Sandalwood EO Profile

 Sandalwood is a favorite herb, ritual incense and perfume ingredient. It is now widely cultivated but over-harvested. It has some serious healthy benefits with a woody, warm and sensuous scent that is healing to the skin. Read the history and use of this ancient plant material.

Fig. 1.Sandalwood x 2Fig. 1. Oil from 2 Sandalwood species

 Sandalwood EO & Hydrosol
By Jeanne Rose ~ August 2016

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Sandalwood or Santal from various species of Santalum.  There are many species, about 15-25, I will mention only the ones currently used and distilled for their essential oil or that I have mentioned elsewhere in this article:

  1. S. album L. — Indian sandalwood, white sandalwood, chandana (India Indonesia, northern Australia);
  2. S. austrocaledonicum (New Caledonia, Vanuatu);
  3. S. fernandezianum Phil. (Juan Fernández Islands);
  4. S. freycinetianum Gaudich. — ʻiliahi (Hawaiʻi);
  5. S. paniculatum Hook. & Arn. — ʻiliahi (Hawaiʻi);
  6. S. spicatum (R.Br.) A.DC. — Australian sandalwood (Australia);
  7. S. yasi Seem. – yasi (Fiji, Niue) Tonga- Ahi.

 Other Common Name/Naming Information: The word Santalum simply is the Sanskrit name for the tree Sandalwood. How they began to use it in the beginning I don’t think we know. Although, the aroma of the oil and the wood is esteemed by people belonging to three major religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. The various species names are indicative of some part of the plant; album meaning white, austrocaledonicum means coming from the Australian and Caledonian area, spicatum meaning spiked like the grains on wheat.

Family: Santalaceae

Countries of Origins: There are many Indo-Malaysian to Australian and Hawaiian species. The natural distribution of sandalwood extends from 30° N to 40° S from Indonesia in the east to Juan Fernandez Islands (Chile) in the west and from Hawaiian Archipelago in the north to New Zealand in the south. It is a small to medium-sized hemi-parasitic tree, distributed rather widely in India. S. freycinetianum Gaudich is the basis of the Hawaiian Sandalwood industry from 1791 that peaked in 1810 and the trees were exhausted by 1840. Another species S. fernandezianum F. Philippi, is rare through over-exploitation for timber by 1740 and extinct by 1916. Used for fragrant timber, especially S. album L. from India called Sandalwood is widely cultivated and used for making chests, and the distilled oil used in scent and medicine.

 Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Australia, India, Hawai`i and New Caledonia.

 Endangered or Not: The sandalwood tree has now become endangered due to over-harvesting, greatly limiting supply and hence use and unfortunately, Australian sandalwood oil (Santalum spicatum) is not only in short supply but does not have quite the odor quality of East Indian Sandalwood oil due to its lower amount of beta-santalol. When you consider that in 1957 the world population was 2.8 billion and now it is about 6 billion it is pretty clear that with more people there is more demand for precious essential oils and commodities. I believe that we have to grow more but use less, for each and every one of us is responsible for the damage to the planet by over-exploitation and desire. I would like to see people not use Sandalwood for two generations and prosecute, jail, and educate the pirates that are stealing it and cutting down trees.

“In the early 19th century, Santalum paniculatum and three other Hawaiian endemic species of sandalwood were severely over-harvested for the commercial export of their fragrant heartwood. Due to the slow growth of these trees and continued human disturbance, this species is uncommon in the native forests of Hawai`i.”

Fig. 2.Sandalwood x10Fig. 2. Sandalwood oil courtesy of Eden Botanicals, Prima Fleur

General description of Plant habitat and growth: S. album is a tall evergreen tree with bunches of reddish yellow flowers confined to forests in southern India.  Growing at altitudes of 2,000 to 3,000 feet, the tree grows up to 60-65 feet in height and is actually a hemi-parasite plant.  The roots attach themselves to the roots of other trees, sucking nutrients from their host and causing the other trees to perish.  The heartwood is distilled from the mature tree.  However, the tree takes 60-80 years to mature and because harvesting has exceeded the planting and maturing of fresh crop, it is endangered.

