Understanding The Ambient Power of Sandalwood Blends

Even though our complex modern lives have prevented the full commercial utilization of our sense of smell until the last few decades, sandalwood and its many exotic blends have been enjoyed for many centuries, evoking the redolent allure of the Far Eastern realms of India and Ceylon.

The purpose and meaning of smell, which was originally linked to human survival, has expanded with the times, and as a marketing and branding tool utilized by the expert scent-marketers, it is the most potent in any advertiser’s arsenal. Consumers numbed by the meaningless commotion of white noise and blinding visual ads, welcome scent as a as a non-invasive visitor who has come to call, so to speak.

Sweet and woody, sandalwood usage dates back almost 4,000 years to the ancient civilizations of India, Egypt, Greece and Rome. The fragrant oil is derived from the heartwood of the Santalum evergreen tree that is native to southern Asia. One of the major compounds of sandalwood is highly prized santalol, which gives this coveted blend its distinctive fragrance.

Sandalwood Blends And Incense

The Hindus may have been the first culture to recognize the properties of sandalwood and use it in incense. They were known to ground the chips by hand into a paste and burn it both as an offering to deities and as a cleansing agent for the surrounding air to create a serene and meditative ambiance. Additionally, Buddhists burn sandalwood incense to transform desires and promote human mindfulness. And today, sandalwood is used and revered by many cultures all over the world.

Sandalwood Blends And Incense

A Short History Of Sandalwood

Many ancient Indian temples, statuary and sacred objects, such as: temple doors, incense, rosaries, paste for marking the forehead and staffs, were made from this aromatic wood. It was a major ingredient in Egyptian embalming rituals and was believed to have the power to release the souls of the dead during funereal rituals honoring the deities. This is largely due to the belief that sandalwood is integral to reincarnation. Unlike other aromatic woods, sandalwood can retain its original fragrance for decades if it is stored correctly.

Always used as a vital ingredient for incense, during the 18th century sandalwood became a vital ingredient in cosmetics, unguents, pastes, and other vehicles for scents that were used during rituals and to scent the body.

During the Georgian era (circa 1714-1835), sandalwood was considered to be a masculine scent, but in 1796, a perfumer named James Floris developed Stephanotis, a feminine scent that blended base notes of sandalwood and musk with orange blossom, stephanotis, lily of the valley and others. Nineteenth century products such as: fans, decorative gloves and sewing boxes were also especially popular. They were made of sandalwood and inlaid with ivory and other decorative finishes.

In recent times, the history of sandalwood has been married with scandal. Illegal smuggling reached its zenith in the last fifteen years due to the highly esteemed value of both its wood and essential oil. One Indian smuggler, a man named Vieerappan, not only murdered more than 100 people before he was killed by a task force called Operation Cocoon in 2004 , he was also a despised elephant poacher to boot.

The Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil has been proven to provide numerous health benefits. It’s pleasing and captivating aroma calms the mind and alleviates worry by relaxing the central nervous system. It is a powerful aid in meditation, and when used topically, its natural astringent properties help firm and tone the appearance of aging skin. 

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Due to its preservative and antiseptic properties, sandalwood is often included in the composition of soaps and various beauty creams. Some modern cultures consider sandalwood to be an aphrodisiac, and it is an ideal inclusion anywhere a romantic atmosphere is encouraged.

Sandalwood Oil As Perfume Ingredient

Sandalwood essential oil is known for its bright, fresh aroma and is always used as a woody base note. Modern ambient air-care specialists often use it when developing a new fragrance. When top and middle notes are added, sandalwood acts as a fixative, which complements and enhances the other components. As a base note, it blends beautifully with romantic and musky rose, green, herbal geranium, spicy, complex bergamot, clean lemon, aromatic frankincense, slightly pungent marjoram and fresh, sweet orange.

The inclusion of sandalwood in any fragrance insures that the wearer (or shall we say, inhalee) will experience a magical olfactory carpet ride into far away, exotic lands. Its powerful redolence interrupts the distractions of the conscious mind to access deeper subconscious levels. For the modern traveler, hotels and inns that feature sandalwood blends create indelible memories of that specific location and sandalwood essential oil is also valued in the practice of aromatherapy.

Scent Marketing Solutions For Hotels

Discover the 12 best ambient scents used to enhance hotel environments!

5 Examples of Blended Sandalwood Fragrances

Sandalwood And Rose

When paired with rose, sandalwood becomes a classic attar (oil blended with rose petals) that historically has been used both in perfumery and medicine. This aromatic blend is floral in character with tinges of soft oak, and it is often found in skin-care products as well perfumes intended to inspire romance.

