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  1. #1
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    So, I've noticed I really like sandalwood, yet I own no sandalwood dominant fragrances. I thought I'd ask what your favorite sandalwood dominant fragrance is and why? The last thread I see specifically about this was from 2005, so I imagine things have changed since then (or not).

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    My favorite is Maître Parfumeur et Gantier's Santal Noble - a rich, complex spicy sandalwood with a pronounced coffee note.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Tam Dao

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    I have yet to find a holy grail sandalwood fragrance. Tam Dao needed more notes and I felt it was more suitable as a room fragrance than a personal one. Santal Noble I'm anosmic to the scent and Santal Imperial comes across as too stuffy and conservative. I like the Santal accord in Dark Aoud but dislike the synthetic vibe of most montales, and Creeds original Santal reminds me of Joop.

    Also Trumpers Sandalwood though it smells great with it's rainbow of floral notes the Sandalwood is very hidden, I can't detect it.

    So I'm still hoping one day to find that creamy resinous Sandalwood fragrance that does the note justice.
    Last edited by Jack Hunter; 17th March 2013 at 01:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Dependent morrison74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    I really enjoyed:

    Santal 33
    Art of Shaving Sandalwood
    Santal Noble
    Sandalo Per Teti
    Bois de Santal
    XJ Richwood
    Last edited by morrison74; 17th March 2013 at 01:29 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Sandalo-Lorenzo Villoresi.
    Hard work never killed anyone, but why risk it?

  7. #7
    Dependent onethinline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Perhaps also 10 Corso Como.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    IMO they haven't really changed since 2005 because there has been no commercially available sources of Santalum Album (Mysore Sandalwood) to speak of.

    The Australian and Pacific 'Sandalwoods' are nothing like Mysore. The word is that some mysore is now coming on stream but whether from India or a successful attempt to cultivate it in Oz, I'm not sure. Given that it takes 30 odd years to grow a tree for harvest it seems about a decade early but you never know, since it was the early 90's that supplies dried up . . . dunno.

    It's said that there is mysore in the new Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle - will be looking closely in a week or so when it hits the stores here.

    FYI

    http://www.basenotes.net/bn_search.p...&sa.x=0&sa.y=0
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 17th March 2013 at 01:40 PM.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    As mr reasonable was saying, I've started smelling perfumes too recently to know real Mysore sandalwood well. Among the current offers, I like Chanel Bois des Isles (which I am assuming is even better in parfum, though I have not smelled it).

    I've heard that Amouage Sandalwood attar has some of the real stuff, but I have not smelled it.

    cacio

  10. #10
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    IMO they haven't really changed since 2005 because there has been no commercially available sources of Santalum Album (Mysore Sandalwood) to speak of.

    The Australian and Pacific 'Sandalwoods' are nothing like Mysore. The word is that some mysore is now coming on stream but whether from India or a successful attempt to cultivate it in Oz, I'm not sure. Given that it takes 30 odd years to grow a tree for harvest it seems about a decade early but you never know, since it was the early 90's that supplies dried up . . . dunno.

    It's said that there is mysore in the new Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle - will be looking closely in a week or so when it hits the stores here.

    FYI

    http://www.basenotes.net/bn_search.p...&sa.x=0&sa.y=0
    Still, most of those threads are old, and completely unhelpful. If we just didn't make threads about stuff already discussed this forum would be non-existent in a few months. Thanks for your, um...help.

    I've been interested to see how the new Malle stacks up. Can't say I'm crazy about the name or the fact that it is based on the designer.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    CHANEL ÈGOÏSTE
    Serge Lutens SANTAL MAJUSCULE
    Villoresi SANDALO
    Il Profumo SANTAL ROUGE
    MPG SANTAL NOBLE ( Vintage formula )
    Have I told you about the scent of jasmine? Have I spoken about the smell of the sea? The earth is scented. And I perfume myself to enhance what I am. That's why I can not wear a perfume that bothers me. Perfuming is an instinctive wisdom. And like all art, it requires some knowledge of yourself..."
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Well, it's all reference material and with sandalwood there really hasn't been any news of late.

    Try Sandalo (Villoresi), Tam Dao (Diptyque) and you are getting close but really these are more woods with some good synth stuff - I think it's called Santalool or something like that. Santal Noble is a lovely piece of work, one of my Desert Island Five, but not really a sandalwood per se - altho maybe there's a hint in there - it simply comes down to (a) which houses have control over the actual manufacture of their own fragrances and (b) if they have any stocks laid down. That wipes out just about everyone.

