Saturday, July 13, 2024

15 Best Sandalwood Perfumes to Wear This Winter

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1

Best Sandalwood Perfume

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

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Best Sandalwood Perfume

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

This perfume is perhaps on of the most universally beloved fragrances on the market. “Santal 33 from Le Labo was once an indie favorite that quickly became a must-have because of its addictive scent. It smells like a strong cologne but is somehow both light and airy. Plus, it smells good on everyone!” says West. The combination of smoky wood notes and florals keeps it light yet complex.

Nordstrom rating: 4.3/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer says: “This cologne is a cult favorite for Le Labo lovers. This scent is genderless, so don’t be surprised if you’re partner takes a few spritzes. The sandalwood mixes with cardamom and a hint of florals for a unique, distinct scent that will linger even after you leave the room. It’s an enigma wrapped in an aroma.” Danielle James, ELLE.com beauty director

Notes: Sandalwood, cedarwood, cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox, leather accord, musk

Size: 0.5–3.4 fl. oz.

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Best Sandalwood Perfume for Vacation

Brown Girl Jane CASABLANCA

CASABLANCA

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Best Sandalwood Perfume for Vacation

Brown Girl Jane CASABLANCA

This spice-filled perfume was created with wanderlust in mind. Through a combination of sweet vanilla, smoky incense, and a woodsy base, this is the perfect perfume to bring on vacation.

Brown Girl Jane rating: 4.7/5 stars

An expert reviewer says: “My vacation scents are less about smelling like an actual vacation and more about adopting new personalities through my fragrances. I employ Casablanca by Brown Girl Jane as my mysterious, sultry persona that initially comes off sweet, but there’s more than meets the nose. Sugary marshmallow and vanilla are deepened by sandalwood and musks to create a warm, mature yet playful aroma.” Nerisha Penrose, ELLE.com beauty commerce editor

Notes: Marshmallow, cardamon, incense, saffron, suede, vanilla orchid, sandalwood, amber, musk

Size: 1–1.7 fl. oz.

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Best Designer Sandalwood Perfume

Gucci Flora Gorgeous Jasmine Eau de Parfum

Flora Gorgeous Jasmine Eau de Parfum

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Best Designer Sandalwood Perfume

Gucci Flora Gorgeous Jasmine Eau de Parfum

Now 15% Off

Not only is this bottle of perfume the perfect tabletop accessory, but the scent within it perfectly combines florals with woodier notes. “Gucci Flora Gorgeous Jasmine Eau de Parfum is a perfect paring of a sandalwood base and a beautiful floral. Together, it just works,” says West. There’s a reason why this won ‘Best Floral’ for our 2023 Noteworthies.

Nordstrom rating: 4.3/5 stars

An ELLE editor says: “Gucci Flora Gorgeous Jasmine is a deeply romantic scent that genuinely smells like a walk in a spring garden. It’s sweet but not cloying, and lasts forever.” Sara Austin, executive editor

Notes: Mandarin essence, jasmine, magnolia, sandalwood

Size: 1–3.4 fl. oz.

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Best Woodsy Sandalwood Perfume

Diptyque Tam Dao Eau de Toilette

Tam Dao Eau de Toilette

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Best Woodsy Sandalwood Perfume

Diptyque Tam Dao Eau de Toilette

Inspired by the Tonkin mountains in Vietman, this perfume combines some of the most beautifully scented woods. It’s fresh and springy, with incredible depth. “Tam Dao immerses us in a childhood memory of time spent near the holy forests of Vietnam. Straight from the mind of Yves Coueslant, one of the founders of Diptyque, Tam Dao combines sandalwood, cedar, cypress, and coriander,” says Dawes.

Nordstrom rating: 4.7/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer says: “This starts off light with a sillage that wears close to the body. It then morphs into a creamy, woodsy scent that is perfect for both autumn and winter wear, and produces a more prominent sillage, noticeable but not overpowering. You can wear Tam Dao into the office, it is very inoffensive. I love to wear Tam Dao under a warm sweater, it is a warming, comforting fragrance! A wonderful brand that does perfume right; great quality ingredients that shows through with all of their fragrances. I highly recommend this fragrance!