            Santalum paniculatum is only found on the big island of Hawai’i, called Mountain sandalwood, it is a shrub or small tree 3 to 10 meters in height. Its greenish-blue leaves are ovate to elliptic, 2.5-8 cm long and 2-4.5 cm wide. The upper leaf surface is shiny and the lower surface glaucous (covered with a powdery coat) and they are oppositely arranged along the twigs. The flowers are sweet smelling and usually clustered at the ends of the branches. The corolla (tube of fused petals) is green in the bud, turning brown or orange to salmon after opening. Each flower is between 4 to 8 mm long and contains both male and female reproductive parts. The ovary sits below the corolla and develops into a single seeded fleshy fruit. The mature fruits are black to purple and about 1 cm long.
Regarding S. austrocaledonicum and S. yasi there is an extensive article on their growth, plant habitat and description of uses at this link that you will have to cut and paste to read as the file may look scrambled.

 Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: This is a hemi-parasitic tree and requires one or more host plants by which it obtains nutrition through the roots. The roots attach themselves to the roots of other trees, sucking nutrients from their host and causing the other trees to perish.  The heartwood is distilled from the mature tree.  However, the tree takes 60-80 years to mature and because harvesting has exceeded the planting and maturing of fresh crop, it is becoming endangered. The heartwood is chipped and steam-distilled sometimes over another plant. Yield is 4-6.5%.

Cropwatch Tony Burfield states, “Distillation. Many customers do not realize that production of E.I. Sandalwood oil involves several stages. The first distillation of pulverized wood or milled Sandalwood sawdust is soaked 48 hours and distilled 2-3 days’ oil if carried out at a pressure of 30-40 psig, to produce the crude oil. The first 2-5% of “sandalwood terpenes” are rejected, as it contains compounds like N-fufuryl pyrrole. This compound in extremely low concentrations smells like wheat popcorn, but in higher concentrations detracts from the sandalwood odor. The terpenes fraction also contains sesquiterpene hydrocarbons such as the a- and b-santalenes, which detract from the solubility of the oil in alcohol. The oil is then redistilled at 30-40 psig, again, often rejecting the first few fractions. Finally, the resulting oil is rectified. “

Aging and Storage of Sandalwood: The wood can be stored indefinitely just as other wood and other essential oils are stored in dark, lightproof, airtight containers, glass preferred. However, that being said, I have some Sandalwood chips I purchased over 40 years ago that I stored in a paper bag in the dark basement that seems just fine with the delicious warm, woody odor intact. I have also pulled out all my old samples and bottles of Sandalwood essential oil, dusty as they are and as old as they are, they are somewhat more viscous but the scent has held up over all these years.
Sandalwood ages well. The essential oil should be kept in a tightly sealed airtight container, glass, and in a cool, dark place such as a basement that has an ambient temperature of 50-55°. The refrigerator is not the place to store good Sandalwood oil.

Fig. 3.Sandalwood-ChipsFig. 3. small chips of Sandalwood

 Sandalwood Differences and how to choose: Choose the scent that pleases you best. Choose one that is sustainable. Please be conscious of the fact that many Sandalwood trees are being destroyed to satiate the desire for this oil. To choose your favorite, read this profile and then try to purchase small samples of several Sandalwood types. Smell them. What do you like the best? Woody and floral? Woody and unctuous. Smell them over the course of a few days and then purchase what works best for you. Remember that you do not need to apply this oil to obtain its benefits on the skin. Skin cells possess an olfactory receptor for sandalwood scent, researchers have discovered. Read the paragraph near the end of this article. If you want a Santalol type, then do not choose the spicatum type.

Fig. 4.sandalwood spicatumFig. 4. This Sandalwood from Australia is colorless, clear and viscous
 Organoleptic Qualities of 4 Different Species of Sandalwood Fig. 5. samples-organoleptic-sandalwood copyFig. 5. 6 Courtesy of Eden Botanicals samples of Sandalwood.

The right nostril processes navigational related odors. And people favor the right nostril when detecting and evaluating the intensity of odors. So if you are lost, sniff the air with the right side to get home and if you wish to know how intense something smells, smell with the right side as well. Left nostril smells the scent and right side nostril smells the intensity.

Smell left, smell right and then waft to get the entire scent experience.

Fig. 6.Oval six SandalwoodFig. 6. Sampling 6 different Eden Botanicals Sandalwood oils ~ note the color differences

 Odor Assessment: All the Sandalwoods I examined (10) were smooth and unctuous and were predominantly woody; with various subsidiary notes. S. album was evocative of the scent that I knew 50-some years ago, woody and floral. S. austrocaledonicum was the most like S. album but a wee bit more intense. S. paniculatum was woody, herbal, floral. S. spicatum had a slight floral subsidiary note and another S. spicatum had a slight sour back note.

