Learn about Sandalwood Colognes for Men


    Sandalwood trees grow naturally in certain parts of India and Australia. They’re an endangered species, even more so because of the precious and beneficial chemicals inside their wood. 

    For centuries, Indian sandalwood has been utilized in various crafts, incense, medicines, and religious practices. There’s quite a high demand for sandalwood due to its healing and pleasant fragrance. It’s no surprise that this ingredient is also very popular as a base for perfumes, colognes, and even solid types of fragrances all over the world. 

    The attractive smell of perfume has made it play a major role in perfume-making for many centuries. While it’s common to use sandalwood as one of the fragrances in aromatherapy for its calming abilities, it’s also just as common to use it because one likes the smell. The fact that it’s a romantic scent that acts as an aphrodisiac only serves to heighten its popularity. 

    There are many ways to enjoy this warm and earthy scent, but having it in a cologne takes the experience up a notch. You might be considering getting such a cologne for yourself or as part of a sandalwood gift basket. Before choosing the first product that comes up in an online search, it’s a good idea to learn more about sandalwood colognes for men. Let’s discuss them now in some detail:

    Is Sandalwood a Feminine or Masculine Scent?

    A man in formal attire applying scent

    When buying a sandalwood cologne, some people may hesitate before going forward. This is because they might think that sandalwood is a feminine scent. This thought is not without basis; after all, the clean and woody scent of sandalwood is also paired with a sweet and floral tone. However, it’s also a decidedly earthy scent, which arguably makes it more of a masculine scent. 

    The tones of sandalwood make it a suitable ingredient for both men’s and women’s perfumes. In fact, it’s used more in perfumes for men, though some women seek out this scent due to its calming effect. 

    A truly masculine fragrance is mostly dominated by fragrances like musk and leather. Truly feminine scents are more floral or citrusy. In any case, different perfumes may have their own ideas about what constitutes a masculine or feminine scent. When you’re thinking about giving unusual groomsmen gifts or surprising your male best friend, it’s best to think about what the recipient enjoys in a scent. If you’re giving an especially expensive cologne, first find out whether the intended recipient thinks sandalwood is too flowery for men or not. Sandalwood is usually a safe option for men, though; if you don’t know the recipient very well, having a cologne based on this ingredient shouldn’t usually be an issue. 

    What Would Sandalwood Smell Like in a Cologne?

    Generally speaking, sandalwood is a prominent base note when used in fragrances. It has a woody aroma that’s rich enough to provide a grounding element. It also adds warmth and depth to any cologne that has low-intensity top notes.

    Sandalwood also blends well with many other strong base notes like vanilla or patchouli. If this combination sounds good, you may want to check out some budget-savvy sandalwood and patchouli-based gifts, including cologne. 

    The Complex Nature of Sandalwood

    Sandalwood is not a simple ingredient, having just one kind of tone. Its smell can vary greatly depending on several factors, including:

    • How the oil is treated before distillation and becoming an essential oil for use in fragrances
    • How it’s blended with other ingredients and scents
    • How the wearer’s body reacts with the various ingredients

    The differences between different sandalwood tones might vary between woody, spicy, earthy, and more. If you’re buying a sandalwood cologne for someone else, one useful tip is to know what kind of fragrances they already prefer. You can then select the cologne based on the ingredients and have sandalwood be one of the base tones. 

    Identifying the Best Sandalwood Colognes

    A bottle of men’s cologne with a pair of cufflinks

    At present, there are scores of sandalwood colognes for men available in the market. Some of these are better than others in terms of the fragrance combination and overall quality. Contrary to popular belief, the most expensive sandalwood cologne may not always be the best one. 

    So, how do you select a good sandalwood cologne for men? Here are some features that might help us out with this goal:

    Recognized names

    Some little-known brand names might surprise us with their quality sandalwood colognes. However, the reputed names have more reviews online and a higher chance of providing quality products. We can filter out the best ones by seeing whether the cologne/perfume has won any awards in recent years. 

    Just a few names that reassure us about the quality of their ingredients include L’Oreal, Acqua Di Parma, Davidoff, etc. 

