It’s at this time of the year, when the transition between the seasons is upon us, that many of us find ourselves in a state of unsettlement. Outside, the weather jumps from lashings of rain to a hint of frost; and even when a glimmer of sun shines through, there is still an overriding sense of confusion in the air. As the shorter days and the longer nights continue to encroach, many of us can feel unbalanced and disillusioned, but there are ways to tackle this, and one of the most effective routes back to yourself is through scent.
A native in Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands, the Santalum is one of the most valuable trees in the world and its wood retains a fragrance for decades. At a minimum of fifteen years old, the dark, inner heartwood of the tree trunk is harvested via a four-step distillation process, producing one of the most sought-after essential oils in the world. Distinctive and lingering, this is the delicate smell of sandalwood, one of the oldest incense materials around. Long-lasting and creamy, it is a magical scent that, once inhaled, will transport you to another world.
Upon burning, the depth of the scent calls to mind 4,000 years of heritage in Asian culture. Considered an aromatic cornerstone of Buddhism, the Sanskrit word Chandara literally translates to ‘sandalwood’, but also connotes to ‘soothing’, ‘dear to the gods’ and ‘feminine form’. As an integral part of the spiritual practice, the scent of sandalwood is thought to bring one closer to the divine and, ultimately, enlightenment. It is also popular in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, with the belief that sandalwood has skin healing abilities and the propensity to lower blood pressure.
For us, sandalwood is a scent to encounter on stormy evenings, when the wind is beating heavily at your windows and a warming cup of tea isn’t enough, anymore, to suffice the impending cold. In search of comfort and reflection, we turn to sandalwood for its soothing effects and sense of dimension. Known to relieve anxiety, stress and improve your quality of sleep, the scent of sandalwood has the incredible ability to promote mental and physical wellbeing, perfect if you’re looking to regain balance in this unsettling period.
Upon lighting, expect a long-lasting fragrance to emerge, varying greatly in smell. Sweet and warming to begin with, any stresses or worries will slip away before the scent plunges you into its richer and woodier base note. With varying qualities from one burn to the next, you may discover something new every time you come back to sandalwood, but it is a scent that remains consistently harmonising.
Fostering openness, warmth and understanding, sandalwood not only creates a sense of balance in the spaces around you, but also in oneself. As winter materialises and more of us retreat indoors, sandalwood can stimulate inward reflection and self-acceptance at a time when many of us feel lost.
From P.F. Candle Co. and their No. 32 Sandalwood Rose Scented Candle to Hollow Tree’s Trails End, we’ve got plenty of incredible candles that incorporate this powerful and grounding scent. If it’s the weather, or even something more personal that has thrown you off, sometimes the simple but profound aroma of sandalwood can provide the clarity you’ve been searching for.
For a comprehensive list of all our ‘sandalwood’ candles, shop the fragrance here. Alternatively, if the smell of sandalwood means something special to you, then we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!