The Tree of Life

Head deep into the forest. The earth damp from rain that fell throughout the night. The humid air mixed with the bright scent of green foliage. It’s here you’ll find the cedar, a tree so magical and mysterious that it has been revered for thousands of years all over the world.

Native to the Himalayas, North Africa, Lebanon and the Mediterranean, the cedar is thought to be among the first trees to have had its oil distilled by man. The aromatic, woody fragrance, laced with a whisper of spice, is one of the oldest ingredients used in perfumery and has formed the foundation of fragrances for centuries.

The cedar is a tree so magical and mysterious
that it has been revered for thousands of years
all over the world

The Sumerians [who lived in what is now Iraq and Kuwait] deemed the cedar to be the Holy Tree of Life and used its rich, resinous oil to make paint. The ancient Egyptians used the oil to embalm the glamorous and the rich; the discovery of the pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb revealed that his sarcophagus was partly made of cedarwood. Such is the wood’s extraordinary durability that, some 3,000 years after his death, the coffin is still in remarkably good condition and still delicately fragrant.

Cedarwood oil is said to have the unusual ability to both calm the body and stimulate the mind, which is why Tibetans traditionally used it during meditations and spiritual ceremonies. It was the same for Native Americans, who also believed animals slept under cedars at night for protection and to absorb the trees’ rejuvenating energy.

This mighty, imperious wood was so highly prized that it was used to build fleets of ships. Roman emperors were commemorated with busts made of it. Alongside its physical resilience, the cedar’s purifying properties are said to make the air in the forests where it grows marvellously clean. That’s why the oil has traditionally been used in aromatherapy to treat respiratory conditions, among others therapeutic uses. No wonder it claims star status.

Jo Malone London’s Black Cedarwood & Juniper is the seductive story of midnight rain. The darkness and depth of the wood with the carnal bite of juniper, cumin and chilli leaves. Modern. Urban. Dark. Alluring. Will you let it tempt you off the path and into the unknown?

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