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- True Sandalwoods
- Further Reading
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The nomenclature and the taxonomy of the genus are derived from this species' historical and widespread use. Etymologically it is ultimately derived from Sanskrit चन्दनं Chandanam (čandana-m), the sandalwood tree, meaning "wood for burning incense" and related to candrah, "shining, glowing" and the Latin candere, to shine or glow. It arrived in English via Late Greek, Medieval Latin and Old Frenchin the 14th or 15th century.
Sandalwoods are medium-sized hemiparasitic trees, and part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe. Notable members of this group are Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum); others in the genus also have fragrant wood. These are found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. 1. S. album is a threatened species indigenous to South India, and grows in the Western Ghats and a few other mountain ranges such as the Kalrayan and Shevaroy Hills. Although sandalwood trees in India, Pakistan, and Nepal are government-owned and their harvest is controlled, many trees are illegally cut down. Sandalwood oil prices have risen to $3000 per liter recently. Red sanders is endemic to Seshachalam, Veliganda, Lankamala, and Palakonda hill ranges, distributed in districts of Kadapa, Chittoor, and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region and parts of Nellore and Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh, Mysore...
Producing commercially valuable sandalwood with high levels of fragrance oils requires Indian sandalwood (S. album) trees to be a minimum of 15 years old – the yield, quality and volume are still to be clearly understood. Yield of oil tends to vary depending on the age and location of the tree; usually, the older trees yield the highest oil content and quality. Australia is the largest producer of S. album, with the majority grown around Kununurra, in the far north of the state by Quintis (formerly Tropical Forestry Services), which in 2017 controlled around 80 per cent of the world's supply of Indian sandalwood, and Santanol. India used to be the world's biggest producer, but it has been overtaken by Australia in the 21st century. Over-exploitationis partly to blame for the decline. Australian sandalwood (S. spicatum) is grown in commercial plantations throughout the wheatbelt of Western Australia, where it has been an important part of the economy since colonial times. As of 2020[...
Sandalwood oil has a distinctive soft, warm, smooth, creamy, and milky precious-wood scent. It imparts a long-lasting, woody base to perfumes from the oriental, woody, fougère, and chypre families, as well as a fixative to floral and citrus fragrances. When used in smaller proportions in a perfume, it acts as a fixative, enhancing the longevity of other, more volatile, materials in the composite. Sandalwood is also a key ingredient in the "floriental" (floral-ambery) fragrance family – when c...
Due to its low fluorescence and optimal refractive index, sandalwood oil is often employed as an immersion oil within ultraviolet and fluorescence microscopy.
Aboriginal Australians eat the seed kernels, nuts, and fruit of local sandalwoods, such as the quandong (S. acuminatum).Early Europeans in Australia used quandong in cooking damper by infusing it with its leaves, and in making jams, pies, and chutneys from the fruit. In Scandinavia, pulverised bark from red sandalwood (Pterocarpus soyauxii) is used - with other tropical spices - when marinating anchovies and some types of pickled herring such as matjes, sprat, and certain types of traditional...
Sandalwood must be distilled so that the oil can be extracted from within. Many different methods are used, including steam distillation, water distillation, CO2 extraction, and solvent extractions. Steam distillation is the most common method used by sandalwood companies. It occurs in a four-step process, incorporating boiling, steaming, condensation, and separation. Water is heated to high temperatures (60–100 °C or 140–212 °F) and is then passed through the wood. The oil is very tightly bound within the cellular structure of the wood, so the high heat of the steam causes the oil to be released. The mixture of steam and oil is then cooled and separated so that the essential oil can be collected. This process is much longer than any other essential oil's distillation, taking 14 to 36 hours to complete, but generally produces much higher quality oil. Water, or hydro, distillation is the more traditional method of sandalwood extraction which involves soaking the wood in water and the...
Indian sandalwood is very sacred in the Hindu Ayurveda and is known in Sanskrit as chandana. The wood is used for worshipping the god Shiva, and it is believed that goddess Lakshmi lives in the sandalwood tree. The wood of the tree is made into a paste using sandalwood powder, and this paste is integral to rituals and ceremonies, to make religious utensils, to decorate the icons of the deities, and to calm the mind during meditation and prayer. It is also distributed to devotees, who apply it...
Sandalwood use is integral part of daily practices of Jainism. Sandalwood paste mixed with saffron is used to worship tirthankar Jain deities. Sandalwood powder is showered as blessings by Jain monks and nuns (sadhus and sadhvis) to their disciples and followers. Sandalwood garlands are used to dress the body during Jain cremation ceremonies. During the festival of Mahamastakabhisheka that is held once in every 12 years, the statue of Gommateshwara is then bathed and anointed with libations s...
Sandalwood is mentioned in various suttas of the Pāli Canon. In some Buddhist traditions, sandalwood is considered to be of the padma (lotus) group and attributed to Amitabha Buddha. Sandalwood scent is believed by some to transform one's desires and maintain a person's alertness while in meditation. It is also one of the most popular scents used when offering incenseto the Buddha and the guru.Mandy Aftel, Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume, Gibbs Smith, 2001, ISBN 1-58685-702-9Dorothy Shineberg (1967), They came for sandalwood; a study of the sandalwood trade in the South-West Pacific 1830-1865, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.IUCN Threatened Species: Santalum album