I've never been fond of the Demeter fragrance line, mainly because I don't like the idea of wearing fragrances that smell like cookies, fudge brownies, piles of laundry, etc.. However, Demeter does carry a number of more conventional scents, such as Russian Leather, Pipe Tobacco, Patchouli, and this one, Sandalwood. Their Sandalwood fragrance is excellent.
Demeter's Sandalwood is an example of why you shouldn't automatically turn your nose up at the thought of a primarily synthetic fragrance. Although I don't know this for a fact, I'm going to assume that this fragrance is made of synthetic sandalwood oil, considering the rarity of natural Indian sandalwood oil and the low cost of Demeter's offering. Even so, it doesn't matter. This smells great.
Demeter's fragrance manages to capture the complexity of sandalwood, without being overly rich or sweet and thus losing its woody smell. It's a dry sandalwood, but it's not boring like sawdust. It tends to smell a bit dark, with a very subtle smell of charred wood in the background. It adds depth and complexity to the dry wood smell. It smells similar to the sandalwood contained in Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's legendary Santal Noble, without the coffee and fig notes and without the sweetness. Though this is listed as a unisex fragrance, I think it's definitely in the masculine camp. The type of sandalwood you smell in this has been used in numerous men's fragrances.
I love the way this fragrance projects. It's very transparent, dry but not sharp, so it never attacks you with its scent. It's interesting how it smells stronger from a distance than when you smell it right up close to your skin; if I press my nose up against my wrist, I can barely smell it, yet when I walk around wearing it, I get nice whiffs of it all day.
I love sandalwood fragrances, and it bothers me that Indian sandalwood is an endangered wood. However, if I had to live with synthetic sandalwood like this one, I wouldn't complain too much. I am very pleased with this purchase.
MY RATING: 8/10
Fragrance House: Demeter