    Pleasing and soothing

    If you have the option of taking a whiff before buying sandalwood cologne, it might be safer to go for the most soothing scent. Some may like the solid notes of leather or the more spiritual tones of patchouli, but we also have to make sure that everything balances out. 

    Calms the skin down

    Some men apply a cologne after shaving, and one of the best options here is a product with a fresh fragrance. With the right sandalwood cologne, a man can feel more active, lighter, and ready for the day. The ingredient can help to soothe the skin after shaving and make it presentable for any occasion, day or night. 

    Experience after drying

    Many sandalwood colognes might give off a very sharp and somewhat irritating scent just after you open them. If this happens, don’t give up on it just yet. After the alcohol in the scent wears off, you will hopefully be able to experience a smoother, calming scent with notes of sandalwood and its accompanying ingredients. 

    Long lasting

    If the cologne uses high-quality ingredients, the resulting fragrance will likely last longer than other options. This is an important factor, as cologne is usually worn to events lasting several hours.

    The concentration level

    The perfume concentration is an important factor, so do check it before purchasing any cologne. This refers to the oil concentration in the product. A higher or lower concentration preference will depend on how you’re planning to use the cologne. If you want to have the cologne on for a long period of time, choose one with as high a concentration as possible. 

    Perfume notes

    Three notes come together to make the fragrance that you want for your sandalwood cologne. These are the top notes, the middle or heart notes, and the base notes. The combinations of these can vary, with each being independent and unique in its own way. 

    There might be different combinations that help a cologne user feel confident and fresh. Check the manufacturing details of any cologne before making a purchase. This will help in obtaining the most suitable scent for your taste and other requirements. 


    A bottle of sandalwood essential oil with red sandalwood pieces

    Here are some of the most common FAQs about sandalwood colognes for men, along with their answers. 

    1. Is sandalwood only for men’s scents? 

    Sandalwood is used in perfumes for both sexes, but it’s more common in perfumes targeted at men. However, many women also like perfumes with sandalwood tones. Several unisex perfumes and colognes also make use of sandalwood, blending it with other tones that can also work for all genders. 

    2. How can we expect to feel after wearing sandalwood cologne or perfume?

    Since it’s a warm, earthy, and robust scent, a person might feel more sophisticated, calm, and confident after putting it on. It also provides a soothing effect, which might help with high anxiety levels. 

    3. What part of the sandalwood tree is used in sandalwood colognes?

    After a certain number of years, the sandalwood tree deposits oils in its heartwood. When extracted, this is called sandalwood essential oil. While all parts of the sandalwood tree are useful in one way or another, the oil is used in sandalwood perfumes and colognes. 

    4. Where does the best sandalwood essential oil come from?

    The best sandalwood essential oil is reputed to be from the province of Mysore. This is the most highly recommended option for perfumes and the one used by major brands. Chanel, Hermes, and Guerlain all use this particular oil for their fragrances. 

    5. What kind of sandalwood is used in colognes?

    Australian sandalwood has a fresher and greener scent than the earthy and raw experience of Indian sandalwood. The Indian kind is more often utilized in making colognes. This species also produces a higher amount of oil more quickly than the Australian version. 

    6. Is it ethical to purchase and use sandalwood cologne?

    Some green-conscious users might feel guilty about supporting the production of sandalwood colognes. After all, some species of the slow-growing sandalwood tree are significantly thinning out as a result of over-harvesting. In some areas, they might already be endangered. However, cologne companies are now trying to source their supply of sandalwood as responsibly as possible. As long as we do our research, we can continue buying and using sandalwood colognes and other products. 


    The warm and spicy scent of sandalwood oil is what makes it such a great ingredient for men’s cologne. Some may prefer earthier tones with sandalwood, while others may like citrus, lavender, or other floral tones. Whatever the case, there’s no dyeing that the rich scent of sandalwood is quite comforting. If you go for a true sandalwood-based cologne, you can also be sure of a long-lasting rich smell with depth.  Be warned, though, a strong sandalwood cologne can overpower lighter smells and may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 


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