Santal Nabataea is easily one of the most gorgeous sandalwood fragrances Ive ever had the pleasure of smelling. It makes the popular Tam Dao smell like plastic, Santal 33 like laundry detergent. In fact, dare I say it, Santal Nabataea even makes the beautiful Bois des Îles seem frigid.
With Santal Nabataea you are treated to a complex, aromatic, dust-dry scent that manages to evoke both the woody and milky facets of Mysore sandalwood. I find it incredibly soothing and it immediately brought to mind a fragrant sandalwood fan I had as a child that I had long forgotten about.
If you think you dont like sandalwood but youve never smelled this, you are wrong. If you think you like sandalwood but you've never smelled this, you are also wrong - you are actually obsessed and just don't know it yet.
This is a light fresh leaning to the masculine scent full of depth and nuance but without making a song and dance about it. Subtle and confident. Unique. Fairly linear and difficult to pick out individual notes . The sum is really greater than the parts. If you force me: blackcurrent leaf, oleander, sandalwood, sandstone and yes maybe vetyver. A really interesting scent. Invigorating and relaxing.
Such a quantum leap from the awful Vetyver by MdO I also reviewed today.
This has a fruity opening, with something akin to fig, although I see it's listed as "dried apricot". There's a hint of peppery woods, & then I can clearly smell a stone-like, mineral note, even before I read that "sandstone" is among the listed notes! One note that's not listed is vetiver, which I swear I smell here, & which quickly overpowers everything else. It doesn't begin to recede until around three hours in, & then slowly the creamy sandalwood begins to shine, sweetened by coffee in the base. The fragrance doesn't project so much as float just above the skin, & eight hours in it's almost gone.
Apparently this fragrance was inspired by Petra, the "rose red city" & capital of the ancient desert kingdom of Nabataea. For me it doesn't conjure the shades of pink, gold & apricot that one might expect; instead that vetiver-like note gives it a greenish-brown hue. It's also not a favourite note of mine, & it overshadows the sandalwood too much for me to love this one.
The Star, for me, in this scent,is the absolutely stunning presentation of Myrrh. The backdrop is of pure, dry, young Sandalwood, which if you listen, layers back with smooth, white, pined varnishes, ethereal. It has me feeling, younger, lighter, wealthier, much like L'Air Du Desert Marocain.
Genderless, perhaps... however it shows as Masculine to me, as it reminds me of my Grandfather.