Belonging to the genus Santalum, there are over 15 different sandalwood species found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. Several species produce a highly aromatic wood that retains its fragrance for decades.
Medium in size, the trees are hemi-parasitic, which means they rely on nearby ‘host’ trees for nutrients. Located deep in the centre of the tree is the ‘heartwood’, the dense inner part of the trunk containing the elixir coveted by so many – sandalwood oil. Extracted via steam-distillation methods, the oil is full of goodness and possesses high concentrations of ‘wellness’ compounds called alpha- and beta-santalol.
Each sandalwood species is unique. At Quintis, we specialise in the management, harvesting and distillation of Indian sandalwood, supplying the world's only British Pharmacopoeia standard Indian sandalwood oil.
Alpha-santalol is said to hold most of the therapeutic benefits of sandalwood. Studies show that when inhaled or applied topically, it acts upon the body’s regulatory systems to reduce anxiety and increase relaxation, while its antioxidant properties benefit the skin.
Beta-santalol is thought to be largely responsible for defining Indian sandalwood’s soft, creamy, woody fragrance. Perfumers covet this species for its unique fragrance but also for its ability to blend well with other scents.
Indian sandalwood oil contains more than 70% alpha- and beta-santalol – up to three times more than other sandalwood species – giving it the status of ‘nature’s true wellbeing ingredient’.