The Quest for THE Sandalwood Fragrance

Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
FINALE IS HERE!!!

If you're tired of reading: Try the Audio version here!!!




I've learned a lot about fragrances over the past year but what's even better is I've learned about notes that I absolutely love. Sandalwood is one of my absolute favorites when done right. I tried searching to find more information about which colognes to try but unfortunately the information was either outdated or very spread out.

It's with this in mind that I decided to go on another quest to look for all the highly recommended Sandalwood fragrances (not just has Sandalwood in it but the Sandalwood is a main note) and try them. A couple weeks ago I asked for help from Basenotes to compile a list and since then I've been purchasing and getting all the decants/samples ready for this thread.


The idea:

I will try one new sandalwood fragrance a day and review it. I'll rate it on smell and overall performance. I will also give my wife's blind opinion on the fragrance. To help me compare these fragrances to actual Sandalwood I bought 7 different decants of pure Sandalwood oil. At the end of it all, I will rank them into tiers and give my favorites.


The Fragrances:

Diptyque - Tam Dao EDP [reviewed]
Creed - Santal Imperial [reviewed]
Fragonard - Santal [reviewed]
Chanel - Bois des Iles [reviewed]
Geo F Trumper - Sandalwood [reviewed]
Trufitt & Hill - Sandalwood [reviewed]
Frederic Malle - Dries Van Noten [reviewed]
Hermes - Santal Massoia [reviewed]
Serge Lutens - Santal de Mysore [reviewed]
Serge Lutens - Santal Blanc [reviewed]
Creed - Bois du Portugal [reviewed]
Xerjoff - Richwood [reviewed]
April Aromatics - Precious Woods [reviewed]
Orlov Paris - Star of the Season [reviewed]
Profumum Roma - Santalum [reviewed]
Profumum Roma - Eccelso [reviewed]
Bois 1920 - Sandalo e [reviewed]
By Kilian - Sacred Woods [reviewed]
Floris - Santal [reviewed]
Serge Lutens - Santal Majuscule [reviewed]
Chanel - Egoiste [reviewed]
Le Labo - Santal 33 [reviewed]
Pal Zileri - Sartorial [reviewed]
Brooklyn Perfume Company - Sandalwood [reviewed]
Comme des Garcons - Wonderwood [reviewed]
Perris - Santal du Pacifique Extrait [reviewed]
Tiffany - For Men (Vintage) [reviewed]
Guerlain - Heritage (Vintage) [reviewed]
Arden for Men - Sandalwood [reviewed]
Faberge - Woodhue [reviewed]
Max Factor - Wood Grains Sandalwood [reviewed]
PK Perfumes - Maharajah Sandal Supreme (first draft) [impression]
Commodity - Book [reviewed]
The Art of Shaving - Sandalwood & Cypress [reviewed]
MPG - Santal Noble [review]

If for some reason you don't see your favorite Sandalwood listed it's because it's either impossible to find or I was unable to get a sample of it anywhere. Most of all I'm doing this for fun. I hope you can have fun with this too as we explore the world of Sandalwood fragrances.
 
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Buysblind

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2011
Looking forward to the thread. Sample Ivory Route too if it's possible. It's a great sandalwood.


Early Prediction: Dries Van Noten will be the winner (I don't know why, but I think you're going to like this) and you'll also end up with a full bottle of Star of the Season.
 
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Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
Am I right to assume that Tam Dao is the Parfum rather than the EdT? (I seem to recall that in the recommendation thread it was exclusively the EdP that was recommended).

Could you also let us know what the sandalwood essential oils are?

Thanks!

Yes. You're correct, Tam Dao is the EDP. I forgot to add that. I'll go edit my post.

The Sandalwood Oils I got were all from Eden Botanicals.

They are:
Australian Plantation Grown
Australian Premium
New Caledonia Extra
New Caledonia
Royal Hawaiian Organic
Indian Rare
Sandalwood Powder

From my personal taste the Indian Rare was the best. Followed by the New Caledonia Extra. I found the Australians and the Hawaiian all had a slightly medicinal smell to them that didn't make them as pleasant of the others. Almost slightly harsh of a scent.
 

CapriDog

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2012
That's a lot to test and requires such passion and dedication. Have fun.

