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Sandalo - Magnetic, addictive, unmatched - May 6, 2016

Image - Lorenzo Villoresi in his Florence atelier - basenotes.net

It's about time. How about something for the guys? How about Sandalo by Italian niche brand, Lorenzo Villoresi?

Lorenzo who? Lorenzo Villoresi is almost unknown in North America but this independent perfumer is an award winner in the perfume world - the 2006 Prix François Coty, the perfume Oscar - who over the past twenty years has created an exceptional range of scents for women and men using very high quality, mostly natural ingredients. Villoresi has a masterful full-bodied style, much like Andy Tauer. He uses intense, aromatic notes such as citrus, spices and resins, resulting in his distinctive herbal signature especially in the top notes, which can result in a love ‘em or hate ’em reaction for some noses. I love it. Read our posts about Piper Nigrum, Uomo, Incensi, Garafano, and the truly unique Teinte de Neige.

Sandalo, a deep exotic Oriental woody fragrance from 1995, is not about sandals or leather notes, it’s about sandalwood, a key note in most perfumes, especially men’s fragrances. Sandalwood is a wood note like no other, it can be dry, powdery, sweet, creamy, resinous or floral, but is always distinctive with its smooth-as-satin finish. Due to restrictions from over-harvesting, creamy rich powdery Mysore sandalwood from India has been replaced by Australian sandalwood, which differs slightly, still creamy but with a green buttery finish to it. Both are addictive.

Sandalo opens big and bold and masculine, with a pungent blast of bitter aromatics – petitgrain from the citrus tree, lemon, orange, lavender, and rosewood - wrapped in a tight accord so that no one note stands out more than the other. As it heats up on skin, the resinous rosewood note deepens and the lavender sweetens, and then the miraculous sandalwood starts to waft up.

Over the next thirty minutes or so, the sandalwood note deepens and deepens, becoming creamy, aromatic, and powdery, like the scent of sandalwood dust from the finest sandpaper smoothing the wood to a satin finish.  Mixed with faint florals, the wood note seems to become the whole scent.

But there is much more under the sandalwood, which gives the featured note a darker complexity as it dries down. Labdanum, rose, vetiver, amber, oakmoss, and opoponax, a mix of sweet green musky woody notes, create a rich earthiness that make Sandalo a potent masculine fragrance. Strong and aromatic at the beginning and for the first couple of hours, it softens becoming much closer to the skin but still with an enticing waft that begs compliments from those who lean in, and the velvety aromatic sandalwood note is still there after eight or ten hours.

Like all of Villoresi’s fragrances, Sandalo is jam-packed with notes and masterfully constructed. Somewhat linear, or "monothematic" as Villoresi describes it, it takes you on a journey through the gorgeous sandalwood note, from the opening punch through the sensual dry-down, but always mindful of the majesty of this classic perfume note. Different from other sandalwoods, Sandalo is magnetic, addictive, and absolutely beautiful, unmatched by many newer fragrances for men.

Guys, step out of your safe zone, be adventurous. Try this one. 

Sandalo is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.