Frankincense And Sandalwood

Blending sandalwood with frankincense creates an ancient, fragrant avenue to meditation and serenity. The two oils counterbalance and complement each other and the result is the emergence of an unforgettable and harmonious perfume.

Sandalwood And Myrrh

This blend creates a warm, dry and woody scent, like a summer day in the forest. Myrrh enhances the exotic, woody and pure elements of sandalwood and together they are often used in skin care products as well as perfume.

Ylang Ylang And Sandalwood 

While these two oils may appear to be inimical to each other, they merge beautifully into creating an uplifting, unforgettable, full-bodied scent of floral elegance that transports the wearer to sparkling tropical shores and peaceful leafy glades.


According to Wikipedia, this well-known fragrance “contains notes of bergamot, lemon, iris, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vetiver, opopanax, tonka bean, frankincense, sandalwood, musk, civet, ambergris, leather, and vanilla. It is considered to be an Oriental perfume.”

Shalimar Sandalwood Oil Perfume

Air-Scent and Ambient Scenting With Sandalwood

Within the ambient air-care industry, we reign supreme both as a provider of superior air-care products and as a well-established company with an unblemished reputation for customer service. Our fragrances are at the heart of everything they do and for more than seven decades, Air-Scent International and our many products and ambient air-care diffuser systems have withstood the test of time. Founded in 1946, our commercial scenting products include eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for all types of spaces, whether large or small.

Ambient Scent Fragrances Nightclubs Bars

Discover why scent marketing companies the world over prefer our fragrance refills!

Our Progressive Scent Marketing Technologies

Our 80,000 square foot, Pittsburgh-situated Technology Center keeps our chemists and researchers always a few steps ahead of competitors. Our many diverse ambient scenting products speak volumes as to their versatility and innovation, which is the byproduct of our superior research, knowledge and application of the principles of industrial science. Our laboratories are equipped with the best tools that money can buy. These include the latest in: gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, headspace analysis, distillation, extraction and quality control technology.

11 Ambient Scents That Use Sandalwood Essential Oil

The following are some the more popular fragrance refills featuring sandalwood blends, each of which were created by our master perfumers and ambient air-care specialists :

Santal Diffuser Oil

Passionate and seductive, this sandalwood blend, with it inclusion of papyrus, combines elements of slightly sweet, spicy and woody cardamom oil, dry, earthy and leathery papyrus, and sensual earthy and passionate musk.

Wild Honey Lotus

This enticing, soothing floral scent is hallmarked by a top note of juicy orange and tangy, red berry which fades away to a heart note of lemony geranium, sweet honeysuckle, romantic rose and exotic, unforgettable and captivating blue lotus. The scent finishes with a base note blend of warm honey nectar, rich and earthy sandalwood and spicy, woody clove.

Blood Orange Sage

This sweet blend of a green floral top note dominated by a burst of ripe, honey-infused tangerine, succulent mandarin, soft apricot and fruity, peppery cassis soon surrenders to a middle note of creamy gardenia, intensely fresh and green freesia and romantic and powdery pink peony petals. Sandalwood and earthy dried sage comprise the warm base note that completes this fragrance.

Blood Orange Essential Oil

Flowering Lotus and Watercress

Inspirational and uplifting, this green floral scent is like adrenaline to the senses. They suddenly burst alive with a top note of invigorating lemon and clean, refreshing and cheerful bergamot. The heart of the fragrance is an arresting mélange of haunting lotus blossom, exotic white tea bud and rich, peppery watercress. Warm, slightly powdery sandalwood and a tinge of herbal thyme complete the fragrance.

Neroli Citron

Top notes of dry, acidic citron, fresh, invigorating bergamot, fruity mandarin, velvety apricot and spicy cassis initiate this complex floral, citrus scent which soon fade away to a middle note of garden herbs, bitter, lightly floral neroli and aromatic carnation. The scent finishes with a base note of warm cedar and creamy woody sandalwood.

Island Blossom Guava

This soothing, tropical floral citrus blend is an olfactory escape to paradise and the colorful allure of warm, redolent breezes. Opening with a top note of dry, fragrant citron, fresh, fruity casaba melon and clean, bright guava, the scent drifts into a sugary heart note of sweet passion flower, intoxicating jasmine and sugary orange blossom. A base note of warm, woody and soothing sandalwood finishes the fragrance.

South Beach

A sensual, serene journey over the peaceful, endless waters of the ocean, the top note of this fragrance is marked by elements of spicy bergamot and fruity casaba. These soon yield to a middle note of sweet jasmine and soft, marine water lily that flows seamlessly into a finishing base note tinged with ambery, musky, sandalwood and sun-dried driftwood.

