How to make cinnamon smelling pinecones

Making cinnamon scented pine cones is an affordable way to get a warm and comforting aroma in your home. They are also an ideal festive decoration for spreading some winter cheer. Using natural cinnamon essential oil not only gives an authentic and longer lasting scent, but is ideal for anyone who hates to have artificial aromas or perfumes in their home environment.

Clean your pine cones using a small, dry brush that can reach between all the spines. Take a little time to do this, especially if you have been foraging for pine cones outside. They can have all sorts of debris from mud to small insects trapped in them.

Place the pine cones on some old newspaper, ideally on a robust, wipeable surface such as a draining board or an old ceramic plate. Essential oils can burn and stain surfaces such as polished wood or plastic. So avoid working near your best furniture.

Drip a few drops of cinnamon essential oil right into the middle of each pine cone, through the spines. Aim to get this as central as possible and take your time, waiting for each drop to absorb into the wood.

Once the pine cone smells fragrant, leave it to dry fully for a few minutes before handling it. Then place with other scented pine cones in a bowl or tie some ribbon to the end and hang.


Look around your neighbourhood in autumn and winter; you can collect lots of different types of cone for a beautiful and varied, rustic seasonal display.

If cinnamon alone is a little spicy, try mixing it with a few drops of vanilla and maybe one of clove oil. This gives a classic warm, winter baking smell.

Essential oils provide aroma by lifting into the air. After a time your cones will lose their cinnamon smell but it is easy to top them up again in exactly the same way.

The best pine cones to use for scenting are the robust woody looking ones. These take the oil application well as there is plenty of wood for the essential oil to seep in to. They also last for years because they are strong.


Neat essential oils are very strong and can burn the skin. Buy a cinnamon oil in a bottle that has a dripper top, to stop it from spilling as you apply it to the cone. And always avoid contact with skin. If you are concerned, allergic or sensitive buy an essential oil that is already mixed in to a carrier base such as jojoba or almond oil. These do not smell as strong but are safe if they drip on to the skin. This is also why it is important to drip the oil in to the centre of the cone and not all over it.

Be careful when you are checking to see how spicy your pine cone smells, and do not attempt to inhale the aroma fully. Essential oils are potent, therapeutic products and should be used sparingly. Just a few drops is usually enough.

Never let children work with essential oils.

Things You'll Need

  • Pine cones
  • Old artist’s brush or small paint brush
  • Cinnamon essential oil
  • Old newspaper
  • Ribbon (optional)
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About the Author

Shefali Choudhury is a qualified make-up artist and nail technician, with more than 12 years experience of professional makeup in beauty, film and theater. She graduated in fine art from Central Saint Martins and has been writing professionally since 2007.