#1

Member
Southern Ohio
Recently the TSE posted a video on his top 6 Sandalwood soaps. It made me think about the scent.

A number of years ago I had a business trip to India and while there I purchased a wood carving that was made of Sandalwood – it has a very distinct scent that you can’t mistake.

I use a soap made by the Good Earth Spa that is Sandalwood and the lady that makes the soap puts flecks of Sandalwood in the soap and it has the same scent as the carving.

Enter all the other Sandalwood soaps.  One of the first soaps I bought was the Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving soap expecting the wood scent.  Instead it wasn’t anything like the scent I get from the actual wood.  My wife got me the Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood shaving cream that I used today – great performance but smells similar to Tayor’s soap.  

So the question is this – What am I missing when it comes to Sandalwood?  Seems to be two camps – one – the actual wood scent and – two – a more flowery scent that doesn’t smell anything like the wood.

Does anyone else notice this?

[Image: Red+Sandalwood+sw.jpg]

oldie likes this post
#2

Member
Metro Detroit
I've noticed this, too. Sandalwood soaps vary among soap makers quite a bit. I'm not sure if the cost of the essential oils is high, or if there is another reason.
I have heard that Proraso Red is considered closer to the real wood scent. I like that one and Reef Point made a very good sandalwood, too.
It seems like many soap makers use sandalwood as a note in their scent rather than the main one, and I don't know what they use to get that note.
I'm very tempted by Sandalwood Ten by Soap Smooth - its billed as sandalwood and Kinize Ten combined.
#3

Member
Southern Ohio
Actual Sandalwood oils are very expensive and I do know that the soap I have uses fragrance oil but uses real wood in the soap. I would love to find a soap that actually smells like the wood. I just can't keep buying soaps in the hope one turns out to hit the mark.
#4

Veni, vidi, vici
New Vegas
Two products that are really sandalwood:
1) Cyril Salter Indian Sandalwood Cream
2) Meehan's Sandalwood Cologne.
These are the woody, true sandalwood scents.

Cincinnatus, oldie and Tbone like this post
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Primo
Shaving for 46+ years; enjoying my shaves since 2014
Ah, che bel vivere, che bel piacere per un barbiere di qualità...
#5

Member
Vancouver, BC
Michelle (Mystic Water) would, probably, have much more detailed information regarding this as she is quite knowledgeable. Hopefully, she can contribute, here.

kwsher and Cincinnatus like this post
Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#6
(This post was last modified: 03-08-2016, 06:21 PM by NeoXerxes. Edit Reason: Clarification )
In addition to the availability (and cost) problems with certain varieties, sandalwood is traditionally paired in different ways. Some sandalwood scents are paired with rose (Trumper's sandalwood, Xerjoff Richwood, etc), others with ylang ylang (Chanel Bois des Iles), and a few more with vanilla (Dries van Noten Par Frederic Malle, and also the masculines like Trumper's and Richwood). In many cases sandalwood has been considered feminine, but the masculine pairing has been quite common with rose/vanilla.

In addition to availability and pairing differences, some product makers simply try to produce a sandalwood accord, where the vibe of sandalwood is recreated using a mix of ingredients. I suspect this is the case with many of the British creams.

onethinline and oldie like this post
#7

Member
San Francisco
I might be able to clarify this whole thing a bit, though I'm far from an expert on the subject. Just a somewhat-recovering fragrance-obsessive.  Tongue

There are two main commercial forms of sandalwood: the most famous, Indian (sometimes "Mysore") sandalwood, which many of us think of as the canonical sandalwood smell; and Australian sandalwood, which is from a different species of tree and smells notably different than Indian.

Indian sandalwood (santalum album) has a rich, almost creamy scent; it's warm and smooth yet bold. It's certainly the classic "sandalwood" fragrance. Problem is, this species has become endangered, and while there are now plantations to grow Indian sandalwood sustainably, prices have skyrocketed meantime meaning over the past few decades use of the oil, which once was common, has become relatively rare.

Which leads to the relative proliferation of the use of Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) instead. Though part of the same genus, Australian sandalwood smells less rich and milky than Indian, having instead a drier, more conventionally "woodsy" quality. This is likely what is used in some of the sandalwood products mentioned above which seem not to smell like sandalwood. I can think of examples like D.R. Harris Marlborough, or Nuàvia Rossa, which, best I can tell, use Australian sandalwood.

So, likely most of these products are technically named accurately, but given that Indian is used more rarely now, labeling something "sandalwood" without using Indian sandalwood can be misleading for those of us used to that distinctly rich, creamy smell.

Me, I don't care much for Indian sandalwood at all. Sadly I associate it strongly with hippy-dippy head-shops and haven't lost that connection. The Australian version, though, is just fine, so it's been nice to discover that some sandalwood products needn't scare me at all.  Smile

Oh, and I can confirm that Proraso red definitely has some real santalum album (Indian) oil in it (it's right there in the ingredient list, in fact!). If you want that classic sandalwood scent, that's an inexpensive way to get it.

NeoXerxes, Cincinnatus, ask4Edge and 5 others like this post
David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
#8
(This post was last modified: 03-12-2016, 03:57 AM by Viseguy.)
Caswell-Massey makes a wonderfully "woody" sandalwood bath soap and other sandalwood products, though, unfortunately, not a shaving soap [correction: C-M do still make shaving soaps, including Sandalwood -- sorry]. I've thought of combining the bath soap with Mike's Natural unscented to make a shaving soap with that scent. It's something special.
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Viseguy
#9

Super Moderator
(03-08-2016, 03:47 PM)primotenore Wrote: Two products that are really sandalwood:
1) Cyril Salter Indian Sandalwood Cream
2) Meehan's Sandalwood Cologne.
These are the woody, true sandalwood scents.

Thanks primotenore I just ordered the Cyril Salter. I love their French Vetiver and the performance of all their creams is outstanding. I'm looking forward to their sandalwood as I generally don't care for the other versions of sandalwood I've encountered.
Marko
#10

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
(03-11-2016, 07:08 AM)Viseguy Wrote: Caswell-Massey makes a wonderfully "woody" sandalwood bath soap and other sandalwood products, though, unfortunately, not a shaving soap. I've thought of combining the bath soap with Mike's Natural unscented to make a shaving soap with that scent. It's something special.

I didn't realize that Caswell-Massey stopped producing shaving soap but I am not surprised. Their pre-shave oil was excellent but their shaving soap was dreadful. I could never get a decent lather from it no matter what I did. Admittedly, this was about ten years ago but I remember quite a few others having the same complaint. I do have to say that their very limited scents (almond, sandalwood, and verbena) were superb but that alone does not make for a great shave. Sad


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