With Sandalo, Villoresi achieved with near perfection a true sandalwood without too much to detract from its truest qualities. Be that as it way, I do want to point out that his mastery of aromatics to lift a base note is quite impressive, and his usage of lavender, rosewood, neroli and citrus in the opening here takes what could be a very bass-heavy composition and diffuses the sandalwood itself quite remarkably.
Fascinatingly enough, there is a dry woodiness that also somehow feels creamy and balmy, especially as Sandalo dries into its heart. No matter what sandalwood materials were used, whether Mysore, Australian or others, a multitude of synth bases or accords, it somehow all feels honest and real (if that really makes sense). I think many folks have this idea of how sandalwood should smell or "feel" and may be a bit taken aback by this representation. I've smelled the wood itself along with the oils. This is one of the closest representations I've smelled. Is that important? Well, that depends on the person, but I do quite favor some realism now and then, and it's delivered here with aplomb.
The dry down is accompanied with resinous elements, extending the heart of sandalwood into the base beautifully, with the feeling over time being meditative and the more unctuous elements alighting into a warm powdery "your skin but better" scent. Overall, it's a wonderful development for sure.
Villoresi is extraordinarily talented in my humble opinion, deserving of much more respect.
From a sample of the vintage, provided by a generous Basenoter :
I get a massive hit of cumin in the opening, which is not listed in the notes. Afterwards, a creamy sandalwood - very good quality; the real thing - along with rosewood and rose, which last until the scent fades, which is all too soon. Delightful but fleeting.
The first one, to lift a phrase from another review, is almost too lovely for a man. Rosewood, rose, lavender, trace neroli, and sandalwood? 4-6hrs, perhaps. A few steps from perfect and by itself I doubt I'd wear it much, honestly.
The second one is a nutty, creamy, sun-kissed, 2nd-skin type sandalwood that remains with just a slight memory of the first. It lasts and lasts. Perfect.
I place Santal Noble and Santalum on the top shelf, Sandalo is close.
Mixed feelings after multiple wears. There was one from the Gap years ago that was almost identical to this formulation, which is a weak one. This is way too herbal and not enough depth, the Sandalwood in here is sterile.
3 hours longevity, max. The trace that lingers on your clothes the day after is however outstanding so I might it buy it again.