~Tell me about the fragrance?~
The Body Shop have made an array of fragranced perfume oils which include Vanilla, White Musk, etc, along with a number of other scents which include the Woody Sandalwood Perfume Oil. When I first came across the fragrance I really wasn't all that sure about it as it does have a rather masculine tone to it at first. It can be a little heavy and overly strong and has a scent which reminds me of the YSL Opium fragrance, which has never been one of my favorites due to its heavy cloying nature.
Once I allowed this fragrance enough time to dry down and develop on my skin I actually didn't mind the much softer woody feel that remained. I felt the patchoulli in the perfume oil gave the fragrance a better feel and the initial full blown scent that took my breath away left a much softer yet still warm tone that remained for a good number of hours. I wouldn't say that I felt it really appealed all that much to me as a whole fragrance, although I certainly do not feel its the worst thing I have ever used its a very long way from being the best.
The perfume oil comes as a golden amber toned liquid within the usual slightly rounded yet rather flat clear glass bottle that is used for all of the fragrance oils. from the Body Shop range The lid sits well enough on the bottle and you can easily apply as much or as little of the fragrance as you need, although I would advise that in this case less is certainly more as the fragrance is rather strong. One thing I have found with these perfume oils is that they can drip down the bottle sometimes and end up marking table tops and wooden or polished surfaces. I feel that its best to keep an eye out for that happening and give the bottle a wipe over every now and then to avoid it all together.
~ What the Body Shop say~
If I may quote the Body Shop they say that the fragrance is 'a warm and woody fragrance', which is something that I can agree with as it does give off a very warm tone for the whole time it is on your skin. I felt that the perfume oil had a rather masculine tone to it and the Body Shop say it is suitable for men or women to wear and will appeal to those who like a 'sophisticated scent'. I do feel that a man could wear this fragrance although I don't feel that it is presented in a way that would appeal to a male fragrance buyer. I feel the fragrance is a little too deep and cloying for me although it will suit those who like this type of fragrance.
Top notes are listed as being:
Cedarwood, sandalwood and clove
Middle and base notes are listed as being:
Sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, amber, labdanum, tonka, musk, balsams and vanilla.
~Summary and rating~
The Woody Sandalwood Perfume Oil is alcohol free and the Body Shop say this makes it easier for those with sensitive skin to use or for those who find alcohol based fragrances irritate their skin. I didn't have any problems with reactions to my skin when I wore this although I cannot vouch for it performing in the same way with every skin type or fragrance wearer. Over all I feel that whilst this is an ok fragrance its not a great one and I found it a little too heavy for me from the moment I first applied some of it to my skin. As such I cannot rate this very highly as it didn't suit my tastes and this does mean that I feel I can only give the fragrance oil a 2 star product rating.
Rich, warm intoxicating, earthy, crude but never common. All these things describe what I consider the heart of perfume, some may go for the smell of the ocean others for the sweet freshness of the air in a flower garden, but I prefer both feet firmly on the ground with this scent that puts us back where we belong, in the good old mother earth.
Although not for all, this is the scent that reminds me of home, of log cabins and freshly cut wood, of glowing embers and bear skin rugs. Of mountains glistening with snow and skis drying by the fire but most of all of wood.
Sandal wood is originally from Asia, but apart from the color of the oil it is in many ways similar to other wood scents, while none can mistake its sweet fragrance it still undeniably reminds me of home in Norway.
The Body Shop version of Woody Sandalwood comes in a small half ounce glass container with a plastic top. This unscrews to allow you to use its stick to spread the amber oil on your skin.
It is not pure sandalwood oil as that is an expense few of us could afford, but the enticing blend is a perfect base for most popular perfumes that I dare say find themselves on your vanity table. While more then able to hold its own as a purfume I enjoy experimenting with different scents, and have found Burberry Touch (By Burberry), Far Away (By Avon), Pure Poison (By Christian Dior) and several floral scents by various brands like Pupa, Amor Amor, and Elizabeth Arden to compliment it as well.
The Sandalwood perfume lasts quite long and since it is a oil will linger on your skin so that you almost forget that it isnt a part of you. It has a crude down to earth feel to it, like you have reached down into the core of your essence and let it out for all to partake of. It is honest and unpretentious without the lush decadence of L'instant by Guerlain, or the freshly scrubbed smell of Coolwater by Davidoff. It is just "you", plain and simple. Dress it up with a dash of the other high riders but don't forget your roots and that we all will one day return to our mother earth.
