Sandalwood Notes

Discussion in 'General' started by Mr.P, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Mr.P

    Mr.P True Ouddict

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    08B5ECA4-0116-4909-B5FD-EEDB260F3880.jpeg

    I have been carving simple shapes from some of my sandal wood blocks. As you can see here in the picture. I don’t know anything about carving so I’m just messing around and having a little fun. Creating some wood cookies and little cubes and things like that. As I am burning the flakes from each of my different wood blocks I’m amazed by the different versions of the sandalwood sent that I’m experiencing.

    My benchmark is yamada matsu log slices - these smell to me like the best of the Japanese sourced sandalwood I have smelled.

    Other logs I have that I’ve been chipping off of are all clearly sandalwood but there are some clear and pretty pronounced differences in scent. Some wood blocks have a sweet almost floral quality to them - quite different from the dense oily quality of the best wood I have. Some of the logs I have chipped off have this scent quite strong, others quite faint. When I first smelled it I thought that the log I had had been perfumed or something - it isn’t a smell that I associate with the best Sandalwood. But then I kept finding the same scent in the woods from different suppliers, and the scent runs all the way through the blocks, and it is found in pieces that clearly have different ages and qualities and from different sources. Now I believe this is a signature fragrance of sandalwood from a certain region, but I am really surprised at the range of qualities coming out of what is clearly santalum album. All of these wood blocks were marketed as Mysore - perhaps this is just a signature introduced by the soil or water or whatever that makes Mysore special. This scent is absent in the baieido and yamada matsu sandalwood I have smelled. But I don’t know where baieido and yamada matsu get their sandalwood.

    I can identify the scent of New Caledonian and Aussie sandalwood so I know it isn’t a difference on this level.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on santalum album with a pronounced floral tone? And how this relates to the other nuances of santalum album wood?
     
  2. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

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    My Mysore Sandalwood oil from RKSons (5 yrs ago) has a floral note.
     
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  3. Mr.P

    Mr.P True Ouddict

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  4. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi True Ouddict

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    Beauty!

    May I ask the source of where you purchased incense drying slabs you have on top right hand corner?
     
  5. Mr.P

    Mr.P True Ouddict

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    That’s just the underside of quarry tile leftover from a bathroom remodel. :)
     
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  6. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix Resident Artisan

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    Some awesome carvings there @Mr.P :)

    I’ve got quite a few logs and whittle-worthy Sandal on hand if you feel like carving some cool stuff. We could have some fun!
     
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  7. Mr.P

    Mr.P True Ouddict

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    Got more than I will ever go through, but thanks anyway...
     
  8. Santal Claus

    Santal Claus Oud Fanatic

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    This post brought me out of my occasional lurking back to full nerd. @Mr.P , those darker logs and slices are some beautiful sandalwood pieces (no disrespect to the lighter ones, as my fragrant avatar is). The dark sheen from chunks of old, rich-smelling trees cut a while ago is unmistakable. My logs are miniscule compared to that, but I've built up a collection of little ones and slices which smell pretty amazing. Gosh, what do your good pieces smell like now? And, how to you store those wonderful monsters to make sure the scent is conserved? I use tightly sealed Mason jars for mine, and they work pretty well, though logs like yours wouldn't fit in a typical jar.

    Unrelated, but pertinent. Do you ever think about what you will do with it? I have that dilemma. I have a lot of big and small Mason jars of powdered sandalwood, including kilos of Indian and Australian, with smaller amounts of the Vanuatu/New Caledonia stuff. We clean the house, dust the jars, I look at them lovingly on the shelf and then think, "I need to use this incense at some point." These are meant to be enjoyed, so I guess smell is good enough opening the jar. But, with the powder, it begs to be burned as incense...I'm not doing the whole facial thing with the powder as is common. I get the point that it is scarce, but life tomorrow is not guaranteed, so I occasionally get the itch to use it on the very side of a fire pit like I enjoy frankincense. You?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  9. Santal Claus

    Santal Claus Oud Fanatic

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    In regards to the floral note, I noticed it in a number of sandalwood I have. It's not a note I associate with Mysore or Tamil or old sandalwood. I get that note from younger sandalwood powder and trees, and I have for a while. I suspect, but as a non-expert, that this may have something to do with it. It is almost always with the wood, not the oil. I don't like it too much, and when I get wood like that I am quick to burn it rather than save it. I have some beads that smell like that, too. I always questioned whether these woods may have been soaked in aromachemicals like javanol, which is floral. I have no clue.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  10. Arsalan

    Arsalan True Ouddict

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  11. Mr.P

    Mr.P True Ouddict

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    Hi santalclaus. The aroma of the big pieces is ok, nothing special. My treasures for aroma are much larger diameter slab slices from yamada matsu. These i protect meticulously. The pale pieces are spicatum the darker ones, album. I just leave these out - I do not think it is worth the sacrifice to jar them up and miss out on experiencing them just to make the surface scent last a little longer. The overt “I have sandalwood oil all over me” note is long gone. They are just sweet, mellow, a little vanillin or maple, faint sandalwood aroma.

    Like you, my compulsion to collect has left me with enough sandalwood to pose an ethical dilemma. It definitely deserves better than to be sitting in a jar in my closet forever But I always struggle with the balance between squirreling away for later and enjoying now. I am growingly of the mindset that I need to use this stuff now that I’ve collected enough that consuming the entirety any one element of my collection becomes relatively unlikely.


    So I’ve decided to spend some time carving and just enjoying the wood. I actually doubt I’d burn it all even if I tried my best. The shavings from carving smell exactly the same today as they did 8 years ago when I first got the blocks.

    I also am not crazy about the floral note in sandalwood and basically (like you) see this as immediately expendable.
     
  12. Santal Claus

    Santal Claus Oud Fanatic

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    Outside of the vendors on our forum, no. I obtained my wood a while ago before it tripled in price. I have not bought from our vendors either, so I cannot vouch for the smell, texture and sheen, which is paramount for me, and cannot speak of their products. But, given their good reputation here, I suggest you ask one of them about the scent profile of what they offer and inform yourself. Sandalwood is not like agarwood. It's quite a bit more plentiful and you can enjoy it with less of an expenditure. BTW I would never buy "Mysore" wood or oil randomly online.
     
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  13. Santal Claus

    Santal Claus Oud Fanatic

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    Have you bought any oil from them lately?
     
  14. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

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    5 years ago was the last time I bought from them.
     

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