We’ve already talked about the prevalence of beloved notes like
rose and vanilla in what feels like the majority of our favorite perfumes, and cozy sandalwood is another unanimous favorite. It manages to feel warm and woody, but it also possesses a creamy richness, which makes it the perfect base note for a wide range of fragrances—not just the sweet, spicy, or musky types you might initially assume.
Whether you’re already a fiend for sandalwood like us or are new to or unsure of the popular note, we’re going to go ahead and say adding a sandalwood perfume to your
fall fragrance wardrobe is one of the best moves you can make this season (especially in the “you smell so good” compliment department). Thanks to its surprising versatility, we’re of the strong belief that the perfect warm and inviting sandalwood perfume exists for anyone who loves to wear fragrance or who just wants to smell intoxicatingly lovely. Does that sound over-the-top? Just wait because we’ve rounded up the top 10 sandalwood perfumes to prove just how serious we are. Keep scrolling!
Key fragrance notes: ambrette, magnolia, sandalwood, violet, cedarwood, Chantilly musk, crisp amber. Mojave Ghost is one of, if not, the top-selling fragrance from cult-loved perfume brand Byredo. It smells like a crisp fall day—warm, woody, and, as you might have gleaned from its name, inspired by the Mojave Desert.
Key fragrance notes: aldehyde, pink pepper, white rose, neroli, peony, violet, blonde wood, musk, sandalwood
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, cedar, cypress, coriander. This best-selling sandalwood perfume from Diptyque is inspired by Indochina forests—it’s spicy but has, as the brand describes, a “velvety, milky” scent to keep it grounded and earthy.
Key fragrance notes: oud, rose, vanilla, incense
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, bitter cacao. Serge Lutens (one of the premier fragrance houses in Paris) describes this sandalwood perfume as “Sandalwood with a capital S,” and quite honestly, we’d have to agree. Rich, velvety, and luxurious, this one is for the sandalwood hall-of-famer and not a rookie.
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, saffron, wild carrot
Key fragrance notes: cedarwood, sandalwood, cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox, leather. No sandalwood perfume collection would ever be complete without this icon from Le Labo, which, apart from the Chanel No.5s of the world, just might be the most famous perfume of all time. The addition of cedarwood strategically enhances the obvious all-star: Australian sandalwood.
Key fragrance notes: tuberose, bergamot, tangerine, orange flower, cedar, sandalwood, oakmoss, ambrette absolute, musk
Key fragrance notes: yuzu, bergamot, Sichuan pepper, lotus, mimosa, violet leaves, jasmine, musk, licorice, sandalwood. Practically fizzy but with an earthiness unlike other fruity fragrances on the market, Yuzu is one of the most unique, compliment-worthy sandalwood perfumes on our vanity.
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, lemon, orange, petitgrain, lavender, cardamom, sandalwood, amber, tonka bean
Key fragrance notes: exotic rosewood, cardamom, oud wood, sandalwood, vetiver, tonka bean, amber. Oud Wood is the ultimate perfume for anyone who doesn’t like a scent that feels too precious or contrived. It features an expert strategy of foresty-scented woods that smell classic and comforting yet rare and enticing. According to Ford, Oud Wood envelops the wearer (or sniffer) in rare oud, exotic spices, and cardamom before unfolding into a blend of smells that are rich, dark, and sensual.
Key fragrance notes: vanilla, sandalwood, pink peppercorn, heliotrope, balsam
Key fragrance notes: violet, cashmeran, heliotrope, sandalwood, white musk. The brainchild of legendary perfumer Maurice Roucel, this warm and luxurious-smelling sandalwood number is said to be inspired by the comforting feeling of an embrace.
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, saffron, sandalwood, vanilla, sacrasol, white musk
Key fragrance notes: violet leaf, neroli, freesia, jasmine, vanilla, cocoa musk, sandalwood. Not only does Henry Rose’s beautiful collection of perfumes smell amazing, but they’re also some of the cleanest on the market. Created by Michelle Pfeiffer, the brand is one of the only perfume labels to boast 100% ingredient transparency in addition to being cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and free of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine disruptors.
Key fragrance notes: freesia, muguet, rose, violet, jasmine, sandalwood, musk, vanilla bean, patchouli, praline
Key fragrance notes: sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, nutmeg, cinnamon, amber wood. Fun fact: Maison Louis Marie has been creating some of the most delicate botanical-based scents since 1792. This one is a true sandalwood star and is the perfect balance between spicy, earthy, and sweet. (And it’s clean!)
Key fragrance notes: cassis, bergamot, black pepper, white rose, oakmoss, musk, tonka
Key fragrance notes: radiant wood, copper, cedar, sandalwood, radiant iris, boronia, balsam fir absolute, coconut musk, ambergris. Out of all of DS & Durga’s fantastically unique scents, Radio Bombay has to be one of our all-time favorites. Sandalwood leads at the heart of this perfume, but unexpected accents from creamy peach, coconut, and musk keep it marshmallow smooth.
Key fragrance notes: frangipani, gardenia, saffron, yellow lotus, rose absolute, agarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, musk ambrette. Up next, FYI: These Are the 20 Most Popular Perfumes in the World Right Now