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I have a hard time finding a good sandalwood fragrance. Sandalwood is in danger of being overharvested, so most fragrances by that name contain only a hint of this rare ingredient, which is then shored up by supporting notes. Some would call this adulteration, but it is necessary--or the real thing would cost a fortune. If the sandalwood actually smells strong and diffusive, it is most likely a chemical substitute. My favorites so far are Etro Sandalo, for a straightforward santal, myrrh, amber fragrance; Lorenzo Villoresi for a complicated, herbal, woody, rose, vetiver composition; and the streamlined Tam Dao aroma of cut lumber and rosewood. Also enjoyable are Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble for the syrupy amber and santal combo; and (for educational purposes of how unadorned sandal wood should smell) Madini's simple, smoky Santal Blanc.
26 July, 2007