Serge Lutens Santal Blanc : Perfume Review

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It rained the other day. Again. The drops covered the windows, turning the red roofs of the nearby buildings and the delicate church spires into an impressionistic blur. I’ve learned to enjoy the melancholy serenity of a rainy day, but there are times when the grey mist makes me feel listless and depressed. On such days, I throw open my perfume cabinet and reach for scents that remind me of someplace warm and sunny.

santal-blanc

One such perfume is sandalwood. Its creamy sweetness and heavy richness takes me to India, which may be a stereotypical association, except that India, my India, is thoroughly permeated with sandalwood. As a bride, I was rubbed with rosewater and sandalwood paste to make my skin glow. I was fed sandalwood scented milkshakes and fudge. Wherever I went, I smelled sandalwood incense.  No wonder that Serge Lutens Santal Blanc whispers Indian stories to me.

Of the three sandalwoods in the Serge Lutens collection, including the dark and moody Santal de Mysore and the sultry Santal Majuscule, Santal Blanc is the least complicated. It was created in 2001, a few years after the artistic team of Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake interpreted Indian sandalwood in Santal de Mysore as caramelized and cumin flavored. By contrast, Santal Blanc is sandalwood stripped to its elemental parts–fresh rose, whipped cream and spicy wood. A dash of brown sugar and rum-macerated raisins embellishes the sandalwood, setting off all its nuances and facets.

A few years ago, I would have urged you to give Santal Blanc a pass and try Diptyque Tam Dao or 10 Corso Como. Like those two fragrances, Santal Blanc blends the milky sweetness of sandalwood with the pencil shaving freshness of cedarwood. But today, both perfumes are significantly different from what they used to be, while Santal Blanc still retains its charm.

When I want intricate tales and scents that make statements, I reach for Santal de Mysore and Santal Majuscule, but on rainy days, when I just want a hug and a ray of sunshine, I wear Santal Blanc. It starts out bright and dazzling and then melts into a soft second skin. It reminds me of sandalwood paste diluted with rose water, and while I may never again play the part of a Bollywood princess, at least I can fantasize about it.

Serge Lutens Santal Blanc Eau de Parfum includes notes of pink pepper, rose, sandalwood, iris, cinnamon, musk, and balsam. $120.00/ 1.69oz. Sold in the export range. The export line fragrances are available from Aedes, Beautyhabit, Luckyscent, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and from some Neiman Marcus locations.

Sample: my own acquisition

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90 Comments

  • solanace: What a beautiful wedding it must have been! Who wouldn’t love to have a Bollywood princess day? (Have you seen Aishwarya Rai in Cannes? So gorgeous!) You totally made me curious about Santal Blanc. Gotta try it, specially since I like Santal Majuscule so much. May 23, 2013 at 7:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Aishwarya Rai is gorgeous! Have you seen her in Devdas? If not, I recommend searching youtube for Dola Re Dola, a song sequence from the film. She is a beautiful dancer, and as a bonus, you have another Bollywood beauty in this video, Madhuri Dixit. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this video. May 23, 2013 at 12:54pm Reply

      • solanace: When I lived in Paris, we were lucky enough to catch a huge Bollywood retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou, which lasted for months. Off to you tube, it’ll be great to watch again a dance sequence from (the new version of – we watched both!) Devdas! May 23, 2013 at 1:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’m a huge Bollywood fan, and I’m afraid if I start talking about it, it will turn out to be a whole post. :) But another film I love for songs, dance and colors is Mughal – E – Azam. My favorite song is Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, which was shot inside an extraordinary glass set in the Agra Fort. Gorgeous!

          Wish I could have visited the exhibit you’re talking about. May 23, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

          • solanace: You’d love the exhibit, people always left the room with a huge smile I guess there is no way to be ‘blasé’ around Bollywood! May 23, 2013 at 2:06pm Reply

            • Victoria: It’s the best way to fantasize. Speaking of which, I might just pop that Devdas DVD and watch a little bit before bed. It’s been an exhausting day, so I need some escape. :) May 23, 2013 at 5:35pm Reply

              • Amer: Devdas is my favorite indian film and Santal Blanc my favorite sandalwood from the SL range. May 24, 2013 at 3:29am Reply

                • Victoria: I love the sets and costumes in Devdas. What an eye-candy! May 24, 2013 at 6:25am Reply

                  • Amer: favorite scene? Mine is the duet by the spring. And second best is the “so called” engagement song of the girls mother May 27, 2013 at 12:50pm Reply

