Cedar is used in clothes closets for bug prevention, and I love the smell. But the smell deminishes over time and a light sanding brings it back. And NO, you would not seal it. That defeats the purpose.
You probably went to the lumber dept. in the BIG Box. That's for outdoor application - siding and such. And it had a tappered edge (thicker on one end on the 2" x side than the other) Go to the flooring dept. where they sell the shelving. They have kits for cedar for closets. But mucho $$. That is...if your heart is set on cedar.
I would use the melamine, myself-avail in the millwork & flooring depts. It's easy maintainence, whipes/scrubs well and the light color keeps the closet/pantry bright.