Alpha cedrene is one of the two isomers of cedrenes found in found in the essential oil of cedar. Cedrene is a sesquiterpene, which is a class of turpenes that consist of three isoprene units and often have the molecular formula C15H24 The two isomers found in cedarwood oil are alpha cedrene and beta cedrene, which differ in the position of a double bond. It is widely used as a solvent and intermediate to perfume.
Alpha cedrene is a component found in cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is commonly extracted from the wood of Texas Cedar, Virginia Cedar or Chinese Cedar. Chinese cedarwood oil has a very different fragrance from Texas and Virginia cedarwood oil. The oil is recovered through the physical separation process of partial pressure steam distillation, where steam is passed through the plant material to separate the essential oil. Further distillation of the cedarwood oil separates alpha cedrene from other major components like beta cedrene, thujopsene, cuparene, cedrol and widdrol.