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May 8, 2020

Missing an Oil? Wood Essential Oil Substitutes

Bring the aroma of the fresh outdoors into your home with the help of wood essential oils! Not only can wood oils make your home feel like an enchanted forest, but they offer a variety of mental, emotional, and physical health benefits. But, if you find yourself missing the wood oil you need, don’t worry! Just substitute it out for a similar oil! 

Easy Wood Essential Oil Substitutes

When you find yourself in need of a wood oil but don’t have it with you, try using one of these substitutions instead! Keep in mind that substitutions can be close in smell and/or benefits, but no two oils are exactly the same. Just try out a few substitutes until you find the one you like best! Also remember that the oil substitutes listed below is not a comprehensive list, and there may be other oils that you can use. 


Birch Aromatic Substitutes: If you need Birch oil for its fresh forest aroma but don’t have it in your collection, you have a few options for aromatic substitutes. Try using Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Myrrh, or Vetiver for a similar aroma. 

Germ Killer: Birch has natural antiseptic, disinfectant, and antimicrobial properties, making it a potent germ killer. If you want help keeping those germs away but don’t have a bottle of Birch around, try using Tea Tree, Cinnamon, or Lemon instead. 

Relieve Congestion and Toxins: With both expectorant and diuretic properties, Birch can help you get rid of stubborn congestion and aid in your body’s detoxification. For those times you need some congestion relief, try using Eucalyptus or Oregano instead. If you need a detox, Ginger, Cypress, Cedarwood, and Juniper Berry for good substitutes. 

Hair Health: Birch is an excellent oil for your hair! It facilitates the growth of healthy hair, leaving you with a head of fuller and stronger hair. Birch can also help keep your scalp from drying out. If you don’t have Birch, try replacing it with Tea Tree, Lavender, or Rosemary for healthy hair. 


Cedarwood Aromatic Substitutes: Cedarwood is a popular wood oil, and it has a warm, sweeter aroma. If you don’t happen to have Cedarwood is your collection, try replacing it with Sandalwood or Vetiver for a similar smell. 

Skin and Hair Health: Cedarwood can help support better hair growth, and ease an itchy scalp. With anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, it is also great at reducing acne breakouts. Other essential oils that offer similar benefits include Rosemary, Peppermint, and Tea Tree for both your skin and hair. 

Improve Sleep: Do you struggle to fall asleep? Cedarwood has sedative properties that can help you relax and sleep better. For those nights when you don’t have Cedarwood, try using Lavender or Roman Chamomile instead. 


Frankincense Aromatic Substitutes: Frankincense oil is an ancient and revered oil, as it offers a wide variety of benefits. However, if you need Frankincense for its aroma but don’t have a bottle, you can substitute it with Pine or Fir oil for a similar smell. 

Joint Inflammation: One of Frankincense’s main benefits is as an anti-inflammatory agent, specifically for those who experience inflammation in their joints. For those times when your joints are stiff and you don’t have Frankincense, you can find relief with Turmeric or Ginger oil. 

Reduce Stress: Frankincense oil is great at easing feelings of stress and anxiety. It can also help replace negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones. If you need help relaxing or staying positive, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, and Clary Sage make great substitutes for Frankincense. 

Immune Boost: Frankincense is also well-known for its ability to support your body’s immune system and help fight off germs. Don’t have Frankincense? Don’t worry! You can support your body’s health with other antiseptic or antimicrobial oils, such as Eucalyptus and Lemon. 

Skin Care: Known to help improve elasticity, fight against bacteria, and reduce signs of aging, Frankincense (especially Sacred Frankincense) is a great oil to add to your skincare routine. If you don’t have Frankincense in your collection but want to improve your complexion, try using Neroli, Helichrysum, or Geranium instead. 


Myrrh Aromatic Substitutes: Another ancient oil, Myrrh has been a favorite among the ages. For those times you don’t have Myrrh oil, you can get a similar aroma from using Vetiver, Frankincense, or Sandalwood. 

Germ Killer: Myrrh has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it effective in fighting off harmful bacteria or fungal infections. If you require such benefits but don’t have Myrrh, try using Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, or Lemongrass instead. 

Skin Care: Like Frankincense, Myrrh can help reduce the signs of aging. Myrrh is also well-known as a natural moisturizer, particularly when it comes to dry and chapped skin. If you need help keeping your skin hydrated and smooth, you can always use Lavender or Rose instead of Myrrh. 

