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Introducing Hinoki Essential Oil

As aromatherapy enthusiasts, we love learning about the wonderful benefits of different essential oils and how they can enhance our daily lives. In today’s blog, we are excited to introduce you to a unique essential oil with many qualities and a deep, resinous yet fresh and sweet aroma known as Hinoki essential oil

This gorgeous oil comes from an evergreen cypress tree found in Japan and has been used for centuries to provide holistic support both physically and spiritually and as a key ingredient in many traditional rituals. 

Hinoki essential oil has a slightly sweet, woody and mystical scent that brings to mind bathing in a forest or entering shrines and temples. The scent of Hinoki essential oil is difficult to describe but it has been compared to the cedarwood with the addition of citrusy, herbal notes. Hinoki essential oil is used in a variety of products, including cosmetics, skincare, and aromatherapy such as bath additives, air fresheners, and soaps.

Hinoki contains a mixture of chemical compounds known as monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes which give it a refreshing effect and relaxing effect at the same time, so its benefits cover both stress and fatigue relief while also revitalising a tired mind. It is also said to be good for relieving coldness and swelling because it promotes blood circulation. Hinoki also has an insect repellent effect, so it is useful for repelling clothing and mites.

Let's dive into why this beautiful oil deserves a place on your shelf.

What is Hinoki essential oil?

Hinoki essential oil is an oil that is extracted from a cypress tree that is native to Japan. The tree is called “hinoki” in Japanese and is an evergreen conifer which is native to central and southern Japan but cultivated in many parts of the country. The essential oil is made by steam distilling the leaves and branches of the tree to produce a beautiful, clear oil. The scent of hinoki essential oil is very pleasant, clean and slightly sweet and it has been used for centuries in Japan for its therapeutic properties.

Hinoki is mentioned in one of the first written records in Japan known as the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) and has been used in shrines and temples since ancient times. In history, there has been a shortage of large Japanese cypress trees in Japan, so people began planting cypress forests in the late 1800s known as the Meiji period in Japan. 

The name “hinoki” could have several different origins in Japanese. It is said that the “hi” in the Japanese word “hinoki” could mean sun, religious buildings, or fire in Japanese. So “hinoki” could be “the tree of the sun”, “the tree of religious buildings” or even “the tree of fire”. 

Characteristics of the Hinoki Tree

Hinoki grows 30-40m in height and 1-2m in diameter. The bark is reddish-brown, flat, and smooth. In addition to its beautiful wood grain and ease of processing, it has been used as a building material for shrines, temples, and historical buildings in Japan, where humidity is high, due to its moisture-regulating and insect-repellent effects.

Japanese old buildings made of Hinoki

Horyu-ji, a Japanese temple, is the world's oldest wooden building. It was made of hinoki trees and built at least 1300 years ago.

The benefits of Hinoki Essential Oil

Hinoki essential oil can be a great way to bring mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing into the body, home and environment. Its unique scent is both refreshing and calming, so while it is known for its relaxing properties it can also give you a feeling of clarity and presence with your surroundings.

Some physical benefits of Hinoki essential oil include antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as improved blood circulation. Taken via massage or bath, hinoki oil can help with soothing pain or discomfort associated with sensitive colds and swelling.

Hinoki oil also works on an emotional level to promote feelings of wellbeing, peace, and tranquility. By giving into its calming aroma regularly you can recharge and reset your mental energy and enjoy an underlying sense of peace in your daily life.

Here are some of the major benefits of Hinoki essential oil:

❖ Mental and emotional 

  • Sedative yet uplifting

Hinoki essential oil can act as a nerve tonic to calm your central nervous system because of its sedative effects while also giving you a sense of life and vigour.

The chemical compounds known as monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are responsible for both the energising and calming effects of essential oils and Hinoki contains both of these in moderate amounts. This means you can enjoy the refreshing and relaxing effects at the same time whether you want to uplift your mood, heal your fatigue, or find a sense of peace within yourself. Hinoki essential oil will allow you to do this while also offering many physical benefits.

❖ In the body

  • Antiviral 

  • Antibacterial

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Promotes blood circulation

Hinoki essential oil can promote blood circulation and help remove congestion making it ideal for use in aromatherapy massages and baths to ease colds and swelling, warm your body, and reduce muscle pain and joint pain.

❖ For daily life

  • Antibacterial and antiviral

Hinoki essential oil is also useful as a supportive treatment for infections caused by bacteria and viruses.

  • Natural deodorant and insect repellent

Another one of the many benefits of Hinoki essential oil are its natural deodorising and repellent properties. It can easily overcome a room and fill it with a pleasant scent that overpowers bad odours and cleanses the air. At the same time, it can help rid your space of insects. 

How to use Hinoki essential oil

The sweet, mild aroma of Hinoki essential oil can be used to promote peace and calming for the senses. With its unique rejuvenating properties, it is perfect for incorporating into many relaxation practices.

You can add a few drops of Hinoki oil to a diffuser in your home to promote mental or pair it with massage oils for use on physical aches and pains, or even add a drop to your skincare routine for an extra boost of peace in the day!

There are many ways to use Hinoki essential oil in your daily life whether it be for the body or around your home. Hinoki is not only lush and fragrant, but its soothing aroma can be breathed in or absorbed by the skin to derive many health benefits! 

In the home


Hinoki yields mental clarity when inhaled and can stimulate overall energy balance within the body, mind and spirit.

Use Hinoki essential oil in a diffuser to create a peaceful atmosphere for your body and mind. 

To purify the air and environment within your home, add a couple of drops of Hinoki essential oil with 100 ml of water to your diffuser and let it run for 30 - 90 minutes in the room or area of your choice. 

For the body and mind

Aroma bath:

Relax and enjoy the scent of a cypress bath by diluting a few drops of Hinoki essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil and adding the mixture to a warm bath. You’ll find Hinoki helps rejuvenate skin as well and leaves you with a heavenly state of mind.

Skin treatment and aroma massage:

Apply diluted Hinoki oil to the skin as a moisturiser or use it as a massage oil for stress relief and relaxation – its anti-inflammatory properties can assist with skin care issues too. 

* Precautions when using essential oils

Always do a patch test before applying any essential oil to the skin. 

Blend suggestions for Hinoki essential oil

Hinoki essential oil pairs well with citrus, herbal, floral, woody, spice and resinous essential oils. 

Some of our top essential oils for hinoki oil blends are bergamot, lemon, frankincense, cinnamon, geranium, clary sage, rosemary, ginger, mandarin, ylang ylang.

Now that you know a little more about Hinoki essential oil, would you like to give it a try? This unique oil has benefits for the mind and body, plus it can be used in many different ways around the home or for our own wellbeing. Put simply, Hinoki is everything you need from an aromatherapy oil – calming and yet wonderfully stimulating at the same time. For those of us in New Zealand, if you haven’t tried Hinoki before, this exotic essential oil is now available here at D:FUSE Aromatherapy!


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