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    Santal d'Assam

    Price: $235 $199

    Here’s a jewel that’ll rock your aromatic world. A fragrance at least as appealing as its funky agarwood counterpart, this santal boasts the most vanillicious citrus twang and musky aroma you could imagine. It’s a complete perfume in itself, replete with notes of spices, animalics, mind-bending floral chords and, of course, a to-die-for woody drydown.

    Cooked a la Santal Sultan, this this is among the greatest sandalwood distillations of the century. Despite being considered the cream of the crop, many Mysore sandalwood oils smell quite tame, as if all spices were sucked out of ’em, compared to this ravishing rarity. That, while even old Indonesian and new breeds of Australian santal smells almost empty, as if diluted and you’re waiting for the scent to kick in. If not empty, some even smell harsh.

    That’s a real feat of olfaction: For a scent to be at once sublimely linear — yet potent and rich. And that this miracle of a butter-ghee-cedar-spice santal, spiked with this silver needle white tea note (that I still can’t figure out how it got in here) hails from Assam… amazing!

    In terms of aromatic significance, Santal d'Assam is every fragrant atoms's worth as noteworthy as Chugoku Senkoh.

    Sandalwood is typically used as a carrier in attars because of how neutral they are; how they don’t interfere much with the desired profile, yet has an inherent aroma to enhance (unlike fractionated coconut oil or jojoba, for example). Same with perfume, where sandalwood is a ‘supporting’ carrier. But Santal d’Assam.…

    I’m in two minds about this. Should it even be used for an attar, or as an ingredient in a perfume? It feels almost wasteful to not enjoy such a precious olfactory gem on its own. But — what it wouldn’t do for your perfume; how it’ll rev up even a tiny amount of musk or ambergris! 

    So, should you add jasmine, I wonder? Or relish this otherworldly Assamese santal's own perfumesque ritz? I’m seriously tempted to lacquer my face, hair, neck, and arms and drown myself in a decadent act of hedonistic olfactory debauchery. The scent is that inviting; its smooth, luscious creaminess that delectable. I probably won’t…… but after only a few whiffs, I bet you just might!

    I’m quite enjoying Santal Assam. It’s a very private, gentle, transparent and becomes a comforting skin scent. It has these light wood notes, and others as if you caramelized white tea leaves in butter then added creme fraiche. Its cleanliness and white notes remind me of Tongan Musk but I would say it’s more delicate. Musk or ambergris might actually work with it, but in tiny amounts because its delicacy is near to be carrier oil. It stands very well alone as it is I feel and works perfectly as something you enjoy in the comfort of home. – Jasim, Dubai

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