Best smelling wood


Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
We're always putting orange peels on the stove top at moderate temps. One has to wonder if orange wood smells like, er... orange?


Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2009
Of the 2 choices I have (Birch & spruce) , spruce smells the best unless it's a log with allot of pitch.

The black smoke off the birch bark is nasty stuff.

The smell of it in the stack seasoning, birch smells pretty good & the spruce don't have much odor at all.

Neither wood has the good smell of the smoker when using "store bought" apple or hickory. ;)


New Member
Jan 1, 2013
Penn Yan, NY
Apple, Lilac, Hickory all smell nice to me.

A lot of the other hardwoods have the traditional "firewood" smell goin on... which I also love.

The worst is an undergrowth tree my old man loves cutting from wet areas. The stuff is terrible!! (but very dense).


Alder, apple, pecan, doug fir, larch, cherry/plum, & maple.

The bad 'uns: cottonwood, willow, aspen, & poplar all smell like cat pee.

Wood Duck

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2009
Central PA
When cutting i think Black Birch is the best because of the wintergreen smell, although I generally like the smell of most oaks, pines, red cedar, fruit woods, sassafras, maple, and I guess most woods.

I can't smell the wood when it burns in the stove unless I am outside, and then only until the secondaries kick in. With the secondaries burning it all smells like burning coal to me, which isn't a great smell in my opinion.

Cross Cut Saw

Feeling the Heat
Mar 25, 2012
Boulder, CO
I have very limited experience to reference from but I always like a little birch or white oak.

The birch is almost like incense, we used to have this little log cabin incense burner my mom would light up around the holidays, reminds me of that...


New Member
Jul 18, 2019
I see that many think elm smells badly, but to me it smells like a horse barn or mules when it is split. I like the smell and it burns with a sweet aromatic smell. Maybe I am using a different specie of elm than some. It splits fairly well, and heartwood is rather dark when wet with a small ring of sapwood.


Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2014
Cherry seems to be the most aromatic wood I've got access to. One split in a load of other stuff, and you can smell it outside. Hickory smells wonderful too, but makes me hungry for barbecue.
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Feeling the Heat
Apr 5, 2013
Apple, red oak, and sassafrass.


Feeling the Heat
Mar 10, 2015
SW Ohio
Nothing finer than the smell white oak seasoning in the stacks. The aroma drifting on on a warm fall day is reminiscent of a nice bourbon.


Feeling the Heat
Mar 10, 2015
SW Ohio
Cedrus (true cedars). Native to Mediterranean and Himalayas (e.g. cedar of Lebanon, like in the Bible). It's planted occasionally in the U.S. as a landscape specimen.
If you ever see anyone removing one try to snag some of the wood. Oils in its wood make it extremely fragrant (incense like in intensity and smell). My dad had a chunk of cedar wood stored 20+ years. It was still fragrant when lightly sanded.
Great for woodworking, for making cedar chests (much more striking aroma than our non-related Eastern red cedar Juniperus viginiana).


Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
SE Mass
Yellow birch and sassafras, but we don't have much of either of those. Mostly have red maple which I don't like the smell of at all when I'm burning it and I'm outside, red and white oak which is rather a neutral and pine which I associate with campfire because it is so prevalent at campgrounds. Cherry is OK but haven't had much of it lately.

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
South Jersey
Nothing smells better and sweeter than free wood.


Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
Palmyra, WI
Nothing finer than the smell white oak seasoning in the stacks. The aroma drifting on on a warm fall day is reminiscent of a nice bourbon.
I was trying to put my finger on it. I didn't want to sound redundant and plain saying I liked the smell of oak over all others, but that's it - only it's from the oak the wine barrels. When I walk by a freshly split stack, drying in the sun, or on a warm foggy morning sunrise - damp, luscious. Especially a large fresh split, stick my nose in it, breath deep.


Feeling the Heat
Nov 15, 2013
SE Minnesota
Cherry is my favorite. Love the sweet smell when cutting.
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Minister of Fire
Dec 17, 2014
Next to Yosemite
All of the above posters have obviously never burned any Incense Cedar which there is nothing else even close.


Minister of Fire
Nov 3, 2014
Burnsville, NC
Have to agree that free smells pretty much the best to me also...but if I had a favorite combo...maple and applewood, with bacon frying along with a fresh pot of coffee brewing...

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