I love sandalwood, but this one was tough for me to swallow at first. My problem with it initially was that it didn't meet my criterion of what sandalwood should smell like. For years, two fragrances have moulded my perception of what sandalwood smells like: Crabtree & Evelyn's Extract of Mysore Sandalwood (now discontinued, unfortunately), and Caswell Massey's Sandalwood. Both of those present a sandalwood that is both warm and rich, as well as sharp and prickly. They both are complex, and the sandalwood they contain has a clove-like, almost cinnamony, spiciness, as well as a dry woody smell. For the longest time, I thought that if something didn't smell like one of those two sandalwoods, then it wasn't sandalwood. AOS Sandalwood smells like neither of those classics, so I didn't like it at first.
I'm glad I stuck with it, though, because AOS' Sandalwood turns out to not only be one of the most rewarding sandalwoods I've ever worn, but also one of the most unique fragrances in my large collection. AOS' treatment of sandalwood focuses solely on that wood's warm, rich and smooth qualities. This is not a sharp treatment of sandalwood.
What you get here is a sandalwood with great depth and richness. I've always preferred dry, prickly sandalwoods, but the reason I love AOS' is because it's not sweet or heavy at all, and most importantly, there's no vanilla! This is a beautiful, silky rendition, maintaining a smooth, simmering, low-frequency hum for hours and hours. AOS' Sandalwood in fact smells like a fragrance consisting entirely of base notes.
If that sounds boring, trust me, it's not. It's the most exotic smelling sandalwood I've ever worn. It's a deep smell, with an almost mysterious aura. The best way to enjoy this is not to sniff your wrists all day, but rather to spray it on liberally and let yourself be enveloped with its warm, dreamy cloud of scent. It's incredible that a wood oil, of all things, can produce such a sumptuous, complex and intoxicating aroma. This is why sandalwood oil has been treasured around the world for centuries.
AOS' Sandalwood is very long lasting, with good sillage that never shouts but always lets you know it's there. As a result, you get one of the classiest, most refined sandalwoods on the market, matched only by MPG's classic Santal Noble.
MY RATING: 9/10
Fragrance House: Art of Shaving