Monday, February 16, 2015

Episode 26: Sandalwood in Perfume (or, Sandal-would you like a new series?)

So I am kinda, sorta back on the radar and I was thinking that I wanted to do a series of posts that highlighted some popular scent notes - in particular ones that I personally either like or dislike. But I also see tons of questions out there like "wtf is vetiver" or "how do I know if tonka smells good on me" because people don't really understand what the ingredient translates to, scent wise. Obvi, what I smell isn't what you smell which is also why I will present a selection of sourced, clinical information as well as my opinion.

Sound good? Bad? Indifferent? I know I have one other series running - the Siesta series, which hasn't had an addition of late (because Siestas are bonus posts and I have been yadda yadda yadda...) but this will be a fairly regular feature that will also accept requests. So, Imma gonna try it, no?

Genus Santalum

Okay peeps here's the deets. Genus santalum aka Sandalwood can come from either the Indian sandalwood tree, Hawaiian sandalwood tree or the Australian sandalwood tree, and the species within those categories. It has a slightly yellow cast, due to the yellow color of the wood its self. It has been used for centuries in medicinal, aromatherapy and religious aspects. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam are all noted for using sandalwood within the religious practices, but its use isn't limited to those particular religions.
Sandalwood Leaf via Wikipedia
The fragrance of sandalwood is reported to be warm, rich, sweet, soft, floral and woody. It is a very long-lasting wood scent, and also makes a good fixative, helping more volatile scent compounds extend their longevity. It is popular in most types of perfume, including oriental, fougère, woody and chypre scents. Its sweet, soft wood scent makes it ideal in women's floriental-type scents. It is a popular base note and is found in many popular fragrances, such as Calvin Klein's Obsession, Thierry Mugler's Angel and Juicy Couture's  Viva La Juicy. (Information via Wikipedia and Aromaweb)
Sandalwood Oil via Austoils
For me, personally, as a wearer of fragrance, sandalwood is a very important base note. In my fragrance wardrobe, it acts as a staple - sandalwood is the milk of my perfume library. Ha. It also has a very nostalgic scent. Because sandalwood isn't an ingredient that goes in and out of fashion, there has never been a time in my life when I don't remember sandalwood in perfume, or incense, or candles. Unlike, say, frankincense or myrrh which I like cold but are hit or miss on the drydown, sandalwood never ever ever lets me down. On my skin, sandalwood is warm, slightly sweet and woody - but not heavy. It is always light, unless paired with heavier ingredients. I actually love all woods, but sandalwood is bae.
So there you have it, the beginning of a new series. Not sure yet how often I will post but I think at least bi-weekly for sure. I am also wavering between my choices for next week. I am thinking vetiver, neroli or bergamot. All three show up often, but sometimes it is hard to tell what they are doing for you! If you have an opinion or suggestion, please leave them in the comments below and as always pleasant journeys~

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