All about Sandalwood

Bright green sandalwood plant with reflections from the sun in the background


Whilst sandalwood is well known for its fragrance, there is much more to know about this classic scent. Read on to find out what it is and how it is used.

What is Sandalwood? 

Sandalwood is a semi-parasitic plant that comes from the genus Santalum. There are more than 100 species of sandalwood plants, with most native to India, Hawaii, or Australia.  

Sandalwood may grow in the form of a large shrub up to 3m tall, but a true sandalwood tree can grow up to 10m in height. The trees have distinct leathery leaves that grow in pairs opposite each other on the branch and as a semi-parasitic plant will be found growing on the roots of other trees. 

But the one thing that sandalwood is most well-known for is its unique and distinctive fragrance. It is one of the most popular aromatic woods in the world, and can retain its fragrance for decades. The potency of the natural fragrance increases with age, and for this reason the plants are normally harvested between 10-30 years of age. 

How is Sandalwood used? 

Small bottle of sandalwood essential oil surrounded by pieces of red coloured sandalwood bark

The use of sandalwood spans many years and many different countries.  It has been a popular ingredient in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurvedic medicine, many ornamental items and sacred carvings were crafted from its soft wood, and it has been used as the base ingredient for luxury perfumes, cosmetics, and incense for thousands of years. 

Sandalwood can be used in many forms including:

⭐ Oil The tree and its roots contain an aromatic oil, which is most commonly extracted through a steam distillation process.

⭐ Paste Sandalwood paste is traditionally prepared by grinding a stick of sandalwood on a stone grinder.

⭐ Powder - If you dry sandalwood paste, you will get pure, fine sandalwood powder.

Sandalwood and Incense 

With its warm and cosy properties, and its sweet, creamy, and smooth scent, sandalwood is one of the most common incenses used. 

Box of In Sense Deluxe Sandalwood incense with drawing of sandalwood plant

Here are just some of the benefits that burning a stick of Sandalwood incense can bring: 

  • It can clear the mind and bring calmness 🧠
  • It is grounding, making it a perfect fragrance for accompanying meditation 🌍
  • It helps bring people to the present  moment, encouraging mindfulness 🕑
  • It can support the parasympathetic nervous system, calming nerves and helping release tension 🌼
  • It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties 🥵
  • It may promote better sleep and reduced anxiety 😴
You can try our In Sense Deluxe range Sandalwood incense here.
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