We’ve already talked about the prevalence of beloved notes like rose and vanilla in what feels like the majority of our favourite perfumes, and cosy sandalwood is another unanimous favourite. It manages to feel warm and woody, but it also possesses a creamy richness, which makes it the perfect base note for a wide range of fragrances—not just the sweet, spicy or musky types you might initially assume.
Whether you’re already a fiend for sandalwood like us or are new to or unsure of the popular note, we’re going to go ahead and say adding a sandalwood perfume to your winter fragrance wardrobe is one of the best moves you can make this season (especially in the “you smell so good” compliment department). Thanks to its surprising versatility, we’re of the strong belief that the perfect warm and inviting sandalwood perfume exists for anyone who loves to wear fragrance or who just wants to smell intoxicatingly lovely. Does that sound over-the-top? Just wait because we’ve rounded up the top 11 sandalwood perfumes to prove just how serious we are. Keep scrolling!
Key fragrance notes: ambrette, magnolia, sandalwood, violet, cedarwood, Chantilly musk, crisp amber. Mojave Ghost is one of the top-selling fragrances from cult-loved perfume brand Byredo. It smells like a crisp fall day—warm, woody and, as you might have gleaned from its name, inspired by the Mojave Desert.
Key fragrance notes: aldehyde, pink pepper, white rose, neroli, peony, violet, blonde wood, musk, sandalwood
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, cedar, cypress, coriander. This best-selling sandalwood perfume from Diptyque is inspired by Indochina forests—it’s spicy but has, as the brand describes, a “velvety, milky” scent to keep it grounded and earthy.
Key fragrance notes: oud, rose, vanilla, incense
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, bitter cacao. Serge Lutens (one of the premier fragrance houses in Paris) describes this sandalwood perfume as “sandalwood with a capital S,” and quite honestly, we’d have to agree. Rich, velvety and luxurious, this one is for the sandalwood hall-of-famer and not a rookie.
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, saffron, wild carrot
Key fragrance notes: cedarwood, sandalwood, cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox, leather. No sandalwood perfume collection would ever be complete without this icon from Le Labo, which, apart from the Chanel No.5s of the world, just might be the most famous perfume of all time. The addition of cedarwood strategically enhances the obvious all-star: Australian sandalwood.
Key fragrance notes: tiare flower, jasmine, lily, tuberose, musk, vanilla
Key fragrance notes: yuzu, bergamot, Sichuan pepper, lotus, mimosa, violet leaves, jasmine, musk, licorice, sandalwood. Practically fizzy but with an earthiness unlike other fruity fragrances on the market, Yuzu is one of the most unique, compliment-worthy sandalwood perfumes on our vanity.
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, lemon, orange, petitgrain, lavender, cardamom, sandalwood, amber, tonka bean
Key fragrance notes: exotic rosewood, cardamom, oud wood, sandalwood, vetiver, tonka bean, amber. Oud Wood is the ultimate perfume for anyone who doesn’t like a scent that feels too precious or contrived. It features an expert strategy of foresty-scented woods that smell classic and comforting yet rare and enticing. According to Tom Ford, Oud Wood envelops the wearer (or sniffer) in rare oud, exotic spices and cardamom before unfolding into a blend of smells that are rich, dark and sensual.
Key fragrance notes: vanilla, sandalwood, pink peppercorn, heliotrope, balsam
Key fragrance notes: violet, cashmeran, heliotrope, sandalwood, white musk. The brainchild of legendary perfumer Maurice Roucel, this warm and luxurious-smelling sandalwood number is said to be inspired by the comforting feeling of an embrace.
Key fragrance notes: bitter orange, rose, cardamom, pepper, cedarwood, hay
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, nutmeg, cinnamon, amber wood. Fun fact: Maison Louis Marie has been creating some of the most delicate botanical-based scents since 1792. This one is a true sandalwood star and is the perfect balance between spicy, earthy and sweet. (And it’s clean!)
Key fragrance notes: cassis, bergamot, black pepper, white rose, oakmoss, musk, tonka
Key fragrance notes: radiant wood, copper, cedar, sandalwood, radiant iris, boronia, balsam fir absolute, coconut musk, ambergris. Out of all of DS & Durga’s fantastically unique scents, Radio Bombay has to be one of our all-time favourites. Sandalwood leads at the heart of this perfume, but unexpected accents from creamy peach, coconut and musk keep it marshmallow smooth.
Key fragrance notes: frangipani, gardenia, saffron, yellow lotus, rose absolute, agarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, musk ambrette
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, sandalwood, papyrus, cedarwood, vanilla. Atelier Cologne’s Santal Carmin is a rich, deep and warm scent that also has a hint of spice. Each note comes from a different part of the world, including India and Mexico.
Key fragrance notes: vetiver, orange flower, cedarwood
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, neroli, cedarwood heart, sandalwood, vanilla, orange flower water, guaiac wood. A warm and woody aroma, this fragrance is gender-neutral, calming and ripe with some serious notes of sandalwood. It’ll wrap you in an aura of earthy mystery.
Key fragrance notes: Italian lemon, clover-leaf oil, Moroccan jasmine absolute, sfuma primofiore
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated. Up next, Everyone Deserves at Least One Chanel Perfume—These Are the 5 Best