    My guess is Chanel still do, not sure about Guerlain and Dior - altho Samsara still smells like mysore, albeit a bit brassy - it's way more authentic than most of the stuff being mentioned. The recent spate of 'Santals' from Ford, Ellena and Lutens are not mysore. If you want to try the real thing order the simple Santalum Album EDT from the wonderful Dominique Dubrana at La Via Profumo - he still has some.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 17th March 2013 at 04:08 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Santal de Mysore by Montale

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood (both vintage and reformulated)

  15. #15
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    Well, it's all reference material and with sandalwood there really hasn't been any news of late.

    Try Sandalo (Villoresi), Tam Dao (Diptyque) and you are getting close but really these are more woods with some good synth stuff - I think it's called Santalool or something like that. Santal Noble is a lovely piece of work, one of my Desert Island Five, but not really a sandalwood per se - altho maybe there's a hint in there - it simply comes down to (a) which houses have control over the actual manufacture of their own fragrances and (b) if they have any stocks laid down. That wipes out just about everyone.

    My guess is Chanel still do, not sure about Guerlain and Dior - altho Samsara still smells like mysore, albeit a bit brassy - it's way more authentic than most of the stuff being mentioned. The recent spate of 'Santals' from Ford, Ellena and Lutens are not mysore. If you want to try the real thing order the simple Santalum Album EDT from Dimonique Dubrana at La Via Profumo - he still has some.
    Good point. Thanks for the heads up. I guess I'll have to poke my nose around and see what I can find. I may order a sample of Santal Noble (new formulation) from Aedes in my sample pack and give that a sniff regardless (along with Ambre).

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    CJ Scents makes a very good Sandalwood edp. I really like it and I have Amouage Sandalwood to compare it to.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Tam Dao is good, but it has a faint note of sandalwood. What I did and recommend you to do is to buy a 200ml bottle of Tam Dao, a tiny bottle of pure mysore sandalwood oil (4ml or so) and then mix the oil into the bottle. The result is a very smooth and creamy perfume, with calming properties and a long lasting basenote. Some people will say I altered the balance of the fragrance, but I don't care. I love my Tam Dao with extra sandalwood.

  18. #18
    Super Member Gamma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    I like the first 15 minutes of Santal Noble but then it disappears and I smell practically nothing. Santal 33 is supposed to contain Australian Sandalwood and it is very good, one of my favourite wood fragrances. Though, I have not smelled pure sandalwood or mysore so I don't know how much it actually smells like sandalwood.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    My favourites have already been mentioned, so I'll +1 on Crabtree and Evelyn, Villoresi Sandalo and MPG Santal Noble. I also like Creed's Santal Imperial and the discontinued Bois de Santal. And Egoiste of course.
    Currently wearing: Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielPlainview View Post
    Tam Dao is good, but it has a faint note of sandalwood. What I did and recommend you to do is to buy a 200ml bottle of Tam Dao, a tiny bottle of pure mysore sandalwood oil (4ml or so) and then mix the oil into the bottle. The result is a very smooth and creamy perfume, with calming properties and a long lasting basenote. Some people will say I altered the balance of the fragrance, but I don't care. I love my Tam Dao with extra sandalwood.
    Good plan. I sometimes add a bit of pure Santalum Album or a dab of Amouage Sandalwood Attar to Santal Noble and the Bois des Iles EDT & Extrait work together fine. Samsara, even in it's current state, is a pretty good all rounder.

    Here's the current line-up, hopefully to be joined by the new Malle in a week or so:



    I still have a few bottles of late 80's Crabtree & Evelyn, which has to be the best Mysore EDT ever, and I managed to pick up a small bottle of the DSH Sandalo Inspiritu, which is wonderful stuff. The Amouage Attar is great - mysore with a deftly handled 'boost' from what I guess is a good synthetic and maybe some of their Al Andalus base, or something along those lines - like the oil you used to be able to get in the 70's but given a nudge to shine a bit. Honestly the two Sandalos from Villoresi and Etro don't do it for me and I never got around to buying Tam Dao as the cedar / woods was a bit too much. Funnily enough Santal Noble is my most go to of the lot, I keep a spare bottle at work for evenings - fantastic piece of work.

    P.S. Will check out the CJ Scents mentioned - don't know them?

    P.P.S i believe the Montale hednic mentioned is supposed to be very good, and I would also be interested to hear more about Xerjoff Richwood but the pricing and the mention of patchouli as more of a lead note aren't promising.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 17th March 2013 at 04:10 PM.

  21. #21
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    Good plan. I sometimes add a bit of pure Santalum Album or a dab of Amouage Sandalwood Attar to Santal Noble and the Bois des Iles EDT & Extrait work together fine. Samsara, even in it's current state, is a pretty good all rounder.

