It took me a very long time to appreciate this fragrance, but now that I’ve come to terms with it, I consider it one of perfumery’s towering masterpieces. Like many Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier scents Santal Noble has a deceptive opening. For the first few moments on the skin it smells like an oversweetened mocha drink from Starbucks. You’d assume from this opening that Santal Noble is an overbearing syrupy gourmand scent in the mold of A*Men. How wrong you’d be, too.
The chocolate falls waaaay into the background, and the coffee note blends quickly with velvety smooth sandalwood, moss, and dry patchouli into a superbly rich, dark, semi-dry accord that positively reeks of dignity. Move over Blenheim Bouquet, No. 88, and Vintage Tabarome – you’ve met your aristocratic match in Santal Noble. Santal Noble even has that paragon of male elegance, Patou pour Homme peeking nervously at its rear view mirror. The creamy luxury of Santal Noble’s sandalwood accord makes others seem crude by comparison. It’s elevating, reassuring, and empowering all at once. It’s also dark and mysterious enough in its amber-tinted depths to suggest an animalic energy and barely concealed sexuality in its wearer. No “grandpa scent” this one!
Long lasting and with just the right amount of sillage, Santal Noble is a delight right through its amber, moss and yes, sandalwood drydown. While it’s not something I’d wear with shorts, T-shirt, and flip-flops, it works as well for me on dates, at meetings, or in romantic moments. Along with Patou pour Homme, Santal Noble is one of the first scents I look to when I want to project quiet authority. It may not be to everybody’s taste, but anyone with an interest in woody fragrances ought to give Santal Noble at least a full day’s wearing at one point or another.
What a great fragrance.
It's really interesting how different the opinions on a fragrance could be!
While some people say that this a sandalwood based fragrances, to me this is an amber based fragrance supported by strong spices and noticeable amount of woods but amber is the major note here!
The opening is a sharp and resinous amber scent mixed with patchouli, spices, woods, coffee and some incense all together at the same time!
That seems a busy opening but believe me because of great quality and great balance of the notes you can smell all of them without any problem.
Amber is resinous, sweet and great.
Patchouli is earthy, alive and kicking!
There are lots of spices and woods to give this manly scent more depth.
There is some incense and coffee here to give the whole scent slightly bitter and smoky aroma.
it's simply beautiful.
In the mid the coffee, patchouli and incense notes settle down very much.
You can still smell resinous amber but it's smoother.
The woods and spices weren't strong enough for you at the opening?! OK you will get more in the dry down!
The amber in the dry down is more sweet but it's really smooth and almost creamy with great supporting of sandalwood and spices.
Projection is very good and longevity is 6-7 hours on my skin.
"The" santal scent par excellence for me. And one of the best masculines (although much unisex) ever made. Unmistakable, uncompromising, quintessential perfection. Cozy and elegant, soft and deep. The only "weakness" you may find is that, as Turin correctly suggests in his guide, Mysore sandalwood has quite a more complex and multi-faceted smell, which you don't smell here (although it is not true that it is "unobtainable"). But you know what... who cares? None said this should have been an essay on Mysore sandalwood. This is a beautiful and timeless take on sandalwood theme and it's gorgeous just as it is.
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 10th April, 2014)
This review is for the vintage juice.
If you are looking for a creamy,rich,deep,soft and slightly sweet sandalwood,THIS IS IT.
After much faffing around, I managed to get my hands on a sample. I then got another sample. And before long, I ended up with a full bottle. Usually this pattern is repeated for several weeks but I went through all these phases in a matter of a week.
As others have already said, this is a nicely composed Amber, Coffee, Oakmoss, and Sandalwood potion. The sandalwood is cleverly hidden. You won't get wiffs of it as you do in say, Villoresi's Sandalo, but it does exist and it is prominent in the extreme dry down. There is some vanilla also thrown in for good measure, which gives it a bit of sweetness. Think of a vanilla-flavoured latte, though without the milk. The amber to my nose is more or less linear throughout and it's hard to pick up on the sandalwood behind it (Maybe that's why this is 'noble' sandalwood?). They do sit together very well and work in harmony - one does not interfere with another.
In any case it's great for a winter's night out but IMHO not quite as good as Villoresi's Sandalo. Needless to say it's a great one for the wardrobe and any sandalwood freak should at least try it out.