                    • Victoria: I love them too. The sets are stunning. May 28, 2013 at 4:37am

              • solanace: Hope you rested well. Thanks to internet I could check (how did people live before?), and I remember Mughal-E-Azam. Super romantic, loved it. Your erudition never ceases to strike me, V! May 24, 2013 at 4:22am Reply

                • Victoria: It’s just that the Soviet Union was a big consumer of Indian cinema, and we grew up watching these movies. When I was little, I watched so many of them that I started saying that my dad was Indian (I suppose, with his dark hair, brown eyes and a mustache, he could pass for one!) :) May 24, 2013 at 6:32am Reply

      • mridula: terrible actress but such a lovely face. I could just look at it for hours. dola re dola, pehenke mein payal, ghoomke nacchongi etc. May 23, 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

        • Victoria: I happen to like her as an actress too, but then again many of her roles don’t require much acting nuance. I have a DVD of nothing but song-and-dance sequences from her various movies, and it’s fun to play it as I do various household chores. May 23, 2013 at 1:51pm Reply

        • mridula: And if you like Mughal W Azaam, then I am guessing you have watched Meena Kumari in Pakeezah. She was divine. What eyes. And the soundtrack is superb. May 23, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

          • Victoria: You’re right, Mridula! I love Meena Kumari and Pakeezah is one of my favorites. Now, what a great actress and perfect beauty! May 23, 2013 at 5:34pm Reply

      • Daisy: The version of Devdas with Aishwarya Rai is gorgeous! I remember seeing it in Paris when it came out on the IMAX screen. Now that was dizzying! May 27, 2013 at 11:26pm Reply

        • Victoria: Wow! That must have been quite an experience. Dizzying sounds right. :) May 28, 2013 at 4:40am Reply

      • Andriy: Hey Victoria…to me, Aishwarya Rai looks more like an ukrainian women then indian :). Infact, I find it very hard to find what a typical indian female look is. There is just too much variation. September 4, 2014 at 1:30pm Reply

  • rhaybans: Very well written! Were you hinting that 10 Corso Como has been reformulated? May 23, 2013 at 8:00am Reply

    • Victoria: :) Yes! Both Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como were reformulated, and while I still like them, I find them more cedarwood accented now (not as creamy as they used to be). May 23, 2013 at 12:55pm Reply

      • NeenaJ: That could explain why a 10 CC sample turned to acid on my skin. For me, the reformulation is an instant scrubber. May 23, 2013 at 3:16pm Reply

        • Victoria: The change was obvious to me too. Unfortunately, it’s hard to replace some of these rich traditional materials, and creamy Indian sandalwood has few other alternatives. May 23, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Austenfan: The weather is shockingly bad. I can’t remember a spring this cold in the Low Countries.
    I am wearing ISM today. It works a charm with the rain and wet earth, it’s one of those fragrances that I only enjoy on cool and rainy days. And they are plentiful, I must admit. May 23, 2013 at 8:38am Reply

    • Annikky: I have worn ISM the entire spring for the very same reasons. But I got so tired of the chill today that after reading Victoria’s review, I went to the department store and spritzed myself with Santal Majuscule AND Lyric (well, I wanted to compare and I’ve got my own space at work). This and a creamy rhubarb tartelette have improved things. May 23, 2013 at 8:54am Reply

      • Austenfan: I sometimes use Cococabana or Vamp à New York for the same reasons.
        I have had my bottle of ISM for close on 4 years, and have worn it on occasions and have always liked it. This is the first time that it has really clicked, and I am sort of sniffing myself compulsively. Maybe my bottle needed a little mellowing. May 23, 2013 at 12:06pm Reply

      • Victoria: I had chocolate cake for breakfast for similar reasons. :) There are few things that a nice dessert doesn’t cure. May 23, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: I was shocked to step outside and be pelted by hail this morning! The weather is unbelievably bad.

      Iris Silver Mist would be perfect too. Today I’m wearing Coromandel, and it’s also good for this dreary weather. May 23, 2013 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Kristal Mihaela: I love santal and I years back I used to wear the vintage Samsara edt as my signature so naturally I was very excited to try this one. Unfortunately to my nose, the “modern” way to do sandalwood triggers the memory of home-made pickles.

