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What Is Sandalwood Perfume?

A bottle of cologne.
Sandalwood essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid from the sandal tree.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2014
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Sandalwood perfume is a cologne with a distinct woody scent. It is usually made from sandalwood extract, which is obtained from the sandalwood tree. The sandalwood fragrance is sometime mixed with other fragrances to create a unique perfume. This wood has been used for centuries to create perfume as well as incense and skin remedies. Unfortunately, many species of sandalwood are now in danger of extinction.

The sandalwood trees are from the Santalum genus. There are several different species of this tree, and Santalum spicatum is one that is used most often when making sandalwood perfume. This is commonly referred to as Australian sandalwood, because it grows primarily in Australia.

Oils found in sandalwood are typically the most fragrant part of the tree. Sandalwood essential oil is often used when making high quality or natural sandalwood perfume. Some perfume manufacturers may use a synthetic sandalwood fragrance oil, however, known as isobornyl cyclohexanol. The fragrance of this synthetic substitute does not usually last as long as the natural oils, but it is often less expensive.

Both men and women can wear sandalwood perfume. Since this can be a very strong scent when used alone, it is often mixed with other, more mellow scents. For women, sandalwood can be mixed with rose, jasmine, patchouli, or vanilla. Men will typically prefer more manly scents, and sandalwood can be mixed with musk or amber.

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Several homemade sandalwood perfume recipes can be found on the Internet. These often call for sandalwood essential oil as well as other essential oils. Pure essential oils can irritate some people's skin, however, and these homemade perfumes usually need to be diluted. This is often done by adding a carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil.

Throughout history, many cultures have used sandalwood for things besides sandalwood perfume. It was often used to make incense, and it is still used for this today. Some cultures even used sandalwood oil to heal dry skin.

In recent years, sandalwood tree numbers have been rapidly declining. This is partly due to deforestation and human encroachment. Also, many trees are being harvested at an earlier age.

Making true sandalwood perfume is becoming much more expensive, since the oil is becoming increasingly scarce. To remedy this, some areas have begun creating sandalwood plantations. Australia is one country with sandalwood plantations. Both Indian and Australian sandalwood are grown on these plantations. Some parts of India also grow sandalwood for export.

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Discuss this Article

anon303453
Post 4

Among all the smells that are actually used by people, sandalwood has to be the most unbearable!

I cannot stand it. I can smell a person wearing it from 100 m away. It makes me sick.

My wife received a perfume sample and had the incredibly stupid idea to spray it around the entrance to our apartment. Turns out it was sandalwood perfume. I had to air out the house for an hour despite the freezing cold outside.

Worse: she got some of it on my brand new winter jacket, which was very expensive. It's not coming out. After one week on the balcony, it still stinks of sandalwood. Help! What do I do to get rid of this horrible smell?

burcidi
Post 3

When I visited India, sandalwood perfume for both women and men were sold everywhere. Sandalwood was just real common in general. Not just the perfume, but sandalwood oil and paste and dry sandalwood was used a lot.

For the most part, aside from wearing it as a scent, I saw sandalwood being used during religious ceremonies. People applied sandalwood paste on their forehead to be blessed and also as a treatment for heat and headaches. They also offer sandalwood to the deities and include it in their prayer plates during ceremonies.

India is also a place where incense is burning everywhere you go. I think sandalwood was the most common incense along with coconut in the places I visited in North India. It was also in a lot of beauty products, like sandalwood face packs, creams and soaps.

It was really apparent that the sandalwood tree is native to the Indian subcontinent since it is used so much there. I had never smelled or seen sandalwood before I visited India. Now I actually miss the scent! I'm thinking of buying some sandalwood oil or a perfume to use myself. It will remind me of India!

serenesurface
Post 2

Sandalwood perfumes and oils are definitely not an acquired taste. Although there are many people who are using synthetic perfume which have been mixed with so many different ingredients and oils that you can hardly call it a "sandalwood" perfume.

Many of the top brands actually have a sandalwood perfume. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are Estee Lauder, Dior, Versace, Gucci, Guerlain and Lancome. Simpler and cheaper ones have been made by some other brands like the Body Shop as well.

So there are definitely plenty of choices when it comes to sandalwood perfume. I think that nothing can beat the scent of real sandalwood oil though. No synthetic oil or perfume can take its place. It is not that much more expensive than the top perfume brands either and even if it is, a drop is enough, so a little bottle lasts forever.

discographer
Post 1

I do like the scent of sandalwood but I agree that it is just too strong if it is the main component in perfume. Even though I love wearing perfume, I cannot tolerate very heavy scents because these give me a migraine.

That's why I only buy and use perfumes where sandalwood is the top note. The top note is the scent that we smell first when we wear perfume and which lasts for about 20-30 minutes. The middle note last for about an hour or so and the base note is the scent which remains and lingers the whole day.

I like perfumes with a sandalwood top note and middle and base notes with lighter floral scents.

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