Sandalwood, what's "best?"

OctaVariuM

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2012
So, I've noticed I really like sandalwood, yet I own no sandalwood dominant fragrances. I thought I'd ask what your favorite sandalwood dominant fragrance is and why? The last thread I see specifically about this was from 2005, so I imagine things have changed since then (or not).
 

Dane77

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
My favorite is Maître Parfumeur et Gantier's Santal Noble - a rich, complex spicy sandalwood with a pronounced coffee note.
 

Jack Hunter

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2009
I have yet to find a holy grail sandalwood fragrance. Tam Dao needed more notes and I felt it was more suitable as a room fragrance than a personal one. Santal Noble I'm anosmic to the scent and Santal Imperial comes across as too stuffy and conservative. I like the Santal accord in Dark Aoud but dislike the synthetic vibe of most montales, and Creeds original Santal reminds me of Joop.

Also Trumpers Sandalwood though it smells great with it's rainbow of floral notes the Sandalwood is very hidden, I can't detect it.

So I'm still hoping one day to find that creamy resinous Sandalwood fragrance that does the note justice.
 
Last edited:

morrison74

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2010
I really enjoyed:

Santal 33
Art of Shaving Sandalwood
Santal Noble
Sandalo Per Teti
Bois de Santal
XJ Richwood
 
Last edited:

mr. reasonable

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2009
IMO they haven't really changed since 2005 because there has been no commercially available sources of Santalum Album (Mysore Sandalwood) to speak of.

The Australian and Pacific 'Sandalwoods' are nothing like Mysore. The word is that some mysore is now coming on stream but whether from India or a successful attempt to cultivate it in Oz, I'm not sure. Given that it takes 30 odd years to grow a tree for harvest it seems about a decade early but you never know, since it was the early 90's that supplies dried up . . . dunno.

It's said that there is mysore in the new Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle - will be looking closely in a week or so when it hits the stores here.

FYI

http://www.basenotes.net/bn_search....D:10&ie=UTF-8&q=Best+sandalwood&sa.x=0&sa.y=0
 
Last edited:

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
As mr reasonable was saying, I've started smelling perfumes too recently to know real Mysore sandalwood well. Among the current offers, I like Chanel Bois des Isles (which I am assuming is even better in parfum, though I have not smelled it).

I've heard that Amouage Sandalwood attar has some of the real stuff, but I have not smelled it.

cacio
 

OctaVariuM

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2012
IMO they haven't really changed since 2005 because there has been no commercially available sources of Santalum Album (Mysore Sandalwood) to speak of.

The Australian and Pacific 'Sandalwoods' are nothing like Mysore. The word is that some mysore is now coming on stream but whether from India or a successful attempt to cultivate it in Oz, I'm not sure. Given that it takes 30 odd years to grow a tree for harvest it seems about a decade early but you never know, since it was the early 90's that supplies dried up . . . dunno.

It's said that there is mysore in the new Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle - will be looking closely in a week or so when it hits the stores here.

FYI

http://www.basenotes.net/bn_search....D:10&ie=UTF-8&q=Best+sandalwood&sa.x=0&sa.y=0

Still, most of those threads are old, and completely unhelpful. If we just didn't make threads about stuff already discussed this forum would be non-existent in a few months. Thanks for your, um...help.

I've been interested to see how the new Malle stacks up. Can't say I'm crazy about the name or the fact that it is based on the designer.
 

mr. reasonable

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2009
Well, it's all reference material and with sandalwood there really hasn't been any news of late.

Try Sandalo (Villoresi), Tam Dao (Diptyque) and you are getting close but really these are more woods with some good synth stuff - I think it's called Santalool or something like that. Santal Noble is a lovely piece of work, one of my Desert Island Five, but not really a sandalwood per se - altho maybe there's a hint in there - it simply comes down to (a) which houses have control over the actual manufacture of their own fragrances and (b) if they have any stocks laid down. That wipes out just about everyone.

My guess is Chanel still do, not sure about Guerlain and Dior - altho Samsara still smells like mysore, albeit a bit brassy - it's way more authentic than most of the stuff being mentioned. The recent spate of 'Santals' from Ford, Ellena and Lutens are not mysore. If you want to try the real thing order the simple Santalum Album EDT from the wonderful Dominique Dubrana at La Via Profumo - he still has some.
 
Last edited:

OctaVariuM

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2012
Well, it's all reference material and with sandalwood there really hasn't been any news of late.

Try Sandalo (Villoresi), Tam Dao (Diptyque) and you are getting close but really these are more woods with some good synth stuff - I think it's called Santalool or something like that. Santal Noble is a lovely piece of work, one of my Desert Island Five, but not really a sandalwood per se - altho maybe there's a hint in there - it simply comes down to (a) which houses have control over the actual manufacture of their own fragrances and (b) if they have any stocks laid down. That wipes out just about everyone.