 General Properties:
Australian Sandalwood was used both orally and externally against UTI and gonorrhea, more effective against Candida than Tea Tree oil, useful for many skin diseases such as acne and tinea, inhaled for calming or for the respiratory system and used as an exciting perfume addition.

Properties and Uses: Usually Sandalwood is of the East Indian type of fragrant Sandalwood Tree but we now have others. From Australia is Santalum spicatum R. Br. produced from the heartwood & rootball by solvent extraction and then the concrète is Steam-Distilled —USES have been both oral and external against UTI and gonorrhea, and more effective against Candida than Tea Tree oil and useful for many skin diseases such as acne and tinea; it is inhaled for calming or for the respiratory system and used as an exciting perfume addition.
All other Sandalwoods are having somewhat the same uses.

Application/ Skincare: Hawaiian Sandalwood, leaves and bark called `iliahi were used to treat dandruff and hair nits by early Hawaiians. Hawaiian healers are also reported to have used wood shavings in a maceration and application of `iliahi to treat venereal disease and skin sores. Our Skin cells possess an olfactory receptor for sandalwood scent, researchers have discovered. This data indicates that the cell proliferation increases and wound healing improves if those receptors are activated. This mechanism constitutes a possible starting point for new drugs and cosmetics. So you don’t have to actually use it, just smell it. Isn’t that wonderful? We don’t have to actually use this over-harvested plant but we can just inhale the scent.

Diffuse/Diffusion: You can blend any Sandalwood with other fragrant oils and diffuse for a soft meditative blend that is mentally soothing and calming.

 Emotional/Energetic Use: Ritually used in meditation, Sandalwood is calming and uplifting and helpful in overall well-being. Both stimulating and grounding, Sandalwood is used in meditation for opening the Third Eye. According to Vamana Purana, the wood is recommended for worshipping God Shiva. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to reside in the sandalwood tree (Brahma Vaivarta Purana)

Which Sandalwood is best and which is the most therapeutic? The most therapeutic of these various Sandalwoods is the one that you enjoy more than the others. If you can inhale one with a significant amount of santalol — enjoy the benefits, then that is what I would suggest. If you want a deodorant type, use the Australian Sandalwood, if you want the meditative one used for 5000 years then occasionally make use of the E.I. Sandalwood type. Learn what you really want and then find the right species to use.

 Key Use: Oil of Meditation and of Fatigue

Chemical Components: See Bojensen reference at end.

Fig. 7. Santalol copyFig. 7. Alpha-santalol and Beta-santalol

 Physicohemical Properties of Santalum album: (the properties that relate to both the physical and chemical aspects). These numbers are from 1950 when the Sandalwood was authentic and carefully grown and harvested. The closer your numbers are to these the better your oil probably is.

Fig. 8. Physico- Sandalwood copy

Fig. 8. Physicochemical Properties of S. album


Comparison of Main Components: Which Sandalwood has the most santalol and is this important? Recent studies have shown that no recently tested Sandalwood oil reached the desired expectation of santalol and that a reevaluation needs to be made of this oil.
Hawaiian sandalwood oil produced from wood of Santalum paniculatum originating from the island of Hawai`i (“The Big Island”) were analyzed using GC and GC-MS. Main constituents of the oils were (Z)-α-santalol (34.5-40.4%) and (Z)-β-santalol (11.0-16.2%).
Trade and historic oils from ‘sandalwoods’, labelled as Amyris balsamifera, Eremophila mitchelli, Fusanus acuminatus (= Santalum acuminatum), Santalum album, S. austrocaledonicum, S. latifolium, S. spicatum and S. yasi, were assessed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Using GC-MS, none of the oils assessed complied with the internationally recognized standard of a 90% santalol content, and only about half of the trade sandalwood oils met with recent International Organization for Standardization standards. The majority of trade oils, reportedly from S. album, contained approximately 50-70% santalols (Z-alpha and Z-beta). Thus, the internationally recognized specification (90% santalols) for S. album requires re-evaluation by more efficient analysis methods. In view of the issues associated with the quality of sandalwood oils being traded, specifications of > or = 43% Z-alpha-santalol and > or = 18% Z-beta-santalol for S. album oil estimated by GC-MS are suggested. GC-MS are recommended as it assists with authentication and quality control issues associated with sandalwood oils. — J Chromatogr A. 2004 Mar 5;1028(2):307-12. Evaluation of the quality of sandalwood essential oils by GC/MS Howes, MJ, Simmonds MS, Kite GC.

