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  1. #1
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Question The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    I know this subject, sandalwood, has been discussed many times on various forums and at various times in the past (I did a search before starting a thread ). I found those discussions hard to follow, sometimes dated, and the texts were also weird with something like code interspersed.

    Anyway, long winded way of saying I'd like to start a new discussion of sandalwood. I have only had one experience with this fragrance and that is as an essential oil (steam distilled) I bought from Eden Botanicals . This is the true sandalwood from Sri Lanka (Santalum album). I like it alot but it is quite dear (I only have 1/16 of an oz.). So, I got curious.

    Are there some good sandalwood fragrances that smell enough like true sandalwood to not be a real turn-off? I don't believe there is enough sandalwood left such that it can be used on a commercial basis by any fragrance maker, so I am not expecting the Moon here! But surely there are some really good sandalwood approximations out there?

    What are your favorite sandalwood fragrances? And I might add right away that I do not want any fragrances that feature citrus. (I can't get into mixing citrus with sandalwood).

    Thanks in advance for your opinions. Breck
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Montale Santal de Mysore

  3. #3
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Thanks Hed, I found this from 2009 on Montale's Santal: I have sampled Montale's Santal de Mysore (long time ago I actually managed to get a sample from Montale). It is very very creamy, not like any of the other sandalwood scents I have tested, but it is also quite linear. Btw, the Montale parfums are quite oily (no alcohol from what I understand), probably more suitable for dabbing than spraying.

    Makes it sound like an essential oil (which is of course just where I started!). I also read up on it on Basenotes, since it is not reviewed in Turin's book. Very expensive stuff - so your recommend as being the best makes sense from that perspective, alas .
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Montale Santal de Mysore
    It's basically a double distilled Mysore Sandlewood. It's great to layer Highness Rose from Montale. The best way to apply and purchase is to get a 10ml roll on directly from Montale. Last time I bought one they were around $100.00 and lasts forever. No need to purchase a larger quantity.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Bergamot is in a lot of things, unfortunately...

    Do you care whether it's a fougère or an aromatic?
    And would you prefer something minimalist, with few other scents than the sandalwood?

    This is a start, at least.

    As is this.

    Fahrenheit might be a good candidate, but I've also heard that it may have citrus after all.
    Last edited by ElusiveAppellation; 30th May 2011 at 01:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    It's basically a double distilled Mysore Sandlewood. It's great to layer Highness Rose from Montale. The best way to apply and purchase is to get a 10ml roll on directly from Montale. Last time I bought one they were around $100.00 and lasts forever. No need to purchase a larger quantity.
    Thanks for the deeper info.
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  7. #7
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by ElusiveAppellation View Post
    Bergamot is in a lot of things, unfortunately...

    Do you care whether it's a fougère or an aromatic?
    Not a fougere (how do you get that accent?). Aromatic I am pretty sure. Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.
    I hate to be so picky but...well...it would be impt. to know if there are no bergamot-less sandalwoods. but I only need a few or even one. I am just trying to ensure I have something if the sandalwood essential oil source dries up. So the more linear the better. By the way, I tried Fahrenheit early on and it wasn't half bad...
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    a good sandalwood (but cocoa dominated) would be l'instant PH edp. You could also try the vintage version of Samsara. Egoiste has sandalwood but its too blended with vanilla and musk for it to be truly recognizable.
    seeking mitsouko 50ml's cap....desperately!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Amouage Santal Attar & Santalum Album from profumo.it would be my recommendations for experiencing Mysore but these are more or less 'single note' renditions, not compositions per se.

    Sandalo Inspiritu from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is beautiful but recently discontinued (within the last year, so maybe still obtainable).

    Bois des Iles (Chanel) is probably the most easily accessible - don't be scared of the aldehydic 'perfumey' opening, it goes after a while. Try the Parfum if you can - only at Chanel Boutiques (and then not all of them carry the Parfum).

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Santal Noble (challenging yet absolutely compelling)


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  11. #11

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    How about Sandalo by Lorenzo Villoresi? My goodness, it was like smelling sandalwood figurines. Not sure if you guys are familiar with sandalwood figurines that are handcrafted in South East Asian countries.

    Another one is Sandalo by Etro that scent was talking to me about yesterday. He said it was buttery and animalic.

    for swap/sale:





  12. #12

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    I'm not an expert on sandalwood. But you might want to check out Sandalwood by Crabtree & Evelyn. And it's cheap!


  13. #13

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    I fully second Sandalwood by Crabtree & Evelyn

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Trumper's and Art of Shaving's sandalwood scents are pretty good, sweet creamy wood. Caswell Massey's Tricorn is a more pungent SW, and their Sandalwood is a very soft, soapy, floral version (not my thing).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    I'm assuming you've read this thread already? http://www.basenotes.net/threads/171844-Best-Sandalwood - I found it extremely definitive and (of course ) also extremely subjective. One man's 'holy grail sandalwood' makes another person recoil in horror.

    Therefore, my advice: Sample, sample, sample. Get ahold of as many sandalwood prominent fragrances (you can learn what these are on Basenotes) as you can and be patient and allow yourself the opportunity to wear them all at least 3 or 4 times before you decide whether you like or dislike them. Wear them in different climates, on different parts of your body, try various different applications (light, heavy). Basically, give yourself the opportunity to 'live' with them and then only you can decide whether one of these fragrances comes close to the smell of that Sri Lankan from Eden that you seek.

