What is Sandalwood? Sandalwood is a medium sized type of tree, in the same family as traditional mistletoe, native to India, Tibet, and Nepal. Sandalwood contains santanol, which gives the wood its strong, recognizable aroma as well as significant antiseptic properties.
Its earliest use dates back to ancient Egypt, where sandalwood was used as part of the embalming process for mummification. It was also used in ancient Indian funerals- a censer containing burning sandalwood was placed at the foot of the deceased, allowing the soul to rise per ancient tradition.
Today, the sandalwood tree has become scarce due to the amount of time it takes a tree to mature to a usable state, which is at minimum 25-30 years. While Mysore Sandalwood (the most prestigious variety) is grown in Southern India, other varieties of sandalwood are being grown in other locations around the world to compensate for the growing demand. It takes over a ton of sandalwood chips to produce only 4.5 liters of sandalwood oil.