of eternal life. It was used in the elaboration of a ceremonial incense known as kyphi, and the use of its aromatic wood in the manufacture of sarcophagi was common due to its exceptional resistance to the passage of time. It is this extraordinary durability that, for example, means that the doors of Saint Peter’s Basilica still show no signs of deterioration more than a thousand years after they were built.

In ancient Greece, the use of cypress in purification rituals and medicinal remedies was common, and the pinecones of this tree were often dipped in wine to help treat asthma and cough.

Cypress essential oil was also widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, which continue to attribute beneficial health properties to it.


Current uses of cypress essential oil

Currently, the use of cypress essential oil is quite common in different articles for personal care and beauty, as well as in aromatherapy, cleaning products, and air fresheners.

Its olfactory notes are frequently used in fragrances in which chords from the chypre family predominate, intermingling perfectly with notes such as bergamot, lavender, oak moss or sandalwood.

In addition, it is an essential oil that is very rich in compounds such as alpha-pinene and delta-3-carene, presenting antifungal and antimicrobial properties, among others.

At Muñoz Gálvez Distilleries, S.A. We have extensive experience working with cypress essential oil, developing fragrances that make the most of its characteristics.

Interested in successfully including the properties of this essential oil in your product? Contact us without obligation.