I must thank LuckyScent for showing me this one. Usually, when I order something, they send me two or three complimentary samples. I never hold my breath for those, as quite often it is stuff I have already tried.
This time, however, the hand of fortune pushed Luckyscent to send me Santal Noble.
I consider this a fortuitous moment because I had known about Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier for a long time but never tried any of their fragrances. In my fragrance world, this Master Perfumer and Glovemaker has always played the role of a distant acquaintance at the party to whom I should probably talk but not now... maybe later.
Through Luckyscent’s introduction, now I can tell you that this acquaintance is a sophisticated gentleman worth talking to.
It’s wrong to base my opinion about a perfume house on one fragrance but Santal Noble makes me very optimistic about Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.
The version I smelled is the 2017 edition of the Santal Noble, which was originally released in 1988. I never smelled the original but from other reviewers I know that the roundness and creaminess of this version comes earlier.
Put simply, Santal Noble is a soft sandalwood fragrance. The sandalwood note here is similar to the one in Sacred Woods by Kilian. Both fragrances are soft but this is where their similarities end.
I don’t have any illusions that the sandalwood in Santal Noble comes from Mysore. For USD$190 for 120ml this is an impossible feat.
In a review of the 1988 edition, Luca Turin explained the sandalwood was the Australian variety. Considering the direction in which the scarcity of Mysore sandalwood is going, it’s highly unlikely things have gotten better in this re-release.
Nevertheless, I don’t have any complaints about the sandalwood in this composition regardless of its origin. It is soft and creamy, the kind of scent that feels like a second skin. It works well with the coffee and delicate spices.
What I enjoy the most about Santal Noble, however, is its retro character. It has a touch of Old World elegance, which makes it stand out in the sea of modern freshies. If you see yourself as a modern man with a nostalgic bend towards the Roaring 20s, Santal Noble will be a good choice for the office.
Santal Noble doesn’t change much as you wear it. If you pay attention you will notice the supporting notes transition in the background of the creamy sandalwood and vanilla. They make the scent interesting enough to pay attention but don’t change its nature.
What started off for me as a skin scent with questionable tenacity, turned out to be a faithful companion over the next eight hours. Santal Noble doesn’t project much but it lasts. When I thought it was all gone, I smelled my hand and it was there, humming along quietly.
My initial impression of Santal Noble leaves wanting more. I find it a bit too quiet and linear for my liking but these are by no means accrue as drawbacks to the fragrance. They are more a matter of personal taste.
Santal Noble is worth the try, especially for those of us wear a scent just for themselves.
About the Smell Test
The Smell Test is a series of mini reviews of popular fragrances. I take a sniff and share with you what I think based on my first impressions. The idea behind the Smell Test is to give you a quick thumbs up or down on popular scents without delving into its intricacies.
If you have a fragrance you’d like to see featured here, send me a note or comment below. If I don’t have a sample, I’ll try to find it and share my thoughts.