What is sandalwood?

What is sandalwood?

A sacred tree with a legacy thousands of years in the making, sandalwood has always been closely bound to ritual and divinity. Ancient texts called sandalwood ‘the wood of the gods’, and in Hinduism, it is believed to bring you closer to the divine. It has been used in meditation and spiritual practices for centuries, either as a precious oil or incense.

First discovered in India, sandalwood spread through trade routes, and is now grown in warm climates across Asia, India, and even Australia. Today, it is a protected tree, and efforts are made to prioritize sustainable harvesting to ensure its legacy will continue for thousands of years more.

Harvesting sandalwood is a careful process. The older the tree, the better the fragrance, so essential oils are extracted only when trees reach at least 15 years of age. The most fragrant part of the tree is the heartwood, which undergoes steam distillation to capture the aromatic golden liquids while preserving their therapeutic properties.

What does sandalwood smell like?

Serene and sensual, sandalwood has a creamy woodiness, with slight earthiness and just a touch of sweetness. Warm, soft, and smooth.

How does sandalwood make you feel?

Sandalwood transports you to a sacred space to discover blissful serenity and ultimate calm. The name ‘sandalwood’ is believed to have roots in the Sanskrit word ‘Chandana’, which means ‘wood for burning incense’, so it’s no wonder sandalwood is known for its meditative properties. 

How is sandalwood used?

In perfumery, sandalwood is a stalwart base note, adding long-lasting depth and calm. In India, it is a key element in many traditions, burned on altars to commune with the heavens and applied to the temples during meditation to promote emotional balance. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and to help with anxiety and stress.

What does sandalwood pair well with?

Sandalwood brings a complex richness to fragrance pairings. Scents in the citrus family, like orange, bergamot, and lemon, will brighten sandalwood's depth and create harmony. Amber’s golden warmth draws out sandalwood’s richness, creating something unforgettably luxurious. Fig and red berries' candied aromas can play beautifully with sandalwood’s slight sweetness.

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