What Does Juniper Smell Like?

When it comes to the smell of juniper, there are two camps: those who love it and those who hate it. But what does this evergreen shrub really smell like? Juniper berries have a strong, pungent aroma that is often described as being similar to pine, cedar, or even gin. Some people find the scent refreshing and invigorating, while others find it overpowering and unpleasant.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll like the smell of juniper berries before you try them, why not go ahead and give them a sniff? Today we are looking at the complexities of the Juniper scent, and its benefits in candles and essential oils. 

What is a Juniper Tree

A Juniper Tree in the Desert

Juniper trees are a type of coniferous tree that is native to the northern hemisphere. They are easily recognizable by their blue-green needles and small, dark berries.  The Juniper Tree can be identified by its smooth twigs and needle shaped leaves that group in whorls of three.

Juniper berries have been used for centuries in essential oils. The oil is extracted from the berry and has a number of benefits. It can be used to improve mental clarity, increase energy, and boost the immune system.

Juniper oil can also be used to treat respiratory problems, skin conditions, and digestive issues.

Junipers are evergreen conifers that comprise about 60 species that can be found worldwide, although Juniper Tree Species can be found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. It is said that if you see juniper trees in nature with severely twisted trunks and branches, it is an effect attributed to vortex energies nearby. 

Junipers trees are slow growers, and it is common for them to live 350 – 700 years, but many can live past a millennium. Juniper Trees are an amazing and resilient species of tree, as they have the ability to survive and thrive in some of our planets harshest environments, not unlike the cedar wood trees

Juniper trees can be found ranging throughout drought-ridden deserts, sustaining life in the high winds of high elevation, and able to grow in climates for extreme temperature ranges from hot to below freezing cold. 

What Does Juniper Look Like?

Juniper is a genus of trees and shrubs that are commonly found in the northern hemisphere. The appearance of juniper plants can vary depending on the species, but there are some general characteristics that are common among many varieties.

In general, juniper plants are characterized by their evergreen foliage, needle-like or scale-like leaves, and fleshy berries. They can be found in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the species, but all have a distinctive appearance that makes them easily recognizable.

The most common juniper variety is the common juniper (Juniperus communis). This is a small, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 4 meters tall. The common juniper has a bushy, rounded growth habit with branches that grow in all directions. The leaves are needle-like and are arranged in whorls of three. They are green to blue-green in color and have a waxy coating that gives them a shiny appearance.

The common juniper also produces berries that are used in cooking and to make gin. These berries are small, round, and fleshy, with a bluish-black color when ripe. They are covered in a whitish powder, which is actually a layer of wax.

Another common species of juniper is the Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum). This tree can grow up to 10 meters tall and has a conical shape with a straight trunk. The bark is reddish-brown and is rough to the touch. The leaves are also needle-like, but are bluish-gray in color.

The Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a species of juniper that is native to North America. This tree can grow up to 20 meters tall and has a pyramidal shape. The bark is reddish-brown and is stringy and fibrous. The leaves are scale-like and are green to blue-green in color.

What Does Juniper Smell Like

Juniper Berries on branches

Looking for a unique and fragrant evergreen shrub? Look no further than juniper! This hardy plant can be found in many parts of the world and has a distinctive smell that can be loved or hated by gardeners.

Juniper berries have a strong, pungent aroma that is often described as being similar to pine, cedar, or even gin. Some people find the scent refreshing and invigorating, while others find it overpowering and unpleasant.

The scent of Juniper is commonly associated with the smell of Gin, which Juniper Botanicals are the main flavouring in all gins.

Juniperus Californica (California Juniper) and Juniperus Communis (Common Juniper) has a hearty foliage and its wood which emits a sappy, slightly bitter scent, but akin to Pine it is also described as as exhilarating and invigorating fragrance. 

Because of Juniper scents Resinous, green, and fresh notes, it’s essential oil can be found used for calming and grounding effects and is commonly used in essential oil  diffusers to help cleanse and purify spaces. 

What Does Juniper Berry Smell Like?

Branches of outdoor Juniper Berries and Needles

Prepare to have your mind blown – but a Juniper Berry is not in fact really a berry. It is a seed cone with fleshy and merged scales. that look very similar to a berry, hence the name.

Juniper berries have a very distinct, piney-junipery scent.  Some people describe it as being reminiscent of Christmas trees, while others say that it smells more like gin. No matter what you think of the smell, there’s no denying that it’s unique! Juniper berries are also used in European cooking as a spice.

Scents that Pair Well with Juniper

The essential oil of a Juniper Berry blends very well with other scents derived from nature. We recommend blending Juniper scent with citrus oils like Bergamot Oil and Lime as a counterbalance to the earthy deep notes of conifer scents. 

The scent of Juniper essential oil also blends well with herbs like Lemongrass, Clary Sage, and Lavender.

Here at the Sojourn company we love to blend Juniper with other hard wood trees like Cypress, Cedarwood & Sandalwood.

Benefits of Juniper Essential Oil

Sunlight shining through Juniper Needles

There are many benefits of juniper essential oil. Some of the key benefits include its ability to improve respiratory function, detoxify the body, and improve skin health. Additionally, juniper essential oil can be used as a natural remedy for a variety of issues, including arthritis, and feelings of anxiousness. 

Juniper Berry Essential oil has a vast history of medicinal uses in numerous ancient Egypt and Tibet. The ancient Egyptians used Juniper as a treatment for tapeworms. Back then, Juniper was regarded as medicine also being used in religious practices as incense. 

In more recent centuries Juniper Berry has been used for serve spiritual purposes being  believed to protect from evil spirits and negative forces.

The 9 main constituents of  Juniper Berry Essential Oil, each of them with their unique benefits. A brief overview of the following are:

  • a-Pinene: Good as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and sleep aid.
  • a-Terpinene: Natural sedative, promotes relaxation of the body and mind.
  • B-Myrcene: Helps prevent free radical damage.
  • b-Pinene: Potentially ease symptoms anxious feelings. 
  • Delta 3 Carene: Stimulates and improves memory.
  • Gamma-Terpinene: Anti fungal and any bacterial. 
  • Limonene: A natural soothing ingredient.
  • Sabinene: Helps protect the body from oxidative stress.
  • Terpinene-4-ol: Anti-microbial and antiviral properties.


Where to find Juniper Scent in Candles

Here at the Sojourn Company, we see the scent and therapeutic benefits of Juniper Berry essential oil in our custom fragrance blends of our hand poured candles.

Our ode to the Mojave Desert “Yucca Valley Candle” pairs the coniferous green scents of Juniper with Palo Santo, Sage and Oak Moss. Check it out and transport your senses today.