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  1. #1
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    Default Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I tried Tam Dao from a sample today for the first time (thanks Scentsibility). I don't own a prominent sandalwood fragrance. Others I plan on trying are Etro's, Villoresi's and The Art of Shaving's. But - getting back to the Tam Dao...

    Sandalwood, which is stereotypically found doing it's dark, brooding and masculine thing in fragrances as a basenote - is here almost stripped of all of it's dirt, resinous (medicinal) qualities and texture. I felt like I was smelling a sandalwood thin veneer of wood on a hotel wall - clean, smooth, polish and matte finished. A sandalwood that you could bring home to your mother.

    Now - as it developed on me, I thought: can I love a clean sandalwood fragrance? Me - the one who goes on-and-on here on Basenotes about dirt, loving 'dirty' scents - I love-love-love Santalum by Profumum which is pretty hearty, thick and messy sandalwood. Santalum is wonderful, but it ain't clean. It's also friggin expensive.

    So, Tam Dao lovers/haters - can we talk about Tam Dao?
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I tried Tam Dao from a sample today for the first time. I don't own a prominent sandalwood fragrance. So, Tam Dao lovers/haters - can we talk about Tam Dao?
    Funny you should focus on Tam Dao, I was considering revisiting it, too. I found it to be a little bit on the flat side when I first tried it. I do consider it beautiful. I also feel this way about CdG's Incense Series, which I know you enjoy. When I wanted to add a sandalwood to my wardrobe I ended up with Santal de Mysore from SL. I certainly respect Dyptyque as a company, but sometimes I feel they're in their element with the bougies instead of the frags.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Sandalwood, which is stereotypically found doing it's dark, brooding and masculine thing in fragrances as a basenote - is here almost stripped of all of it's dirt, resinous (medicinal) qualities and texture. I felt like I was smelling a sandalwood thin veneer of wood on a hotel wall - clean, smooth, polish and matte finished. A sandalwood that you could bring home to your mother.
    Thats exactly why I don't rank Tam Dao as a top tier sandalwood scent. Overall though, its a good enough fragrance with its dose of cypress and cedar wrapped in a thin sandalwood sheet.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Tam Dao is my favorite sandalwood barely edging out Santal de Mysore for the top spot. Clean, smooth, calming, and balanced. Perfect for martial arts and meditation exercises. I have also found that it makes solid base for layering beneath other fragrances, such as Passage d'Enfer and Kyoto. My main post-workout SOTE.
    Last edited by Sloan; 18th October 2007 at 02:31 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Tam Tao is a mood fragrance for me. I personally get more of a creamy cedar element from it than sandalwood. It's a little too one dimensional and linear to wear all the time. Very comforting. It's hard to go wrong with it. It's a mostly synthetic scent, so I don't get the same satisfaction from it that I do from real sandalwood oil or high quality Indian attars, but it's still one of my favorites.

    I have a vial of it which is starting to run out, I might buy a full bottle at some point. I like to wear it when I don't really feel like putting on anything complex.
    Last edited by Maxwell; 18th October 2007 at 03:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell View Post
    Tam Tao is a mood fragrance for me. I personally get more of a creamy cedar element from it than sandalwood. It's a little too one dimensional and linear to wear all the time. Very comforting. It's hard to go wrong with it. It's a mostly synthetic scent, so I don't get the same satisfaction from it that I do from real sandalwood oil or high quality Indian attars, but it's still one of my favorites.

    I have a vial of it which is starting to run out, I might buy a full bottle at some point. I like to wear it when I don't really feel like putting on anything complex.
    Hmm...your description of TD sounds like how I treat my Rive Gauche Pour Homme.

