You might be thinking aged Mysore is as rare as it gets… But that’s only if you haven’t heard about this oil. In fact, unless you know a secret I don’t, this is the first & last sandalwood of its kind in history: A co-distill of rare Aceh santalum album and wild centennial Tanzanian sandal. And not just any random harvest of each…
Wild Aceh santalum is a thing of the past. Massive trees you used to find twenty years ago whose roots drilled deep into the earth. Their gigantic girth would make them stand out from today's plantation saplings like a sumo wrestler next to the umpire – inspect the sandalwood harvested today and you’ll see the trunk girth measured in centimeters (decades of growth and you’re usually looking at a 30-60cm). Inside, they’re pale and grudgingly churn out only mediocre oil. Here, we’re talking trees that were over a hundred years-old, measuring in at well over a meter. In sandalwood terms, that’s huge. Just using the heartwood from these trees would have been enough to juice up super fine sandalwood oil, but Santal Sultan revved it up to the next level…
Ask any experienced sandalwood distiller about the holy grail of santal distills and the answer will inevitably be ‘the roots!’ But to run a full-on root distillation takes some crazy manpower to pull off. Not to mention the amount of trees you’d have to use. That’s why the fat, ancient Aceh trees that last stood about twenty years ago were ideal to help pull off a distillation of roots exclusively.
Now, take the Aceh roots and mash ‘em up with wild centennial Tanzanian heartwood… Missing in common ‘white’ sandals, red wood adds a distinct sweetness to the scent that for many puts it in a league of its own. This, combined with the soulful scent of those ancient Aceh giants…… O man!
The lovely jasmine/rose notes in pure Tanzanian sandal get even sweeter, and the mellow animalic profile of rare aged Aceh santal amazingly turns to citrus peel (especially when you wear it outside), in a smell that’s sweet instead of creamy, beautifully floral instead of the buttery profile of traditional Mysores… all with a dab of ambery, frankincense oomph.
The scent does possess one Mysorean quality: This is one smoooooth oil (that it’s been aged 12 years already might have something to do with it……………)
The raw materials used, both the Aceh and the Tanzanian harvests, are as extinct as wild Mysore trees… And this wasn’t distilled by just any Joe, either – but by our Taiwanese kyara maestro. So, you’re not getting a ton of sandalwood cooked in huge rusty pots for mass consumption like they used to make ‘em for the big perfume factories. This is a finely tuned artisanal distillation crafted through the mold of Royal Kinam, with every care and detail put in place to distill sandalwood that’ll make you wonder if you’ve even smelled real sandalwood before this.
People are starting to realize that good vintage sandalwood is really off the map, just like wild Pusong agarwood – or the centennial crassnas of Nha Trang – and that many of the vintage ‘Mysores’ on the market aren’t even Mysore but actually Burmese or Assamese wood… So, it won’t surprise me at all if pretty soon folks start actually giving some Royal Kinam away to get their hands on a bottle of this caliber santal.