This starts spicy and rich. Even in the opening there are hints of sweet vanilla. The hint gets bigger, and sweeter. In the early stages, Santal smells like a lot of sweet woody men’s scents. Nothing remarkable or distinctive here. Eventually, some creamy sandalwood notes emerge, but they are not inspiring.
I’m coming down negative on this scent, for its wasted potential of ingredients. Spices? Very little. Green grass? None. Lavender, frankincense or vetiver? None.
But hey – there is VANILLA! Bleh.
Top notes: Bergamot, black pepper, cardamon, green grass, lemon
Mid notes: Clove bud, lavender, nutmug
Base notes: Amber, cedar wood, frankinsense, musk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver
Alas, Floris has thrown in its lot with the cheap synthetics.
Given better quality raw materials this could be a delightful gentleman's fragrance. It starts with an eye-opening burst of citrus (orange/lemon) with a strong supporting cast of pepper and fresh grass. The effect is effervescent and refreshing - ready to take on the day.
Unfortunately that doesn't last long and it's all down hill from there into the harsh woods and heavy musk. At the drydown it's virtually identical to Penhaligon's Endymion, maybe a bit cruder.
Don't be fooled by the name. If you're looking for a rich, deep sandalwood fragrance, keep looking.
Someone reviewing Arber by Body Shoppe said it was a "carbon copy" of Floris Eau de Santal. It isn't even close according to my nose. They both share a pepper note, but they are otherwise completely different.
22nd January, 2010 (last edited: 24th July, 2011)
On my first use, I felt this had promise. However, subsequent wearings were unpleasant for me: I find it to be monotonous a bit too sweet. The notes listed in the directory are incomplete, so I provide those listed at the Floris website.
Top notes: bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, green grass, lemon
Heart notes: clove bud, lavender, nutmeg
Base notes: amber, cedarwood, frankincense, musk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver
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