    To those in Europe who have a Lidl close by, please, try the Freshona gurkel pickles, the smell is very much the same. I realise it could be different to people who have not this cultural/gastronomic reference, but I can’t help it, where I live (Romania) this smell is a staple for pickled cucumbers and it has ruined all my attempts to aproach niche sandalwood lately…. :) May 23, 2013 at 9:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Someone else mentioned the pickle association with some sandalwoods (Le Labo Santal 33)! I’m now tempted to race to Lidl and find the pickles you’re talking about. :) May 23, 2013 at 12:59pm Reply

  • OperaFan: Sometimes it’s good to be uncomplicated, and I can never tire of the smell of pure sandalwood.
    I have tried the other 2 Serge but never Santal Blanc. Must remedy soon… Lovely review! May 23, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

    • Victoria: Santal Blanc was always a bit of a sleeper for me, especially when compared to the majestic Santal de Mysore, but it’s such a pleasure to wear it. It has a suave drydown, and the current version is much less sweet than I remember it to be. Worth giving it a sniff. May 23, 2013 at 1:01pm Reply

      • mridula: Of SL’s sandalwood trio, I have sniffed Santal Majascule and was not charmed. Simply too foody for me. I need to find Santal Mysore and Santal Blanc and compare. Are either of them anything like the old Crabtree and Evelyn’s original Sandalwood perfume, the one with real Mysore sandalwood? So you do prefer Santal Blanc to Tam Dao which I have sniffed and which rasps a bit much I think. Hmmm. Just thinking and thinking. I want a full bottle of a sandalwood perfume that is comforting, is smooth, has depth. May 23, 2013 at 1:43pm Reply

        • Victoria: Santal de Mysore still contains Indian Mysore sandalwood. Another fragrance with Indian style sandalwood is Frederic Malle Dries Van Noten.

          I like Santal Blanc more than Tam Dao, because it doesn’t have that jarring sharpness in the drydown. It feels softer somehow. May 23, 2013 at 5:15pm Reply

          • mridula: Thanks for the response. I look forward to figuring out the sandalwood I love the most. I definitely want it to be engaging and comforting at the same time. Perhaps Santal Mysore, perhaps Santal Blanc. May 28, 2013 at 9:41pm Reply

  • Key change: When i was younger, my mother returned from haaj (a pilgramage trip that many Muslims take or hope to take), and I remember she brought back several things, and they were all scented of sandalwood. I remember burying my nose into the folds of all the clothing, and inhaling the scent of a distant peace and simplicity that for the life of me I have not been able to find since. I’m interested in giving this a sniff, especially after reading the way you describe it! May 23, 2013 at 10:31am Reply

    • Victoria: What a lovely memory! You know, it’s such a simple thing, but one of my favorite sandalwood scented items is Indian Mysore Sandalwood soap that’s sold at every Indian and Pakistani grocery store (colorful package, decorated with roses). It’s inexpensive, but it smells heavenly. May 23, 2013 at 1:26pm Reply

  • Roberta: Hi V, what a wonderful review! I was wondering, how does Santal Blanc compare to TF Santal Blush? I remember liking SOMETHING about Santal Blush, though I found it a bit too thin. I haven’t tried any of the Serge Luten’s santals yet. Thanks! May 23, 2013 at 11:08am Reply

    • Victoria: I also find Sandal Blush too thin and too sharp on me. The opening notes are gorgeous, but the drydown is raspy and shrill. Santal Blanc is warmer, more velvety in comparison. May 23, 2013 at 1:27pm Reply

      • Roberta: Thanks, Victoria! I tried Santal Blanc and Santal de Mysore yesterday. I LOVED Santal Blanc, but unfortunately they had run out of it. As for S. de M., I liked the first 5 minutes when I could really detect the sandalwood, but after 10 minutes or so it had completely disappeared. I could only smell the other notes. The dry down was actually quite similar to Jeux de Peau (which Ialready have), so I didn’t think it was worth it.

        On a different topic, the nice lady at The Perfume Shoppe in Vancouver told me that there is a risk that jasmine also gets banned in the EU in the near future (she was referring to A la Nuit). I am a bit concerned now. A la Nuit is one of my favorites and my bottle is half empty. Have you heard anything about it? May 26, 2013 at 1:37pm Reply

        • Victoria: Roberta, thank you for reminding me about Jeux de Peau, which really should have been mentioned alongside other Lutensian sandalwoods. I like it very much.

