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Cedar Chest

The Phoenicians, Egyptians, Tibetans, Japanese, Chinese, Indians (Native American and East Indian), Hebrews, Syrians, Romans and many other cultures cherished the Cedar tree, its wood and its scent. It was used for such diverse purposes building ships, constructing temples, mummification, incense, medicinal preparations, coffers, caskets etc. One of its outstanding virtues was that both the fragrant wood resisted decay and hence could be used in all applications, symbolic and practical where this quality was appreciated. It is because cedar chestof this quality that the tree and its wood came to be associated with royalty, immortality, purity, fortitude and courage.

In the Western world cedar wood was adapted for its own unique uses and took on the form on special chests in which treasured possession of family significance were stored. This tradition arose in Europe when during the 15th and 16th century when the Italians evolved the construction of furniture into a high art form, which was included the making of elaborate chests that were prized family possessions. Other European cultures adopted the furniture style embodied in the chest and designs became more or less elaborate according to the purpose for which it was intended.

When European immigrants began coming to America they brought with them the chests that were family heirlooms containing remembrances of their life in the old country along with practical goods for their life in the new country. Already a tradition had evolved amongst certain cultures of providing a girl growing into womanhood with a special chest in which her family placed clothes and other items which would be useful when she got married. These were called "hope" chests. In America there was an abundance of Western Red Cedar/Juniperus virginiana and this wood was found ideal for the making of such chests both for its beauty and the scent of the wood which prevented insect infestation of the blankets, clothes and other items placed therein.

In creating the Cedar Chest Essence it was my hope to draw people into the magical world contained in a cedar chest where one might open it up and find there special treasures and mementos that transport one into a time and place quite different than the present. Aromas have a particular ability to open charmed casements in the heart, bringing to life dear and precious experiences which give life a special glow and vibrancy.

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