    Yours and Michael's comments are in agreement that TD is almost aromatherapy-esque. For me, I'm not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing?
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    For Tam Dao done right, check out Villoresi Sandalo .. its rosewood+cedar+lavender+wood combination creates more of a meditative aroma than Tam Dao.
    -

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    For Tam Dao done right, check out Villoresi Sandalo .. its rosewood+cedar+lavender+wood combination creates more of a meditative aroma than Tam Dao.
    I still remember the_good_life saying on another thread that Villoresi's Sandalo (I think) was his holygrail scent. That impressed me... I love Spezie (also by Villoresi) so I will try Sandalo one of these days.
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I actually don't smell much sandalwood in it. Diptyque would probably be really mad if they ever read that, but I don't. It's all about freshly chopped cedar and cypress for me. Hints of sandalwood at best. It smells nice and clean and I think it is a lovely study of green wood, but not sandalwood per se. I don't find myself wearing it much...it gets old fast.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    whatever you do...stay away from art of shaving sandalwood as it smells like pine and eucalyptus...sort of smells like you have been logging all day and then you go use the steamroom at the gym...very very harsh....just thought i would give you guys a heads up on that one!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I'm really fond of Tam Dao. It's minimalist and versatile. I like it's pureness more than more orchestrated scents like Santal Noble. Tam Dao is creamy and smooth, but nice and burnt around the edges-- and it's got a bitterness like roasted coffee. In cool weather, it's one of my faves to wear to work-- I keep catching whiffs throughout my shift-- it's very centering.

    I think its minimalist/stripped nature actually makes it something that I don't get sick of. There is supposed to be an ambergris note-- the base does have something like a petrol note that gives it a nice gritty palpaple nature. A girl I work with always comments favorably when I wear Tam Dao-- "That's the one I really like," she says.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Mike, another one I'd suggest trying is Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Sandalo Inspiritu. I know you've previously mentioned wanting to check out the DSH line, and this would be a great place to start. It's one of the best from her line, and probably my favorite sandalwood (although there are several, including Villoresi and SL Santal de Mysore, that I've never tried). I can probably pick up a carded sample for you, give me a holler if you're interested.

    I'm not a huge Tam Dao fan, I just find it pleasant but underwhelming.
    Last edited by PaulSC; 18th October 2007 at 04:25 AM.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I own a full bottle of Tam Dao. It is a necessary fragrance in any collection. I find it to be the best sandalwood. Yes it is creamy but it has the distinct pencil shavings note that I adore. It smells like you are walking down the lumber aisle at the DIY store. It doesn't evolve much from start to finish but I like that because you don't have to wait to get to the good part. Must every fragrance be so complex that you have to endure many phases to get where you want to be? I would think not. Tam Dao is a winner in my book.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    For Tam Dao done right, check out Villoresi Sandalo .. its rosewood+cedar+lavender+wood combination creates more of a meditative aroma than Tam Dao.
    That's one I've been meaning to try for ages. I love LV's Musk, and Dilmun. I should try to score a decant of Sandalo soon.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    For Tam Dao done right, check out Villoresi Sandalo .. its rosewood+cedar+lavender+wood combination creates more of a meditative aroma than Tam Dao.
    I find Tam Dao to be more smooth flowing than LV Sandalo, which I like because of its complexity.

    For Tam Dao done with florals and a touch of musk, try Ava Luxe No. 23. Reminds me of a slightly sweet version of Tam Dao.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    If you give Art of Shaving time to dry down it really becomes something special. I personally love the top notes as well. Bracing and sharp, very masculine scent indeed; oh...and different from some of the other smooth, zen-like, meditative sandlewood frags being discussed. They are all nice, but Art of Shaving is distinctive, and it's your decision if that is good or bad.
    Last edited by Jock_With_Scents; 18th October 2007 at 01:20 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I agree with Jock. I'm wearing AOS Sandalwood today and it's smooth and clean. Very manly and it packs a "bite". My wife complimented me on it this AM.

    I overapplied, but I was sick of wearing scents that disappear. I have no meetings scheduled, so I was not worried about offending anyone!

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I'm tempted to try this one.. please keep posting.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Tam Dao has always smelled much more of cedar to me than of sandalwood. In find it very simple and linear (not necessarily bad things) and even mentioned it among "minimalist" fragrances in a current thread on the Female Fragrance board.

