Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble is my “reference” sandalwood fragrance, my baseline for other fragrances featuring this note. It is part of MPG’s “Parfums du Levant” collection for men, the “Levant” broadly referring to a geographic area that is here stretched to include India and therefore the famous and now endangered Mysore sandalwood.
Although marketed to men, Santal Noble is, in true niche fashion, genderless. Sandalwood connoisseurs might find the sandalwood note somewhat too mild, but Santal Noble gives me a rush of pleasure each time I wear it. It is creamy, smooth, and I would go as far as to say, bewitching.
In Santal Noble, the sandalwood doesn’t shows up right away. Only once you’ve already enjoyed the roasted coffee beans, the various spices and the golden patchouli does it make its appearance. There’s also an interesting dirty quality reminiscent of warm fur. Although it may not sound appealing, it gives Santal Noble a sensual glow.
Later, vanilla and amber become more pronounced, and sandalwood takes on a gourmand feel. Imagine a vanilla poundcake scented with sandalwood, and you have an idea what to expect. But Santal Noble’s story doesn’t end here. The best part for me is the long finish that lasts into the next day, becoming increasingly mellow and tender over time.
In contrast to the dry and austere Diptyque Tam Dao, another excellent sandalwood perfume, Santal Noble retains a creamy finish. Wearing it is like enjoying two different perfumes at once–a blend of dry woods and a composition of golden, warm amber. On those days when I want it all, it’s the perfect choice.
Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble Eau de Toilette includes notes of coffee, incense, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver, amber, musk, and oakmoss. 100 ml/$130 Available at stores like Aedes, Luckyscent, MiN New York, ausliebezumduft.de.
Photography by snowpeak via Flickr, some rights reserved