Essential Oil of the Month: Sandalwood

Essential Oil of the Month: Sandalwood

Published by Sherrie Dawkins on 1st Jul 2024

Essential Oil of the Month: Sandalwood

Sandalwood: (Santalum album, S. spicatum, S. austrocaledonicum)


“Sandalwood brings our wisdom into a meditative state, quieting us so we can hear and rejoice in the choral singing of the universal soul.” (Valerie Ann Worwood, Fragrant Heavens)

The unforgettably rich, woody and delectable scent of Sandalwood is unrivaled in aromatherapy and perfumery not only for its luxurious aroma, but for its myriad virtues as well. Though it may come at a premium it is oh so worth it! As one of the most expensive and cherished essential oils, it is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold.” 

Sandalwood has been treasured throughout history for its use in sacred incense, in religious and spiritual practices, and in many traditional systems including Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic. Ancients believed it to be the most pleasing scents to the gods. The wood was carved into temples, mala beads and rosaries, furniture, and religious artefacts. In modern times it is often highly regarded to deepen meditation, calm the spirit and enhance a sense of well-being.   

Part of the reason behind its expense is due to its scarcity, difficulty in harvesting, and its endangered status. It has been greatly overharvested, adding to its rare and precious distinction.

Sandalwood is gathered from the heartwood of trees which take decades to mature enough for harvesting and requires the entire tree be uprooted during rainy season. Today its production is strictly regulated, and conservation is closely overseen.

Sandalwood’s classic origins come from the East Indian variety – Santalum album – particularly from Mysore, India. The export of this exceptional variety is restricted by the Indian government which makes it excessively difficult to procure for the aware layperson. 

Fortunately, other varieties with a similar scent profile such as Santalum spicata and Santalum austrocaledonicum (Pacific Sandalwood) are being grown and harvested while ensuring conservation, and preservation and are more easily sustainably produced. 

One of the oldest known ingredients in perfumery – as old as 4,000 years! - Sandalwood is still revered in perfumery as a base note and for its alluring, exotic aroma with a discreet and elegant sensuality, adored by both men and women.

In skincare Sandalwood is excellent for mature skin, is soothing, cleansing and hydrating, helping to smooth the skin and balance complexion. 

One of my all-time favorite elegant blends evokes a sense of peace, harmony and a bit of romance. It can also be used for meditation or in an anointing blend to balance the Heart Chakra.

For a diffuser blend, combine the following essential oils:

4 drops Sandalwood

4 drops Bergamot

1 drop Ylang ylang

Use 3 to 5 drops of the blend in your diffuser (depending on the size of your room and diffuser) for a serene and gently sensual mood. 

“I'd prefer that Love be sandalwood:

slow to grow with grounding aroma
that after death remains.”

Dylan, September 2014 

For an anointing blend, combine the above essential oils in one teaspoon (5ml) of carrier oil such as jojoba oil. Then place one drop on your fingertip and apply to the Heart Chakra – at the center of the breastbone - for an aromatic loving embrace. For an extra loving touch, add one drop of Rose Maroc to the blend.

Or to deepen meditation and enhance intuition, apply one drop of the blend at the Third Eye Chakra – above and between the eyebrows. (Avoid the eye area).  

Rather unique in the use of the Chakra system, Sandalwood is associated with both the Root Chakra (grounding, stabilizing and calming) as well as the Third Eye Chakra (spiritual insight, focus, and meditation) and indeed may be used to harmonize all chakras. In ancient traditions it was thought to connect the hallowed space between the earth and divine realms. 

Popular Sandalwood Products from Body Bliss

PRECAUTIONS: Though generally considered safe, as with all essential oils, Sandalwood is for external use only and should be properly diluted before use. And as always, consult a medical practitioner before using this oil if pregnant, nursing, or on medication and especially for those who have a pre-existing health condition of any kind.

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