          If the EU pushes the regulations, many more materials besides jasmine will be restricted, but so far, we’re still waiting to hear their decision. May 26, 2013 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Dl: Lovely review. One small remark though: Santal Blanc is not sold in the export range anymore.
    I’d love to read your take on Santal de Mysore: I’ve always found it very intriguing; the milky-bready-caramelized topnotes giving way to the woody-caramelized basenotes, with the burnt-caramelized aspect acting as a junction between the two. May 23, 2013 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: Di, thank you. In Belgium, it’s still sold as part of the export collection, and you can easily find it at any perfumery, but I noticed that it’s not part of the Selective Distribution collection on their website.

      That burnt caramel (surprisingly, not that sweet) facet combined with spicy cumin is what I love about Santal de Mysore. I’ll definitely write about it soon. May 23, 2013 at 1:34pm Reply

  • axum: Thank you for this lovely review – it’s nice to see Santal blanc getting some positive feedback, as it is a lovely fragrance. I just wish it lasted a little longer. xo May 23, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m glad to see that it has other fans, since I rarely see it mentioned. Santal de Mysore gets more love on blogs.

      Do you find that it vanishes too quickly? Another friend was complaining that it doesn’t last well, but on me it wears like iron. May 23, 2013 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Poetic article! I remember a picture of a beautiful, dancing cat, entirely white and very big–wasn’t that on your wedding?
    I tried Santal Blanc and Santal Majuscule, both are too sweet on me. Santal Mysore I never found.
    What about Santal Noble MPG? May 23, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, we had a cat in the wedding, who appeared out of nowhere and wanted to join the dance. I don’t remember if I posted any photos of him, but he was very cute. I’ll look through the photos later.

      Santal Noble is beautiful too! Suzanna has a review coming up. May 23, 2013 at 1:38pm Reply

  • george: Whether giving me that final push to try the roger and gallet range, to encouraging me to go out there and start splitting the sandalwood ‘atom’, I love this blog. May 23, 2013 at 12:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, George! Sandalwood is such a fascinating perfume type to explore, since you have such an incredible variety of scents from austere (Le Labo Santal 33) to opulent (Santal de Mysore). Would love to hear what you think of it. May 23, 2013 at 1:39pm Reply

  • george: When my family moved when I was five there were three or four tea chests full of junk that were left for ages in a spare room and not unpacked, and there was something in those tea-chests that I used to love to go and smell for ages, which I have only just recently remembered when experiencing (35 years later) the drydown on Dries van Noten, which must have been sandalwood. I shall search out your recommended fragrances (for which I thank you) and my inner five-year old will get back to you. May 23, 2013 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: These kind of childhood scent memories are incredibly strong. Your description of the old tea chests is very poignant, and I really hope that you will find that aroma again.

      One of my obsessions has been the combination of vanilla sugar, pepper, allspice and stale chocolates in my grandmother’s cupboard. Whenever I would open her spice drawer, this scent would envelop me, and even today I can recall it precisely. It sounds like a mishmash, but it’s such a rich, luscious scent. May 23, 2013 at 5:33pm Reply

  • Alityke: My go to sandalwood is Chanel Bois des Iles, I do own 10 Corso Como, vintage Samsara and Santal Majescule yet strangely my lovely Indian friend always comments that the drydown of Aromatics Elixir on me reminds her of home. She has recently lost her dad shortly after delivering her beautiful but very tiny baby girl and does not currently wear scents as she is feeding.

    I plan to prepare her a selection of sandalwood for remembrance when she returns to Europe. I shall be searching for Santal Blanc to enable me to include it May 23, 2013 at 3:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re a wonderful, thoughtful friend, and I’m sure that your gift will be very much appreciated. If you can find it, try including Lez Nez Manoumalia and Neela Vermeire Trayee, which to many of my Indian friends recall India very well. May 23, 2013 at 5:45pm Reply

      • Alityke: Thank you for the recommendations Victoria. I have a sample of Trayee which is pretty so I’ll take your advice and include it. Manoumalia mat be more of a challenge May 24, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

        • Victoria: I felt that it might be a problem, since Manoumalia is sold at so few places. But as it is, you already have an interesting selection of sandalwood perfumes. May 24, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

    • annemariec: That sounds like a lovely gift. How lucky your friend is to have you. May 24, 2013 at 3:52am Reply

      • Alityke: Thank you *blush* May 24, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Annikky: It’s sandalwood-weather here, too – the entire city is wrapped in cold, damp fog. One lovely sandalwood based fragrance that hasn’t been mentioned yet is Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche, it’s creamy and quite understated. And it has cardamom, always a plus in my book. May 23, 2013 at 5:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for a reminder! I adore Lumiere Blanche and its bombastic cousin, Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant. Lumiere Blanche especially wears like a soft cashmere wrap, but it’s sheer enough to transition to warmer days, which I hope will be coming at some point. :) May 23, 2013 at 5:47pm Reply