Notes: Sandalwood, cedar, cypress, myrtle

Size: 3.4 fl. oz.

5

Best A-List Approved Sandalwood Perfume

TOM FORD Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

5

Best A-List Approved Sandalwood Perfume

TOM FORD Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

Now 15% Off

While practically all of Tom Ford’s fragrances have a cult following, this spicy and floral scent is in a league of its own. From A-list celebrities to TikTok perfume lovers, this scent beautifully combines earthy notes with floral freshness.

Nordstrom rating: 4.4/5 stars

An expert reviewer says: “Ever wonder what perfume Taylor Swift wears? Now you have the answer. Once PerfumeTok got wind that Blondie smells like sandalwood, this warm, spicy Tom Find scent became one of its go-tos.” Sarah Maberry, Firstfinds commerce writer and trending products expert

Notes: Sandalwood, cinnamon, ylang ylang

Size: 1–1.7 fl. oz.

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Best Sandalwood Perfume Oil

Tory Burch Essence of Dreams Layering Oil Essence of Sandalwood

 Essence of Dreams Layering Oil Essence of Sandalwood

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Best Sandalwood Perfume Oil

Tory Burch Essence of Dreams Layering Oil Essence of Sandalwood

Perfume oils are not only great options for anyone with dry or sensitive skin, but they can also be more long-lasting. This sandalwood version is also a great base for scent layering. “A newly discovered favorite is the Essence of Dreams Layering Oil Essence of Sandalwood by Tory Burch. Because it’s an oil, it is made to be layered or built upon. I personally think it is a gorgeous scent on its own,” says West.

Nordstrom rating: 5/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer says: “I live for this layering oil. It’s so pretty. I pair it with the Cosmic Woods perfume and get tons of compliments. Even as a stand alone fragrance, it is quite pleasant.”

Notes: Ginger extract, elemi, vetiver, cedar, balsamic, sandalwood, dreamwood

Size: 0.47 fl. oz.

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Most Beautiful Sandalwood Perfume

LoveShackFancy Moondance Eau de Parfum

Moondance Eau de Parfum

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Most Beautiful Sandalwood Perfume

LoveShackFancy Moondance Eau de Parfum

The new fragrance line from fashion brand LoveShackFancy has already taken the world by storm. Thanks to their iconic packaging, these perfumes are the new favorite eye candy. However, the fragrance inside is just as lovely.

Sephora rating: 4.7/5 stars

An ELLE editor says: “Florals for Fall/Winter? Now that’s groundbreaking. LoveShackFancy launched this smooth fragrance that smells, fresh and powdery but with a woody finish.” — Danielle James

Notes: Velvet rose, rhubarb, sandalwood, oakmoss, magnolia

Size: 0.34–2.5 fl. oz.

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Best Fresh Sandalwood Perfume

BYREDO Blanche Eau de Parfum

Blanche Eau de Parfum

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Best Fresh Sandalwood Perfume

BYREDO Blanche Eau de Parfum

This perfume was inspired by simplicity, but the notes are anything but. A combination of wood, spice, and florals all combine to create this fresh scent that smells good on everybody.

Nordstrom rating: 4.5/5 stars

An expert reviewer says: “This scent reminds me of freshly washed sheets in a cabin placed in the middle of the woods. Slightly powdery but with creamy, warm finish.” – Danielle James

Notes: White rose, pink pepper, aldehyde, violet, neroli, peony, blonde woods, sandalwood, musk

Size: 3.4 fl. oz.

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Best Luxury Sandalwood Perfume

Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood

New York Sandalwood

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Best Luxury Sandalwood Perfume

Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood

This scent screams seductive. With a combination of creamy sandalwood and pungent fruits, it’s a warm and spicy fragrance that’s perfect for colder weather.