Price: Costs 6.50 pounds on Body Shop website, but can be got cheaper on Ebay or Amazon.
Top notes: - Cedarwood, sandalwood, chypre and clove.
Middle & Base notes: - Sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, amber, labdanum, tonka, musk, balsams and vanilla.
INGREDIENTS: Parfum (Fragrance), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Benzoate (Solvent), Eugenol (Fragrance Ingredient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient).
Woody Sandalwood is a fragrance by the Body Shop. It is one of their range of perfume oils, which are alcohol free and, according to the Body Shop's website, the longest lasting fragrance, which I would heartily agree with.
So what's so special about Woody Sandalwood? Where do I begin the name evokes lush green forests, and, er, sandals? Unfortunately, the name might for some people conjure images of stonking, patchouli-type scents. I look at the ingredients and see that this does indeed contain patchouli - eek, I never knew that! I don't find patchouli that offensive (anyone who did wouldn't have lasted long in my Uni dormitory!). To me patchouli mainly smells of dirt, which in itself is not unpleasant. Does that make me dirty?! At any rate, it is listed at the bottom of the "heart", or middle notes, and it is certainly subtle in the mix, as I've never noticed it before. That said, Woody Sandalwood is unquestionably an earthy/musky, robust scent. Sandalwood is defined as "Any of several tropical Asian trees of the genus Santalum, especially S. album, having aromatic yellowish heartwood used in cabinetmaking and wood carving and yielding an oil used in perfumery." Sandalwood is a very popular ingredient in modern perfumery, often used to balance out sweet notes in a fragrance.
However, this is just the basis of the perfume. The Body Shop have created a classic, multi-layered fragrance that includes notes of cedarwood and vanilla. It is crisp and dry smelling, like a fresh October's day, when skies are blue and woodsmoke is just beginning to permeate the air. It makes me want to have a tumble in some freshly raked leaves...with a rakish type oops, I digress, but this stuff is wafting up my nose and making me feel - erm, giddy! Anyway, here is our little love story:
I first discovered this scent as a mere wood nymph. At fifteen we girls like to start experimenting - with fragrance, that is! I and my lovely pals would flock to the wholesome goodness of the formerly non-corporate owned Body Shop (Ah, those were the days), content that our vegetarian dollars were not only making us irresistible, but helping the rainforest to boot! With my trusty copy of Fifty Things You Can Do to Save the Earth in my back pocket, the green walls of Anita Roddick's animal friendly oasis beckoned. Most of my friends flocked to the fruity perfume oils, the Fuzzy Peach, or the girly florals.
And there was lil' ole me, a wee bit green, drawn curiously to the amber coloured bottle that glistened like a toffee apple in the Autumn sun. I stuck my nose in cautiously, and a whole other world opened up beneath my nose. It smelled so deep and intoxicating, mysterious and like nothing I'd ever sniffed before. I believe in the end I shied away from it and bought the sweet, girly Tea Rose. I just wasn't ready to wear such a deep scent. But it was to be the beginning of a lifelong love affair.
By the time I went to University, I was grown up enough to embrace my love of this scent with absolute vigour. Perhaps at times I embraced it too much! The older I get, the less I realise I need of this. Its scent is enticing, but I now know I do not need to entice the entire world with it! So the woods of western Massachusetts beckoned, and I plunged in, wafting my scent wherever I went, much like forest nymph types of yore, when I probably would've been condemned a witch for all my earthy exploits! I will say this, its allure does seem to translate across the sexes. This scent could also quite easily be worn by a man, I think. It is far subtler than most men's fragrances, of course, but I know I find it intoxicating and would give anyone wearing it a good sniff!
Our affair flickered and dimmed for awhile, and I began to push Woody to the back of the dresser. We had had our fun frolicking in the forest, but I thought it was time to grow up and wear designer perfumes, and my first love no longer seemed as sophisticated in his squat little plain glass bottle. I went to New York and got swept away slightly from my earthy roots by the city glitz and glamour. The likes of Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein became my scents, however they weren't particularly original and never once did I spritz them and get that same deep satisfaction and joie de vivre that my Sandalwood had always instilled in me.
