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Red Sanders, scientifically known as Pterocarpus santalinus, is a rare and valuable tree species that has been sought after for centuries for its many uses. Native to the southern region of India, particularly the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Red Sanders is known for its rich red hue and distinctive fragrance. In the realm of perfume and fragrance, this exquisite natural resource has found its way into numerous products, contributing to their unique olfactory profiles. In this article, we explore the various uses of red sanders in perfumery and fragrance, shedding light on its significance and appeal.

Aromatic profile of red sanders

Red Sanders has a captivating fragrance that is often described as warm, woody and resinous. The aromatic profile of Red Sanders is attributed to the presence of several volatile organic compounds, including santalols, α-santalol, and β-santalol. These compounds are responsible for the distinctive scent that makes Red Sanders an appealing ingredient in perfumes and fragrances. The warm and woody notes add depth and complexity, while the resinous undertones provide a sense of richness and sophistication.

Red Sanders Essential Oil

The extraction of Red Sanders essential oil is a meticulous process that involves the heartwood of the tree. The heartwood is carefully harvested, dried and distilled to extract the precious essential oil. The resulting oil is highly concentrated and has a rich, deep red color that reflects the vibrant hue of the wood. Red Sanders essential oil is prized for its aromatic properties and is often used as a base note in perfumes and fragrances. Its warm and woody scent, combined with its longevity, makes it an excellent fixative, helping to improve the overall longevity and stability of fragrances.

Signature Fragrances with Red Sanders

Many renowned perfume houses have recognized the allure of Red Sanders and have incorporated it into their signature fragrances. Its unique aroma adds a touch of exoticism and sophistication to these fragrances, making them highly sought after by perfume enthusiasts. Red Sanders is often blended with other notes such as citrus, spices and floral essences to create captivating compositions that evoke a sense of warmth, sensuality and elegance. The rich and resinous character of Red Sanders harmonizes beautifully with a wide range of fragrance families, including oriental, woody and spicy compositions.

Red Sanders in Perfumery Sustainability

In addition to its olfactory appeal, Red Sanders also plays a critical role in the sustainability of the fragrance industry. As a natural resource, Red Sanders is subject to strict regulations and conservation efforts due to its limited availability and vulnerability to illegal logging. Responsible and sustainable sourcing of red sanders ensures the preservation of this valuable species for future generations. Perfumeries and fragrance manufacturers are increasingly partnering with organizations and initiatives that promote sustainable practices, including the ethical sourcing of Red Sanders, to ensure its long-term viability in the fragrance industry.


With its captivating scent and vibrant red hue, Red Sanders holds a special place in the world of perfume and fragrance. Its warm, woody and resinous scent adds depth and complexity to fragrances, making it a sought-after ingredient among perfumers. From its extraction as an essential oil to its incorporation into signature fragrances, Red Sanders offers a unique olfactory experience that resonates with perfume enthusiasts around the world. As the fragrance industry embraces sustainability, the responsible sourcing of Red Sanders ensures the preservation of this precious resource for future generations, making it an indispensable element in perfumery.


What is Red Sanders used for?

Red Sanders, also known as Red Sandalwood, is a highly valuable tree species native to India. It is primarily used for its wood, which has various commercial and cultural applications.

What are the commercial uses of Red Sanders?

Red Sanders wood is highly sought after for its rich red color and durability. It is commonly used for making furniture, cabinets, flooring, and decorative items. The wood is also used in the production of musical instruments, such as guitars and violins.

Is Red Sanders used in traditional medicine?

Yes, Red Sanders has a long history of use in traditional medicine systems, particularly in Ayurveda. Different parts of the tree, including the bark, heartwood, and roots, are believed to have medicinal properties and are used to treat various ailments such as skin diseases, inflammation, fever, and digestive disorders.

Does Red Sanders have any religious or cultural significance?

Yes, Red Sanders holds significant religious and cultural importance in certain regions of India. The wood is used in religious ceremonies, rituals, and the construction of sacred structures like temples. It is also used to make traditional handicrafts and idols of deities.

Is Red Sanders a protected species?

Yes, Red Sanders is a protected species due to overexploitation and illegal logging. It is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and its trade is strictly regulated. Harvesting and trade of Red Sanders without proper permits are illegal in many countries.