Sandalwood as a perfume note seems to be everywhere. It's a common base note though cost and rarity nowadays often cause real gorgeous sandalwood to be replaced with other materials, synthetic or natural. The following list offers my very personal top ten sandalwood perfumes, focusing on fragrances where the note is dominant and not just supporting the structure.
- Diptyque- Tam Dao. No surprises here, this is a sandalwood classic, creamy and soulful.
- 10 Corso Como. The other sandalwood classic. Suffered a worse reformulation than Tam Dao, so I cherish the small amount of vintage juice I have.
- Serge Lutens- Santal Majuscule. An oriental woody good enough to eat.
- Serge Lutens- Santal Blanc. Spice and booze adding a naughty layer to good old sandalwood.
- Serge Lutens- Santal de Mysore. The cuminest of them all.
- Kenzo- Jungle L'Elephant. Chai, spice and everything nice.
- Guerlain-Samsara. Sandalwood and jasmine (vintage formulation). Perhaps the last of the truly great Guerlain perfumes.
- Chanel- Bois des Iles. Cashmere sweaters and art deco.
- MPG- Santal Noble. Dry and elegant. Probably the most masculine from this list.
- Ava Luxe- No.23. Tam Dao's sweet little cousin. Uplifting and comforting.
- Le Labo- Santal 33. A wild and tenacious ride of sandalwood, leather and camphor. One of my biggest compliment-getters.
An honorable mention goes to Santal Massoia from Hermes, though I smell anything but sandalwood there, and Profumum Roma Santalum, because it smells like a million dollar.
Which sandalwood perfumes top your list?
Photo by Sumit Kumar (on Flickr): Sandalwood figurines at the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna, near the city of Mysore