My guess is Chanel still do, not sure about Guerlain and Dior - altho Samsara still smells like mysore, albeit a bit brassy - it's way more authentic than most of the stuff being mentioned. The recent spate of 'Santals' from Ford, Ellena and Lutens are not mysore. If you want to try the real thing order the simple Santalum Album EDT from Dimonique Dubrana at La Via Profumo - he still has some.
Good point. Thanks for the heads up. I guess I'll have to poke my nose around and see what I can find. I may order a sample of Santal Noble (new formulation) from Aedes in my sample pack and give that a sniff regardless (along with Ambre).
 
Mar 15, 2013
Tam Dao is good, but it has a faint note of sandalwood. What I did and recommend you to do is to buy a 200ml bottle of Tam Dao, a tiny bottle of pure mysore sandalwood oil (4ml or so) and then mix the oil into the bottle. The result is a very smooth and creamy perfume, with calming properties and a long lasting basenote. Some people will say I altered the balance of the fragrance, but I don't care. I love my Tam Dao with extra sandalwood.
 

Gamma

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2012
I like the first 15 minutes of Santal Noble but then it disappears and I smell practically nothing. Santal 33 is supposed to contain Australian Sandalwood and it is very good, one of my favourite wood fragrances. Though, I have not smelled pure sandalwood or mysore so I don't know how much it actually smells like sandalwood.
 

Marais

Semi-Retired Member
Basenotes Plus
Nov 2, 2011
My favourites have already been mentioned, so I'll +1 on Crabtree and Evelyn, Villoresi Sandalo and MPG Santal Noble. I also like Creed's Santal Imperial and the discontinued Bois de Santal. And Egoiste of course.
 

mr. reasonable

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2009
Tam Dao is good, but it has a faint note of sandalwood. What I did and recommend you to do is to buy a 200ml bottle of Tam Dao, a tiny bottle of pure mysore sandalwood oil (4ml or so) and then mix the oil into the bottle. The result is a very smooth and creamy perfume, with calming properties and a long lasting basenote. Some people will say I altered the balance of the fragrance, but I don't care. I love my Tam Dao with extra sandalwood.

Good plan. I sometimes add a bit of pure Santalum Album or a dab of Amouage Sandalwood Attar to Santal Noble and the Bois des Iles EDT & Extrait work together fine. Samsara, even in it's current state, is a pretty good all rounder.

Here's the current line-up, hopefully to be joined by the new Malle in a week or so:

TheSandalwoods.jpg


I still have a few bottles of late 80's Crabtree & Evelyn, which has to be the best Mysore EDT ever, and I managed to pick up a small bottle of the DSH Sandalo Inspiritu, which is wonderful stuff. The Amouage Attar is great - mysore with a deftly handled 'boost' from what I guess is a good synthetic and maybe some of their Al Andalus base, or something along those lines - like the oil you used to be able to get in the 70's but given a nudge to shine a bit. Honestly the two Sandalos from Villoresi and Etro don't do it for me and I never got around to buying Tam Dao as the cedar / woods was a bit too much. Funnily enough Santal Noble is my most go to of the lot, I keep a spare bottle at work for evenings - fantastic piece of work.

P.S. Will check out the CJ Scents mentioned - don't know them?

P.P.S i believe the Montale hednic mentioned is supposed to be very good, and I would also be interested to hear more about Xerjoff Richwood but the pricing and the mention of patchouli as more of a lead note aren't promising.
 
Last edited:

OctaVariuM

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2012
Good plan. I sometimes add a bit of pure Santalum Album or a dab of Amouage Sandalwood Attar to Santal Noble and the Bois des Iles EDT & Extrait work together fine. Samsara, even in it's current state, is a pretty good all rounder.

Here's the current line-up, hopefully to be joined by the new Malle in a week or so:

TheSandalwoods.jpg


I still have a few bottles of late 80's Crabtree & Evelyn, which has to be the best Mysore EDT ever, and I managed to pick up a small bottle of the DSH Sandalo Inspiritu, which is wonderful stuff. The Amouage Attar is great - mysore with a deftly handled 'boost' from what I guess is a good synthetic and maybe some of their Al Andalus base, or something along those lines - like the oil you used to be able to get in the 70's but given a nudge to shine a bit. Honestly the two Sandalos from Villoresi and Etro don't do it for me and I never got around to buying Tam Dao as the cedar / woods was a bit too much. Funnily enough Santal Noble is my most go to of the lot, I keep a spare bottle at work for evenings - fantastic piece of work.

P.S. Will check out the CJ Scents mentioned - don't know them?

P.P.S i believe the Montale hednic mentioned is supposed to be very good, and I would also be interested to hear more about Xerjoff Richwood but the pricing and the mention of patchouli as more of a lead note aren't promising.

Yeah, I'm interested in the CJ Scents thing that was mentioned. Sounds good and at $25 for 17mL that's not a bad deal just to try it out.

Also, beautiful picture! I can only hope to own one of those at some point...
 

