is the wood
of trees of the genus Santalum
. It is used for incense
, and perfume
, rather than building or carpentry, though temples have been built with sandalwood in India
and retain the aroma after centuries. It is a deep base note
and excellent fixative and is used to capture the head space aromas of other essential oils in distilling.
Indian sandalwood (S. album) is currently in serious shortage and very expensive. Some aromatherapists and perfumers are using Australian sandalwood (S. spicatum) as an alternative. The two species differ in the concentrations of constitutent chemicals and, thus, in odor. West Indian sandalwood is neither Indian nor sandalwood; it is in the rue family.