Guerlain Santal Royal Full Review: Truly Befitting of Royalty?
One of the most beloved and oft-used ingredients in perfumery is sandalwood, a wood imbued with a certain delectable creaminess hinting at noble sumptuousness, yet it can also be expressed with a bolder profile where an almost perceptible spiciness comes into play. Either way, sandalwood or santal has delighted the noses of many.
Guerlain is a prestigious niche perfume house hailing from France that has been making highly acclaimed fragrant creations and other beauty products for over 200 years. Their notable entry into the world of sandalwood dominant creations comes in the form of Santal Royal, part of the Les Absolus d’Orient collection, and which debuted in 2014. Thierry Wasser is the perfumer for this wonderful fragrance.
Right away on skin, Santal Royal blooms in a cascade of clean white florals, with a bit of sparkle coming from the hesperidic aspects inherent in neroli and a slight creaminess provided by jasmine. Paired with them though is a rich, juicy peach noted embellished with hot, spicy dollops of cinnamon. Upon smelling this initial accord, you know things are going to get interesting.
Looming underneath is a magnanimous soul carved from sandalwood and oud bedecked with the warm glow of an amber accord. At this point, the sandalwood is more on the sharper side, an aspect of which is complemented by the cinnamon. The oud is synthetic but very well done to render a dark, shadowy, yet alluring woody facet to the composition.
But it is the explosion of rose that truly ushers in the impressive base notes, much like opening the gate to a secret garden vibrant with hidden delights. It is decadent, silky, smooth, but possessing somewhat of a lively, fruity aspect enhanced by the peach. Here, some slightly animalic aspects come into play, most likely coming from an interplay between the oud accord and a subtle use of leather. The redolence of Santal Royal at this point is wonderful, majestic rose, fiery cinnamon, succulent peach, and luxurious woody tones.
This harmonious symphony sounds out for quite some time on the skin before entering the dry down finale. Here, the animalic play mentioned before simmers down into a seductive warm musk joined to now much more prominent woody notes, a smooth, noble sandalwood enrobed in the finery of dark oud and rose. The peach and cinnamon still linger around the wearer though, providing a wonderful contrast to the woods warmed by amber.
It is always a joy to wear this fragrance and I find it to be the perfect choice for formal evenings or the cold days of winter when one might need some confidence and encouragement for the darker days. Longevity is excellent as it easily lasts all day with strong to moderate sillage and projection for the first 3-4 hours. Santal Royal really lives up to its royal moniker and if you’re looking for a incredible sandalwood scent, I recommend checking it out.