After a time, I began to realise that when I did wear my Woody Sandalwood I always got compliments and it seemed to be a lucky charm generally. Whenever I wore it, it just felt like "me", it is comforting to find a smell that brings this kind of inner calm. By the way, did I mention that this lasts for years and never seems to go off? In fact, just the opposite, sandalwood oil is reputed to become better with age. Well, eventually I had come to a point where I needed a new bottle, so off I went to the Body Shop. To my horror, at that time they had stopped selling the perfume oils. I was disappointed to say the least, it does seem the Body Shop has a tendency to discontinue many items. I shopped around other places, occasionally taking whiffs of sandalwood oil in hippie- type shops, always to be disappointed with the harsh, rank smell that confronted me. This was not my beloved! I had forsaken him for so long that he, too seemed to have left me forever.
A few years passed, and the scent began to fade to a mere memory. Every so often I would be home in Massachusetts, on an Autumn day, and catch a breeze that smelled of damp earth and ripe apples (this was mainly when I visited the apple orchard to be fair!). They had hay-rides there as well, for the full farm experience, and the rich, clean smell of earth preparing to slumber, of woodfires being stoked, always filled me with a sweet sort of melancholy. I longed for my old friend, who was always so evocative of that season. I missed his warmth during the long, chilly nights. Life kept going, I found other perfume loves, but never forgot my first.
I moved to the U.K., and even snooped around the Body Shop here once or twice in vain hopes. Then, a couple of years ago, while visiting my Mom in Florida, I halfheartedly decided to poke around the Body Shop in a mall. By this point, my first love had been all but forgotten. I didn't see the point in carrying a torch after all those years. I loped to the back of the shop, when a glistening light caught my eye. There, in the corner, was a trolley display of small glass perfumes - I could hardly believe my eyes, or dare to hope. I saw that they did indeed look to be the old-fashioned Body Shop oils, and began to feel my knees quiver slightly.
There, in amongst the numerous clear oils, was an amber coloured chap, twinkling at me in his usual style. All was forgiven, we were reunited at long last! I could hardly believe it, I had given up hope long ago that I would find him again. I surreptitiously took the sample stopper and applied a tiny dab of the warm brown dew to my wrist, not knowing if things would still be the same between us. The golden liquid trickled down my arm a bit, cheeky fellow, so I rubbed my skin in anticipation. It felt warm and didn't burn with the dry alcohol of those others I'd been amusing myself with of late. I lifted my wrist to my nose and slowly inhaled. And there it was, that old magic. I was renewed, invigorated, and completely transported back in time. Nothing had changed, we were together again as it was meant to be. I felt bathed in warmth and sunshine - that old, spicy flirtiness greeted me immediately but I knew soon he'd settle down and behave slightly more sweetly. In the background if you listened closely you could here the sweeping score of "At Last" by Etta James. My love has come along, for you are mine at last!
And we lived happily ever after!
Top Notes: Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Chypre and Clove
Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Amber, Labdanum, Tonka, Musk, Balsams and Vanilla
I have seen the perfume oils on sale at the Body Shop in the U.K. as well now (the last time I checked), but with the shop being bought over by L'Oreal I'm thinking I should stock up in case change is afoot. It retails for around £10 for a half ounce I believe, although I see it is available on Ebay as well.
Woody Sandalwood is lovely combined with other Body Shop Oils, especially vanilla if you're feeling more sweet than spicy. I also quite like it with Hypnotic Poison as it grounds it a bit from being too sweet. It is also nice combined with florals, particularly rose based scents.
The Body Shop describes it as "warm and woody, suitable for women who enjoy wearing sophisticated scents. Can be worn by men"
I describe it as rich, soulful, and heavenly. It uplifts, it comforts, it is natural and decadent smelling all at once. The initial earthy spiciness might be off-putting to some, which would be a shame as they might like it after the top notes fade. As it settles on the skin it mellows to a sweeter, gentler warming scent. It is a very clean scent for one so earthy, that must be the cedarwood and balsams. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, it seems to bring out the friskiness in some! If you enjoy scents like Gucci or Hypnotic Poison, or even Opium (the scent, that is!), you might very well like this.
A warm and woody fragrance, suitable for women who enjoy wearing sophistaced scents /