Evolva is making Sandalwood santalol by fermentation as a replacement for Sandalwood oil in formulations. They say, “Sandalwood oil primarily consists of a number of sesquiterpenoids, with alpha-santalol and beta-santalol comprising around 80%. Beta-santalol is the most important character impact compound, but is economically non-feasible to chemically synthesize.” Australian Sandalwood does not contain beta-Santalol.

Blends Best with: This wonderful soft, sweet-woody and delicately animal-balsamic odor has been used for thousands of years and it has been one of perfumery’s most precious items. It forms the basis of heavy Oriental compositions, and creates delightful combinations with Bergamot, Clove, Lavender, Rose, Tuberose and and so much more of the fragrant materials. It blends well with all florals and other woody scents.

 HYDROSOL: To date, I have only seen four analysis of this product and have not seen an analysis offered by any company with their sales. (I am hopeful this will change in the future) And the price differential is amazing. One site lists 4 oz. for $6 while two other sites list 2 oz. of Sandalwood hydrosol at about $7.00 and with no obvious analysis or Latin binomial it seems that something other than Sandalwood is being sold. Other companies list 2 oz. at $14-$24, also with no obvious analysis. The analysis from Ann Harman fine book, Harvest to Hydrosol shows Hawaiian Sandalwood (S. paniculatum) with about 7% santalol types and 30% furfuraldehyde.
Because no analysis and usually no Latin binomial comes with the hydrosols, at this point I probably would not purchase a Sandalwood hydrosol. I would use the EO with care and discretion and use another hydrosol as a spray or mist for skin care and skin health.

 PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh. And as Ann Harman says, “I find that distilling for a quality hydrosol takes longer than distilling for the essential oil.”

 Historical Uses: “For more than 5000 years, India has been the traditional leader of sandalwood oil production for perfumery and pharmaceuticals. The aroma of the oil and the wood is esteemed by people belonging to three major religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. According to Vamana Purana, the wood is recommended for worshipping God Shiva. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to reside in the sandalwood tree (Brahma Vaivarta Purana). The ancient Egyptians imported the wood and used it in medicine, for embalming the dead and in ritual burning to venerate the gods.” — Current Science, Vol. 103, No. 12, 25 December 2012

 Interesting Information: It is customary in certain communities among the Hindus to put a piece of sandalwood in the funeral pyre. The beige-colored paste of sandalwood is applied on the forehead and other body parts, especially by devotees of God Krishna (Vaishna-vites) and for ritual bathing of Hindu gods.

 Contraindications: Individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Sandalwood or its constituents should avoid using the oil, as there are reports of Sandalwood causing dermatitis, and Sandalwood oil causing photo-allergy. But there are very few reports of Sandalwood side effects — of the available literature, a few cases of the allergic reactions mentioned above.

 Safety Precautions: Sandalwood from India has been in use for 5000 years and yet there is little or no evidence of efficacy. Exposure to this oil and herb is of very minor concern.

 Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64

 References and Bibliography:
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Askinson, George. Perfumes and Cosmetics. Hodder & Stoughton, London. 1915
Cooley, Arnold J. Complete Practical Treatise on Perfumery. Henry Carey Baird, Philadelphia. 1874.
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press, Oregon. 1995
Deite, Dr. C. A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Perfumery. Henry Carey Baird & Co., Philadelphia, 1892.
Franchomme, P. l’aromatherapie exactement. R. Jollois: France, 1990
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing Company, Florida. 1949 reprint 1974.
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. IAG Botanics. 2015
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Element: Massachusetts, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Kumar, A. N. Arun *, Geeta Joshi and H. Y. Mohan Ram. Sandalwood: history, uses, present status and the future. Current Science, Vol. 103, No. 12, 25 December 2012
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, CA.,
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Grosset & Dunlap: New York, 1992
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. In spiral bound format from Jeanne Rose from a 1972 1st Editor
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Guide to Food. North Atlantic Books. 1979.
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery. San Francisco, Ca. 2014

 Scientific Data: Olfactory receptors in the skin: Sandalwood scent facilitates wound healing, skin regeneration ~ Date: July 8, 2014. Source:Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum
Summary: Skin cells possess an olfactory receptor for sandalwood scent, researchers have discovered. This data indicates that the cell proliferation increases and wound healing improves if those receptors are activated. This mechanism constitutes a possible starting point for new drugs and cosmetics.
Story: Skin cells possess an olfactory receptor for sandalwood scent, as researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have discovered. Their data indicate that the cell proliferation increases and wound healing improves if those receptors are activated. This mechanism constitutes a possible starting point for new drugs and cosmetics. The team headed by Dr. Daniela Busse and Prof Dr med habil Hanns Hatt from the Department for Cellphysiology published their report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

        The nose is not the only place where olfactory receptors occur. Humans have approximately 350 different types of olfactory receptors in the nose. The function of those receptors has also been shown to exist in, for example spermatozoa, the prostate, the intestine and the kidneys. The team from Bochum has now discovered them in keratinocytes — cells that form the outermost layer of the skin.

DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

Do not Ingest Essential Oils

Following this post are individual posts on Australian, Hawaiian and East Indian Sandalwood.

Fig. 9.Sandalwood-no backgroundFig. 9. ~ 6 Sandalwood types

 Jeanne Rose Formulas and Recipes for Sandalwood

Jeanne Rose’s experience with this EO and Herb: I have used various iterations of this herb and oil for 45 years. I loved it as a scent for my daughter to focus upon when she was a baby 52 years ago and I used it in potpourri and sachet when I had a cosmetic company (New Age Creations) and then again in perfumery. When I realized some years ago that it was in trouble ecologically I stopped using both herb and oil. Now I find myself occasionally using Australian or Hawaiian types of Sandalwood if I am positive they are sustainably grown and harvested.

Jeanne Rose uses this EO as little as possible because of the possibility of it being overexploited in the market place.

Sandalwood for a UTI. I have a very specific formula that has worked for me for mild UTI infections (urinary tract infections). In an herbal capsule of Marshmallow root add 2 drops of E.I. Sandalwood and 2 drops of Grand Fir (Abies grandis). Take a capsule 3-4 times per day, one every 4-6 hours; as well as using herbal dietary methods and fluids that include Cranberry juice and lots of water. [full treatment program is in the Aromatherapy Treatmentsbook.

Recipe by Jeanne Rose for an Underarm Deodorant. Sweat is essentially odorless, but acts as a culture medium for bacteria and that can produce unpleasant smells

Sandalwood Deodorant.
I have experimented with this oil and found a simple and easy Deodorant formula. First, I add a bit of Blue Cypress to the Australian Sandalwood oil (5% to 95%). This deepens the scent and gives it an invisible deeper woody odor. Then I add 95% neutral grape spirits to 5-10% of this essential oil blend. And don’t worry about the alcohol in the formula, alcohol also kills bacteria and you only use a short spray under each armpit (less than a drop), this kills the odor causing bacteria.

In a 100 ml bottle (3.5 to 4 oz.) with a spray top
190 drops of Sandalwood oil
10 drops of Blue Cypress
This is about 6 ml. total
Fill the bottle with 95% neutral grape spirits (do not use vodka unless it is 150°, do not use rubbing alcohol, use only real neutral grain or grape spirits (Everclear works also)). Shake well.
The essential oils are at 5-6% and you may  increase up to 8% depending on the level of scent that you want. At 5-6%, this formula kills the human body odor, leaving little to no odor of itself behind. Only a short spray is used after bathing.

Formula for Incense using the herb and the oil

That used by the Catholic Church is Frankincense, however, it must be burned on Charcoal. The Catholic Church has rigid specifications as to the Incenses used in its Church. No aromatic or synthetics may be used. There are occasions when some churches will use an Incense containing other ingredients than plain Frankincense. As an example, an addition of Myrrh and Benzoin, Sandalwood or Cinnamon.

 Sandalwood Incense for Charcoal — Herbs & Things p. 251
Mix together the following herbs: 4 oz. rasped or scraped Santal that you have added 10 drops of Sandalwood oil too; add this to 2 oz. gum Benzoin or Storax, 2 oz. ground Cascarilla or Cinnamon bark, ½ oz. Vetiver [cut & sifted or CS], 1 oz. potassium nitrate, and ½ oz. Balsam of Tolu (must be powdered and evenly incorporated throughout the mixture) — make sure that the resins do not clump up. Add 10 more drops of Sandalwood oil. Shake and mix and stir and store in a 16 oz. dark lightproof jar. The incense is ready anytime after 30 days. Drop a little on some burning charcoal. If your karma is really working for you, you won’t even need the charcoal; it will burn after being lit with a match. This is a lovely scent and good for meditation.