  • Erin T: So pleased to see a lovely review of this, one of my favorite comfort scents – so contemplative and soothing, with the baking bread, the raisin notes, the cedar. I, too, wear this on grey days, or on sunny late mornings where I have nothing to do but lie in bed and read a book or The Economist (not too frequent anymore, with the kids!) I find it quite soft and was always surprised to hear it described by some bloggers and commenters as overwhelming or synthetic-smelling or bombastic. I have never shared the general enthusiasm for Santal de Mysore, which seems like a vaguely silly fragrance to me – the sandalwood gets lost in all the other notes, that kind of over-egged SL style later seen in Chypre Rouge and Rousse. I do enjoy Santal Majascule, but the foody notes do not call to me very often, and so it will not replace Santal blanc in my heart. May 23, 2013 at 8:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s not synthetic or sharp to my nose either, and I love its cuddly character. You mentioned Chypre Rouge, and I’ve realized that I hardly ever wear it. It’s one of those Lutens that I enjoy in theory, but it’s so hard to pull it off. It seems to compete for my attention. I like Santal de Mysore though, but it’s not an everyday perfume by any means. Santal Blanc, on the other hand, can easily be worn anytime. But I haven’t always enjoyed it, and somehow in the past it struck me as too sweet. Not sure if they changed the formula or my tastes have changed, but today it feels just right. May 24, 2013 at 6:21am Reply

  • Rhiane: Oooh this is one of my favorites! Although its a winter one only for me. The aussie summer does something strange to it Im afraid. I literally lasts days in my hair and on my clothes. Im also a Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant fan. But again its monster sillage and lasting power has it kept to my arm creases and behind knees only!

    I have a few SL fragrances (ISM, Rose de Nuit, Rousse) but they all end up smelling kind of the same on me after a while… Santal Blanc seems to evolve into somthing truly unique

    Beautiful review and in fact, on this cold rainy day in Sydney, its exactly what I will wear ;) May 23, 2013 at 10:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I know exactly what you mean! Rousse is one of my least favorite perfumes from Lutens, and although I’ve tried to like it (I love Lutens, his take on woods and spices), it was just wrong.

      So happy to meet more Kenzo Jungle fans! :) May 24, 2013 at 6:22am Reply

  • annemariec: Sending you virtual hugs and sunshine! :) We are having a mild sunny autumn. I shall give SB a try – you make it sound lovely. May 24, 2013 at 3:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much! The weather forecast shows nothing but rain and clouds for the next 7 days, so both the sunshine and hugs are appreciated. :) May 24, 2013 at 6:26am Reply

  • Figuier: It’s pouring rain and cold here too – and I agree that those warm woody perfumes are just the thing for it. Generally my sandalwood forays haven’t been too successful (although your review is v compelling ;) Instead I’m wearing Indochine and By Kilian Rose Oud. Winter scents usually, in my repertoire, but that’s how this summer is panning out. Let’s all dream of Indian tropics :) May 24, 2013 at 5:15am Reply

    • Victoria: A few weeks ago I was telling my husband that the only thing I would miss about winter was not being able to wear my comfy boots, but it looks like they will be in heavy rotation this summer. :)

      Can you please describe Indochine? I’m now curious about it. May 24, 2013 at 6:34am Reply

      • Figuier: I’m always happy to tell about Indochine! My yen for it has a lot to do with its glorious cardamom note, but there’s plenty more going on. It starts off with a blast of pepper (black but maybe even a bit of white too) and dry woods, then as the pepper subsides you start to get the cardamom and honey (which is not sweet but aromatic). It stays quite dry for the first while, but then very gradually subsides into a creamy wood and vanilla/benzoin skin scent. It’s strong – one spray is plenty – but is really quite transparent compared to most of the PG scents – using your classification I’d call it a ‘soft cashmere wrap’! May 24, 2013 at 7:01am Reply

        • Figuier: Oh and the wood is supposedly tanakha wood from Burma. May 24, 2013 at 7:03am Reply

        • Annikky: This sounds great, especially the cardamom and the dry woods. Does it get very sweet in the dry down, though? I personally am not the biggest fan of sweet vanilla… May 24, 2013 at 7:09am Reply

          • Figuier: I wouldn’t class it as a very sweet base. It’s about as sweet, although very different to, the dry down of Coromandel for example. Vanillic probably isn’t the best descriptor, actually – think benzoin, spiced milk, honeyed wood. May 24, 2013 at 7:55am Reply

