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Acqua Di Parma Sandalo…

Opiate

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 19, 2010
1,724
1,864
Acqua Di Parma Sandalo.
This is one I’ve been conflicted on since its release.
When It first came out I ordered a sample and it arrived on a day I was going bowling.
So I sprayed it on and went bowling and had a wonderful day full of fun and laughs and nostalgia and memories.
And ever since then, I’ve had some sort of strange olfactory, sensory experience with it and that day.

All these years later and I still can’t tell if I actually like it or if it’s just some sort of olfactory nostalgic connection.
It smells nothing like Sandalwood, let’s just get that out of the way.
It smells like synthetic woods/aroma chemicals, and it’s VERY strong: very much like a Tom Ford Private Blend. Maybe a Montale even. But it also has some sort of old school aftershave vibe? It’s hard to describe. Kind of reminds me of TF fougere d’argent in its construction.
I just don’t know if I actually like the way it smells or if there’s the rose colored glasses effect happening.

Are there any fans of Sandalo? I feel like I never see anyone talk about it.

Has anyone ever had a positive experience while wearing a fragrance that alters or obscures the way you think about it?

ECEDDE25-192B-4E94-B745-0756F3916B55.jpeg
 

otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
7,398
2,451
I'm curious what folks say about this, because this keeps popping up on my radar as a Fougère d'Argent alternative (which I enjoy precisely because it is so unabashedly synthy-smoky in a modern way - a kind of neo-fougere).
 

DoctorM81

Well-known member
Jul 26, 2011
4,174
4,751
Mine is the original brown packaging, possibly from the Harrods exclusive days, however I believe the scent is the same. I haven't honestly given it much wear despite having owned it nearly 6 years at this point - I'm certainly overdue a wearing. I seem to recall that it reminded me a little bit of Ralph Lauren Safari, but I'll have to defer any more detailed comment until I reacquaint myself.
 
Last edited:

hednic

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
388,146
41,348
I tried it, but didn't care for it. I found it to be lackluster and fleeting.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
5,594
3,780
Acqua Di Parma Sandalo.
This is one I’ve been conflicted on since its release.
When It first came out I ordered a sample and it arrived on a day I was going bowling.
So I sprayed it on and went bowling and had a wonderful day full of fun and laughs and nostalgia and memories.
And ever since then, I’ve had some sort of strange olfactory, sensory experience with it and that day.

All these years later and I still can’t tell if I actually like it or if it’s just some sort of olfactory nostalgic connection.
It smells nothing like Sandalwood, let’s just get that out of the way.
It smells like synthetic woods/aroma chemicals, and it’s VERY strong: very much like a Tom Ford Private Blend. Maybe a Montale even. But it also has some sort of old school aftershave vibe? It’s hard to describe. Kind of reminds me of TF fougere d’argent in its construction.
I just don’t know if I actually like the way it smells or if there’s the rose colored glasses effect happening.

Are there any fans of Sandalo? I feel like I never see anyone talk about it.

Has anyone ever had a positive experience while wearing a fragrance that alters or obscures the way you think about it?
Firstly, there's no difference between the different bottles. At least until they reformulate it, which I don't think they have (I last tried it within the last 12 months).

I like it well enough but I don't think it's a fragrance that will appeal to most basenoters/enthusiasts. It's more of a wearer than a sniffer, in that it's a solid, reliable, pleasant synthetic fragrance - but it's very synthetic, very 'unreal', and doesn't smell particularly 'high quality'...all things that tend to be considerations for people on this site. So bear that in mind.

