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I am loving this website more and more. I heard horrible stories about sandalwood and how it harvest and sol so I am glad to read the following
"After blending and pouring into large drums or small flacons a Certificate of Analysis is logged to the batch number. This means that the final analysis of the oil is traceable back to each plantation. A legal, traceable and transparent supply chain from soil to oil."
Happy holidays all
This was an excellent crash course in understanding sandalwood production. I was particularly awestruck reading that even the stumps are ripped from the ground, for their yield of oil!
I've been following the bits and pieces of information about Australian Santalum album, so your series was timely and topical. Such a wealth of information you have provided.
I heard that Santalum album may have been indiginous to the Australian continent and that these plantations in the tropical north are a sort of home coming for the species. I love the native Australian spicatum and have an assortment of Mysore sandalwoods including several antique examples I've collected as well as tiny samples from the late 90's before the crisis. I would love to see how this recent extraction compares. I'm sure aging will help the oil mellow.
I really enjoyed learning about the process of extraction. The low yield, 3.7% is not surprising and will probably increase as the trees mature into their 3rd decade. I also appreciate the effort Tropical Forestry Services is making to eliminate waste in all aspects of production and offer a product that is traceable to the plantation, from soil to oil. That is setting a new standard for world production of key perfumery ingredients.
Thank you for this great series!
I was surprised to learn that the trees are ready to begin harvesting. I thought it would take more years of growth. Thanks for the draw.
Interesting that different batches of oils are blended together for a more consistent odour profile. I thought they'd just blend everything together. Does this mean that some amount of oil is left behind?
Also, I wonder if any of the Australian Santalum Album trees will be allowed to reach their full maturity before being harvested? Maybe this way they could offer a superior grade of oil in addition to the regular one (assuming an older tree would give a superior oil - maybe not?).
I was very interested to learn that the spot price of Australian album was higher than it's Mysore counterpart, but I would suppose that it being a new crop the demand would ultimately be much higher. compared though to the options I find it surprising that Album still commands such high prices especially with austrocaledonicum having more of the sandal woody constituents such as a-santalol which is what gives the it, it's creamyness.
I learned so many things from this series. I would say that I was most surprised by the fact that nothing is wasted in production. Also, that Italian stump and root pulling machine was something I've never seen before!
I highly doubted that the genetics of Santalum Album would prove sufficient to yield the 'Mysore' aromatic profile from Australian soil, water, light...
Thanks to the Australians for proving me wrong.
And thanks to Jordan and TFS for the draw!
I'm really surprised by the cost of Sandalwood and that, "Over the past 15 years the price has increased on a compound basis by 16 % per annum."
I would like to see more efforts at sustainability and even highlighting a few locations that are getting it right like this: