Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble : Perfume Review

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.

sunset

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.

mpg santal

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

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18 Comments

  • Cornelia Blimber: What a beautiful, glowing picture, and what a warm, lyric review!
    MPG was the first ‘niche’ house in my life. I own and love Tubéreuse, Jasmin, Eau de Mûre and Racine, also emptied a full bottle of Soie Rouge (in the end a bit too sweet ) and Freesia d’Or, and some samples of Secrète Datura. Now I can’t wait to try Santal Noble! August 6, 2013 at 7:46am Reply

  • RenChick: Oh man, I already love anything sandalwood, so this is going to the top of my must-try list! I love your review of the perfume. Quite a lovely way with words… August 6, 2013 at 9:18am Reply

  • Martha: This is a perfume house that I’ve only read about in other blogs. I love sandalwood and now I know that I need to try Santal Noble at least for reference. Actually, the review makes it sound luscious and like something I’d wear anyway so perhaps I will find a new perfume love in this one. August 6, 2013 at 9:19am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: What an amazing picture! You’re a fabulous photographer, Suzanna. I haven’t tried the fragrance yet but I’d like to try it one day. I like sandalwood but it was the ‘roasted coffee beans’ that caught my eyes. August 6, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

  • breathesgelatin: I really love MPG – it’s such an underrated line. I haven’t spent as much time with their men’s line, but I should. August 6, 2013 at 9:37am Reply

  • Austenfan: It’s a lovely review and a stunning photo. I haven’t tried this particular MPG, but based on this I should. It’s quite a good line I think. I like quite a few of their offerings, Ambre Précieux, Racine and Route du Vetiver in particular. August 6, 2013 at 10:30am Reply

  • Ferris: I would have never guessed this was such a great reference sandalwood perfume. Sandalwood is one of my all time favorite notes to smell in perfumes. I love the sandalwood drydown that’s in a number of Chanel compositions namely Égoïste, Bois Des Îles and Chanel No 5. I need to grab a sample of this very soon! Great review! August 6, 2013 at 11:09am Reply

  • rosarita: What a lovely review and photo, Suzanna! MPG is a line I have not even scratched the surface of, which is a shame because I’ve read such good reviews of various perfumes over the years. You had me at roasted coffee beans and spices. August 6, 2013 at 11:16am Reply

  • Lucas: Beautiful and evocative review Suzanna! Well done!

    I didn’t have much experience with MPG, one of the Polish niche perfumeries had it but they stepped back from selling the line a while ago.

    Anyway, Santal Noble sounds lovely, I think I might like it. August 6, 2013 at 11:45am Reply

  • Kathy: Agreed! I haven’t found a better sandalwood and both dh and I wear it and love it. August 6, 2013 at 12:19pm Reply

  • Eva S.: Love your photo, love your rewiev, love the name of the fragance…I have to try to get a sample!
    Your photo made my day! So wonderful! :) August 6, 2013 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Annikky: I’m another one of those who hasn’t really explored MPG, need to remedy that. I’ve been curious about their tuberose and also Cuir Fetiche and now must add Santal Noble to the list.

    Lovely review, great picture, as always. August 6, 2013 at 5:14pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Senteurs d’Ailleurs in the Louise area carries MPG. I haven’t tried that many myself but the line is BIG.
      In the white floral category you might like Fleur des Comores, Le Jasmin and their Tubéreuse (which is buttery and not sweet).
      They have two of my favourite Vetivers and one of my favourite Ambers (Précieux) August 6, 2013 at 5:46pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Fleur des Comores is very sweet. Jasmin is fresh, to my nose it reminds of tooth paste(!) but elegant. If you like a tea note, try Eau de Camelia Chinois. Exquisite: Jardin du Neroli. Their Tubereuse has a perfect balance between the sweet and green notes.
        The whole collection of MPG is woth trying! August 7, 2013 at 5:00am Reply

  • Emma M: Oh, such a tempting review – thanks Suzanna! I’ll certainly be tracking down a sample of this and others from MPG now.

    I love sandalwood; my favourites are Tam Dao, Bois des Iles and Santal Majascule. August 6, 2013 at 5:29pm Reply

  • theperfumeddandy: Dear Suzanna
    Putting to one side how far it’s stretching it to include India in ‘The Levant’, this does sound interesting.
    Perhaps it’s the intriguing notion of ‘wearing two perfumes at once’ that draws me in for (please don’t tell) I seem to be all but immune to the charms of sandalwood…
    Lovely review.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy August 6, 2013 at 6:53pm Reply

  • maggiecat: I love sandalwood (and it’s one of the few notes my husband also enjoys) but often find them too dry or masculine to wear. This just went on my lemming list – thank you for a lovely review! August 6, 2013 at 7:31pm Reply

  • Mikeperez23: As a fan of sandalwood fragrances, this one just rubs me the WRONG way. I think it’s the coffee note, which on my skin can be tricky (The coffee note in Kyoto from CdG smells like soap on my skin, the one in Black Vetyver Cafe by Jo Malone turns my stomach). And I’ve tried ‘vintage’ and new juice also.

    Although your description of a ‘vanilla poundcake scented with sandalwood’ sounds delicious. I must admit for my gourmand/edible sandalwood I reach for Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens and Hermessance Santal Massoia by Hermes. August 6, 2013 at 10:50pm Reply

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