BradW

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2010
For a shaving soap sandalwood, I think Art of Shaving is rather nice. As some have mentioned, Tam Dao is nice if you just want the scent of raw resinous wood. However, one that shouldn't be overlooked is Kerosene's Santalum Slivers, which has only been available for about a year now. I detect that resinous sandalwood in the base, but it also has other notes like orange, cucumber, and florals to round it out into a really nice overall scent.
 

Duke Smellington

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2012
I have the discontinued Amouage Sandal Attar, and it is not the holy grail that I hoped it would be. I did some sampling based on an earlier thread and really enjoyed MPG Santal Noble.
 

MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
Art of Shaving doesn't smell much like good S. album to me at all -- truly "nothing" juice. Apparently the vintage is better.

The only stuff that smells like the real thing on the market today are Amouage attars.

Vintage Shiseido Basala has a terrific sandalwood accord, which is a star player but perhaps not "dominant." I just tried Satellite Padparadscha again (which I liked at first) but was disappointed. The drydown felt synthetic and covered up with cheap musk. I'm with Jack Hunter in that I'm still after something that really captures the feel of Mysore. Perhaps we'll just have to spring for some of the real stuff and wear that. It's still available on the market at super high prices.
 

gandhajala

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2010
Agree most all current sandalwoods are simulacra of Mysore sandalwood.
Villoresi's is probably the closest I know, but it is heavy on the rosewood, too.
Tam Dao for me is more about cedar.
The new Malle was a let down in my book.
Santalum Album is being grown in Indonesia (IIRC), but it will be decades before it is ready.
 

iivanita

Banned
Feb 23, 2012
Yes as Gandhajala, and many others have said.....don't look for real sandalwood note, whatever you will find now is fake, simulation:)

New Samsara is terrible:) , but if you know the real smell then you can guess how its close to it if you deduct that metalic note in the background,but unpleasant for wearing at all, also it is just 180 % feminine frag:) you will not like it its just too floral sweet

Try ordering real mysore from profumo.it, if you are curious about it...Amouge Sandal i am suspicious if you buy it now, never tried it but.......just sounds like an illusion someone will sell you mysore sandalwood today for small money....

Australian sandalwood, is not that bad at all....in new Lush line frags....check that out...its def not creamy thing, but more woody spicy.....

And try the above recommendations, but don't try the real thing then:) .......it can spoil the party
 

RedRaider430

You smell good! 😄
Basenotes Plus
Dec 18, 2011
Creed's Bois de Santal was one of the best sandalwoods ever, IMO. But it is discontinued and very difficult to find now.

I like Creed's Santal Imperial for a softer offering of sandalwood. It's still an excellent, high quality sandalwood, but it doesn't pound you over the head with it like Bois de Santal does.

I also enjoy Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche for my sandalwood fragrances.
 

DULLAH

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
Top 5 in order:

Maitre Santal Noble
Villoresi Sandalo
Creed Bois De Santal
Vintage Santalum
Vintage Egoiste

Tam Dao is a nice fragrance, especially for those liking dry woods or dry Cambodian Oud (no Oud but it is very refined, classy and dry like good Cambodian. But it has as much if not more cedar than it does sandalwood.
 
Mar 15, 2013
Real sandalwood is soothing and relaxing. It is a delicious note. It smells totally natural, like creamy wood, it is very soft and tender and lasts for a very long time. I don't find this in most of the fragrances that were mentioned here. I think they use artificial sandalwood, some chemical equivalent.
 

HDDP

Well-known member
May 25, 2011
Santal 33
Bois des Iles


the dry down of Decenial - Santal Sacre is a reminiscence of the Australian sandalwood
 

RedRaider430

You smell good! 😄
Basenotes Plus
Dec 18, 2011
Real sandalwood is soothing and relaxing. It is a delicious note. It smells totally natural, like creamy wood, it is very soft and tender and lasts for a very long time. I don't find this in most of the fragrances that were mentioned here. I think they use artificial sandalwood, some chemical equivalent.

The Creed sandalwoods I mentioned use Mysore sandalwood, and it is quite apparent. Some even think that Bois de Santal may have actually had some Mysore oil in it. From the smell of it, I would not be surprised, as it is quite potent.

If the main fragrance of sandalwood is what you're wanting, I would encourage you to seek the Creeds I mentioned out, as they meet your description. Santal Imperial is often described as the "creamy" sandalwood that you mentioned.

Other than these, probably any Mysore sandalwoods are what you're looking for. You might just Google that or do a search here. I know I've read plenty of other threads about the "best" sandalwoods.
 
Mar 15, 2013
Nothing smells like mysore sandalwood essential oil. I used to own it. If only I'd known it would become so rare.

I bought two tiny bottles of mysore oil, 5 years ago. The first one was dilluted in 6.7 oz of Tam Dao, with excellent results. The other bottle I am keeping in a safe dark cool place, and I do intend to make it last.
 

Latest News

Top