If you are also interested in Santal du Pacifique extrait by Perris Monte Carlo, lemme know.
 

mixerscent

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 9, 2013
The Sandalwood Oils I got were all from Eden Botanicals.

They are:
Australian Plantation Grown
Australian Premium
New Caledonia Extra
New Caledonia
Royal Hawaiian Organic
Indian Rare
Sandalwood Powder

From my personal taste the Indian Rare was the best. Followed by the New Caledonia Extra. I found the Australians and the Hawaiian all had a slightly medicinal smell to them that didn't make them as pleasant of the others. Almost slightly harsh of a scent.

Will have to try the New Caledonian oil, I added some of the Indian rare to Gucci Envy aftershave and it's now sandalwood heaven.
 

The Bark

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2003
I went through a sandalwood phase ten or so years ago and have tried and owned many on this list. I'd say my favorite was Tam Dao (edt) with Floris Sandalwood and Geo. F. Trumper's Sandalwood Cologne a close second.
 

Darjeeling

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2012
Yes. You're correct, Tam Dao is the EDP. I forgot to add that. I'll go edit my post.

The Sandalwood Oils I got were all from Eden Botanicals.

They are:
Australian Plantation Grown
Australian Premium
New Caledonia Extra
New Caledonia
Royal Hawaiian Organic
Indian Rare
Sandalwood Powder

From my personal taste the Indian Rare was the best. Followed by the New Caledonia Extra. I found the Australians and the Hawaiian all had a slightly medicinal smell to them that didn't make them as pleasant of the others. Almost slightly harsh of a scent.

Thanks for that. I need to check some of these out because I only have some Australian grown santalum album. very much looking forward to this thread as sandalwood is one of my favorites, and although there are lots of threads on sandalwood scents, none have gone about it in such a meticulous way.

I went through a sandalwood phase ten or so years ago and have tried and owned many on this list. I'd say my favorite was Tam Dao (edt) with Floris Sandalwood and Geo. F. Trumper's Sandalwood Cologne a close second.

Funnily enough, I started with Tam Dao EdT as my favorite, then decided the EdP was better because it was more authentically sandalwoody, but recently I've swung back to preferring the EdT (even if it is mostly cedar and rosewood rather than sandalwood).
 

Diddy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 14, 2015
Yes. You're correct, Tam Dao is the EDP. I forgot to add that. I'll go edit my post.

The Sandalwood Oils I got were all from Eden Botanicals.

They are:
Australian Plantation Grown
Australian Premium
New Caledonia Extra
New Caledonia
Royal Hawaiian Organic
Indian Rare
Sandalwood Powder

From my personal taste the Indian Rare was the best. Followed by the New Caledonia Extra. I found the Australians and the Hawaiian all had a slightly medicinal smell to them that didn't make them as pleasant of the others. Almost slightly harsh of a scent.

Can't wait to get my nose on ALL that.

[emoji12]

I may have a surprise arriving tomorrow to give your nose an olfactive break from sandalwood..... Dunt, dunt, duuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh. What could it be???
 

Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
Where did you find a sample of Santal de Mysore (Serge Lutens)?
If I remember correctly it was lucky scent. But I used multiple places. I will have to go look at my samples.

Edit:

I went back and checked my samples. I got Santal de Mysore from The Perfumed Court.
 
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ceaiu

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2016
Looking forward to this!
And your thread just made me choose Santal Massoia (from a sample) as SOTD.
 
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rum

Moderator
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Mar 17, 2011
I would add Villoresi Sandalo [...]

Me too. One of favourites by a mile. Quite readily available now, even from online discounters!

Unfortunately Santal Noble is now impossible to get.

Did this survive the switch to EDP in the MPG line-up? I was told it's not available at the moment.

Santal Noble should be in the new EDP lineup, at least that's what I heard/read. It'll take time to treackle down in to the lineup as MPeG are notoriously slow for stock supply and production.

Anyway, looking forward to reading about your quest OP. Sandalwood is one of my favourite notes.
 

uuuuu5

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2015
You got great list Mythrol! Cant wait to read you reviews. Santal Majuscule&Santal33&Tam Dao Edp are my favourites. Especially looking forward hear Eccelso and Santalum..
 

