What Makes Sandalwood Oil So Expensive? A Look at One of the World’s Oldest Fragrances

sandalwood oil and other products

Sandalwood oil is not only among the oldest fragrances in the world, but also one of the most expensive. Watch this video to see why.

The wood of the sandalwood tree is one of the most aromatic in the entire world. It’s not just the yellow wood that exudes a warm fragrance, but also its oil, which is known to be one of the oldest and most expensive fragrances of all.

The process of extracting sandalwood oil from the tree is quite cumbersome. For the wood to develop its exquisite aroma, the sandalwood tree needs to fully mature for around 25 to 30 years. The wood is then harvested and sold by the forest department to various factories through auction.

At the factories, each log of sandalwood is meticulously chipped to remove the non-fragrant layers to get to the innermost one, which exudes the best fragrance — rightly termed ‘heartwood’. The wood is then made to go through steam distillation to extract the sandalwood oil.

Once the sandalwood oil is ready, it goes through a purification process and is then tested for quality. Based on the results, the oil is used to manufacture a variety of products — soaps, cosmetics, incense, candles, powder, perfumes and more.

The wood chips are also usually turned into powder, which is used to manufacture various perfumed products.

Currently, a kg of sandalwood oil costs around Rs 1 lakh. Considering its desirability and rarity, it’s no wonder that the oil is dubbed ‘liquid gold’!

Watch this video to know why sandalwood oil is so expensive:

(Edited by Asha Prakash)