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Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil

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Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil

Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil

Santalum album oil is a pale yellow essential oil with a warm woody aroma, derived from the Sandalwood tree (Santalum album). The essential oil is extracted from the wood, which adds an arboraceous, long lasting base to perfumes.

Santalum album is a type of sandalwood tree grown primarily in India and also found parts of South East Asia, Australia and the Pacific. These slow-growing trees reach heights of 4 - 20 meters tall, with thin green foliage and small dark fruit. The aromatic heartwood, roots and branches are prized for their fragrance and can undergo solvent extraction or steam distillation to produce the essential oil.

Sandalwoods have been prized for their fine-grained wood and distinct enduring fragrance for thousands of years, however continuous harvesting and its slow natural growth has led to decline of wild populations - which remain under threat from illegal logging. Santalum album has been classed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Efforts are under way to decrease the illegal harvest and trade of sandalwood.

Botanical name: Santalum album

Other names: East Indian Sandalwood oil

Chemical class: Essential Oils and Waters

Main constituents: alpha-Santalol, beta-Santalol


Bunney, E., McInerney, F. A., Dormontt, E., Malik, A., Welti, N., Wilkins, D., Plant, M., Hettiarachchi, D. S., Thomas, D., Dowell, A., Hamalton, T., & Lowe, A. J. (2023). Safeguarding sandalwood: A review of current and emerging tools to support sustainable and legal forestry. Plants, People, Planet, 5(2), 190–202.

Arunkumar, A.N., Dhyani, A. & Joshi, G. 2019. Santalum album. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T31852A2807668. Accessed on 02 July 2024.

Kucharska, M., Frydrych, B., Wesolowski, W., Szymanska, J. A., & Kilanowicz, A. (2021). A Comparison of the Composition of Selected Commercial Sandalwood Oils with the International Standard. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(8), 2249.

Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. 2024-07-02.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2024). PubChem Compound Summary for , Sandalwood Oil.

INCI Name:
Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil
Ingredient origins:
Common name:
Sandalwood Oil
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.