    My preference is for richer, smoother, and somewhat sweeter sandalwoods that evolve more than Tam Dao does. Well-regarded scents of that sort include Santal Imperial and Santal Noble. The latter is "must-try" material in my book. For those who like their woods drier and "scratchier" there's Satellite's Padparadscha, which reminds me alot of Tam Dao.
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 18th October 2007 at 06:24 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    Tam Dao has always smelled much more of cedar to me than of sandalwood. In find it very simple and linear (not necessarily bad things) and even mentioned it among "minimalist" fragrances in a current thread on the Female Fragrance board.
    I smell a lot more cedar in Santal Noble than in Tam Dao (which has a fair amount of green in it too). Santal Noble is far from a super sandalwood fragrance .. it smells too much like the innards of a wooden chest (all that cedar), with coffee beans. Once upon a time it used to be my fave, but after trying 15 other sandalwood fragrances, it has fast dropped down my list of fave sandalwoods. Tam Dao over Santal Noble for me.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I don't like Santal Noble either.

    I remember this Creed rep once (around Christmas time) approaching me when I was in Kansas City shopping at the Plaza at Halls dept. store - with a tester of Santal Noble in her hand asking me if I'd like to try it. I wrinkled my nose up at her and told her I didn't think I'd like it (I was a Creed-hater at the time). She told me that 'every man that smells this likes it'. Needless to say she spritzed me and I didn't like it. I immediately asked to smell the new Badgley Mischka scent (for women) and she made this face, 'That's for women' she said, and called another SA to help me. (giggle)

    I think of this story, every time I see a bottle of Santal Noble.
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    I smell a lot more cedar in Santal Noble than in Tam Dao (which has a fair amount of green in it too). Santal Noble is far from a super sandalwood fragrance .. it smells too much like the innards of a wooden chest (all that cedar), with coffee beans. Once upon a time it used to be my fave, but after trying 15 other sandalwood fragrances, it has fast dropped down my list of fave sandalwoods. Tam Dao over Santal Noble for me.
    Another fine testament to the individuality of scent perception! I get no cedar at all out of Santal Noble. The coffee, yes. And I do agree that Santal Noble is about much more than sandalwood - certainly much less of a "pure wood" fragrance than Tam Dao. So much so that it may indeed be unfair to label it a "sandalwood fragrance." Meanwhile, I seem to be alone in perceiving Tam Dao not as "creamy" at all, but rather as "scratchy," the same way as the cedar shavings in my daughter's guinea pig cage. Go figure.

    The bottom line: everybody's got to try these scents out for themselves.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I don't like Santal Noble either.

    I remember this Creed rep once (around Christmas time) approaching me when I was in Kansas City shopping at the Plaza at Halls dept. store - with a tester of Santal Noble in her hand asking me if I'd like to try it. I wrinkled my nose up at her and told her I didn't think I'd like it (I was a Creed-hater at the time). She told me that 'every man that smells this likes it'. Needless to say she spritzed me and I didn't like it. I immediately asked to smell the new Badgley Mischka scent (for women) and she made this face, 'That's for women' she said, and called another SA to help me. (giggle)

    I think of this story, every time I see a bottle of Santal Noble.
    Santal Noble or Santal Imperial? Santal Imperial is a 19th century Creed scent. Santal Noble is a 1988 entry from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. I find Santal Imperial rather stuffy and overbearing. Santal Noble resembles it not in the least.
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 18th October 2007 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    Another fine testament to the individuality of scent perception! --------------------------------------


    Santal Noble or Santal Imperial? Santal Imperial is a 19th century Creed scent. Santal Noble is a 1988 entry from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. I find Santal Imperial rather stuffy and overbearing. Santal Noble resembles it not in the least.
    Yes indeed !(to your first statement that is). Its Santal Noble that I find heavy and overbearing, with its bucketloads of cedar, coffee and what not. Santal Imperial on the other hand is one of the finest sandalwood frags ever created - a simple and slick citrus-sandalwood-tonka construction!
    Last edited by zztopp; 18th October 2007 at 07:27 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    Meanwhile, I seem to be alone in perceiving Tam Dao not as "creamy" at all, but rather as "scratchy," the same way as the cedar shavings in my daughter's guinea pig cage. Go figure.


    --------------------------------------


    Santal Noble or Santal Imperial? Santal Imperial is a 19th century Creed scent. Santal Noble is a 1988 entry from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. I find Santal Imperial rather stuffy and overbearing. Santal Noble resembles it not in the least.
    I read some the of the reviews of Tam Dao yesterday and thought the 'creamy' word was out of place on what I smelled on my skin too. I thought it was as dry as L'Air du Desert Marocain and to me, creamy suggest wetness. Go figure, indeed.

