Produced from multiple parts of the Japanese cypress, the Japanese have used hinoki oil in traditional medicine for centuries. Considered sacred, the wood is also used in making houses and tatami floor coverings because of its natural insect repellant properties, fungal resistance, and relaxing scent. Beyond its use as a building material, there are several proven benefits and uses of hinoki essential oil.

Looking for the Best Hinoki Essential Oils?

What does Hinoki essential oil smell like?

Hinoki oil can be made from the greens, wood or roots of the Japanese cypress tree. Just like the common cypress, it is an evergreen with a distinct woody aroma. It is used in the construction of houses and temples and considered a sacred tree because of its relaxing scent.

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It smells slightly woody, very reminiscent of cypress or juniper but also has a lemon-like note that allows it to blend well with other citrus oils or light florals.

6 Major Benefits and Uses of Hinoki Essential Oil

1. Insecticide and Repellent

Insects can serve a beneficial role in our environment, but sometimes they can also be responsible for the spread of disease to humans and plants. Flying insects such as fruit flies and house flies can be pests that get into your food and may cause illness. Hinoki oil has been shown to not only repel these insects so they cannot infest your home, but it is also effective at preventing the reproductive capabilities. This may help control a current infestation and prevent a recurrence. (1)

Add 1-2 drops of hinoki oil to cotton balls and place them around your kitchen to prevent the infestation of household pests.

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2. Promote Relaxation

It seems like life becomes busier, especially with technology helping to make our work faster and more efficient. Unfortunately, this may lead to a sense of overload, as we try to find a balance between work lives and social lives. Many essential oils can help promote feelings of relaxation and peace by affecting the chemicals in the brain responsible for pleasant sensations and emotions. Hinoki has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the brain that may prevent the uptake of important hormones like serotonin and slow the breakdown of those chemicals. (2)

Diffuse hinoki throughout the day, even in conjunction with other relaxing aromas such as lavender or chamomile to help reduce stress and tension.

3. Stimulate Hair Growth

Hair loss or baldness can be an intensely embarrassing situation. It can be brought about by genetics, stress, diet, or even a reaction to a medication. Many of the chemical treatments to encourage growth or prevent further loss can have undesired side effects on other parts of the body as well. The constituents of hinoki oil have been shown to work on hair loss in different ways. It can contribute to scalp health by reducing inflamed pores or killing any bacteria that can become trapped and prevent healthy follicles from producing hair. It also affects the hormones that cause hair growth or loss with none of the side effects that accompany over the counter treatments. (3)

Add 1-2 drops of hinoki oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut and apply to your hair. Coconut has been shown to help protect hair strands without causing an overproduction of grease on the scalp.

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4. Boost Immune System

In a world where infections and diseases are becoming increasingly resistant to common medical treatments, research has turned to study the natural chemical resistance of plants to treat these issues. Hinoki essential oil has been shown to encourage the formation of natural killer cells in response to illness. Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell to fight off infection and foreign bodies in the body. This oil may help your body’s natural immune response and may affect diseases that do not respond to other medications. (4)

Add hinoki oil to a carrier such as jojoba to make an immune-boosting roll-on that you can apply to your body during sickness or when around others who are ill to prevent sickness.

5. Protect Brain Function

Many of the new diseases that affect today’s increasingly elderly populations are diseases of the brain. They can affect motor function, like Parkinson’s disease, or memory, like Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact cause of these afflictions is unknown, research has been conducted to prevent or treat these issues. Oils like hinoki have been shown to directly impact the preservation of the brain that can be affected by the disease, allowing for a slowing of the progression. It can also protect unaffected cells, allowing for a better quality of life with these debilitating conditions. (5)

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Diffuse hinoki in your home or wear on your body after diluting with a carrier oil. This may allow for healthy brain function as you age.

6. Anti-microbial Functions

Due to the potential formation of microbes that are resistant to common medical treatments, the scientific community is looking to study the chemical functions that allow plants to resist diseases and infection in nature. These functions can then benefit people as we try to prevent the spread of microbes in our daily environments. Hinoki oil has been shown to effectively eliminate the common bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses such as salmonella and listeria. It can also kill different types of molds that might cause infections or even respiratory distress in sensitive individuals. (6)

Use hinoki along with other disinfecting oils such as lemon or tea tree to keep the hard surfaces of your home free from bacteria and mold. Diffusing may prevent molds that cause breathing issues.