South Florida Air Care Odor Control

Peaceful and Uplifting Utopia

Spicy bergamot, tart grapefruit, fresh, clean lime and sugary wild berries form the top note of this happy fragrance. A heart note blend soon follows hallmarked by a blend of sweet jasmine, musty, green cyclamen, sharp lemongrass and earthy star anise. A woody and sensual sandalwood and patchouli base note competes the scent.

Amber And Vanilla Blossom

Warm and rich amber is blended with cozy, sweet vanilla and tinges of a fruity blackberry and orange mix in the opening notes of this seductive fragrance. These aromas seamlessly fold into a floral middle note and ultimately, a base note of mystical woody sandalwood, sensual musk, caramelized vanilla and long-lasting ambergris.

Black Bamboo Pikake

This sensual, intensely floral fragrance opens with a splash of dewy citron mingled with creamy gardenia, delicately aromatic pikake and tropical, spicy plumeria. Earthy star anise dominates the heart note, which softly stirs into a steady, harmonious base note comprised of soft, seductive bamboo, warm, rich patchouli and musky sandalwood.

Tonka Bean

One of the most delectable and flavorsome aromas in the world of fragrance, this South American bean belongs to the oriental category of perfume notes. It is well known for the intoxicating bouquet that emanates from its seeds. Alluring top notes of milky, sweet vanilla, amber and cherry soon fold into an appealing heart note characterized by traces of spicy cinnamon and clove and soft, bittersweet almond. The scent completes with a base note of tobacco, patchouli and creamy, woody sandalwood.

Tonka Bean As Ambient Scent

Forest Rain

Evoking the pristine, green freshness of a forest after a rain, this floral watery green fragrance opens with top notes of fresh citrus, succulent berries and bright casaba melon. The middle note is a sweet mélange of passionate and potent night blooming jasmine, musky rose petal, fresh water lily, green fern and the delicate, rich and earthy scent of wet forest moss. Creamy, powdery sandalwood, and sweet sensual vanilla musk finish the fragrance.

In Conclusion

If you’re a scent marketing company, janitorial supply company or businesses owner, submit an inquiry or call our team today — (412) 252-5200 — and discover how a sandalwood blended fragrance can enhance any commercial enterprise.

Final thought about sandalwood: The fragrance of sandalwood and rosebay does not travel far. But the fragrance of virtue rises to the heavens. ~ Gautama Buddha

What ambient scents use sandalwood blends?

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood and rose, Frankincense And Sandalwood, Sandalwood And Myrrh, Ylang Ylang And Sandalwood, Wild honey lotus, blood orange sage, flowering lotus and watercress, neroli citron, island blossom guava, amber and vanilla blossom, black bamboo pikake and Tonka bean.

10 Little Known Facts About Sandalwood

Ambient Scent Sandalwood Blends

1. Sandalwood essential oil is harvested when the trees are between 30 and 50 years old. Full maturity for these trees requires between 60 and 80 years.

2. In 78 AD, Dioscorides was the first to mention sandalwood in his book, De Materia Medica, which was filed with descriptions of hundreds of plants. This tome was the ultimate reference on plants until well into the seventeenth century.

3. Sandalwood trees are parasitic in nature, and as such, derive some or all of their nutrients from the roots of other living plants.

4. The sandalwood tree is never cut down, but is often uprooted naturally during rainy seasons. At this time, the roots of the tree are always rich in essential oil.

5. Sandalwood incense is a major export of India and an important part of its total economy.

6. Indian sandalwood is the most valued species. It is at risk of extinction due to unsustainable reaping methods.

7. Sandalwood can reach 33 to 66 feet in height.

8. Pieces of sandalwood are often used as ingredients in chewing tobacco.

9. Sandalwood can survive over 80 years in nature.

10.Trade with the Hawaiian Islands began in the 1790s due to the popularity of sandalwood in China.

You May Also Be Interested In

Aroma Jockeying – The Artistry Of Blending Scents And Music

Blending smells with music being played in real time at clubs and concerts concerns a phenomenon known as aroma jockeying. This is a logical outgrowth of the need today for a a new edge of discovery, so to speak, that involves pushing the experience envelope of live entertainment to expand sight and sound to new, […]

Bling To Zing: How Fragrance Enhances Jewelry Store Sales

In the world of retail, the power of ambiance cannot be underestimated. Discover how ambient scenting and thoughtfully chosen fragrances can captivate customers and elevate the shopping experience, leading to increased sales and heightened emotions within jewelry stores.

Why Regular Trash Chute Cleaning Is A Must For Your Property

In maintaining a hygienic and pleasant environment, regular trash chute cleaning proves indispensable for any property. Equally crucial are commercial-grade air freshener systems, ensuring continuous freshness, and eliminating unpleasant odors that may deter occupants and visitors. Discover the vital importance of these two essential practices in this article.