Just received Santal Imperial and I am in love with it. I find SI to be quite pleasant and enjoyable; SI is creamy and sweet, I don't detect so much wood as others have noted nor extreme citrus. I detect a light citrus note and hints of vanilla. This would be for me classified as a unisex scent and not 'pure' masculine in my opinion. Now, this is very different from OS but there or small hints and very reminiscent of Himalaya and MI, again in its own class still...no one has mentioned a similarity of Royal Delight then again, maybe that's just me with the sweetness detection. Overall, wonderful fragrance that I highly recommend!!
The citrus and bergamot start off well but the citrus is particularly nice and noticeable. A few minutes after top notes appear the tonka bean and sandalwood show up. The dry down is similar to Bois de Santal and Royal Scottish Lavender.
Sandalwood, smoothed over by a judicious touch of suave tonka bean on a very soft, soapy base. That's it, and it's completely linear. Elegant, impeccably put together, and classically poised, Santal Imperial is also overwhelmingly conservative. We are talking about a fragrance that's seen its 150th birthday, after all.
This is old world aristocracy, British gentry, and 19th century American plutocracy in a bottle. Strictly starched, buttoned down, and ready for the boardroom. Wear Santal Imperial when you're feeling dignified, or need to project a sense of authority, but don't wear it to a party. It's flawlessly dressed, but it doesn't know how to smile.
I think this might be one of the great sandalwoods, but it has some concentration issues.
The sandalwood here is the perfectly pleasant sawdust variety,with just a hint of buttery richness. It sits on a fougere skeleton of lavender and tonka, so there are times when it reminds me of a sandalwood-drenched Pour Un Homme. There's a piquant top of vetiver and black pepper hovering quietly, as well as a surprising dusty iris that comes in later. Really, it smells wonderful and really sings with a heavier application (that's when the vetiver and iris really come out).
Unfortunately, this suffers from the same Creed disease as Aventus: Sometimes I swear it just goes away and I can't smell anything. But then, an hour later, it smells wonderful again. My best guess is that it's not quite concentrated enough to smell consistently rich, but there's an errant note (my guess would be the lavender) that's so highly concentrated that it knocks out my nose. It's sort of clever, but also quite maddening. I still like the smell enough for an enthusiastic thumbs up, but with a better concentration, this could have been a serious contender for best sandalwood ever.
Not an intensive scent, Santal Imperial is centered around a fairly straightforward sandalwood note, that initially has a mild lemony note and a hint of tonka on me. This is less intense that Bois de Santal of the same house, restrained but with a decent longevity of about four hours. A conservative, classic and unobtrusive yet convincing sandalwood fragrance.