Smells exactly like actual sandalwood -- which is saying a lot, since I think it's probably mostly synthetic, given what real, good quality sandalwood oil goes for these days. It smells exactly like the two objects I own that I know are really made of sandalwood, a fan and some old Indian beads. Not sweet, not over-complicated. Exactly right.
I've smelled a lot of sandalwood perfumes, as I've been looking for The Right One for my husband for more than a decade. I've tried cheap headshop oils, no-name Egyptian attars, mass-produced brands, and very expensive tiny samples from exclusive European niche houses. Some of those were very nice, but my husband's particular and wanted what he wanted, which we couldn't get any more. This is the next closest thing I've ever found.
Did you know that real Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) has been massively overharvested and the oil is very, very hard to get nowadays? Did you know that if you find the real thing for sale in the US, there's a good chance it was poached? I don't know how much, if any, real sandalwood is in Demeter's stuff, but like I said above, given the price, probably not much. Which is GOOD. Especially given that it smells so nice. Demeter's chemists have nailed it, and will probably be able to keep producing this lovely stuff no matter what happens to the world sandalwood supply, so my husband will be able to smell like he wants to for years to come. Yay!
My personal reference sandalwood is a vintage Roger&Gallet soap that has scented the medicine cupboard in the family cabin for my entirely life. I think my grandma brought it there in the 60's, and apparently no one else liked it much, because it has been there untouched since then - strong, medicinal, rich and, I suppose, natural. This Demeter smells a lot like it, which is exactly what I wanted, plain and simple.
Can fall apart a little and turn a little plastic-smelling on me, but it usually pulls itself together again, and for what it is, it's nice enough.
So...much.....alcohol. I can't tell if I like the actual sandalwood scent because it is covered up by the overabundance of alcohol smacking me in the face upon first spritz.
Okay, 30 minutes later and I finally smell a hint of sandalwood...a very good sandalwood, but not good enough as a body fragrance. I have to literally stick my nose on my arm to smell it. I'd rather use a higher quality, stronger-smelling sandalwood oil. Disappointment.