They say that sandalwood has a signature scent that you can’t forget. It has a distinct smell that has been valued and adored because it is strong and incredibly long-lasting. But what does sandalwood really smell like?
A lot of sandalwood product users (the majority of men, actually) say that sandalwood oil is a combination of sweet and woody scents. It has distinct notes that deliver a jive of creamy, smooth, exotic, and warm scents. It may sound a bit odd, but the smell of sandalwood oil is unique and can be, at times, difficult to elaborate. But one thing’s for sure: you’ll recognize the scent right away the moment you smell it.
It’s been on the labels of many products like shaving creams, aftershave lotions and balms, perfumes, and even essential oils for home fragrances. It has a distinct smell that you can just recognize right on the spot. It is sandalwood.
But what does it really smell like? Is it more than just a fragrant smell? In this article, we’ll walk you through all you need to know about sandalwood.
Table Of Contents
What Is Sandalwood
Before we dig into its signature fragrance, sandalwood is derived from the bark of Santalum trees in India. While it has set a significant mark on spiritual and religious rituals over the years, its fragrant bark highlights unique notes and properties and hence, has captured a vast market of products.
It’s been present in perfumes, home fragrances, soaps, candles, and various shaving creams and aftershave products for men, and a lot more.
Benefits of Sandalwood
With its exceptional characteristics, sandalwood can be seen listed among the ingredients on the label of a product. Besides its soothing scent, a lot of products opt for sandalwood because of its beneficial effects on physical and mental health.
Good for the Skin
As many believe that body lotion will provide you with maximum hydration and that you can make your skin soft by using a conditioner, sandalwood also has properties that can work on your skin and make it soft. No wonder a lot of hygiene products and other toiletries have sandalwood as one of their potent ingredients.
Some say that skin heals faster if you use a body wash. It can be true if the product you’re using has antiseptic and astringent properties such as sandalwood. While it lends a sense of calm and relaxing feeling, sandalwood is more than just a source of fragrant and distinct notes for perfumes.
It can also deliver amazing benefits on your body, making it widely used for shaving creams, aftershave products, essential oils, body lotion, and other face and body beauty products.
Natural Remedy for Mental Health
Apart from these impressive points, sandalwood has also been considered a natural remedy for better mental health and clarity and cognitive function. It carries out therapeutic effects that can help relieve stress and anxiety and, therefore, allows you to view things with a more rational perspective.
Where Does Sandalwood Come From
India is the official home of sandalwood. This exquisite wood is obtained from the beautiful Santalum trees that captured the world with its fragrant bark. Although nowadays, sandalwood may come from Australia, Hawaii, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, and Bangladesh, Indian sandalwood remains preeminent due to its exceptional quality and long-lasting fragrance.
Unbeknownst to many, sandalwood falls second in the most expensive woods in the world. However, it’s no picnic harvesting sandalwood. It is all about an immense waiting game as it usually takes at least 15 years before it is considered ready and available for harvesting.
Because it is expensive and may not always be available, a synthetic chemical called Isobornyl cyclohexanol has been an alternative for sandalwood. While sandalwood has been a focal or significant element in a wide range of products, it is currently deemed as one of the threatened species in India.
Sandalwood is a precious harvest and has been deliberately collected for its unique properties, particularly for its oils and signature scent. Because of this, a lot of people take advantage of it and harvest them illegally despite the efforts of the government to take over these issues.
Sandalwood Oil Uses
It’s safe to say that sandalwood oil has become the holy grail of a vast array of products because of its variety of uses. Shaving creams and aftershave products highlight this ingredient on their labels and you’d probably have wondered why. To delve more into its properties, the following are the different uses of sandalwood oil.
One of the promising benefits of sandalwood is its antiseptic properties. This can help prevent the growth of bacteria that may lead to an infection. That’s why a lot of products for men, such as shaving creams and aftershave lotion or splash, contain sandalwood.