    In my personal journey I have not smelled ANY fragrance that replicates the smell of a true sandalwood oil. Which is a generalized way of saying if you like the smell and sillage/longevity/price then wear the oil. However you might find that another oil (or fragrance) is even more satisfying.

    Since I have joined Basenotes I have sampled probably more than 15 sandalwood prominent fragrances and of those the ones I love the most are: Sandalwood (vintage juice) by Crabtree & Evelyn, Santalum by Profumum, Santal de Mysore by Montale (oil) and Bois de Iles by Chanel (of which I've only smelled 'current' EdT).
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

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  16. #16

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    Santal Noble (challenging yet absolutely compelling)
    Yes, I quite agree. I'm still trying to get to grips with this one. I have a full bottle, and I can appreciate its' qualities, but I'm not sure yet whether it's for me. I'll keep on trying and hope we can "come to some kind of arrangement"!

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    I totally agree with many of these recs, and specifically with MikeP's post on sampling. Sandalwood is a very popular note, and even though it is used differently now in perfums, due to the restrictions, you can still get many very good fragrances that have this as a prominent note.

    Chanel's Bois des Iles is my all time favorite scent, and it is a classic. You should sniff that for sure. Depending on availability where you are, Sonoma Scent Studio makes an excellent scent that is somewhat similar to BdI, and much cheaper. It is called Champagne de Bois, and it is similar in style to BdI. Aldehyde opening, soft florals and then sandalwood. It is great, and you can get small bottles, which keep the cost down. Again, it may not be available in Europe (?), but is excellent.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    It's not cheap, but you can buy sandalwood essence.

    http://www.cbihateperfume.com/wood-series.html

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    I have that 'Best Sandalwood' thread in my favorites !
    I will definitely be trying out Santalum by Profumum.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  20. #20
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by ElusiveAppellation View Post
    It's not cheap, but you can buy sandalwood essence.

    http://www.cbihateperfume.com/wood-series.html
    I've about decided that essential oil of sandalwood is not a bad way to go but I had hoped to find a fragrance/perfume with more projection and sillage and maybe with a bit of something else in there to keep things from being too linear. Though Lord knows sandalwood by itself is pretty darned good! the CBI sandalwood is way over priced compared with two other sources I have or have had. There's no need to pay that kind of money. See Aromatics International for one...Eden Botanicals is out right now and they are the cheapest by a good bit...
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  21. #21
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Originally Posted by alfarom
    Santal Noble (challenging yet absolutely compelling)
    Quote Originally Posted by HDD8 View Post
    Yes, I quite agree. I'm still trying to get to grips with this one. I have a full bottle, and I can appreciate its' qualities, but I'm not sure yet whether it's for me. I'll keep on trying and hope we can "come to some kind of arrangement"!
    Luca Turin opines on this one: "Indian sandalwood is nigh unobtainable at the moment (2009), and this one is clearly the Australian variety, which smells good but nothing like the real thing". Agree? Disagree?

    Chanel's Bois des Iles is my all time favorite scent, and it is a classic. You should sniff that for sure. Depending on availability where you are, Sonoma Scent Studio makes an excellent scent that is somewhat similar to BdI, and much cheaper. It is called Champagne de Bois, and it is similar in style to BdI. Aldehyde opening, soft florals and then sandalwood. It is great, and you can get small bottles, which keep the cost down. Again, it may not be available in Europe (?), but is excellent.
    Thanks Cello. Will try these.
    Last edited by Saintpaulia; 31st May 2011 at 12:49 AM. Reason: spelling
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  22. #22
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances
    I'm assuming you've read this thread already? http://www.basenotes.net/threads/171844
    Actually no, because this thread is a perfect example of the "code" problems I see on my screen, or using my browser. There is just so much extraneous html code type thingies throughout and I cannot read such stuff.

    That said, I do appreciate your recommends!
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  23. #23
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Red face Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Gosh Y'all, some great suggestions to keep me busy doing research! From the affordable 'Crabtree and Evelyn' to the super expensive 'Montale's. As always a valuable resource for "just starting out". Breck
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  24. #24

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintpaulia View Post
    I've about decided that essential oil of sandalwood is not a bad way to go but I had hoped to find a fragrance/perfume with more projection and sillage and maybe with a bit of something else in there to keep things from being too linear. Though Lord knows sandalwood by itself is pretty darned good! the CBI sandalwood is way over priced compared with two other sources I have or have had. There's no need to pay that kind of money. See Aromatics International for one...Eden Botanicals is out right now and they are the cheapest by a good bit...
    On the subject of Eden Botanicals, how about their Sandalwood Dreams?

  25. #25

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintpaulia View Post
    Luca Turin opines on this one: "Indian sandalwood is nigh unobtainable at the moment (2009), and this one is clearly the Australian variety, which smells good but nothing like the real thing". Agree? Disagree?
    Agree. If there is any Mysore in there it is too subtle for my clunky nose - mind you I have the more recent 100ml bottle. That said, Santal Noble is a superb composition IMO and fills the gap for me when I want a dressy sandalwood vibe for the evening and the ones I mentioned above feel a bit 'single minded', or in the case of BdI, a bit too bright.

  26. #26

    Default Re: The Subject is Sandalwood fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    Agree. If there is any Mysore in there it is too subtle for my clunky nose - mind you I have the more recent 100ml bottle. That said, Santal Noble is a superb composition IMO and fills the gap for me when I want a dressy sandalwood vibe for the evening and the ones I mentioned above feel a bit 'single minded', or in the case of BdI, a bit too bright.
    same here


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