Bond No. 9 rating: 5/5 stars

A Bond. No. 9 Reviewer says: “New York Sandalwood is the perfect scent for the colder months. Get your most comfortable cashmere sweater, snuggle up in front of the chimney with a hot chocolate and a good book, and spray some New York Sandalwood on. That’s how I will spend the next few winters. The fragrance starts woody right away. But the woodiness is soft and warm, with a slight powdery note. Fig and carrot may sound unusual as notes in a scent, but they do wonders in New York Sandalwood, as they give the composition the creamy feeling that makes it so comfy. I’d say get it as soon as possible, winter is coming soon!”

Notes: Carrot, ores, cardamon, sandalwood, papyrus, fig, musk, amber, moss

Size: 1.7–3.4 fl. oz.

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Best Investment Sandalwood Perfume

The Harmonist Yin Transformation Parfum

Yin Transformation Parfum

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Best Investment Sandalwood Perfume

The Harmonist Yin Transformation Parfum

Housed in a beautiful, tranquil bottle, this perfume was designed to bring peace to the wearer, while still navigating complex scent notes. With a blend of sandalwood, citrus, and florals, this is a perfume worth investing in.

Neiman Marcus rating: 5/5 stars

An expert reviewer says: “I love slightly woody, masculine-leaning scents, but nothing too intense or musky. The Harmonist’s Yin Transformation strikes the perfect balance, offering a bright and citrusy opening that coyly develops into a seductive base of sandalwood and iris.” Sam Peters, senior commerce editor

Notes: Calypso orchid, mandarin, Bulgarian rose, almond milk, ylang ylang, iris, white musk, sandalwood, benzoin



Size
: 1.7 fl. oz.

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Best Feminine Sandalwood Perfume

TOCCA Stella Eau de Parfum

Stella Eau de Parfum

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Best Feminine Sandalwood Perfume

TOCCA Stella Eau de Parfum

This little bottle looks like it should sit on a princess’s vanity, and the perfume reiterates the feminine, flirtatious branding. With bright florals and invigorating citrus, this is the ideal date night perfume.

Nordstrom rating: 4.7/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer says: “Just what I was looking for—refreshing light blood orange citrus, with just the right amount of floral notes. The bottle is luxuriously heavy with a beautifully embellished matte gold top of flora and fauna. As beautiful to look as is the fragrance to wear.”

Notes: Bitter orange, blood orange, watery accord, white freesia, orchid, lily, musk, sandalwood

Size: 1.7 fl. oz.

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Best Unisex Sandalwood Perfume

Henry Rose Queens & Monsters Eau de Parfum

Queens & Monsters Eau de Parfum

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Best Unisex Sandalwood Perfume

Henry Rose Queens & Monsters Eau de Parfum

Searching for the perfect blend of masculine and feminine notes? This perfume has you covered with deep neroli, fresh freesia, and the balancing scent of sandalwood.

Sephora rating: 4.7/5 stars

A Sephora reviewer says: “Absolutely love this. It immediately goes on with a brace of greenness, but settles into a creamy, musky floral citrus. I love love love perfume and have a ton, and find this to be a very unique cent and something perfect for summer and fall. I also find it to be long-lasting, which I appreciate.”

Notes: Neroli, freesia, sandalwood

Size: 0.27–1.7 fl. oz.

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Best Spicy Sandalwood Perfume

CHANEL COCO Eau de Parfum Spray

COCO Eau de Parfum Spray

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Best Spicy Sandalwood Perfume

CHANEL COCO Eau de Parfum Spray

Nothing is more classic than a Chanel perfume. This one is slightly spicy, making is a great option for couples to share or to spritz on during the colder months. In a bottle this chic, you’ll want to display it for everyone to see.

Ulta rating: 4.6/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer says: “My first Chanel and newest favorite scent. Scent is peppery, without being over powering. Won’t overwhelm the room, but is very long lasting. Will be buying this as a gift, as I want everyone to have it!”

Notes: Bulgarian rose, coriander, peach, jasmine, mandarin orange, cloves, orange blossom, mimosa, clover, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla

Size: 1.2 fl. oz.