    And yes, my bad - I was speaking of the Santal Imperial by Creed. Santal Noble I haven't smelled.
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Yes indeed !(to your first statement that is). Its Santal Noble that I find heavy and overbearing, with its bucketloads of cedar, coffee and what not. Santal Imperial on the other hand is one of the finest sandalwood frags ever created - a simple and slick citrus-sandalwood-tonka construction!
    LOL.

    This is a hoot! I concur absolutely that Santal Noble is anything but light. At least if we both find ourselves in a scent shop facing the last remaining bottle each of Santal Noble and Santal Imperial we won't be tripping over each other in the rush to get at them!
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 18th October 2007 at 07:39 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    I find Santal Imperial rather stuffy and overbearing.
    Confuse me? Did you mean Santal Noble? Stuffy and overbearing are hardly the words that come to mind when I think of Creed's Santal Imperial. Light, refreshing, and perfect for the summer are more apt. Perhaps the best sandalwood fragrance for warm weather IMO. I'll be adding a bottle or flacon to my collection next summer.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by sloan_8013 View Post
    Confuse me? Did you mean Santal Noble? Stuffy and overbearing are hardly the words that come to mind when I think of Creed's Santal Imperial. Light, refreshing, and perfect for the summer are more apt. Perhaps the best sandalwood fragrance for warm weather IMO. I'll be adding a bottle or flacon to my collection next summer.
    Not on me. A heavy, sweet soapiness in the drydown leaves Santal Imperial smelling very "perfumey" on me, though I do enjoy the opening. Santal Noble is obviously no lightweight, but I much prefer its mossy/musky, amber touched drydown to the Creed. As before, to each his (or her) own!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    I was thinking about picking up a nice sandalwood scent for this Fall/Winter. I might pick Tam Dao because I'm testing it out today and really like it, but I was wondering how some people felt about its longevity and sillage. I think I can still smell it, but hard to tell because I just finished off the tiny bit still left in my sample vial....Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    BTW, does anyone get vetiver in this, and does anyone know the pyramid for this....I can't find it anywhere.

    Also, anyone know of some other really good Diptyque scents to try while I'm at this store, you can check out my wardrobe to see what I like.

    Also, I was testing Santal Noble, I like it, but it has this old fashion mature vibe to it, I was looking for something a bit more modern, anyone have any suggestions for a good modern day Sandalwood scent?

    Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by nsamadi; 23rd October 2007 at 05:56 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi View Post
    I was thinking about picking up a nice sandalwood scent for this Fall/Winter.
    Also, anyone know of some other really good Diptyque scents to try while I'm at this store, you can check out my wardrobe to see what I like.

    Also, I was testing Santal Noble, I like it, but it has this old fashion mature vibe to it, I was looking for something a bit more modern, anyone have any suggestions for a good modern day Sandalwood scent?

    Thanks for any help.
    I agree that Tam Dao smells more of Cedar than sandalwood, as has been previously stated. For me Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore is tops. For a bargain priced sandalwood, try Caswell Massey's Tricorn. It lasts for ever and gives off major sillage. But, it is "old school".
    The other Diptyque scents that I like are, Eau Lente - an opopanax dream, Philosykos, their classic fig fragrance by Olivia Giacobetti and Virgillio - kitchen herbs, green and earthy.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 23rd October 2007 at 06:24 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Tam Dao = clean and polished sandalwood

    Michael Edwards lists Tam Dao in the Woody Oriental - Classical family and says that "Tam Dao is one of the very rare scents to play the sandalwood partition solo." Basenotes shows this 'pyramid' in the review section - sandalwood all by itself.

    Osmoz, on the other hand, lists the following notes in French (maybe a kind soul could translate the pyramid especially bresil, goa, and musc blancs (white musk?). ) :

    Top note : cyprès d’Italie, myrte, bois de rose, du brésil

    Middle note : bois de santal, de Goa, cèdre

    Base note : ambre gris, vanille, muscs blancs
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 23rd October 2007 at 06:53 PM. Reason: can't spell
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

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