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Amyris Essential Oil (Tagged as Sandalwood Alternate) With its Uses & Benefits

Have you ever used amyris essential oil in massage to get relief from stress, or applied cold compress to a bruise after a bad fall? If you have, those are simple ways to heal naturally without drugs/medications. Likewise, Simply Earth provides ecofriendly products - pure grade essential oils that can provide a way of healing that has been practiced since ancient years by natives around the world. People choose essential oils because they are a natural, simple, safe, fast and low-tech method of treatment.  


Amyris plant got its name from the Greek word ‘Amyron’ (meaning intensely scented). Amyris was first called by other names such as balsam torchwood, candle wood, Buddha wood and West Indian sandalwood among others. The given names were mainly based on the quality of its wood which was used for torches and candles for different lighting needs while emitting a lovely aroma. The thick, rich oil in the wood renders it highly combustible with a long lasting flame.

It was only in the late 1800s that amyris got its own botanical name ‘Amyris Balsamifera’ when its leaves were studied and classified belonging to species different from that of sandalwood. Even if the tree has been mistakenly identified as sandalwood in history, the plant’s oil was effectively used in cleaning wounds, treating diarrhea, influenza, respiratory ailments and as fragrance. It was used for in early factory-made adhesives after being found handy in remote dwellings who used amyris raw resin as a  paste for domestic use.  

Plant Description

Like many other aromatic plants producing essential oils, amyris is an evergreen bushy tree belonging to the citrus family of Rutaceae. This small tree can grow up to 8 meters tall. Amyris trees sprout from seeds in the wild especially in Haiti and the Dominican Republic but they are also farmed in other countries with favorable tropical climates for oil and lumber production.

The bark of amyris tree is rough and dark-colored. The leaves are a lively green and the beautiful flowers are pure white; both smell citrusy when crushed. The fruits are fleshly, well-loved by birds who spread the seeds to germinate in the wild. To extract the all- natural essential oil, amyris wood must be processed by steam distillation. This oil is produced around the world; Simply Earth uses the 100% pure essential oil from the Dominican Republic.


Amyris essential oil is famous for its gentle woody, sweet balsamic fragrance with a slight vanilla-like touch. It blends well with amber, rose, cedarwood, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang and other woody fragrances. In addition, the consistency of this pure, pale yellow essential oil is quite thick that it is not possible to use a euro  dropper cap dispenser like that of other thin oils.


  1. Soap Making: Amyris essential oil is often used as a substitute to the scarce and expensive sandalwood essential oil. (Scarcity is explained later in this article). In its place, amyris works effectively and is much cheaper as a soap ingredient. It provides a woody scent with vanilla-like undertone to soaps. Soaps with amyris oil help keep the skin moisturized and healthy. To slow down aging, this essential oil promotes regeneration of skin cells.
  2. Skin Care: This oil is non-toxic and friendly to sensitive skin types. Use it on dry skin, chapped and scaly skin, acne, blackheads, rashes and wounds. It offers a soothing relief from these skin problems. It is also anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
  3. Diffuser: It can be used alone or with other oils in a diffuser to disperse its pleasant aroma that is calming and relaxing. It is generally safe and non-irritating to the skin and to those with respiratory difficulties.
  4. Medicine: There are several essential oils that can be used like medicine (without harmful side effects) to help in digestion, cough, colds, flu, mumps, nervousness and stress and one of them is amyris. It can also help protect you from dangerous level of blood pressure when used in aromatherapy. Use it to promote relaxation and drive away stress and anxiety.
  5. Perfumery: The wood of amyris exudes with a beautiful aroma and its essential oil is extensively used in a wide array of perfumes, fragrances and cosmetics. ‘Givenchy Play Intense’ for men and ‘Magnificent Blossom’ Yves Saint Laurent for women and men and ‘Amyris Femme Maison Francis Kurkdjian’ for women are some of the leading brands using amyris. Many individuals are learning to formulate their own homemade perfume recipes for the love of its scent.


  1. Antiseptic: Amyris essential oil is a good antiseptic agent. Like antiseptic drugs, you can apply it to the affected skin or wounds for its anti-infective effect by inhibiting or preventing the growth of microbes.
  2. Calming oil: You can get the benefit from a very soothing massage; it is calming and relaxing. Try it at night before going to bed and sleep like a baby. Its calming  effect also helps you to lose anxiety and stress.
  3. Antispasmodic: It heals muscle cramps and spasms in the involuntary muscles of the stomach. You can topically apply diluted amyris essential oil in the aching area, or apply a hot compress. Dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out excess water and put 6-8 drops of this oil on the towel to be placed on the affected area.
  4. Sedative: This oil  can help calm and ease you to allow a really deep sleep. Its effect works by bringing signals to the brain that promotes and induce tranquil sleeping.  
  5. Incense: If you want to enhance your concentration and focus, this oil would be great as incense. It helps promote concentration and awareness. In short, you achieve a sharp but quiet mind! It’s the aroma that provides the creative energy and the relaxing atmosphere conducive for work, study, or meditation.

A euro dropper cap doesn’t come with amyris essential oil because it is thick; it won’t come out drop-by-drop. For this oil and other thick oils, a glass dropper can work well. But, it is not advisable to use the glass dropper with its rubber head-pump as essential oil lid/cover. Store your oil with the screw-type cap that comes with the bottle. Clean your glass dropper with alcohol. Consider it neat and organized to designate a separate glass dropper for every thick essential oil.

More Info

Amyris  (Amyris balsamifera) and Sandalwood (Sandalum album) are from different plant families, but both their essential oils are produced from woods by steam distillation. However, sandalwood’s heartwood is the part used while amyris’s trunks and branches are harvested for oil and lumber too. The heartwood is composed of the inner rings of the wood. It takes almost 40 years before a sandalwood tree can be harvested for its oil.

That explains why sandalwood essential oil is rare and why it commands an extremely high price.  Sandalwood trees have a very long maturity period before becoming oil productive. Sandalwood trees that grow wild are exploited for its valuable oil; lumber is only secondary. Don’t worry folks! We have amyris essential oil – sandalwood alternate!


Extreme care is necessary in choosing essential oils for body health care and as ingredient to foods and home cleaning recipes. Amyris is considered generally safe to use but those with highly sensitive skin may want to check first through a skin patch test or consult a health professional about essential oils. Even the diluted forms of some essential oils may cause reactions to sensitive skin types.


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Please note: This post is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have extensively used essential oils and has not been verified scientifically with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns, please consult your doctor.

  • Chelzee Goingco
  • I love arts and crafts and is passionate about being creative. I love to look at things and think about how it could be colorful and beautiful.
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