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Best Sweet Sandalwood Perfume

The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum

Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum

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Best Sweet Sandalwood Perfume

The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum

If you like a grown up sweet scents that’s still yummy to smell but doesn’t transport you to middle school, this is the one. It has edible notes like coconut and vanilla, balanced with sandalwood and myrrh.

Sephora rating: 4.3/5 stars

A Sephora reviewer says: “This is my signature scent I absolutely love it. It doesn’t have that overwhelmingly perfumey scent to it at all. I have found that it lasts all day and as the day mixes with your own natural scent. Perfect balance of slightly sweet and sort of spicy. The bottle also has a really nice light mist.”

Notes: Vanilla, coconut, sandalwood, myrrh

Size: 0.33–1.7 fl. oz.

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Best Affordable Sandalwood Perfume

Snif Show Pony

Show Pony

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Best Affordable Sandalwood Perfume

Snif Show Pony

For a smoky scent that is sultry and seductive, this warm perfume is perfect. It balances those spicier notes with juicy fruits and calming black tea for a truly balanced perfume.

Snif rating: 4.3/5 stars

A Snif reviewer says: “This is a great, smoky, earthy scent. The opening note is that dry, smoky scent you get from the black tea. It’s more like a sachet of un-brewed tea, so you get that dry leaf scent that makes your mouth water, which is enhanced by the sandalwood to create this lightly woody, earthy scent. Despite the tannins in the tea creating that dry smoke, its offset by a sweetness that comes through at the end from the plum, which prevents the fragrance from being too overpowering. I personally wear this to work and around for errands but this would also be amazing as a date night out type fragrance.”

Notes: Black tea, saffron, vetiver, sandalwood, bergamot, black pepper, golden plum

Size: 1 fl. oz.

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Meet the Experts

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Why are people drawn to sandalwood perfumes?

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While floral and sweet notes have always been popular, sandalwood is currently having a moment. “I think hints of wood tends to draw you in a familiar, almost romantic way. Sandalwood notes are strong, yet sweet and bright at the same time,” says West. Dawes adds, “What draws people to sandalwood perfumes is its air of mystery and sensuality. For centuries sandalwood has had deep spiritual roots, but its complex scent can really attract a number of different admirers. Whether you like fragrances that are rich, woodsy, and quite alluring or scents that are bright, sweet, and warm…there’s a sandalwood perfume for that.”

What time of year are sandalwood perfumes popular?

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While some people prefer floral perfumes in the spring, or spicier notes in the fall, sandalwood can be worn all year. “Because sandalwood is such a dynamic material, I think fragrances that contain it are great all year round. It’s famously long lasting so, whatever your preferred sandalwood expression may be, expect that it will be a presence in every moment,” says Dawes.

That being said, oftentimes woodsy scents can pair well with colder weather. “I think fragrance is a personal thing and you should wear what you want, when you want to. But at the same time, there are scents, like sandalwood, that feel more warm and fall given the wood base note,” adds West.

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What scents pair well with sandalwood?

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For West, she prefers counteracting the woody note of sandalwood with something fresh and sweet. “I like balancing sandalwood with something floral, like geranium or even rose,” West says. On the other hand, Dawes enjoys staying on theme with scent mixing. “I love leaning into the grounding nature of a woody fragrance like sandalwood and pairing it with other woody notes like cypress or cedar. My favorite go-to is also a classic combination, elevating the sweeter side of sandalwood with vanilla and amber,” Dawes adds.

Why trust ELLE?

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As a leading publisher of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty content, ELLE.com is committed to highlighting the best products in various categories by personally testing the latest and most innovative products, interviewing countless experts, and vetting customer-loved items. For this piece, Tatjana Freund tested a top-rated sandalwood perfumes and pored over reviews for dozens of others, evaluating each on their features and customer feedback.

Headshot of Tatjana Freund

Tatjana Freund

Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor

Tatjana Freund is Hearst’s Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor, covering beauty, fashion and more across multiple brands. Previously, she worked at ELLE.com and Marie Claire. She’s a fan of whiskey neat, podcasts that give her nightmares, and one time Zoë Kravitz laughed at a joke she made. 

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