Sandalwood is one of the “noble woods”. It has been used since ancient times, not only in joinery, also in the world of perfumery, traditional medicine and cosmetics, as the oil obtained has interesting properties.

There are different species of sandalwood, mainly in India (Santalum Album), but also in Oceania and Latin America. The indigenous species is considered to have the best properties, not only as a fragrance, but also as a woody species. In India, this tree plays an important religious and cultural role.

The sandalwood tree is small in size and usually grows among the roots of other species.

Sandalwood is considered one of the most expensive in the world. Which helps its scarcity and small size.

It is a species at risk due to overexploitation, mainly in India, where illegal smuggling is common. Production in Australia is mainly commercial.

Sandalwood Characteristics

Color: Heartwood basically yellow to brown.

Fiber: –

Grain: Good.

Density: Approximately 900-950 kg / m³.

Toughness: Difficult.

Durability: Durable against insects and fungi.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: –

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: – kg / cmtwo
  • Resistance to static bending: – kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: – kg / cmtwo

Main Uses

  • Woodwork. High quality and high price furniture.
  • Sculpture and turning.
  • Marquetry.
  • Obtaining aromatic oils.
  • Traditional medicine.
  • Incense.

Obtaining sandalwood oil

Sandalwood oil is used in a wide variety of products, including soaps, shampoos, beauty products, medicines and perfumes.

To distill sandalwood oil, the heartwood and roots are chipped and pulverized before distillation.

The oil yield varies with the part of the plant used, the age of the tree and the environment in which it was grown. The roots can supply up to 10% oil, the heartwood up to 4%. The distillation process takes 48 to 72 hours. High pressure steam distillation will give a higher yield and reduce the distillation time, but the resulting sandalwood oil will lose some delicate notes in its fragrance.