Cedarwood Smells Like Cat Pee!

Our limbic system (found in our brain) is able to store memories and can even link those memories with scents…whether good or bad. 

You might find yourself remembering your grandmother fondly and your time baking in the kitchen together when you smell chocolate chip cookies. What does the smell of a festive Christmas tree evoke in you? How about freshly mowed grass or the cologne/perfume of your first crush?

Do you see how powerful scent can be in bringing up stored memories and emotions?

For me, Cedarwood EO reminded me of cat pee when I first began using oils! I couldn’t understand why anyone would use that repulsive oil…until I realized just how amazing it is for deep sleep! I began using it but would only put it on my feet, layer it with a drop of Lavender, and immediately put socks on my feet. It smelled so bad to me back then, but it worked so well that I kept using it. Over time, I have grown to appreciate the smell. It’s still not my favorite scent, but I am no longer repulsed by it and will even sometimes open the bottle just to smell it. It has become a positive scent in my mind.

Holly Brandenberger explains why Cedarwod EO often smells like cat pee to many people:

This is likely due to fact that they had or knew someone that previously had a cat. Cedarwood was formerly used in kitty litter as it is highly absorbent; not to mention the strong aroma was also used to mask the smell of cat urine. So they developed a memory scent association and now every time they smell Cedarwood, it reminds them of cat urine.

This association can be undone with time and practice. To undo the association, slowly reintroduce Cedarwood with other essential oils. If diffusing Lavender and Cedarwood, diffuse 5 drops of Lavender and 1 drop of Cedarwood. Every few weeks, gradually increase the Cedarwood and decrease the Lavender. Eventually, your memory will start to make a new connection with the aroma.

So next time you hate the smell of an essential oil, don’t abandon it. Work through it. You might just need to do an emotional release and actively work to release a negative emotion that is attached to that particular scent. Or maybe it’s as simple as it was for me with Cedarwood. Layer it with a complimentary oil and challenge yourself to use it until you either like it or are at least indifferent to it.

Does Cedarwood smell like cat pee to you? What other oils are you strongly repulsed by?

-Lauren Johnson

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