Promote Relaxation: Myrrh oil is great at easing feelings of stress. Not only that, but it can help replace overanxious feelings with greater and more focused energy and alertness. For similar benefits, try using Lavender, Vetiver, Frankincense, or Bergamot oil. 


Pine Aromatic Substitutes: Pine is a classic wood scent that many of us love. If you need Pine for its smell but don’t have a bottle, try substituting it with Silver Fir or Black Spruce. 

Air Freshener: Pine is a classic smell that we find available for room or car fresheners. Pine oil has the same natural deodorizing properties that helps kill toxins in the air and leave the room smelling fresh. If you need help freshening up your space but don’t have Pine, you can still get rid of odors with Lemon or Tea Tree. 

Household Cleaner: Pine is also a familiar scent in common household cleaners. Not only does Pine offer a clean smell, but it helps to disinfect and clean surfaces around the house. If you don’t have Pine oil to add to your cleaners, try replacing it with Tea Tree, Lemon, Orange, or Lavender. 

Reduce Inflammation: With natural anti-inflammatory properties, Pine oil can help fight free radicals that lead to swelling and discomfort. If you need help relieving inflammation, you can substitute Pine with Thyme, Turmeric, or Ginger. 


Ravintsara Aromatic Substitutes: Ravintsara oil may not be as familiar to some people, but it offers a wide range of benefits. While most aromatic substitutes should be within the same aromatic category, Ravintsara’s sharp, medicinal aroma is most similar to Eucalyptus. 

Sleep Aid: Ravintsara’s calming aroma is great for promoting relaxation and helping you to sleep better. For those nights when you need help falling or staying asleep but don’t have Ravintsara, you can substitute it with Lavender, Cedarwood, or Roman Chamomile for similar effects. 

Muscle Aches: Not only is Ravintsara’s aroma soothing, but its therapeutic properties work to soothe sore and tired muscles. If you experience muscle soreness, you can always use Peppermint, Lavender, or Rosemary in place of Ravintsara. 

Stress Relief: As mentioned above, Ravintsara has calming properties. This can help ease feelings of stress or ‘the blues’. Ravintsara can help detox the mind of negative emotions and uplift your soul. For similar benefits, you can always substitute Ravintsara with Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, or Lavender. 


Rosewood Aromatic Substitutes: Rosewood offers a smell similar to its name: woody, peppery, and slightly floral. Because of its sweeter aroma, Rosewood doesn’t have too many aromatic substitutes; however, Ho Wood is very similar. 

Healthy Skin: Rosewood oil is particularly great for your skin. It promotes cell regeneration, moisturizes dry skin, eases acne, and reduces the appearance of scars or stretch marks. All in all, Rosewood rejuvenates the skin as a whole and can promote a more youthful look. If you don’t have Rosewood, you can get similar benefits from Clary Sage, Carrot Seed, and Sacred Frankincense. 

Mood Booster: Rosewood has naturally calming properties that can help induce relaxation while putting emotions at ease. As a result, Rosewood can also help improve mental clarity and uplift the mood, improving your overall mental state. If you need help lifting your mood but don’t have Rosewood, try using Lavender, Ylang Ylang, or Bergamot instead. 


Sandalwood Aromatic Substitutes: Sandalwood is an extremely popular essential oil, and it offers a classic and enticing woodsy aroma. If you are looking for an oil with a similar aroma, try using Myrrh or Vetiver. 

Mental Clarity: Sandalwood is great for easing feelings of stress and enhancing mental clarity, especially during times of meditation and prayer. If you’re feeling to boost your mental clarity but don’t have Sandalwood, try substituting it with Frankincense or Vetiver. 

Aphrodisiac: This particular wood oil is well-known as a powerful aphrodisiac. It can particularly help you open your heart and get into a more passionate mood, as well as boost libido and help with impotence. If you’re looking for an oil that offers similar benefits, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, and Ginger are great substitutes. 

Immune Boost: With anti-viral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties, Sandalwood can help protect your body against harmful germs. If you want an extra immune boost but don’t have Sandalwood, try using Eucalyptus, Frankincense, or Oregano instead. 