What is the Best Hinoki Essential Oil?

Considered a sacred tree in Japan and endangered due to the popularity of its calming properties, quality hinoki oil can be challenging to find. When considering the many uses you may put your oil too, we’ve researched several brands and companies to bring you the best hinoki essential oils possible. Our top picks are recommended below:

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Chidoriya Hinoki Aroma Oil (Japanese Cypress)

This product is made in Japan, by a company who was inspired by the beauty routines of geisha. Formulated with natural ingredients shipped from within the country, this oil has been tested to be safe for use on the body or when diffusing.

Best for: Diffusing Around the Home


Young Living Hinoki Essential Oil

This company prides itself on using materials that are ethically sourced, which helps preserve endangered plants such as the Japanese cypress. Ingredients are certified organic, making them free from chemical pesticides that could cause contamination after distillation. With a guarantee of quality, this oil may be good to use on the skin either as a perfume or with a carrier oil in a roll on to promote a relaxed mood.

Organic Aromas: Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser

Best for: Topical Applications


Miracle Botanicals Hinoki Essential Oil

This oil is created from materials sourced from around the world and distilled by the company. All oils are tested with gas chromatography to ensure that they meet a pure, therapeutic-grade without any added chemicals that may cause reactions. This oil would be great to use in the bath at the end of a long day or as a massage to help ease tension.

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Best for: Whole-Body Massage


My Favorite Uses For Hinoki Essential Oil

There are times when it feels like depression and anxiety control the best parts of my day. I use a varied combination of meditation and essential oils to assist in my fight to keep these issues from taking up too much of my day. I discovered hinoki oil, not through research likes so many of the other oils I use, but by visiting a Japanese themed massage parlor and being introduced to the relaxing power of hinoki.

The massage itself wasn’t any different from others I have received in the past, but the entire environment was infused with one of the most pleasant scents. I wanted to surround myself with it but have since learned that I can’t afford to build my own room with Japanese cypress. Hinoki oil is the next best thing.

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I find that the hardest days are when I prefer the more woody aromas such as vetiver or tea tree. The most peaceful memories I have usually involve being in or around forests, particularly evergreens. It reminds me of late summer nights on vacation when I have nothing to do but sit around a campfire and enjoy time with my family.

I’ve also found that hinoki can blend with many citrus scents easily, making for a relaxing and focusing scent to help me power through assignments without my anxiety sapping my energy.

Recommended Hinoki Oil-Based Products

1. Cleansing Soap Set of 3 with Charcoal and Hinoki Oil

Cleansing Soap Set of 3 with Charcoal and Hinoki Oil
  • Gently cleanses without drying out the skin
  • Unique scent of Japanese Cypress Hinoki
  • Ideal for easily irritated, sensitive skin

This soap combines the oil-absorbing properties of charcoal and bentonite clay, which helps to open the pores of the body, allowing the natural hinoki oil to penetrate the skin. There are no chemical cleansers to strip the skin’s natural oil away, and so it does not promote overproduction of oil to protect sensitive skin. It is reported to have the mild, citrusy scent of hinoki, allowing you to enjoy the relaxing effect that its scent induces.

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2. Te Plus Te Hinoki Mini Set No.2

This set includes body wash, moisturizer, and a room mist so you can enjoy the benefits of hinoki essential oil in a variety of ways. All three products use natural ingredients such as plant-based oils, so they do not over-dry the skin or leave it feeling too oily. Natural oils are also absorbed into the skin much more easily than chemical emollients. The room mist allows you to use the calming aroma of hinoki oil without needing a diffuser to spread the scent throughout a room.


Caution of Hinoki Essential Oil

  • Do not use hinoki if you are currently taking medication that has a sedative effect as hinoki may increase this.
  • Do not ingest this oil as it may cause reactions such as vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Always dilute hinoki oil in a carrier oil before dermal application.
  • This essential oil may cause dermatitis, test it on the underside of your arm before use.
  • Always choose quality hinoki essential oil from reputable suppliers.


I hope you enjoyed learning about the oil of the Japanese cypress, Japan’s sacred tree. Please be sure to share this information with anyone who may be looking for natural ways to deal with illness or to promote a calm and relaxing atmosphere.

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