 Rose and Santal wood Sachet Powder
“Mix together 1 lb. of Rose petals and ½ lb. of finely rasped Santal wood. Add ½ oz. oil of any Rose.” —from Perfumes and Cosmetics by George Askinson 1909.
Put in an airtight container and let this age for a few weeks. Then bag in small linen bags (that hold about ½ oz. of the product) and store this in an airtight container. The scent should last for years if made well.

Blending/Perfumery with formula: There are simply dozens of beautiful formulas that incorporate Sandalwood in the formula. Since it works so well with Rose and Clove those are always go-to formulas. Here is one I made for my daughter Amber Rose as Sandalwood has been her favorite since she was a baby.

 Fig. 10. Lovely perfume

Fig. 10. A Lovely Perfume


It is March 2003 but I find this note from 20 years ago by the electric Selectric,
When did I write these words, 1983? I don’t know. I just remember that when I was pregnant I found the note and that I had wanted to see if Amber would remember a favorite scent. So I had Sandalwood oil and herb and Sandalwood fans and also a Sandalwood box that I kept mementos in. These I gave to her and let her use; I kept Sandalwood scented paper in her clothing drawers. I wrote down the recollections in her baby book.

Amber’s Scent from 1964/65
Amber smells the Sandalwood that I have saved all these years.
She says, “It smells safe, a happy scent.”
It reminds her of when she was young.
It is woodsy and sweet.
She loves the scent, especially in intimate apparel —
So, familiar this scent of Sandalwood.
It smells friendly.
It smells feather bed, — clean
Crisp Sheets.  She likes this.
“Sandalwood reminds me of childhood,” she says,
Amber has always liked Sandalwood.




I love Amber — she is my child!


Fig. 11. Sandalwood and oil

Fig. 11. Wood and oil


15 thoughts on “Sandalwood EO Profile

  1. What a profile! I feel like I just went to a Sandalwood Intensive. New terms to add to my herb files: hemiparasitic, unctuous…new ideas to explore (Scent receptors for Sandalwood ON OUR SKIN!). The sweet associations of Sandalwood with your beloved daughter were so moving. I had to retrieve my Sandalwood (S.album) from the herb cupboard, open it and breath in that incredibly beautiful scent after reading this. Thank you.

  2. Really fabulous profile packed with information to stir the imagination. I was inspired to open and smell the jar in which I keep my piece of S. album, gifted to me over 20 years ago from a visitor from India at our house warming. It still smells as woody and sweetly floral as the day it was given to me. I keep it in a glass jar in a dark, cool cupboard. Evennthe shavings leftover from the last Sandalwood ointment I made are still rich with scent. I use this very, very sparingly and expect it to last my lifetime with plenty left for someone who might appreciate it when my time for using it is done. You have inspired me to be even more careful in my use of Sandalwood.

  3. excellent article Jeanne, thank you! I recently purchased a batch of Indian sandalwood that is being grown and harvested sustainably in Australia. I used one half for a pure sandalwood hydrosol, soaked it for a couple of days first, just as you suggest here, and then ran the distillation most of the day…it came out fantastic – exotic, deep, woodsy fragrance…I then used the other half, blended with fresh rose petals, to make a rose/sandalwood hydrosol…again, soooo lovely! Do you suggest sending a sample of each to a lab for analysis? You’re an inspiration for sure, thanks again!

    • I always suggest taking extensive notes, and testing every new hydrosol and essential oil. If you get this analyzed I would be most interested in seeing this analysis.

  4. The information here is excellent. I however do have some confusion, when you say “I would like to see people not use Sandalwood for two generations and prosecute, jail, and educate the pirates that are stealing it and cutting down trees.” It is confusing to me to offer recipes and basically teach people to use the oil and to include this information, as if it is another fact, when it is actually an emergency. I would love to see an article just on how folks can help to restore and protect this plant.

    • Thank you for the great question. I have been writing about being environmentally conscious and using only organically-grown and sustainably-used plants and helping this planet for years. I wish I knew how to do more. One writes about what one knows and I know and have used Sandalwood for 55 years. I like the idea of writing about how to restore and protect the planet/plant. And I will. Thank you for the suggestion.

  5. Jeanne…. You are a amazingly knowledgeable woman and sharing this information with the world is a gift to us all…..

  6. Pingback: Australian Sandalwood Profile | Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy Blog

  7. Pingback: Hawaiian & New Caledonia Sandalwood | Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy Blog

  8. Pingback: East Indian Sandalwood EO Profile | Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy Blog

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