Which wood smells the best?

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Forum topic by ErikF posted 10-20-2012 01:57 AM 2488 views 0 times favorited 56 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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498 posts in 1661 days

10-20-2012 01:57 AM

My shop time today consisted of milling a number of 5/4 santos mahogany boards to my desired dimensions. This stuff is pretty rough on the lungs so I am careful to wear my mask when cutting it…but it smells great! It is similar to vanilla but with a little pepperness. Hickory comes in as my second favorite. Oak…I really don’t like the way it smells.

What about all you fellow woodworkers? Favorite and least favorite.

-- Power to the people.

56 replies so far

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1417 posts in 1608 days

#1 posted 10-20-2012 02:00 AM


-- My terrible signature...

View ShaneA's profile


6415 posts in 2016 days

#2 posted 10-20-2012 02:02 AM

Purpleheart, and Paduak are pretty nice.

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2691 days

#3 posted 10-20-2012 02:04 AM

any coniferous/softwoods smell he best to me especially cedar, then pine. out of hardwoods, for some odd reason, I like walnut

-- M.K.

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2735 posts in 1994 days

#4 posted 10-20-2012 02:07 AM

Cherry is nice.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View semi75's profile


78 posts in 2317 days

#5 posted 10-20-2012 02:10 AM

I love walnut also but I do have to be careful or I will be sneezing. The smell reminds me of when I was a little collecting and shucking black walnuts. I like the sweet smell of cherry also.

View rance's profile


4243 posts in 2578 days

#6 posted 10-20-2012 02:11 AM

Pine(it reminds me of my dad when I was young), and FREE wood.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3048 days

#7 posted 10-20-2012 02:19 AM

Camphor has a very fragrant aroma.

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

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14925 posts in 2107 days

#8 posted 10-20-2012 02:19 AM

mesquite smells great to me

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Monte Pittman

21522 posts in 1755 days

#9 posted 10-20-2012 02:45 AM

Aromatic Red Cedar is great. I would like to cut some daily. Russian Olive is the worst. Smells like a chain smoker with bad gas.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2793 days

#10 posted 10-20-2012 02:49 AM

Cedar, sassafras, blue spruce

Monte Pittman said – ”Smells like a chain smoker with bad gas.
LOL…there’s a winning combination!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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1452 posts in 1564 days

#11 posted 10-20-2012 03:09 AM

I will likely be in the minority here, but I like the way cypress smells. Walnut is good too.


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999 posts in 2600 days

#12 posted 10-20-2012 03:14 AM

Olive smells the best! When turning it smells awesome.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

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1705 posts in 1601 days

#13 posted 10-20-2012 03:51 AM

Port Orford Cedar, in a walk.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View olivine's profile


20 posts in 2105 days

#14 posted 10-20-2012 03:58 AM

I love the smell of padauk and cocobolo, both remind me of cinnamon and cloves. And oak has a nice smell when it burns a little. I have to completely disagree with hickory though reminds me of raw sewage.

View Dusty56's profile


11800 posts in 3105 days

#15 posted 10-20-2012 04:02 AM

Birch , Cherry , Mahogany , Aromatic Cedar : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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