When your razor is dull or you’re using the wrong technique in shaving, you’ll likely get yourself a painful cut. But to avert any bacterial growth, the antiseptic properties of sandalwood do an amazing job to minimize any adverse effects and hence, give you a fresh and healthy shave.
If you’re in search of the world’s best toner for men, you can consider checking the product if it contains sandalwood. Besides the amazing effects of sandalwood that softens your skin and keeps it healthy with the antiseptic properties, sandalwood stands out yet again with its toning effects.
While a facial moisturizer will prevent pimples and rashes and maintains smooth and healthy skin, the mild astringent properties of sandalwood tighten and bolsters your skin for an even-toned complexion.
When you experience a stinging sensation or a burning feeling after you shave, it has probably something to do with how you use the razor or the blade of your razor isn’t very sharp anymore. It is when you seek relief to alleviate the pain and fortunately, sandalwood oil can help you deal with it.
Sandalwood oil also offers anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the skin and keep it pain-free. That’s why it is no surprise that sandalwood is present in many aftershave products and premium aftershave balms or lotions due to these benefits.
Anti-Aging and Antioxidant
Men who are battling with aging and free radicals (especially those who are in their 30s) may need to look for products that are anti-aging and antioxidant. The good news is that sandalwood oil can deal with this dilemma and help enhance the skin by minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.
Luckily, sandalwood oil is a common ingredient found in many products for men. Of course, you need to exfoliate your face to remove impurities and regular face washing will keep your skin clean. And giving your skin a boost from sandalwood can deliver better results.
Products for Men That Contain Sandalwood
If you’re looking for men’s products that contain sandalwood, the following are some of the common products that you can check out.
Sandalwood Beard Oil
When you need to get rid of any beard itch after shaving and make your skin much smoother and softer, you may consider applying a sandalwood beard oil. This also works to moisturize the skin and keep it essentially hydrated. There is a vast range of this type of product on the market, but you should find the one that contains real sandalwood and skip those with synthetic fragrance.
Sandalwood Shave Cream
Shaving creams all have the main purpose: to moisturize your beard hairs, making them much softer and a lot easier to shave. Your razor can glide smoothly onto your beard, which prevents nicks and cuts and also minimizes any irritations and razor bumps as you shave. You’ll also have that refreshing and soothing feeling after shaving.
How does a sandalwood shaving cream stand out? It’s all in the secondary benefits that this natural ingredient can offer. While many shaving creams can provide decent results, sandalwood does an amazing job at keeping your skin healthy, essentially moisturized, and nourished.
There are aftershave products that leave a stinging sensation and dry. Some apply hand cream to protect the skin from cracking. But given the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of sandalwood, aftershave products that have sandalwood oil deliver multiple benefits on the skin.
Apart from the fresh and clean feeling, a sandalwood aftershave can prevent any burning sensation and irritations. It can clear out the pores and also keep your skin essentially nourished. Just make sure to apply aftershave gently.
Although sandalwood carries out the signature fragrance and essential oils that deliver multiple health benefits, sandalwood falls in the vast range of expensive oils you can find on the market. There’s no doubt that a lot of men opt for possible substitutes that can offer the same benefits and long-lasting fragrance. If you’re looking for the closest kind of sandalwood for its distinct woody notes and exceptional benefits, the following are some alternatives you can try.
If you are after the woody and sweet notes found in sandalwood, you might not be able to find the exact scent that you’re looking for, but cedarwood might just be a great alternative that won’t disappoint you.
Although you may not be able to track the sweet scents of sandalwood, the resemblance of cedarwood to the distinct woody notes of sandalwood makes it a popular option for many users. Cedarwood also boasts its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can enhance your skin condition.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has also been present in some products for men, such as beard oils. While a lot of men adore its fresh and camphor-like smell, tea tree oil also shares multiple health benefits as what sandalwood does.
The essential oils of tea tree is a natural antiseptic that can combat bacteria that usually causes skin irritations and breakouts. Plus, it has been used in aromatherapy because of its soothing scent that can relieve stress.
