quantity in basket: none
code: 14238


Latin Binomial: Santalum album
Plant Part: Wood
Extraction: CO2 Extraction
Growing Practice: Ethical
Country of Origin: India
Odor Type: WOODY

Odor Characteristic: Sandalwood CO2 Total Extract has the soft, sweet-woody base note of the sandalwood heartwood, with an overtone of maple syrup aroma.

Note: because of concerns about the sustainability of Sandalwood (documented on the Plant Information and History tabs) Samara Botane has only limited supplies of Indian sandalwood oils available.

Refractive Index: 1.475-1.487 @ 25° C.
Specific Gravity: 0.9540 to 0.9730 @ 25° C.
Appearance: pale yellow to yellow with a viscous honey-like consistency
BioChemical Class: Sesquiterpenol

Typical Components for S. album SD

(Laurence, 1976-2001)

α-Santalol %45-60
β-Santalol %17-30
epi-β-Santalol %4-5
trans-β-Santalol %1-2
α-Santalene %5-7
cis-Lanceol %1-3

CAS No: 8006-87-9

About the Plant

Sandalwood CO2 is extracted from the heartwood of the East Indian Sandalwood tree (Santalum album) of Family Santalaceae, indigenous to South India, but currently plantation grown in Australia as well as Tamil Nadu in India. The evergreen tree grows to a height of 12-27 feet in about 40-50 years, but may live to 100 years of age. Sandalwood parasitises the roots of other tree species without major detriment to its hosts. Sandalwood has a pale green to white heartwood, with thin, opposite, ovate to lanceolate shaped leaves. The oil is distilled from the heartwood of the tree, which takes at least 30 years to grow to the size necessary to produce sufficient oil (the heartwood must be at least 3" in diameter, while the mature tree may be 12-18" in diameter). Under strict government control, trees are not harvested until they die naturally, unless they become diseased.

Because the sandalwood plant must grow in an environment surrounded by the roots of other trees which it can parasitize, it must be propagated by seed planted directly in the growing location. Traditionally this occurred by birds dropping the seeds from the fruit they had eaten; those that landed where conditions were appropriate would grow.

Conventionally, steam distillation is the primary method for recovering sandalwood oil, which yields 3.8% oil after 24 hours of distillation. Liquid CO2 extraction yields 4.9% in 2 hours. The CO2 process yields oil with 83.6% santanol, whereas steam distilled sandalwood oil has a lesser content of 81.3%.(1) Santanol content increases with the progress of extraction with CO2, as the terpene content decreases. This oil is a Total CO2 extraction that contains the full complement of the plant.


Sandalwood has been traditionally used in India for a variety of ceremonial and aromatic uses. Incense is made from the sawdust and chips. It is a traditional perfume material. Guenther (1952) claims that Sandalwood Oil has been distilled "from very ancient times" in India using water or hydrodistillation. Steam distillation is now the principal method used.

Santalum album is currently a threatened species because of its limited native range, high desirability for wood and oil production, the necessity to kill the mature plant to harvest the oil, and the long lead time (>50 years) to develop plantations. Overexploitation in India led to attempts to obtain it from the Western Pacific islands and slaughtering of the native populations. In recent years Indian sandalwood production has been decimated by the "ravages of spike disease" and over-exploitation by illegal distillation, smugglers and corrupt officials. Traditionally it was grown in India, and production and use are strictly controlled by the Mysore government, although in other states the control is less strict. This has led to the use of alternative oils (see Sandalwood, Western Australia and Sandalwood NC) from different Santalum species, and now to the development of S. album plantations in north Australia. However, Cropwatch has serious reservations about the quality and sustainability of those sources.

References: Guenther (Vol V, 1952); Laurence (1981-87) and (1991); Cropwatch Files;(1) Mahindru, 1992c; (2) Mamata Mukhopadhyay; Lis-Balchin (2006)

Perfumery: Sandalwood has good fixative properties and is often a blender fixative with florals (rose, tuberose, neroli) and in classic orientals with clove and lavender oils. Because it is lighter in color than other fixatives alleviating the fear of skin coloration, it is preferred over other base note fixatives. Because of its delicate odor, it can be blended in small quantities without altering the dominant fragrance.(2)

Aromatherapy: Sandalwood oil uses include calming, antidepressant, sedation, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, decongestant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, emmollient, and insecticidal. Before the development of sulfa drugs, it was used as a treatment for gonorrhea.

Sandalwood oil is considered to be safe and non-toxic. No sensitization was noted at 10% dilution, however, rare dematitis and allergic reactions may occur in hypersensitive individuals.

The information provided on these pages is not a substitute for necessary medical care, nor intended as medical advice. Always keep aromatic extracts tightly closed and in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children. Never ingest aromatic extracts. Always dilute aromatic extracts when applying topically and avoid areas around eyes or mucous membranes. If redness or irritation occurs, stop using immediately and contact your health provider if necessary.