Spikenard Aromatic Substitutes: Spikenard is an incredible essential oil, but is has recently become extremely endangered. Help protect Spikenard by replacing it with Vetiver, Myrrh, or Palo Santo for a similar aroma. 

Immune Boost: Spikenard is great at fighting off germs and free radicals, helping your body to fight off illness. To help protect Spikenard, try replacing it with Lemon, Frankincense, or Cinnamon Bark for similar immune-boosting benefits. 

Promotes Relaxation: Spikenard has sedative and calming properties that can help rid the mind of anger and feelings of stress or restlessness. Instead of using endangered Spikenard, try using Lavender, Bergamot, or Chamomile in its place. 

Hair Growth: Spikenard is great at promoting healthy hair growth, but as a critically endangered plant, it is better to replace it with an oil that has similar benefits. Some great substitutes for hair growth include Cedarwood, Rosemary, and Lavender. 


Vetiver Aromatic Substitutes: Vetiver is an excellent essential oil that offers a deep wood aroma that is slightly sweet. If you need an oil that smells similar to Vetiver, try using Myrrh, Palo Santo, or Sandalwood. 

Antioxidant: Vetiver is naturally high in antioxidants, helping your body fight off free radicals. This can support your body’s detoxification process and slow signs of aging. If you’re looking for other oils that are high in antioxidants, Basil and Oregano are excellent choices. 

Reduce Scars: In addition to fighting the signs of aging in the skin, Vetiver can help reduce the appearance of scars, dark spots, stretch marks, and other skin blemishes. Other essential oils that can provide similar skin benefits include Helichrysum, Frankincense, and Geranium. 

Ease Nerves: Feeling anxious or nervous? Vetiver can help promote relaxation and alleviate feelings of emotional distress, anxiousness, or sadness. If you need help calming your emotions but don’t have Vetiver, you can always use Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, or Lavender instead. 

Balsam of Peru

Balsam of Peru Aromatic Substitutes: Balsam of Peru has a rich, sweet aroma that closely resembles Vanilla. This resemblance makes Vanilla a great aromatic substitute for Balsam of Peru. However, with a Vanilla shortage, you can get a similar smell from Benzoin or Tolu Balsam oils. 

Skin Care: Balsam of Peru is great for relieving dry, itchy, chapped, or irritated skin. It also has powerful antioxidant properties to help fight wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. If you’re looking for an oil to add to your skincare routine but don’t have Balsam of Peru, good substitutes include Rose, Myrrh, and Helichrysum. 

Respiratory Health: As a natural expectorant, Balsam of Peru can help relieve congestion and clear up your airways. If you don’t have Balsam of Peru in your collection, Eucalyptus and Rosemary are excellent substitutes. 

Reduce Stress: Balsam of Peru’s warm, Vanilla-like aroma is great for relieving feelings of stress, nervousness, or anxiety. It can help you calm down when your emotions feel overwhelming, and give your body a break from stress. If you don’t have Balsam of Peru, you can use Bergamot, Chamomile, or Vetiver for similar relaxing effects. 


Copaiba Aromatic Substitutes: Copaiba offers a familiar woody aroma with slight balsamic and sweet overtones. If you’re looking for an oil that smells similar, try using Cedarwood or Myrrh in its place. 

Ease Inflammation: Copaiba has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help your body reduce swelling and associated discomfort, particularly in the joints. If you suffer from stiff joints, you can use Turmeric, Frankincense, or Ginger if you don’t have Copaiba. 

Acne Buster: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its antiseptic benefits, Copaiba can help ease the severity of acne and promote clearer skin. If you don’t have Copaiba to add to your skincare routine, Tea Tree, Oregano, or Lavender are great substitutes. 

Promote Relaxation: Copaiba is great for promoting relaxation. Its woody yet sweet aroma can help ease tensions and worries. If you’re looking for another oil to help you relax, try using Lavender, Rose, or Ylang Ylang instead. 


Cypress Aromatic Substitutes: Cypress has a woody, evergreen aroma that comes from its coniferous plant. For a similar aroma, you can substitute Cypress with other conifer essential oils as Spruce, Fir, or Pine. 

Muscle Aches: Do you have sore, achy, or tired muscles? Cypress can help alleviate muscle tension and spasms, as well as the restlessness and throbbing that may be associated with muscle aches. If you don’t have Cypress and are looking to relieve your muscle tension, try using Peppermint, Sweet Marjoram, or Chamomile instead. 