            • Annikky: You make it sound absolutely lovely, I’ll try to get hold of a sample. Thank you for replying! May 24, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

        • Victoria: This sounds gorgeous! You only had to mention cardamom and soft cashmere wrap to capture my attention. May 24, 2013 at 11:22am Reply

  • Peggy: Victoria, what an inspiring and lovely review. You always make my world bigger and more lovely by introducing new things into it. May 24, 2013 at 6:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for such a nice compliment, Peggy. In turn, all of you expand my horizons and inspire me to try new things. May 24, 2013 at 11:21am Reply

  • Emma M: Oh! I want to be fed sandalwood perfumed milk and fudge! Your wedding sounds so beautiful.

    I love love love sandalwood and Serge Lutens, so Santal Blanc is a winner for me. May 25, 2013 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: It was quite chaotic, but it was fun. on the other hand, I would rather visit India for someone else’s wedding. :) May 25, 2013 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Melinda: I also love Bollywood and especially Aishwarya Rai :) Sandalwood fragrances are also my top choices for winter and autumn time. This one sounds lovely May 26, 2013 at 7:34am Reply

    • Victoria: A light sandalwood perfume can be good for warm weather too, but I agree with you, most of my sandalwoods are in heavier rotation during the cooler months. May 26, 2013 at 11:24am Reply

  • Daisy: Your wedding in India sounds beautiful and beautifully fragrant! Sandalwood fudge? Oh, that makes me very, very hungry right now!

    Your description of a milky sweetness reminds me of these sandalwood fans my mother has from China. We have very little from before the Cultural Revolution, but when my family immigrated, my grandmother was insistent that each sister have several. Now you can’t get them anymore, which is so sad. May 27, 2013 at 11:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: You know, I’ve discovered that sandalwood is still used in some traditional German gingerbreads, and you can even buy food-grade sandalwood powder. I tracked some down, but I haven’t tried experimenting with it.

      Your fans are real treasures! I have a few fake sandalwood fans from Chinatown, which are scented with artificial sandalwood. They don’t compare at all to the real sandalwood. You need only a few chips to scent an entire closet. May 28, 2013 at 4:43am Reply

  • Amer: I forgot to mention how amazed I was by the notion of sandalwood flavored milkshake! Does it have a distinct taste? May 28, 2013 at 6:34am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: Sandalwood is a deeply spiritual, profoundly serene fragrance for me. It is burned in Buddhist temples for purification, and to define the sacred space, so it really does transport me to a loftier, calmer plain. It is calm and contemplative and shuts out the madness of the world- I love to burn it in my bedroom, and wearing it on my person allows me to take a little of that calm along for the ride. May 28, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Beautifully put, Lynn! The serene character of sandalwood and Santal Blanc is what draws me to it as well. May 29, 2013 at 6:00am Reply

  • Maren: I have been parsing out and savoring the little wax samples a friend brought me from her visit to Serge Lutens in Paris. After facing yet another rainy day, and reading you review I decided it would be nice to use the tiny sample I have of Santal Blanc. Oh you are right! It’s lovely and just the thing for another rainy day. I think this might be a purchase for me, as fortunately it is part of the export line! June 1, 2013 at 6:53pm Reply

    • Maren: Oh and ps, I think you must have been a beautiful bride! June 1, 2013 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Maren, thank you for sharing your impressions, and of course, I’m happy that you also like it. There is something so comforting about Santal Blanc, and I also love how it smells on fabric. Occasionally, the wax and alcoholic samples differ a little, so be sure to try the Eau de Parfum version first. I recall that Santal Blanc was good in both forms, but I don’t have any wax samples on hand to compare.

      Given the amount of makeup and decoration I had on me (and henna up to my elbows and knees), I didn’t even look like myself. But it was fun, chaotic and colorful. :) June 2, 2013 at 11:13am Reply

  • Henriette: I have been looking for this perfume after reading your review but it appears that it’s been discontinued. I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I tried UK and US website, also it’s not on SL’s own website either. October 4, 2013 at 9:15am Reply

    • Henriette: Oh, I think they just moved it into the Exclusive (non export) range. Which means now it’s more expensive. October 4, 2013 at 9:20am Reply

      • Victoria: Sigh.. Too bad, but at least you get it in a pretty bell jar (of course, that’s not much of a consolation). October 5, 2013 at 12:25am Reply

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