Spring has rubbed off on me. Over the past month I’ve focused on traditionally “pretty” perfumes such as soliflores. Looking at my own perfume collection, I realize that half of my collection includes pageant queens and the other half is a total freakshow. With perfume I tend to gravitate towards two genres: “more beautiful than reality” and “WTF”. As a designer perfume, one would expect for Etro Sandalo not to be in the later category, but I’m here today to tell you that is where it belongs.
Every single time I try Sandalo, I realize that I’ve forgotten just how weird it is. The opening is confusing. It’s ozonic with orange soda pop. The ozonic coolness is almost industrial. The best way I can describe it is like a mix of where you’d get your car’s oil changed and a bucket of buttermilk. I know this does not sound pleasant, but somehow it is. It’s cool and camphoric yet creamy. It’s like rubber tires, cool air and sour milk. Eventually the bizarre top settles.The scent attempts to balance the coolness with a creamier than butter sandalwood. It’s a weird fragrance because the sandalwood is warm, comforting and cozy (all the things you’d expect from a sandalwood), but it’s still cool (like geranium and ozone). I think of Sandalo like this bundle of sandalwood out in mountainous snow. But, this cute little bundle of sandalwood is wrapped up in angora wool, like if a bundle of sandalwood could be an arctic hare. (See how weird perfumes make for weird reviews?!). The dry-down is like Japanese incense that smells both like patchouli and musk with a slight smoky/smoldering quality. The sandalwood is still there but it is now more like leather or tar. And I swear, there’s something animalic in the base because it reminds me of civet.
Sandalo is a weird one which would explain why it’s my favorite sandalwood perfume. I like that it plays up the rubbery angle of sandalwood while not forsaking any of its other characteristics (like citrus or cream).
Notes listed include orange, lemon, rose, Mysore sandalwood, patchouli, geranium, cypress, vanilla, amber and musk. Launched in 1989.
Give Sandalo a try if you like sandalwood perfumes or even if you like weird “modern” perfumes. Or if you like Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente, CdG Tar, Nasomatto Duro, Alexandre J Golden Oud, and/or Diptyque Tam Dao. I think Sandalo is best on its own but I have heard of people layering it with just about anything and swearing that it makes everything better.
For an EDT, projection and longevity is above average. I get a full day’s wear from it.
The 3.4 oz bottle retails for $154 at Osswald.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Wacky, weird sandalwood. Keep waving your freak flag, Sandalo! Because I love your motor oil meets buttermilk meets incense meets leather-y self.
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