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  1. #1

    Default Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    My wife is a sandalwood fiend. She loves to wear scents that feature it (Bois des Iles, Twilly d'Hermes, and Mon Guerlain are among her favorites, and she breaks out vtg Samsara for special occasions).

    That said, she's never found a breezy, easygoing summery scent that clicks, though she wants one, and it occurs to me that she'd probably enjoy something of that type more of it had a clear sandalwood presence. She doesn't like most of the bright fruit/floral stuff out there right now, but at the same time, all of the above are either too rich, sweet, or formal for her to wear on hot/humid days, casually.

    Others she wears:
    L'Artisan Dzongkha (mine, but she steals it)
    SMN Tabacco Toscano (mine, but she steals it)
    Bond no. 9 Washington Square
    Heretic Holi Water (mine, but she she steals it) - this is actually pretty close the vibe I'm envisioning, but with more sandalwood

    Hermessence Santal Massoia might be a possibility...I'll have to give her my sample. I feel like she'd find Tam Dao a little too overtly woody, though I'm not sure she's ever worn it.

    As most of my knowledge of female (marketed) fragrance is in the vintage realm, and she's not especially into vintage stuff for the most part, what other suggestions do you have for a recent-ish fresh quasi-feminine sandalwood that might work? We can go sniffing, but with the trouble she has with most fresh feminines at the modern counter, I'd like to have a starting point and not 100% rely on SA guidance.

    Niche or semi-niche is fine, unisex is fine, and I'll admit I'm interested in the answers for my own purposes as well. There are a ton of sandalwood threads here, but few/none with this flavor!

    Thanks! And hopefully this is useful to others with Spring officially here!
    "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."
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  2. #2
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    Default Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood



    I’d recommend this. It just has the right amount of spice and floral supporting the sandalwood that does not feel cloying or suffocating. It’s airy yet long lasting. I concur with your take on Tam Dao as it might be a bit too woody. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Santal by Fragonard
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Smuggler's Soul by Lush/Gorilla Perfumes might be exactly what you're looking for. l'd go for the body spray or the solid rather than the parfum.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    The first and last remarkable sandalwood scent I wore was vintage Chanel Bois des Iles edt and extrait. This was the kind of sandalwood you felt the texture of upon spraying. I didn’t always get the gingerbread note, but when I did, my, was it comforting! In those days, Bois had a distinctive melancholic feel, reminding me of the sight of brownstones, whenever I used to go out exploring lower Manhattan. My second favorite Chanel, after CDR.
    “You are the bait. The bait is you.” ~Trick or Treat (1986)
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Ouch, I’m sorry! I looked again at your thread title and saw you asked for “fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood”.
    “You are the bait. The bait is you.” ~Trick or Treat (1986)
    “Have a good time, all the time. That is my philosophy.” ~This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Perhaps Orris & Sandalwood by Jo Malone.

    Like most JM scents, the number of notes is limited, but it's a nice balance of sandalwood with clean, slightly rooty iris and violet.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Among the very inexpensive ones, perhaps also Zara Sandalwood to a certain extent

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Samsara in its extrait concentration in original vintage formulation is the cream of the crop. It's in my top 3 favorite sandalwood scents.

    My suggestions:
    Guerlain - Samsara Shine
    Fragrantica: https://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/...hine-3622.html

    Jo Malone - London Orris & Sandalwood
    Fragrantica:https://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/...ood-35021.html
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    - Le Cercle des Parfumeurs Créateurs - Lime Absolue: Tart lime opening with a bit of milky fig, then a milky sandalwood dry down freshened up by a soft vetiver.
    - Serge Lutens Santal Blanc: The older version is relatively spicy sandalwood, but as it's now incorporated into the new Eau de Politesse line, there are claims on the internet that it's been reformulated and becomes lighter. I haven't tried it myself, but it might worth investigating.
    - Evocative Perfumes - Imogen: I only tried the oil version. It's like a softer, more casual classic Guerlain. I got an enticingly soapy and mossy bergamot opening, a soft rose and a lightened Guerlain vanilla/sandalwood base.
    - Mona di Orio Santal Nabataea: A quite realistic indian sandalwood, milky woody yet also with a subtle oily facet like the aftertaste of peanut, but rendered more luminous and lighthearted by an abstract fruity nuance. It's not really breezy, but among multifacetted sandalwood solinote perfumes, it's more spacious than most.
    - Miller Harris La Fumée: Invigorating spicy opening of cardamom and some cumin, with a smooth dry down of rather transparent sandalwood and incense resins.
    - IUNX - L'Arbre: I find it more or less in the same vein as Tam Dao, but less woody/pencil shaving and more silky milky with a green woody opening. It's more difficult to sample, though.
    Currently wearing: Pour Un Homme by Caron

