What was once an abundant and ubiquitous material, santalum album from Mysore in India was overharvested to the brink of extinction. Thankfully, the Indian government has regulated the sandalwood industry so that this threatened species can recover in the region.
Due to Indian sandalwood’s cost and scarcity, the more plentiful Australian and New Caledonian sandalwood species are also used in perfumery, though these have different aromatic properties. An array of synthetics exist, however these sandalwood recreations aren't quite as revered as the natural oil, but are still widely used in fragrances.
Sandalwood smells creamy and softly woody. It's perhaps one of the most important materials in the oriental genre, where it acts as a subtle base note and fixative.
Learn more about sandalwood and its history, production and use in perfumery with NEZ's insightful and brilliantly illustrated Naturals Notebook on Sandalwood.