Sandalo by ETRO 1989


Post by SarahK


Hello fellow ‘fumeheads!

I hope you’re all in your happy spaces, but for anybody feeling pressed or stressed, today I’m going to talk about a beautiful calming fragrance. It’s not new, but I’ve only recently had the pleasure of discovering it.

There’s a residual scent that I get from a number of my favourite perfumes, a sort of musky sandalwood base note that lingers on my skin sometimes after showering. I love that scent and I’ve often stood in the shower wondering if someone could just create a fragrance with that note. Well apparently Etro did just that, and it’s called ……

Sandalo by ETRO 1989

Sandalo Etro FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, lemon, bitter orange
Heart: Sandalwood, geranium, rose
Base: Amber, musk, patchouli, cypress, vanilla

Of course, Sandalo isn’t quite as simple as comparing it to residual base notes makes it seem, but its overall effect gives me the same feeling. When I first apply it, and for about 15 minutes afterwards, there’s a slight petrol-like note, but after that, Sandalo is a pretty linear experience of gentle musky woods. Which is just fine with me, because it is pretty close to my ideal sandalwood fragrance. I get hints of geranium, and some rose, but this is primarily about base notes of sandalwood, powdery musk and some very smooth patchouli. The musk is soft and clean, but with no laundry-musk screech. The sandalwood note is not green, or creamy, or buttery and it doesn’t have a scratchy cedarwood kick. Instead it reminds me of the restrained, musky, dry scent found in some Japanese sandalwood incenses. If it had a colour it would be pale, ashy, grey-brown. I find it very centering and meditative.

Sandalo Etro Dead Calm Ann Baekken FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

It’s an entirely unisex scent, evocative of calm, collected individuals of any persuasion. It is not particularly strong, which makes it perfectly office-friendly. In fact, I wish it was a touch more forceful sometimes, though I think part of the issue is probably that my nose just gets used to the scent. That, I suppose, is the downside of a fragrance that feels as if it is mostly made up of base notes, and which melds so well with my skin. This factor makes it somewhat difficult to accurately judge longevity. Sometimes it seems to disappear only to reappear half an hour or so later. At a guess I’d say it lasts around 7 hours on my skin, but I suspect it is actually detectable to others who get close to me for some time after I think it has disappeared for good.

Sandalo Etro Mounted_on_Metaphors LothorioArtPhoto Stolen LothorioArt

I seem to have spent half this review talking about what Sandalo is not, as much as what it is, but somehow that seems appropriate for a scent that represents calm and space for me.

Posh Peasant says: Etro Sandalo launched in 1989 and is a beautiful oriental woody fragrance.  It’s not often mentioned but it’s one of the great sandalwood fragrances.

I was able to try Sandalo thanks to a little decant acquired from a fellow fragrance fanatic. I am very pleased to have found it and I’m currently lusting after a full bottle. I’m also inspired to get hold of some more samples from the Etro line. Portia has reviewed a few before here on AJP and they all sound interesting to me.

Sandalo Etro  Yoga-at-Wildflower-Hall-Shimla HillpostPhoto Stolen Hillpost

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Katie Puckrik Smells
Beauty Encounter has $75/50ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $3.50/ml

Do you have a favourite sandalwood-centric fragrance?


4 thoughts on “Sandalo by ETRO 1989

  1. This sounds good. It’s no secret that I’m a floral lover, but next to florals come the woods for me. This might be the sandalwood I’ve been looking for – I hope. Thanks.


  2. You had me until you said it wasn’t very strong. I wish I could find a perfume that smells like you describe but with a little more oomph. I love sandalwood scents and also find them calming.


  3. Pingback: Etro Sandalo EDT Perfume Review | EauMG

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