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    even with the cumin and spices, I find Tom Ford's Santal Blush to be fairly dry and breezy -- it certainly smells good

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    I have a feeling she might like Ava Luxe's Moksha. It has some tangerine added to the sandalwood.http://www.basenotes.net/ID26126126.html

  13. #13
    Dependent Shemelimelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    +1 for N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer’s recommendation of Guerlain Samsara, +1 for Kaern’s recommendation of Tom Ford’s Santal Blush.
    “You are the bait. The bait is you.” ~Trick or Treat (1986)
    “Have a good time, all the time. That is my philosophy.” ~This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Thank you all for these awesome recommendations! I don't have time to research/respond to each of them individually right now, but they are all very appreciated. I don't think I've smelled any of them, except BdI, which she owns and loves. Its soft cleanliness actually works quite well in warmer weather, but it can still feel a little formal for daily casual wear. We both wear and love that one - one of the best sandalwoods I know of.

    Many of them I hadn't even heard of, which was the whole point!

    I plan to surprise her with a sample pack and then (hopefully) a bottle of whichever goes over best for her birthday in a couple of months!
    "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."
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    I'm a little late to the thread, but wanted to chime in.

    Tam Dao EDT is lighter and less woody to my nose than the EDP. Everyone says the EDP is more "creamy" but on my skin it turns to hamster cage. If you are going to give her samples, I suggest including both.

    I own and love Tom Ford Santal Blush, plus I have a decant of Iunx l'Arbre, so +1 for those.

    Since she loves Bois des Iles, she may enjoy Chanel Egoiste (original), which is a different vector of the BdI idea. It isn't exactly breezy, but might be a fun sample.

    Recently I've tried some of the Clean Reserve fragrances (at Sephora). The Santal is a light musky sandalwood-vetiver, and worth a try.

    And lest I forget--MPG Santal Noble is rather amazing, even in the most recent formulation. Along the lines of Tam Dao but a bit less minimalist.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Nice thread... a light, breezy sandalwood sounds good. I’ve been making a list from these suggestions. For some reason, Samsara never worked on me. Almost stodgy. I think it was the aldehydes, powder and vanilla.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Definitely L'Arbre by IUNX.

    Does she like iris? Try Les Heures de Parfum - I L'Heure Promise by Cartier. Coincidentally its my SOTD today. Not an affordable option, that's for sure. But the iris/sandalwood combo is delicate, intricate and breathtaking.

    Does she like fruit? Try Concrete by Comme des Garcons. A very well done modern sandalwood with a modern 'concrete' note and silly, fruity top notes.

    p.s. - I like Samsara but I disagree that it is "Fresh, modern, breezy" or "soft". Maybe after 12 hours on skin it can be described that way - but not upon application and I've smelled vintage juice, new juice, EdT, EdP and Parfum.

    Of course, sample, sample, sample.

    Good luck!
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Definitely L'Arbre by IUNX.

    Does she like iris? Try Les Heures de Parfum - I L'Heure Promise by Cartier. Coincidentally its my SOTD today. Not an affordable option, that's for sure. But the iris/sandalwood combo is delicate, intricate and breathtaking.

    Does she like fruit? Try Concrete by Comme des Garcons. A very well done modern sandalwood with a modern 'concrete' note and silly, fruity top notes.

    p.s. - I like Samsara but I disagree that it is "Fresh, modern, breezy" or "soft". Maybe after 12 hours on skin it can be described that way - but not upon application and I've smelled vintage juice, new juice, EdT, EdP and Parfum.

    Of course, sample, sample, sample.

    Good luck!
    Concrete, of course! I have a sample and forgot about it! Nice stuff, sweeter, but light on its feet. One could say breezy in a way. Will try L’Arbre and L’Heure Promise - never sampled any of that line.

    We own/share vtg Samsara, and yeah, great stuff, but voluptuous for this purpose.

    @Asha, I have some Santal Noble. Love it, but I fear it lacks in the “soft” department, and she may find it a little masculine for her purposes, but will give it a go. I’d never tried the Clean Reserve line at Sephora - should be easy to check.
    "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."
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  19. #19

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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Le Vetiver Bluff by Lubin
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    Concrete, of course! I have a sample and forgot about it! Nice stuff, sweeter, but light on its feet. One could say breezy in a way. Will try L’Arbre and L’Heure Promise - never sampled any of that line...
    Please let us know her thoughts on Concrete. I happen to be wearing it as I type this. I forget how much fun it is.

