Have you been wondering what the best sandalwood cologne for men is? Good, because we have too. It’s such a classic ingredient, after all, and has been included in colognes almost since the dawn of the fragrance making art.
Yes, this exoticly spicy and aromatic wood has been a favorite addition to perfumes and colognes for centuries thanks to its smooth, warm, and creamy aroma. We’ve taken a close look at dozens of sandalwood colognes to bring you this: Our guide to the best sandalwood colognes for men, with complete aromatic profile notes and suggestions for how to wear each scent.
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5 Best Sandalwood Cologne For Men In 2022
Narrowing down an exceptionally wide field of fragrances to just five colognes wasn’t easy, but we’re confident that the following bottlings represent only the best sandalwood colognes for men that you’ll find today.
Dunhill Indian Sandalwood (Our Top Pick)
There are colognes that make use of sandalwood as an accent piece, and then there are colognes like Dunhill’s Indian Sandalwood: A veritable monument to the complex and inviting fragrance of sandalwood, it’s a pure woody fragrance that we fell in love with right after its debut in 2019. If you can only go for one sandalwood cologne, make it this one.
If you know colognes, you’ve probably come to expect the bergamot that makes up a good portion of Indian Sandalwood’s top notes. What you might not expect is the savory carrot seed that helps smooth the transition to this fragrance’s heart notes of juicy orris root and dry oakmoss. Sandalwood is truly the star of the show here, though, dominating the base notes alongside patchouli and nagarmotha to give a strong presence to the entire composition.
An exceptionally long lasting cologne with a pronounced yet balanced intensity, Dunhill Indian Sandalwood is an exceedingly fine example of the fragrance maker’s art. We would be quite happy to store this cologne and wear this any time of day, all year long.
- Top notes of carrot seeds and bergamot
- Middle notes of orris root and oakmoss
- Base notes of sandalwood, patchouli, and nagarmotha
- Year-round wear
- All day wear
- Becoming your new go-to cologne
Diptyque Tam Dao is a unisex floral woody musk fragrance that takes sandalwood’s light floral accents and brings them to the forefront. It’s been a sleeper hit since its release in 2003, thanks to its incredible complexity and genuinely unique composition.
Right from the start, you’ll notice that Tam Dao is like no other cologne you’ve ever smelled. Cypress and crepe myrtle flowers play alongside rose in the top notes, which move slowly and luxuriously into a full-to-bursting heart of sandalwood and cedar. Supported by a base of rosewood, baking spices, amber, and white musk, it’s a warm and creamy scent that’s sure to impress.
Long lasting, with a strong but gradually growing intensity, Diptyque Tam Dao is a real aromatic adventure. Though it’s not for the faint of heart, we’re confident in recommending that every guy who loves sandalwood try this cologne on at least once.
- Top notes of cypress, myrtle, and rose
- Middle notes of sandalwood and cedar
- Base notes of rosewood, baking spices, amber, and white musk
- Men who want a complex scent
- Anyone who wants a unique fragrance
A treat for lovers of the spicy and exotic, Floris of London’s Santal is a woody spicy style cologne that really shows off sandalwood’s more resinous aspects. Released in 2002, it’s a shame that it’s never drawn a particularly large audience as it’s an exceptionally versatile cologne with a lot to offer.
Fresh cut grass is a fascinating top note when displayed alongside cardamom and black peppercorns, while bergamot and lemon lend a helping hand. In the heart, you’ll find lavender, nutmeg, and clove in abundance. Sandalwood, of course, makes up the bulk of this cologne’s base notes — though the accents of amber, musk, cedar, and vetiver also support the spicy and warm tones throughout the entire composition.
Offering a moderate intensity and moderate longevity, Santal is a wonderful scent for year-round wear. We’d be just as happy wearing this to work every day as we would with re-applying some before heading out to a date night.
- Top notes of cardamom, black peppercorn, grass, bergamot, and lemon
- Middle notes of lavender, nutmeg, and clove
- Base notes of sandalwood, vanilla, cedar, olibanum, amber, musk, and vetiver
- Year-round wear
- Wearing to work
A unisex oriental woody fragrance that debuted in 2014, Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood is one of a series of colognes with amber, oud, musk, and patchouli variations on the original New York formula. With each cologne featuring a focus on a different exotic and expensive ingredient, we’d have to say that the Sandalwood variation is our favorite of the bunch.
Savory carrot seed makes an appearance in this cologne’s top notes, where it is joined by spicy cardamom and juicy orris root. Slowly moving to the heart, you’ll find an abundance of creamy, warm, and inviting sandalwood paired with fig and papyrus. Built on a classic foundation of amber, oakmoss, and musk, it’s a wonderfully balanced scent.
Quite long lasting, with an intensity that varies depending on skin chemistry, Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood is our favorite sandalwood cologne for cold weather wear. It’s especially nice when worn at night, making it a great cologne for dates, like many of the best Bond No. 9 colognes.
- Top notes of carrot seed, orris root, and cardamom
- Middle notes of sandalwood, fig, and papyrus
- Base notes of amber, oakmoss, and musk
- Fall and winter wear
- Nighttime wear
Designed as one part of a “pair of equals” alongside La Femme, Prada’s L’Homme is made in the uncommon woody chypre style. It was released in 2016 to immediate critical acclaim, and has steadily been gaining popularity among cologne enthusiasts.
Bitter orange pairs off with black peppercorns in this fragrance’s top notes, which are joined with cardamom and carrot seeds for greater spicy and savory punch. The heart notes are almost entirely floral, with a smoky and green accent of mate leaves. Interestingly, sandalwood takes almost equal billing in the base notes alongside cedar, patchouli, and amber, giving an overall impression of an exceptionally balanced fragrance.
A long lasting cologne with a moderate intensity, we’re especially fond of Prada’s L’Homme as a warm weather cologne. We like it so much, we even chose it as one of the best Prada colognes, period.. Wear it during the day any time of year, or all day long during the spring and summer.
- Top notes of neroli, black peppercorns, cardamom, and carrot seeds
- Middle notes of iris, violet, geranium, and mate
- Base notes of amber, cedar, patchouli, and sandalwood
- Spring and summer wear
- Daytime wear
What Does Sandalwood Smell Like?
Sandalwood is an exceptionally rare ingredient with a complex and enticing combination of aromatic qualities. First and foremost, it is woody — and will always lend a long-lasting woody tone to any fragrance that it’s used in. Alongside this, you’ll also find that it has a warm, creamy, and luxuriously soft fragrance that shows differently on each different skin type. Overall, it is a wonderfully fine and precious scent that takes on a different tone with each ingredient it’s paired with.
Is Sandalwood A Good Scent?
We’re inclined to believe that any aromatic that has been used in fragrance making for centuries is quite a good choice — and sandalwood has a long and illustrious history of inclusion in colognes and perfumes. It’s a fascinating ingredient, as it can play so many different roles in a composition. Whether lending a soft and creamy accent to an aggressive cologne or extending the woody tones of a soft perfume, it always makes for a good scent.
Is Sandalwood A Men’s Scent?
Sandalwood is a versatile fragrance making ingredient that is seen in perfumes, colognes, and unisex fragrances. For a particularly masculine take on this aromatic wood, look for bottlings that pair sandalwood with other classically masculine scents like cedar, leather, and spices. That way, sandalwood will play a supporting role to more commonly masculine aromas, or give off a strong aroma of its own precious wood characteristic.