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  1. #1

    Default How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    Hey all, I was walking through this one strip mall and happened upon a fragrance shop, they sold all kinds of stuff from frags to incense. I saw a stack of sandalwood incense and I bought some knowing that I like almost any frag with sandalwood in it. Well the thing is, I burned the incense and it smelled a lot like the Givenchy Pi and the Estee Lauder Intution that I had. So am I guessing right that sandalwood gives frags the sweet woody note? I will definatly be buying more of that incense.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    I guess you will have a much better idea once you smell either Sandalwood oil or a linear sandalwood fragrance.
    "Whereof one cannot speak, one must remain silent thereof." --Wittgenstein

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    For a "true" sandalwood blast try the Demeter 'Sandalwood' - it's just good 'ol sandalwood...not my favorite scent (reminds me of a head shop, actually) but if it's your thing...

  4. #4

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    I dont know of many 'true' sandalwood scents these days, most of them seem to be artistic interpretations of sandalwood rather than a true scent. Some of them are pretty good, but comparison to a true eo will tell the story.
    Ive found the same to be true for incense. Some nice smelling sandalwoods out there but usually, a hefty price for the real deal.
    How sandalwood is supposed to smell is subjective to the person describing it. Many people will think they like sandalwood based on the commonly available department store scents, then when they get a chance to smell the real deal they are shocked. To my nose, real eo (as far as I know) smells rich and woody, a very slight rubber smell, not very sweet at all. This is based on a small mysore sample I was able to procure in the last days of its availability, I am told vintage mysore smells even different yet.

    I digress, a whole bunch more info than youd ever want to know. Good luck finding your sandalwood muse, its a nice one.

    Dave.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    To me, Tam Dao is the best interpretation of the Sandalwood. It is almost pure basenote to my nose.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    To my nose, Creed Santal Imperial, Creed Bois De Santal, and Etro Sandalo smell like mysore sandalwood. You can also smell sandalwood (as in santal imperial) in Creed original santal, but it can get clouded by the orange blossom and coriander note.

    In the case of the two creeds, the sandalwood note is the main star, while in the case of Etro, the sandalwood note is most evident at the beginning but dies out soon.

    Tam Dao is more cedarwood than sandalwood.
    Last edited by zztopp; 10th February 2007 at 10:39 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    Creed Santal Impérial is supposed to have Mysore sandalwood in it. Mysore is a state in India where the world's (supposed) best sandalwood is produced. Also, of the same species, Santalum album, there are other areas of production in India and Indonesia. These are lesser grades of true sandalwood. There are various Australian sandalwood oils, from related species of the same genus (Australian Santal, Quandong, West Australian); and there are Fiji Sandalwood, Polynesian Sandalwood (once abundant on Hawaii), also from trees of the genus Santalum; and there are West Indian Sandalwood and East African Sandalwood, which are from trees not of that genus. [Information taken from Groom, Nigel, The Perfume Handbook. Chapman and Hall, London (1992).]

    If you want to try to find it, true Mysore Sandalwood Oil would be your standard by which to judge the rest. You could Google "Oriscent"; they might sell it.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    Mysore sandalwood forests have been chopped down to near extermination. It's sad really, planting a few more trees a year would have made vast profits for the farmers nowadays when the trees are nearly gone, but they decided it was too much of an expense. (10¢ a tree... wow.) From what I've found, incense are typically sweeter than most of the true fragrances I've smelled. I don't know if it's from the burning action or a processing fault, but they're typically not realistic for me. Santal Imperial is a great Sandalwood, and so is Santal Original. Recommendations above are the best in the world.
    - Rich
    As always, disregard most of what I say. It's not worth your heart health to actually worry about what a 23 year old guy from Kansas thinks. Even if he is really ridiculously good looking.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    According to my dad, sandalwood smells like a Russian friend of mine after he's been sweating in a room with poor ventilation. Well, this was his response after I wore Sandalo Etro anyways.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    Padparadscha has sandalwood in it. I also had a bottle of Sandalwood oil I got in 1990. A co-worker at the time told me I smelled like a hamster cage. I've also enjoyed the mysore sandal soap (made in India) available at Cost Plus World Market. That soap is very sandalwood-y and there is no need to wear cologne after using it.

    I use to have some large beads and a beautiful fan made out of sandalwood, but lost them during one of my many moves. My bother has some wooden elephants made out of sandalwood, that his friend Sonjay brought back from Bangalore, India.

    I think sandalwood can be one of the most comforting smells around. It's a shame that it's fallen into hard times. Oh well....they say the banana is next due to over-propagating. The genetic material is mutating too much and the new plants are not producing fruit with viable seeds.

    S

  11. #11

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    The most true to life sandalwood, to me, is Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens. It is fantastic! I got a compliment on it tonight. I have smelled real sandalwood oil in Egypt and this is very close to the real thing.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintrman
    The most true to life sandalwood, to me, is Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens. It is fantastic! I got a compliment on it tonight. I have smelled real sandalwood oil in Egypt and this is very close to the real thing.
    Sounds delish! I have yet to try some Lutens, I'd really like to after hearing about a sandalwood.
    - Rich
    As always, disregard most of what I say. It's not worth your heart health to actually worry about what a 23 year old guy from Kansas thinks. Even if he is really ridiculously good looking.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by _R$_
    Sounds delish! I have yet to try some Lutens, I'd really like to after hearing about a sandalwood.
    - Rich
    If you like exotic fragrances the Serge Lutens line is hard to beat. The Aussie Chris Sheldrake who is now co-nose at Chanel formulated most of them.
    OzMoz.com has the pyramids on all of them I believe.
    It's a crying shame about the trees. I would imagine if you can find a Hindu or Buddist incense house you might be getting a whiff of the real deal. Incense that is used for spiritual matters is probably not enriched so to speak to appeal to Western noses.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How is sandalwood supposed to smell?

    I think this is a good question.
    I actually called someone at an Indian company, Padmini, which makes incense. He told me that their wonderful Brindavan sandalwood joss sticks contain other fragrances "or you would not be able to smell them." This comment was coming from an Indian company representative who works extensively with sandalwood oils.

    Apparently it is the diffusive nature of the sandalwood that is important. It softens, sweetens, deepens, blends, and diffuses whatever you put into it.
    To me, sandalwood is sweet (but not as sweet as benzoin) deep (but not edible like vanilla) a bit oily (but not buttery) and a bit powdery (but not like orris.) Some people differentiate between "transparent" and "milky," but I don't know their criteria.

    It puts a great big "whoomph" into the fragrance, carrying it off the skin and giving it a flowing, expansive character.

    I bet that most sandalwoods nowadays are synthetics or a blend of natural and synthetic (even if they say Mysore). To me, some of these new ones are a pretty darned good, and they will help slow the destruction of the natural resources. I am hopeful that people will realize how profitable a sandalwood farm would be and propogate these precious woods.

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