Friday, July 15, 2011

Lorenzo Villoresi - Sandalo

Sweet Smooth Sandalwood

Lovely sandalwood is a classic perfume base note, but you can also find soliflore sandalwood perfumes, ie. perfumes that explore the facets of that one note. I have sniffed many, but one of my favourites is Lorenzo Villoresi Sandalo.

Lorenzo Villoresi is a niche perfumer from Italy. In his family palazzo in Florence, he is building a Perfume Academy where, through courses, seminars and events, people can explore perfume. I'd love to go someday.

His website says that the main ingredient in Sandalo is Mysore sandalwood. If it's true, that would make Sandalo a rare perfume these days. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the fragrant heart of the sandalwood tree and the best has always been considered to be from Mysore India. But for a while now, India has controlled and protected the tree as an endangered species, making Mysore sandalwood oil a scarce and expensive ingredient. Most perfumes with real sandalwood use other sources now, like Australian sandalwood.

If the quality of this perfume is any indication, then it may well be Mysore, because this stuff smells smooooth. Sandalo starts a little brighter with citrus and balsamic flecks of lavender but it quickly rounds out and stays a linear sandalwood for the rest of its skin-life. It's sweet, woody and slightly spicy like gingerbread. Sandalo smells like running your hand over soft, freshly-sanded, sun-warmed wood. I adore it and it's one of the few scents I like to wear in both hot and cold weather. On me it's very meditative, but I love it even more on my husband; on him it's a classic masculine and drop-dead sexy. I've included a photo of my Dear Husband, in Italy, with the masculine perfection of The Dying Gaul. He was wearing Sandalo on that trip. DH that is, not the Gaul.

I have to thank Ines from All I am - a redhead for my original sample and Noor for ordering my full bottle, and my husband, who thinks it's his bottle.

House: Lorenzo Villoresi
Nose: Lorenzo Villoresi
Rosewood, Lavender, Petitgrain, Orange, Lemon
Labdanum, Bulgarian rose, Neroli, Sandalwood
Sandalwood, Vetiver, Amber, Opoponax, Oakmoss

Photo, DH and The Dying Gaul: mine

** July 18, 2011 Update **
I just read Clayton at What men Should Smell Like and he actually visited Lorenzo Villoresi in Florence in June. According to him, they do use sandalwood oil sourced from India. 


  1. This sounds amazing - I want some!!!

  2. Hi Frida, it is amazing! This niche line should get more love. I hope you get to try it.

  3. I'm buying a sample from Perfumed Court as I type! (I returned a pair of shoes, so I'm using some of that moolah for the sample!)

  4. After reading the review I felt a surge of interest. I went to their website, checked what they have... $4.53 for 2 ml sample... A reasonable price for a niche line. $9.91 for the delivery... Well, a little steep, but from Europe to the USA... Ok. Let's add more samples to make it worth that S&H. Another $4.53 for the sample... Wait, the delivery went up. It's 12.03. $2.12 for the additional sample. Maybe if I get enough samples I can distribute that initial delivery price? Adding the third one ($4.53). Whoa... S&H 19.81. I do realize that they have some type of a formular connected to the total but it doesn't look to me like they want me to try their perfumes... I'll have to pass.

  5. I'm really glad you like it because on my skin, it just doesn't seem to work (and I love sandalwood).
    But that seems to be the case with all LV perfumes I tried so far. Like Ormonde Jayne, that is a line that just isn't meant for me.

  6. Thanks for the post. I hadn't heard of this perfume house and will do some further research. I adore sandalwood and used to mix the essential oil with rose in my bath and it would leave the most amazing soft waft of scent. I didn't realize at that time how fortunate it was to have authentic Mysore sandalwood. Simon Constantine of Lush has written a very interesting article on meeting with a Sandalwood "Godfather" in India. I think the article is on their Gorilla Perfume Website. There is a lot of Indian mafia activity surrounding authentic sandalwood, which is very sad. I have a bottle of New Caledonia sandalwood essential oil and it smells like burnt rubber. Not at all like the beautiful fragrance from India. Cheers! Anna

  7. I am always on the hunt for the perfect sandalwood scent - the top contender based on what I have tried being Damien Bash Lucifer #3. I was, however, recently impressed by Etro Sandalo, of which I have since seen a very enthusiastic review on Katie Puckrik's blog. I must check this one out when I next come across a stockist! (Have resolved not to buy samples any more...)

  8. I'll be trying this! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    I had forgotten what sandalwood smelled like, until I smelled some in the drydown of Private Collection parfum. I don't know if it's Mysore. Smelling it again was like a reunion with a long, lost, much loved friend.

  9. Hi Undina. They don't have any U.S. retailers on your coast either. You could try ordering samples from The Perfume Shoppe or The Perfume Court.

  10. Hi Ines, it looks like we might be "scent evil twins" because, not only does LV work on me, I also love Ormonde Jayne. Hmmm, maybe I should read you blog for stuff you don't like... :)

  11. Hi Anna, I read that Gorilla Perfume article too, it was fascinating.

  12. Hi Vanessa, I am adding those 2 to my list to try. thanks!

  13. Hi JoanElaine, I will have to pull out the PC purfume sample you gave me and smell the sandalwood. Another nice green scent with a sandalwood base is L'Artisan Premier Figuer. Olivia Giacobetti used sandalwood instead of the cedar she used in Philosykos.


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