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What Does Sandalwood Smell Like?

What Does Sandalwood Smell Like?

What Does Sandalwood Smell Like?

Sandalwood is an incredibly popular aroma in the world of scented candles. It’s one we particularly enjoy using and forms an excellent base for all number of fragrances.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to show sandalwood some love and dig a bit deeper into where it comes from and its other uses.

What is sandalwood?

Sandalwood, as the name implies, is a type of wood. The trees belong to the genus santalum, and the most popular is Indian sandalwood, s. album. Sandalwood originates from Asia and the Pacific Islands, where it’s been grown for its oil for thousands of years.

Sandalwood is famed for its strong fragrance, but the wood is also used for building. It’s yellow, heavy, and fine-grained, and retains its aroma for decades.

The name sandalwood derives from the Sanskrit word chandanam, which means “wood for burning incense”. The fact that this is the meaning in such an early language demonstrates how long this has been the primary purpose of sandalwood.

Uses for sandalwood

The primary use of sandalwood is as a fragrance, either as an essential oil or as the wood itself. Sandalwood has been used by various religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. In Hinduism, it’s used to worship the god Shiva, and Hindus believe the goddess Lakshmi lives inside the sandalwood tree.

Sandalwood oil has a number of uses in perfume. It’s used on its own as a popular base for other fragrances, but it’s also used in smaller amounts as a fixative. It’s particularly effective at prolonging the lifespan of more volatile fragrances in a mixture.

Aboriginal Australians eat sandalwood kernels, nuts, and fruit, and these components are growing in popularity in Asian cuisine as a replacement for macadamia nuts.

Sandalwood smell and properties

It’s always a challenge to describe a smell in words, but here’s a fairly accurate summary of the smell of sandalwood.

The main smell of sandalwood is, unsurprisingly, woody, which comes from the fraction santalol. It’s also earthy, but can also be described as creamy and rich. If you smell sandalwood on its own, you’ll pick up on balsamic, sweet and floral notes too.

Our favourite sandalwood candles: Summers in Jand and Hausa Nights

We love using sandalwood in our candles. Our two favourites are Summers in Jand and Hausa Nights.

Summers in Jand features a base of sandalwood combined with orchid, sweet lotus, bergamot, ylang and truffle. The result is an exciting, earthy blend that’s both relaxing and uplifting.

Hausa Nights is all about luxury. We’ve combined sandalwood with agarwood, amber, patchouli and rose. All of this comes together as a powerful aroma of opulence that’s both summery and exotic.


Sandalwood is a vital component in the fragrance industry. We love it because of its spiritual and historical connections, and of course its amazing scent. If you fancy showing sandalwood some love, why not check out our range of candles that contain sandalwood? It’s such a versatile scent that it won’t be difficult for you to find one you love.