Sandalwood incense sticks
Sandalwood - dream for the senses from the Far East
A component of the evergreen sandalwood tree, this wood is grown mainly in tropical areas such as Sri Lanka, southern India, China, Taiwan, Australia and Indonesia, while it calls the mountainous regions of southern India and the islands of Malaysia its original home. The 4 to 20 meter tall tree bears brown to purple colored flowers up to 4 cm long and harbors yellow, odorous heartwood. At 60 to 80 years, such a tree counts as fully grown, and at the same time the trunk also has the highest oil content during this period. For oil extraction, the tree is not felled, but uprooted during the rainy season, as the roots contain particularly high levels of oil at this time. India contributes the world's highest share for the production of the oil with 90 %.
The coveted scent of sandalwood oil
One of the biggest consumers of sandalwood oil is the perfume industry, as its exotic scent and good miscibility with other oils make it one of the most sought-after fragrances. Sandalwood itself is said to have a very special freshness with its woody intense base in perfumes.
Sandalwood as incense sticks
Sandalwood can be wonderfully mixed with a wide variety of ingredients in incense, such as incense sticks. Red sandalwood is often used for dyeing textiles due to its namesake color, and incense candles are also made from it.
The spirit of the sandalwood tree
Sandalwood has been used in the Asian region for thousands of years in a spiritual and also medicinal context. In the Indian region, this wood stands for vitality and strength. With its rich, balsamic, sweet-woody scent, it is still used, especially as incense in temples and on altars. In the construction of temples or shrines, many figurative representations of deities are made from this wood, and when more abundant quantities of the raw material were available, sometimes even entire temples were built with it. Since sandalwood is very expensive, it requires masterful precision when making figures and other carvings. In China it is part of the traditional medicine, in the Indian healing science Ayurveda it is used for example as tea. However, the wood was not always used only in the Asian region. According to records, it was used as early as 4000 years ago in the Roman Empire and also in Greece, and in Egypt it was used for embalming the dead.