As a building material for furniture, cedar has a lot going for it, and one of its charms is its distinctive aroma. That aroma is pleasant for people, but unpleasant for moths and insects, so cedar is an ideal choice for lining chests that hold blankets, linen and other fabrics. The aroma comes from organic compounds in the wood called thujaplicins, and it fades after a few years, even if you keep the chest closed. The loss of odor is often accompanied by color fading, but you can bring them both back.
Remove all items in the chest and wipe down the lining with warm water to remove dust and the surface coating of grime. Let the wood dry out.
Sand the wood by hand with 60-grit sandpaper. Work with the grain of the wood, and sand enough to remove the gray color on the surface and restore the natural red tones of the wood. As the color deepens, you should notice the return of the familiar cedar aroma.
Apply a few drops of natural cedar oil to a clean cloth and rub the wood to enhance the natural aroma even more.