It conveys the feeling/aura/sensibility of an old world cologne but in reality there's only a tenuous link to sandalwood. It doesn't smell like sandalwood, up close or at a distance. It does use additional notes - particularly aromatic ones, as well as citruses, other herbs and woods - to flesh out the retro cologne feel to it. However, this is an amberwood bomb. If you want an example of amberwood, this is one of the fragrances I'd use as a good reference point, as once you get past the citric and herbal top notes, it's a fairly thick, sticky amberwood that dominates the fragrance. This isn't going to impressive the discerning sniffer. However, as I said, it makes for a decent modern masculine fragrance. Better suited to evening and cooler weather, rather than daily or warmer weather. But it could easily be a signature scent as well. I'd think of it as a good fragrance for an older man who's not particularly interested in fragrance but wants something both traditional yet not dated (it doesn't have the fausty/dated smell to it: more retro than vintage), fresh without being sporty, that other people will like well enough. It gets mildly positive reactions and that's often enough for some men. Could be cloying if overapplied due to how synthetic and bottom-heavy it is. It's not a strong fragrance, there are a lot of silvery synthetic musks and transparent woody aromachemicals in it that are quite light, but the amberwood is sticky and might be unpleasant to some people.

If you want sandalwood, even in its synthetic/make believe form, then look elsewhere. If you want the new Acqua di Parma style of globalised-Med fragrances that will appeal to most airport shoppers, then it's well worth trying. There's nothing particularly 'real' or 'interesting' to it but it's a good fragrance to slap on for an evening, safe in the knowledge you're not going to piss anyone off/have people wretch. There's something to be said for playing it safe, and that's what Sandalo is. It also has the house/line style, which is hard to describe, but if you've tried Oud or Leather from AdP you'll know what it is.

So overall, I like it but you have to kind of get your head around what it is and what it isn't. It's never going to be a darling of basenotes. But if you want something that merges modern with traditional and makes for a decent safe wear for smart casual wear then it's a really good choice. Just bear in mind it's packed full of woody ambers and doesn't actually smell like sandalwood.
 

woodnotes55

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2016
2,193
998
I wore this one few days back before commenting. I have a lot of ADP and generally like them but I find that I don't reach for Sandalo or Quercia too often. But I do like both.

As to the sandalwood thing, no it's not really a sandalwood. Neither are the Le Labo or the Floris santals, and those seem to sell well and are liked. As to synthetic, seems everyone uses it to describe something they don't like. I find sandalo less "synthetic" then the Le Labo by a lot and by the Floris a bit. It's nothing edgy or unusual so not likely to be a huge favorite here, but nothing wrong with things that just smell good even if they are not the most innovative/creative/new thing.

I think when I go for the brown/black line my tendency is for one of the others (ebano, mirra, oud) because they are darker and I like that. But if I was going in an office daily the Sandalo is a much safer pick, it's not going to knock anyone over or be unpleasant. Anyone that leans lighter might prefer Sandalo out of these. It also seems much more a day scent to me, where the others are more evening/cool weather wear.

As to longevity, it's not monster projection and the projection falls back at 2-3 hours. But it was not a weak skin scent, even past the 12 hour mark could smell it past the one foot mark not the inch from nose thing.

If you like pleasant wood scents then give it a go!
 

rum

Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Mar 17, 2011
16,231
1,000
As to the sandalwood thing, no it's not really a sandalwood.
It's definitely not real sandalwood and definitely not an aromachem that is supposed to mimic the real stuff (such as Javanol). I detect more of a cardamom note in there that rises above a lot of the other aspects.
I think when I go for the brown/black line my tendency is for one of the others (ebano, mirra, oud) because they are darker and I like that. But if I was going in an office daily the Sandalo is a much safer pick, it's not going to knock anyone over or be unpleasant. Anyone that leans lighter might prefer Sandalo out of these. It also seems much more a day scent to me, where the others are more evening/cool weather wear.
I agree with these points. I owned Sandalo in the brown bottle long before they were labelled EdP and rebottled. I wore it a lot here in the UK, liked it, but never loved it. Then I took it with me on a beach holiday, it opened up in the heat and smelled wonderful. Upon my return home, I decided to sell it as I think the climate I live in doesn't really make it worth owning. It's surprisingly fresh in the top and leans woodier in the dry down. But it can smell a tad on the synthetic side if used in the wrong type of environment.

A lot of the AdP's (excluding the 'darker scents' as you put it) are more suited to warmer weather. The darker ones could work in both warmer and cooler temperatures - oud is a classic example here. It starts off very fresh (great for summer) and then get woodier and spicier as it progresses (great for cooler climates).
 

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