10 corso como: 2 posts

Sandalwood Scented Dreams

India and sandalwood. Long before I became interested in perfume as vocation, I knew of this connection. More than a stereotype, it reflects the significance of this wood in India’s traditions, from birth to death, from a wedding to a funeral. Sandalwood makes one’s skin more beautiful and gods more pleased. It smells divine. In my new FT column The Scent of Sandalwood, I explore how Indian and modern European perfumery were inspired by this precious material. Also, I touch upon an issue that rarely clouds the romantic accounts of Mysore sandalwood groves–their overharvesting and near complete devastation.

puja

“My mother-in-law rubbed a piece of pink-coloured wood on a rough stone until it turned to paste. My husband and I were about to travel back to Europe and in the Hindu custom my mother-in-law performed a puja, an act of worship, to ensure our safe journey. She lit joss sticks around the deities and dabbed some of the paste on the figurines of gods arranged on her small altar and then on our foreheads – the fragrance of sandalwood rose in the warm air. Many hours later as I sat in the plane, the creamy, floral perfume lingered around me, carrying with it the memory of a caring touch.” To continue, please click here.

One of my favorite sandalwood perfumes today–it uses a mixture of Australian and synthetic sandalwood–is 10 Corso Como. A niche classic. Do you enjoy sandalwood?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, all rights reserved

Diptyque Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como : Perfume Reviews

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Indian_beauty

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Since antiquity, the precious oil of sandalwood was sought after not only for its aroma, but also for its calming and restorative properties. Sandalwood would be ground into powders, macerated in oils for cosmetic preparations and made into pastes for incense sticks. Its oil would be co-distilled with various flowers and spices, producing fragrant attars. From the religious ceremonies to the beauty rituals, sandalwood and its scent are indelibly associated with the most intimate and spiritual of traditions in the East. Its rich fragrance envelops like an opulent silk wrap, clinging to the skin and melding with its warmth.

Yet, despite its popularity and uniqueness, sandalwood is a difficult note for the perfumer to employ, as its lack of a bright top note flattens a composition. Sandalwood dominated fragrances tend to be rich and heavy, as Guerlain Samsara with its 45% of sandalwood oil can demonstrate. Less successful compositions simply strike one as dense and opaque. In light of this fact, it is a pleasure to discover two fragrances that highlight the sandalwood without compromising its beauty. Diptyque Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como are often compared, however while they offer interpretations on the sandalwood theme, the results have sufficiently different nuances to consider exploring both fragrances. …

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