indian sandalwood: 3 posts

Forest Essentials Sandalwood & Vetiver Scented Body Mist

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The scent of sandalwood is glorious–creamy, velvety, with a rich rose nuance. It’s as if wood shavings had been steeped in rose liqueur and then drizzled with cream. I remember the bliss I felt while leaning over a vat of vetiver-sandalwood attar in Kannauj, a town in northern India renowned for its scents, and immersing myself into a cloud of fragrant vapor. I still have a handful of sandalwood chips from that trip and they retain their beautiful aroma. The combination of sandalwood and vetiver is even more spellbinding.

Of course, there are plenty of sandalwood-vetiver fragrances, from Serge Lutens Vétiver Oriental to Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt. I enjoy all of them. Yet the sandalwood fragrance I wear the most is Forest Essentials Sandalwood & Vetiver Scented Body Mist. I bought it on the same Indian trip when I traveled to Lucknow and Kannauj researching the history of attars.

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The Allure of Sandalwood

My mother-in-law rubbed a piece of pink colored 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 on the airplane, the creamy, floral perfume lingered around me, carrying with it the memory of a caring touch.

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In Indian paintings you can sometimes spot curious image of snakes curving sensually around sandalwood trees. According to legend, the tree releases such a beautiful scent that serpents are charmed by it. More than a pleasing aromatic, sandalwood is a means to feel closer to the divine, for all creatures alike. This is the reason why Vedic religious rites, from birth to death, are accompanied by this precious wood.

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Sandalwood : Woods Series (New Video)

I’m continuing my woods series and today I’m discussing sandalwood, the most distinctive sweet wood in the perfumer’s palette.
The beauty of sandalwood lies in its sweet and creamy scent that differs from the aromas of other woods, which tend to be dry and sharp.

While I mention a variety of perfumes in this video, such as Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore, Santal Majuscule, Ambre Sultan, Jeux de Peau, Chanel Égoïste, Guerlain Samsara, Diptyque Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como, this is far from a complete list. Therefore, I wanted to supplement it with several other examples of excellent sandalwood perfumes.

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