Dandydude

Well-known member
Sep 26, 2015
Will be following!

If you add to the list "Like last time"I would love to see how these stack up
Maitre Parfumeur Santal Noble
Pal Zileri Sartorial
 
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Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
@Mountainbikesandwatches - Thanks for the kind offer. I'll send you a msssage about Santal Noble. To answer your question, yes Richwood is on the list.

@Rum - I've seen people suggest Villoresi Sandolo before. The issue I ran into was I couldn't find any place that would offer a sample of it.

@Dandydude - Thank you for mentioning Pal Zileri Sartoriale. I forgot that my brother actually has a bottle of this one so it will definitely be on the list to test. I'm working on finding Santal Noble as well.
 

epapsiou

Always be smelling
Basenotes Plus
Sep 28, 2015
You can't have a SW frag-off without including CdG Wonderwood.
It is the Chuck Norris of SW frags.
 
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Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
@epapsiou - Unfortunately no one mentioned Wonderwood when I was asking for suggestion in my Sandalwood recommendation thread. I actually looked at it to get a sample but it seemed a lot of people thought it was more cedar than Sandalwood so I passed at the time.

---------

Also I just went through all my samples and realized I forgot to include a fragrance. Brooklyn Perfume Company - Sandalwood.
 

epapsiou

Always be smelling
Basenotes Plus
Sep 28, 2015
@epapsiou - Unfortunately no one mentioned Wonderwood when I was asking for suggestion in my Sandalwood recommendation thread. I actually looked at it to get a sample but it seemed a lot of people thought it was more cedar than Sandalwood so I passed at the time.
.

That ,sir, is not correct ;). I did mention it.
http://www.basenotes.net/threads/42...od-Fragrance?p=3968393&viewfull=1#post3968393

Also Mysore is not a listed note but cedar is so maybe people are going off that.

But again as I said it is the Chuck Norris of SW. You don't choose it , it chooses you if you are worthy ;)
 
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Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
That ,sir, is not correct ;). I did mention it.
http://www.basenotes.net/threads/42...od-Fragrance?p=3968393&viewfull=1#post3968393

But again as I said it is the Chuck Norris of SW. You don't choose it , it chooses you if you are worthy ;)

Then I apologize. Maybe that's the reason I was looking into it from Luckyscent but heard it wasn't as much a Sandalwood fragrance when I was checking. That or maybe I thought I added it but misclicked.

It's hard sometimes to keep track when you're ordering from 4 different places and have well over 20 samples coming. I'll see if I can rectify missing Wonderwood.

Edit:

I've now corrected the issue and I have Wonderwood being shipped to me. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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epapsiou

Always be smelling
Basenotes Plus
Sep 28, 2015
Then I apologize. Maybe that's the reason I was looking into it from Luckyscent but heard it wasn't as much a Sandalwood fragrance when I was checking. That or maybe I thought I added it but misclicked.

It's hard sometimes to keep track when you're ordering from 4 different places and have well over 20 samples coming. I'll see if I can rectify missing Wonderwood.

No apologies necessary. You are doing good here with this project. I just wanted to make it an even frag-off.
I don't have FB but it is in my wishlist. I got sample from Sephora but the one close to me does not carry it anymore. Has amazing-green instead (not as good).
I will be going to herald square today and if I find wonderwood I will get a sample and mail it to you.
 

Mythrol

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
No apologies necessary. You are doing good here with this project. I just wanted to make it an even frag-off.
I don't have FB but it is in my wishlist. I got sample from Sephora but the one close to me does not carry it anymore. Has amazing-green instead (not as good).
I will be going to herald square today and if I find wonderwood I will get a sample and mail it to you.

Thanks and no worries. I have a sample of Wonderwood coming now.
 

rum

Moderator
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Mar 17, 2011
@Rum - I've seen people suggest Villoresi Sandolo before. The issue I ran into was I couldn't find any place that would offer a sample of it.

I'd happily send a sample if I could, but being UK-based, you can probably guess how that will end...

All I can suggest for now is either First in Fragrance or Essenza Nobile (both from Germany) for a sample, or BeautySpin. They do samples, at least on their UK site, so maybe try the US site too? Failing that, Twisted Lily in NYC may do samples of it too.
 

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