My first experience with sandalwood in a perfume, was my Andy Warhol perfume from Bond 9. Of the various Warhol inspired perfumes I had to choose from, I took home Andy. In my first whiff of the fragrance I smelled something sweet, warm, and also something very familiar. I thought I was smelling the legacy of a great artist, one that I had daydreamed about. I was actually smelling the first acts of rebellion I had ever really committed. Friday nights in high school meant bumming around the mall till curfew. My friends and I would frequent all the stores that fed our teen curiosities, like Spencer’s, known to us as the shop with shot glasses and sex toys.
While roaming around giddy with the delight of getting away with our mischief, I remember eyeing the incense display which was positioned with the pot novelty items, naturally. There, I’d be overcome by the haunting, deep-woodsy smell. So haunting that years later, as a senior in college, when I inhaled a breath of Andy in the middle of New York with two friends, I nearly cried. Not only had I found a fragrance evoking my biggest inspiration but I’d found a note reminiscent of my tested innocence. Warhol was a passion I discovered in high school and one that spread like wildfire leading to several intrigues most of which I had to defend on a daily basis against the masses and my parents. The smell of sandalwood harbors all the angst of my teen-hood and the sweet validating fact that it was not all for naught after all.
I remember one afternoon walking through my Alma Mater’s Literary House when one of my favorite professors, a perfume expert in her own right, stopped me taken aback by the strength of my perfume. I was wearing Andy. The sandalwood tipped her off. It was a particularly cool moment for me as a budding perfumista. Her opinion of perfume is one I highly regard. The fact that she noticed, on such a busy day, what was I wearing was absolutely thrilling. Even though sandalwood is strong, it is not overbearing. There is a beauty to its bold rustic scent. It has a very soothing effect. I love burning it as an incense. It makes me think of my father, which is precisely why his father’s day gift was the Art of Shaving‘s sandalwood line.
Like sandalwood, my father has a smoky woodsy smell. He spends a lot of time outside and he’s never far from the grill. He’s not all rustic fire circle either though, he has a sweeter smell, maybe it’s from sharing such close quarters with my mom. He would never have chosen anything as nice as the Art of Shaving products for himself, which is exactly why he deserves them. Sandalwood has been used for centuries for several different purposes. Perfumery, spiritual, healing, and in the oil form for skincare. As unfortunately what happens to most beautiful natural resources, they are subject to over harvest and their supply dwindles. Sandalwood is produced from a tree that’s nearly extinct. Today you’ll find a lot of the adulterated versions, hardly the pure kind from India, being used. Who will know the fate of this beloved powerful plant? It’s rather sad to think about.
*Thanks for reading,