    Here's the current line-up, hopefully to be joined by the new Malle in a week or so:



    I still have a few bottles of late 80's Crabtree & Evelyn, which has to be the best Mysore EDT ever, and I managed to pick up a small bottle of the DSH Sandalo Inspiritu, which is wonderful stuff. The Amouage Attar is great - mysore with a deftly handled 'boost' from what I guess is a good synthetic and maybe some of their Al Andalus base, or something along those lines - like the oil you used to be able to get in the 70's but given a nudge to shine a bit. Honestly the two Sandalos from Villoresi and Etro don't do it for me and I never got around to buying Tam Dao as the cedar / woods was a bit too much. Funnily enough Santal Noble is my most go to of the lot, I keep a spare bottle at work for evenings - fantastic piece of work.

    P.S. Will check out the CJ Scents mentioned - don't know them?

    P.P.S i believe the Montale hednic mentioned is supposed to be very good, and I would also be interested to hear more about Xerjoff Richwood but the pricing and the mention of patchouli as more of a lead note aren't promising.
    Yeah, I'm interested in the CJ Scents thing that was mentioned. Sounds good and at $25 for 17mL that's not a bad deal just to try it out.

    Also, beautiful picture! I can only hope to own one of those at some point...

  22. #22

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    For a shaving soap sandalwood, I think Art of Shaving is rather nice. As some have mentioned, Tam Dao is nice if you just want the scent of raw resinous wood. However, one that shouldn't be overlooked is Kerosene's Santalum Slivers, which has only been available for about a year now. I detect that resinous sandalwood in the base, but it also has other notes like orange, cucumber, and florals to round it out into a really nice overall scent.

  23. #23
    Basenotes Junkie SirNosebleed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    I have the discontinued Amouage Sandal Attar, and it is not the holy grail that I hoped it would be. I did some sampling based on an earlier thread and really enjoyed MPG Santal Noble.

  24. #24
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    +1 for Santal Noble

    Im suprised no one mentioned Bois des Iles by Chanel.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    +2 for Santal Noble

  26. #26
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Art of Shaving doesn't smell much like good S. album to me at all -- truly "nothing" juice. Apparently the vintage is better.

    The only stuff that smells like the real thing on the market today are Amouage attars.

    Vintage Shiseido Basala has a terrific sandalwood accord, which is a star player but perhaps not "dominant." I just tried Satellite Padparadscha again (which I liked at first) but was disappointed. The drydown felt synthetic and covered up with cheap musk. I'm with Jack Hunter in that I'm still after something that really captures the feel of Mysore. Perhaps we'll just have to spring for some of the real stuff and wear that. It's still available on the market at super high prices.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Agree most all current sandalwoods are simulacra of Mysore sandalwood.
    Villoresi's is probably the closest I know, but it is heavy on the rosewood, too.
    Tam Dao for me is more about cedar.
    The new Malle was a let down in my book.
    Santalum Album is being grown in Indonesia (IIRC), but it will be decades before it is ready.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Yes as Gandhajala, and many others have said.....don't look for real sandalwood note, whatever you will find now is fake, simulation:-)

    New Samsara is terrible:-) , but if you know the real smell then you can guess how its close to it if you deduct that metalic note in the background,but unpleasant for wearing at all, also it is just 180 % feminine frag:-) you will not like it its just too floral sweet

    Try ordering real mysore from profumo.it, if you are curious about it...Amouge Sandal i am suspicious if you buy it now, never tried it but.......just sounds like an illusion someone will sell you mysore sandalwood today for small money....

    Australian sandalwood, is not that bad at all....in new Lush line frags....check that out...its def not creamy thing, but more woody spicy.....

    And try the above recommendations, but don't try the real thing then:-) .......it can spoil the party

  29. #29
    Dependent RedRaider430's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Creed's Bois de Santal was one of the best sandalwoods ever, IMO. But it is discontinued and very difficult to find now.

    I like Creed's Santal Imperial for a softer offering of sandalwood. It's still an excellent, high quality sandalwood, but it doesn't pound you over the head with it like Bois de Santal does.

    I also enjoy Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche for my sandalwood fragrances.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Sandalwood, what's "best?"

    Top 5 in order:

    Maitre Santal Noble
    Villoresi Sandalo
    Creed Bois De Santal
    Vintage Santalum
    Vintage Egoiste

    Tam Dao is a nice fragrance, especially for those liking dry woods or dry Cambodian Oud (no Oud but it is very refined, classy and dry like good Cambodian. But it has as much if not more cedar than it does sandalwood.

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