Is sandalwood the new oud?

For the past years many perfumers in the West used ‘oud’ with its intoxicating musky scent as a base to create some amazing fragrances for men and women. But now it’s time for something new: sandalwood. Whereas ‘oud’ is one of the most expensive perfume ingredients in the world, sandalwood is one of the oldest and rarest perfume ingredients. And it appears that sandal perfumes are some new trend.

Text and pictures: Anja Van Der Borght

Oud versus sandalwood?
Oud comes from the wood of the tropical Agar (Aquilaria) tree and has a strong musky scent whereas sandalwood is a class of woods from trees in the genus Santalum that generates a warm en woody smell. Unlike many other aromatic woods, sandalwood retains its fragrance for decades. But be careful it is not because you like musky scents that you will like the strong oud or because you like sandalwood in your living room that you will like any sandalwood fragrance on your skin or that of your partner.

The good thing is that today more and more santal fragrances make their appearance in the ranges of perfume brands, so the choice gets broader. We tested many but our favourite till today still is Colonia Sandalo eau de cologne by Acqua di Parma, an original reinterpretation of the iconic Acqua di Parma perfume.

This elegant fragrance swears by the traditions of Colonia and starts with a burst of citrus but introduces a surprise element in the form of harmonious contrasts. The fragrance unfolds with a perfectly balanced combination of the fresh and sunny notes of bergamot, lemon, orange and petitgrain that reflect the authentic spirit of Colonia. Petit grain is an oil extracted from the leaves and green twigs of the bitter orange tree, which brings an odour similar to orange blossom but with more pronounced citrus and green facets. Together they create a positive and sunny opening.

Then Colonia Sandalo evolves into an intoxicating olfactory composition of cardamom and lavender buds that bloom in an elegantly aromatic and creamy heart. Lavender is traditionally used quite widely in masculine perfumery. For Colonica Sandalo the sweeter elements of the lavender are toned down by the addition of cardamom, a spice that really gives the purple flower a rocky, rugged feel. This unparalleled prelude leads us to the original elegance of the base, where the precious and creamy balsamic tones of Indian sandalwood that are quite massively present warm up to the well-rounded tones of tonka bean and amber. A surprising and intriguing, intense scent that many men will seduice and that many ladies will want to smell on a man.

Colonia Sandalo is packaged in the iconic art deco bottle and available in two volumes: the classic 100 ml vial and the larger, more impressive 180 ml variant. Both formats are packaged in a box that is completely hand-wrapped in fine paper in distinguished tobacco shades. The bronze satin inside gives the thoughtful, minimal design a precious look. A modest but extremely refined design that fits perfectly with the style of Acqua di Parma.

The Notes:
Top: Bergamot, Orange, Lemon and Petit Grain
Heart: Lavender and Cardamom
Base: Indian Sandalwood, Tonka Bean and Amber

An original reinterpretation of the iconic Acqua di Parma perfume, Colonia Sandalo is the new and luxurious Eau de Cologne Concentrée by Acqua di Parma. Available in 100 ml and 180 ml.

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