    I think a little birdie might be able to help you with samples of L'Arbre and the Cartier...
    "When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Please let us know her thoughts on Concrete. I happen to be wearing it as I type this. I forget how much fun it is.

    I think a little birdie might be able to help you with samples of L'Arbre and the Cartier...
    I had smelled Concrete before, and it just slipped my mind for the purposes of this quest. Here's what I wrote in the Concrete thread after my first sampling. Wearing it again today, this still holds up to what I smell, except the sweetness/fruit tone is popping a little more today. It's still a light/sheer sweetness though...loving it, and I think my wife would too.

    With all the marketing around "deconstructing" the sandalwood note, I was expecting to have to use my imagination to get sandalwood. But the note was surprisingly literal to me, with a chalky-sweet-mineralic undertone that reflects the bottle perfectly. It's clearly synthetic, but not in an obnoxious way at all. I wasn't expecting a high end sandalwood extract - this is CdG after all - and I think they did an admirable job of composing a very soft, approachable, not buttery but certainly velvety sandalwood illusion in Concrete.

    I believe it's NickZee's review in the directory compares the sandalwood to Samsara, and that lines up fairly well with what I smell in terms of that velvety, intensely sandalwoody tone I get. Think postmodern Samsara sandalwood that was composed in something between a clean room and a construction site.

    Another potential hit that just sprang to mind is Bruno Fazzolari's Unsettled - pineapple/fig/tea/sandalwood. I have a large decant of it - have you smelled that one? That sandalwood takes awhile to come to the fore, but when it does, it's great. And it's light/wearable in summer.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Definitely late to the game, here, but if you're inclined to sample the Ava Luxe that Ine suggested, you should add Ava Luxe No. 23 to the mix. Very sandalwood forward, less woody than Tam Dao but clearly inspired by it, with a delicate floral overlay. I'm not sure I'd describe it as breezy, but it's definitely modern and lighter than Tam Dao. It's my other sandalwood go-to when Tam Dao is just too much. Jon Rodgers is a big fan of No. 23, too.

    I have No. 23 in the EDP, but I think you can also get it in a perfume oil which, even though it's an oil, might be more sheer and closer to the skin. Ava Luxe's perfume oils often behave the opposite of how you might expect.

    Good luck.

    ETA: you also have me curious about Unsettled now!

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    ExtremeK, sadly No. 23 appears to have been discontinued, which is a shame because l think l would have loved it too.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    I would break out the Bijan.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Definitely L'Arbre by IUNX.

    Does she like iris? Try Les Heures de Parfum - I L'Heure Promise by Cartier. Coincidentally its my SOTD today. Not an affordable option, that's for sure. But the iris/sandalwood combo is delicate, intricate and breathtaking.

    Does she like fruit? Try Concrete by Comme des Garcons. A very well done modern sandalwood with a modern 'concrete' note and silly, fruity top notes.

    p.s. - I like Samsara but I disagree that it is "Fresh, modern, breezy" or "soft". Maybe after 12 hours on skin it can be described that way - but not upon application and I've smelled vintage juice, new juice, EdT, EdP and Parfum.

    Of course, sample, sample, sample.

    Good luck!
    I agree with the Cartier— a carroty iris (rather than a bready one), fresh laundry, and sheer sandalwood. I’ve been pondering a purchase myself. Also maybe try Santalum Slivers by Kerosene— my nose was dying from a day at a boutique, so maybe the breeziness was anosmia, but it seemed like a fresher take on vetiver and sandalwood when I smelled it.

    For a budget buy, I like the discontinued Pacifica Sandalwood for lemon and sandalwood.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by CapriDog View Post


    I’d recommend this. It just has the right amount of spice and floral supporting the sandalwood that does not feel cloying or suffocating. It’s airy yet long lasting. I concur with your take on Tam Dao as it might be a bit too woody. Good luck!
    This

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    I would recommend Sunny Side Up by Juliette Has a Gun. I think it checks all those boxes of Fresh, Modern, Breezy, and Soft. Many Sephora's carry it so you can a nice 2ml atomizer for free to try it out.
    https://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/...-Up-46128.html
    Scent is an exercise in patience and imagination.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fresh, modern, breezy, soft sandalwood

    I recently tried Santal Superbe (in perfume oil version) from JD Jeffrey Dame and found it perfectly breezy, modern and fresh too. The sandalwood base is softly nutty and milky. The slightly metallic lavender in the top notes might feel a bit more masculine, but a clean neroli-like subtle floral nuance in the heart pulls it back to the unisex territory.
    Currently wearing: Pour Un Homme by Caron




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