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Blue Spruce Essential Oil

Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce Essential Oil holds a very special place within my conifer essential oil apothecary. This intriguing oil has an aroma and personality that keeps drawing me closer as I work with it. I've had Blue Spruce Essential Oil in my apothecary for some time, but I finally was inspired to prepare a profile for AromaWeb based on a lovely conversation I recently had with a friend and then by seeing that Helen Nagle-Smith included a profile of it within her recent book, Working with Unusual Oils.

The blue spruce is a conifer tree belonging to the Pinaceae plant family. It is native to Arizona, Utah, Colorado and other states within the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The Blue Spruce is also known as the Colorado Spruce.

When inhaling the aroma of Blue Spruce Essential Oil, I personally find it to have a fresh, bright, slightly lemony and almost "effervescent" characteristic to it. It's an essential oil, so it certainly isn't actually effervescent.

I believe that the bright, fresh aroma of Blue Spruce Essential Oil is taking me back to my youth when I spent several winters skiing in Northern Michigan. The vending machine at our lodge offered green glass bottles of Sprite that I used to savor outside where conifers populated the area. When studying the composition of Blue Spruce Essential Oil, it has significantly more limonene and alpha-pinene than that of the other conifer essential oils that I closely compared it to. It also features slightly more camphor. This likely contributes to my personal assessment of its aromatic characteristics.

When more formally describing the aroma of Blue Spruce Essential Oil, I find that it is bright, crisp, woody, earthy and is slightly lemony and camphorous.

Helen Nagle-Smith mentions that "...when smelling blue spruce for the first time, many people will say it reminds them of men's aftershave." [Source: Helen Nagle-Smith, Working with Unusual Oils (Independently Published, 2022), 34.]

I have heard this comparison as well, and I can certainly tell why Blue Spruce Essential Oil has been compared to some commercial men's aftershave and cologne products.

Blue Spruce Essential Oil possesses bold characteristics that are not present in many other commonly available conifer essential oils. I am still trying to identify with certainty what constituents may be responsible. I am suspecting that the lower Bornyl Acetate (an ester) and slightly higher Camphor (a ketone) composition contribute to the overall aromatic personality of Blue Spruce Essential Oil when compared to other conifer oils. Interestingly to me, Utah Juniper Essential Oil is one that I also find to share certain aromatic characteristics with Blue Spruce Essential Oil, as Utah Juniper Essential Oil it also lower in Bornyl Acetate and higher in camphor (but in differing percentages) than a number of other more commonly available conifer essential oils.

I want to emphasize that Blue Spruce Essential Oil is a beautiful, unique conifer oil to work with and experience for yourself, even if the general comparison to men's after-shaves isn't of particular interest to you.

I especially love using Blue Spruce Essential Oil sparingly. When blended using a low ratio, it can liven up an otherwise dull or common blend without overpowering it.

Emotionally, I resonate very well with Blue Spruce Essential Oil and other conifer oils. As with Black Spruce Essential Oil and Hemlock Spruce Essential Oil oils, I find that it's invigorating and uplifting without being overly stimulating. It's a lovely oil to incorporate into blends intended to help support focus and balance the emotions. I agree with Helen Nagle-Smith's assessment that it has promise for use with Seasonal Affective Disorder (see below).

Bottle Depicting the Typical Color of Blue Spruce Essential Oil

More information about Blue Spruce Essential Oil can be found in the book Working with Unusual Oils by Helen Nagle-Smith.

For additional general information about spruce and conifer oils, read AromaWeb's Guide to Coniferous Essential Oils.

Blue Spruce Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

  • Coughs
  • Colds
  • Pain
  • Emotionally Uplifting
  • Potential Support for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Source: Helen Nagle-Smith, Working with Unusual Oils (Independently Published, 2022), 35-36.

Botanical Name of Blue Spruce Essential Oil

Picea pungens

Plant Family

Pinaceae

Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used

Needles and Twigs

Color

Clear to Pale Yellow

Consistency

Thin

Perfumery Note

Top

Strength of Initial Aroma

Medium - Strong

Aromatic Description

Blue Spruce Essential Oil smells bright, crisp, woody, earthy and slightly camphorous.

Sustainability and Conservation Status

Least Concern
Source: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/42333/2973433

To learn more about the conservation status of essential oil bearing plants and how to use the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, please refer to AromaWeb's Guide to Essential Oils and Sustainability.

Major Constituents

  • Limonene
  • a Pinene
  • B Pinene
  • Camphene
  • Delta 3 Carene
  • Bornyl Acetate
  • B Myrcene
  • Camphor

Source: Various GC/MS reports. This is not a complete list of the constituents present in Blue Spruce Essential Oil.

Blue Spruce Essential Oil Safety Information

Little is formally documented about the safety and contraindications of Blue Spruce Essential Oil. The second edition of Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young do not include a profile for the oil. Based on the chemical composition and the limited research and safety information about Blue Spruce Essential Oil, it is recommended to avoid the oil while pregnant or nursing and avoid the oil with babies and children. Avoid topical use of Blue Spruce Essential Oil if it has oxidized as Tisserand and Young generally recommend to avoid topical use of essential oils that are abundant in limonene and other monoterpenes if the oil has oxidized.

General Safety Information

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for basic educational purposes only. The references to safety information, test results, constituents and percentages is generalized information. Essential oils can vary greatly in composition. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil composition and color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several CO2 Extracts and absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

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