The Story of Sandalwood

The Story of Sandalwood

Sandalwood, a journey to the Far East

No one who has travelled to India will ever forget the characteristic scent of sandalwood. The tree has been eternally regarded as possessing a protective energy whose aroma drives out evil spirits. It permeates rooms, lingers in clothing and envelops the body. Incense dipped in Sandalwood, was used for centuries to purify and cleanse sacred spiritual spaces. Highly regarded for its strength, temples were often built of the wood as it was impervious to white ants, according to one Indian legend the Sandalwood tree is always surrounded by snakes because they are bewitched by its sweet scent.

Utilised for its decorative properties, the bindi spot on an Indian woman’s forehead is made of the fragrant sandalwood paste. Symbolic for its reincarnation properties, bodies were embalmed in the scent to aid in the ascension to heaven.

Painting of Sandalwood trees

The botanic name Santalum is most likely derived from the Sanskrit word candráh meaning shining, white, as it describes the light colour of the wood. The source of this magnetic scent is a towering tree that can grow to a height of ten metres, it is evergreen with red flowers dotting its canopy. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and, unlike many other aromatic woods, they retain their fragrance for decades. Often cited as one of the most expensive woods in the world, when the tree reaches maturity at 30 years of age, the elixir of Sandalwood oil is extracted from the roots and heartwood of the tree.

Alongside its role within religious ceremony, it also has an aphrodisiac quality. A dichotomy, shifting between cerebral, cooling notes to swiftly becoming more intense and aromatic the next, lulling one into a state of bliss and a sensual space the next. In the world of aroma therapy, sandalwood is used to counteract the consequences of excessive mental work. The harmonising fragrance is thought to calm, release tension and help restore inner peace.

Arab physicians first brought Essence of Sandalwood to Europe via the Silk Road in the Middle Ages, where it first appeared in Italian pharmacies in the 15th century. Floris brought the scent into the fold in the 1800s when the first iteration of Santal was created.

Today, Santal Eau de Toilette is still a firm favourite, a contemporary and elegant scent revered by the modern-day gentleman. A universal scent that can be worn to the office or the final flourish to a sophisticated evening of cocktails and the theatre or equally a decadent scent to wear on a romantic weekend away.

A woody fougère with its origins in the timeless sandalwoods of a bygone era, Santal is a contemporary archetype of our men’s signature collection.

Fougère, Woody



Bergamot | Black Pepper | Cardamom | Green Grass | Lemon


Clove Bud | Lavender | Nutmeg


Amber | Cedarwood | Frankincense | Musk | Sandalwood | Vanilla | Vetiver

Available as an Aftershave, a fragrant post-shave astringent to close the pores and invigorate newly shaved skin. Contains witch-hazel, a natural astringent and glycerine to help moisturise the skin and reduce redness.

Sandalwood provides a strong warming foundation to many of our Floris scents, adding a distinctive lustre and aura. A woody note, that is simultaneously, calming and invigorating. The scent of sandalwood is a harmonious symphony of woody, sweet, and creamy notes that create an enduring and universally appreciated fragrance.

Floris home fragrances date back to the 1800s where in our catalogue of 1851 a range entitled "For Perfuming Apartments" could be found. We are delighted to be continuing this tradition of scenting homes.

Fresh bergamot and a twist of orange lifts a warm heart of rose and jasmine, spiced with cinnamon and clove.

An exotic blend, with Sandalwood and Patchouli, a touch of earthy vetiver combined with soft sweet vanilla and musk give this lingering woody amber its distinctive character.

For a more comprehensive grasp of fragrances, explore our additional blog posts to assist you in selecting the perfect scent that suits your preferences.

Drawing of a leopard