Plant Description: Cinnamomum camphora trees are tall evergreens with a spreading canopy made of glossy, bright green aromatic leaves. They are native to China, Japan and Taiwan with botanically similar sub-species now growing in many other countries.
History/Folklore: There are three morphologically identical, but physiologically different varieties of the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora Sieb).
1. Hon-Sho, the true camphor tree, occurring chiefly in Formosa and Japan, and yielding an oil which contains 50 and more per cent of camphor.
2. Yu-Sho, the camphor oil tree, occurring chiefly in China, and yielding an oil which contains cineole and terpineol as its main constituents, and only 30 – 40 per cent camphor.
3. Ho-Sho, the fragrant camphor tree, occurring chiefly in Formosa, and yielding an oil which contains linalool as the principle constituent at between 66 – 90%.
Extraction: Steam distillation of the leaves and branches.
Aroma: Sweet, fresh and woody, slightly reminiscent of Rosewood.
Odour intensity: Medium.
Perfume Note: Middle.
Blends well with: Most other oils, especially citrus, woods and florals.
Perfume Key Qualities: Uplifting and relaxing at the same time.
Chemistry: Alcohol linalool is present at between 66 – 90%.
Cautions: None known for true Ho Wood ct. linalool.
Traditionally used on a physical level for:
Skin Care: Inflamed, irritated skin conditions.
Circulation, muscles and joints: Muscle relaxant.
Respiratory System: Respiratory complaints and infections.
Digestive System: Digestive stimulant.
Reproductive System: Urinary infections.
Immune System: Immune system stimulant.
Traditionally used on a psychological level for:
Its soothing and relaxing properties for insomnia and stress related conditions.
On a subtle level, Ho wood could be used to help break unhealthy emotional patterns that might cause one to hold on to dissatisfying situations. It stimulates creativity and in times of change it can give one the courage to leap into the unknown. Ho wood can also help one to overcome inertia. It can soothe feelings of abandonment and loneliness.