Where to Buy Sandalwood Oil
Due to its rarity, finding where to buy sandalwood is not that easy-peasy. Knowing that the best sandalwood oil is from India, it may be a bit difficult to find this essential oil in your local natural stores.
However, if you look up online, you can try browsing sandalwoods on e-commerce websites. Just make sure to read where the sandalwood oil is sourced from. Those affordable sandalwood products may have been sourced from Australia and the United States. Although they can offer great quality, you’ll be lucky enough to find sandalwood oils that are sourced from India.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Sandalwood is considered the second most expensive wood in the world. Unfortunately, sandalwood oil is among the priciest oils you can find on the market.
That’s why one might think that products that contain sandalwood oil may come with hefty price tags. It can be true with some well-known brands and other products, but the good news is sandalwood isn’t always about high prices.
When it comes to sandalwood-based products, particularly the ones for men, you can find sandalwood shaving creams and aftershave products at reasonable prices. Some can be incredibly affordable but don’t fall short on the quality.
However, take note that the best source for high-quality sandalwood oil is from India. That can be a bit pricey, though, but you can find more affordable sandalwood oils that are derived from Australia and some in the United States.
Rather than focus on the price, you should check the product content, whether it contains natural sandalwood fragrance and oil along with the other organic ingredients, as some utilize synthetic ingredients only to capture and replicate the scent of sandalwood. Synthetic sandalwoods may resemble the scent of real sandalwood, but you’re missing out on a lot of health benefits.
Do’s and Don’ts With Sandalwood
There is a variety of products that contain sandalwood. And to make sure you get the most of its essential properties and prevent any safety risks, here are some do’s and don’ts that you should take note of:
- Store the product properly. If you’re using a product that contains sandalwood, check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper storage.
- If you’re not sure whether you have allergic reactions to sandalwood oil, you should conduct a patch test and try a small part of the product or sandalwood on your skin first. Observe for 24 hours, but for some people, it sometimes takes 5 or 10 minutes for the allergic reaction to manifest.
- If it is a topical product, apply the sandalwood product on the skin according to the suggested amount. Always check the label for the proper amount and application.
- If you have skin-related issues or other health problems, speak to your doctor first before trying any product that contains sandalwood.
- Do not choose sandalwood products that are described as “perfumed”, “scented”, or “labeled”. These products may not be natural sandalwood oils but rather synthetic or of poor quality.
- Sandalwood oil should not be ingested.
- Do not place sandalwood products under direct sunlight.
FAQ About Sandalwood
Is sandalwood a feminine scent?
Sandalwood has a strong scent and is considered to be a masculine scent. That’s it is commonly found in a wide range of products for men. However, when it is blended with other base notes such as orange blossom, musk, or floral fragrances, sandalwood can have a sweet and more feminine scent that can be found on perfumes and other beauty products.
Does cedarwood smell like sandalwood?
It resembles the scent of sandalwood but more on the woody notes. Although cedarwood does not have the sweet notes that sandalwood oils also, it is one of the good substitutes that you can find.
Does sandalwood lose its smell?
The scent of sandalwood does not easily wear out. Actually, sandalwood is known to have a long-lasting fragrance, making it a popular element on many perfumes and beauty products.
Why is growing sandalwood illegal?
Growing sandalwood trees in your private land or territory is a different story. Individuals are not allowed to grow sandalwood trees because they take a very long time to grow and mature before they are ready for harvesting.
As sandalwood is known for its therapeutic benefits and fragrant oils, there’s been a massive demand for it. But if one wants to grow sandalwood and have them cut down for business purposes, they are required to get a permit from the state forest department.
Apart from being the second most expensive wood in the world, sandalwood truly is among the precious species that deliver a lot of benefits to your body and skin. It has the distinct woody and sweet scents that a lot of men love, which makes sandalwood pretty popular among men’s products. Although it isn’t always easy to find and the costly price tag is a slight pitfall, it carries out a great quality that’s worth the price.
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