Respiratory Health: Cypress has strong antibacterial properties that can help kill bacteria in the air and on surfaces. This can leave your home smelling fresh and odor free while keeping surfaces germ-free. If you’re looking for a substitute oil with similar benefits, try using Eucalyptus, Pine, or Lemon. 


Niaouli Aromatic Substitutes: Niaouli has a familiar sharp, clean, aroma similar to Tea Tree. Although Tea Tree is considered more of an herbal oil, it does come from a tree, and it makes a great aromatic substitute for Niaouli, which comes from the same melaleuca tree family. Another similar-smelling oil is Eucalyptus. 

Ease Pain: Niaouli is great for stimulating circulation in the body, which can help ease discomfort associated with headaches, joint stiffness, and muscle tension. If you need help easing stiffness or tension throughout the body but don’t have Niaouli, try using Peppermint, Rosehip, or Lavender instead. 

Immune Boost: Niaouli can support your body’s natural ability to fight off harmful bacteria and microorganisms, helping you to stay healthy. Looking to give your immune system a boost but don’t have Niaouli? Substitute it with Frankincense, Rosemary, or Lemon. 

Expectorant: Like many other wood oils, Niaouli is great at dispelling congestion and opening up the airways. If you feel stuffy and are looking for relief but don’t have Niaouli, try using Eucalyptus or Rosemary for similar benefits. 


Spruce Aromatic Substitutes: As a coniferous tree, Spruce essential oil has a similar aroma to other oils that come from conifer trees. For a close aromatic substitutes to Spruce, try using Cypress, Fir, or Pine oil. 

Skin Care: With natural anti-inflammatory properties, Spruce is great at reducing the appearance of red, irritated skin while promoting your natural glow. If you don’t have Spruce to add to your skincare routine, try using Rose, Tea Tree, or Geranium in its place. 

Emotional Grounding: Do you find yourself feeling emotionally out of control? Perhaps your thoughts are all over the place, or you feel extremely anxious or nervous. Spruce can help calm both the mind and body to help you face situations in a calm manner. Don’t have Spruce? Myrrh, Bergamot, and Sandalwood make great substitutes. 

Respiratory Health: If you feel stuffed up or have difficulty getting a full breath of air, Spruce can help keep your airways open and clear so that you can breathe better. If you don’t have Spruce on hand, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, and Pine are great alternatives. 

Picking Your Own Essential Oil Substitutes 

If you are looking for additional essential oil substitutes, you can always pick your own oil. When choosing an essential oil to replace another, it is important to note that no two oils are exactly the same. While we can’t expect to experience the exact same effects when replacing an oil, we sure can get close! 

When choosing your own essential oil substitute, remember that there are two main types of essential oil substitutions: aromatic and therapeutic. An aromatic substitution is simply when you wish to switch one oil for another that has a similar aroma. This can be the case for diffuser blends, perfume, body or room sprays, or scented lotion. If you are looking to substitute an oil for aromatic purposes, you will want to replace it with one that has a smell in the same aromatic category. For example, substitute a floral oil with another floral, or a spicy oil with another spicy one, and so on. 

A therapeutic essential oil substitution focuses on replacing one oil for another that has similar benefits. No two oils are alike, and while many offer the same benefits, there will be some tradeoffs. Some substituted oils may be closer to the one you are replacing than others, but oftentimes there are many that offer the same benefit, in addition to others. When choosing to substitute an oil for therapeutic purposes, we recommend replacing it with an oil whose dominating benefits are similar to the one you’re replacing. For example, substitute an oil known to help with skin with another that has dominating skin benefits. 

You don’t have to have a bottle of every single essential oil in order to experience the many benefits that they offer. Whether your collection is large or small, you can still follow essential oil recipes by substituting oils and experimenting with what you have. And be sure to share with us your favorite wood oil substitutes! 

Need to substitute a citrus oil? Check out this blog post! 

Need to substitute a floral oil? Check out this blog post! 

Need to substitute a herbal or spice oil? Check out this blog post! 

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Love this article and the graphic is super handy to have around!

Christina | May 14, 2020 | Reply

Absolute great article. Information is very much needed to take the worry out of completing a blend . Especially when I don’t have the oil to complete the blend. Thank you

Elaine Goodman | August 3, 2020 | Reply