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    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Woody Sandalwood by Body Shop

    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.
    On a paper strip, TBS Woody Sandalwood is too spicy, dominated by clove and cinnamon. I rejected it outright but decided to put some on my arm for good measure. After I took a shower, it was infinitely more acceptable--even beautiful--when the hot water washed off the spices and brought out the warm wood. I bought a bottle but ultimately ended up disappointed with the candy-like tones of the spice and the rather flat sandalwood. On one hand, I loved the woodiness; but on the other hand, I detected a hint of root-beer. I think that the woodiness I found so attractive was actually a sweetened patchouli note (which sometimes reminds me of sassafras.) It was the patchouli that won me over. This is a fine, inexpensive, easily available fragrance, but there are better sandalwoods to be found.

    26 July, 2007