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Leather.
Oud ( agarwood )
Not so much sandalwood, which I’m used to nosing right off the wood.
There’s a “supari” like whiff after a few minutes – woody and sweet. I can “almost” feel it at the back of my throat – it feels like I’ve chewed on a “meethi supari” and the throat’s a tad choked up. Not in a bad way of course – for the sake of clarification.

Reminds me of a leather jacket that’s been in storage – was sprayed with a sweet woody scent before being stored – or some got rubbed off on it / transferred from skin or clothes – and then when you take it out of your closet to use in the winters… the opening notes remind me of that – slightly.

Can be worn anytime you like but might feel better during the winter season.

Dry down to the mid notes gets slightly warmer and spicier. More leathery.

Lots of amber too, which is what makes it a “cosy” fragrance.

There’s been a lot of talk about this fragrance being one of Guerlain’s “cheapest” ones, only to cater to the mass market and that it was a mistake for the brand to stray from its much more expensive classics. I agree in principle but I disagree that this is a bad fragrance. There’s nothing wrong with the fragrance – it’s delightful, not too sweet, but my nose cannot smell any sandalwood. I guess sandalwood is better hold by oil-based fragrances and not alcohol-based ones. ( I’m not an expert so I could be talking completely out of my ass. )

It gets more woody past the mid notes. Which I like. Less sweet too. Less sharp, more mellow. A very slight hint of musk maybe? The oud is overpowering. And it isn’t very good oud either – for an excellent oud, check out Christian Dior Parfum’s Oud Ispahan. One of the best we’ve come across so far.

Sillage on this one is medium. Not enough to announce your presence with a bang to a room full of strangers but nice enough to get a few heads to turn.

Great on the longevity. If you’re spraying it into your arm pits, expect the garment you wear to carry this for a week at the very least if you’re not laundering it. The laundry basket smells great! Doesn’t stay for too long on the wrist though – longest on nape of neck and arm pits.

I’d wear Santal Royal for a formal night / dinner, especially during the winters. I can close my eyes and imagine my “imaginary” furs to cling on to some of this for days and I can imagine me sticking my nose into the garments and inhaling.

This might be a great fragrance to layer with a warmer, mroe sensual fragrance like Hermes’ L’Ambre Des Merveilles. Will add a nice sharp zing.

Toward the end notes, Guerlain’s Santal Royal gets drier – but not powdery thank Hood – loses most of the initially sharp sweet and matures into drier oud and amber and leather. A teeny bit of rose too comes in toward the end. Strangely enough, even though this fragrance as a strong opening and I usually like mid and end notes of most fragrance, I LOVE the opening notes here! They are a lot more distinctive than the mid or end notes.

This fragrance was launched in 2014 and the nose behind this creation is Thierry Wasser.

It is marketed as a unisex fragrance but it feels more like a feminine wear. If your boy likes it, you might want to experiment layering it with one of his favourite for-men fragrances.

Right toward the end, there’s a spike in the sweetness of this fragrance. Like a last gasp before it dies – but it doesn’t – it stays. It’s dried out oud and rose and amber now and will remain like this till you either wash it off or shower.

It’s a pretty perfume!

Guerlain is a French perfume and cosmetics and skincare house, among the oldest in the world. Laurent Boillot is the CEO at the helm of the brand under LVMH’s ownership.

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Santal Royal on the Guerlain website.

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