The 12 Best Sandalwood Colognes for Men

<p>It’s so ubiquitous that we’d challenge you to find one of your favorite fragrances that doesn’t have sandalwood in it. Especially since, in recent years, it’s enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence, thanks in large part to incredibly popular santal fragrances (we bet you can guess which one in particular). But just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it’s a one-note wonder. You may think you know exactly what sandalwood smells like, but the range is so wide, we promise you can still be surprised. Take any of these sandalwood colognes on this list. No two are alike, yet they all feature sandalwood in various capacities. We strongly suggest picking up at least one of these to round out your collection.</p>”/>

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Most Popular Sandalwood Cologne

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Most Popular Sandalwood Cologne

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Say what you will about the ubiquity of Santal 33, but it’s become one of the most popular and distinctive fragrances of our time. It’s instantly recognizable thanks to its smooth, woody, leathery vibe that dries down to reveal more greens and florals without losing the hip, wood-forward aspect that makes it so popular. Think of it as the blue jeans of fragrance—a staple that everyone can wear.

Size 0.5 oz, 1.7 oz, 3.4 oz
Fragrance Family Woody, Fresh
Notes Sandalwood, leather, papyrus, Virginia cedar, cardamom, violet, iris, amber

Best Fresh Sandalwood Cologne

Loewe Pour Homme EDT

Pour Homme EDT

Best Fresh Sandalwood Cologne

Loewe Pour Homme EDT

Like we said: Sandalwood works well with almost any fragrance family and notes. In this subtle and masculine scent, sandalwood shines through at the base with a smooth, grounding finish to a hyper-fresh top note and floral middle, bringing to life a natural vibe that’s cool, hip, and anything but traditional.

Size 3.4 oz
Fragrance Family Fresh, Fougere
Notes Lemon, basil, lavender, tangerine, geranium, lily-of-the-valley, oakmoss, vetiver, sandalwood, amber

Best Warm Sandalwood Cologne

Creed Original Santal

Original Santal

Best Warm Sandalwood Cologne

Creed Original Santal

Everything the House of Creed does is richly layered and exceedingly elegant, and this sandalwood fragrance is no exception. It dials up the warmth of the note with a opening spray of ginger and coriander (along with some fresh citrus to wake you up) before smoothing everything out with sandalwood and lavender. Interestingly, the sandalwood is in the middle note here, which is okay because it sticks around even once the warm, creamy base notes of tonka bean and musk come through. It’s a cozy, inviting cologne that’s perfect for colder weather.

Size 1.7 oz, 3.3 oz, 8.4 oz
Fragrance Family Amber, Woody
Notes Juniper berries, coriander, ginger, rosemary, bergamot, mandarin orange, sandalwood, lavender, orange blossom, geranium, tonka bean, musk, cedar, oakmoss

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Best Citrus Sandalwood Cologne

Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Parfum

Bleu de Chanel Eau de Parfum

Best Citrus Sandalwood Cologne

Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Parfum

There’s no denying the citrus factor in this incredibly fresh, “blue” scent that dials it up even further with a dash of spice. But the main difference between this Eau de Parfum and the original Eau de Toilette is that this one is more wood-forward, which is where the base notes, including sandalwood, shine through. It blends well with the fresh citrus and spices of the top and middle notes and adds a masculine vibe, not to mention longevity, to the entire concoction.

Size 1.7 oz, 3.4 oz, 5 oz
Fragrance Family Woody, Fresh
Notes Grapefruit, lemon, mint, pink pepper, bergamot, aldehydes, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, jasmine, melon, incense, amber, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, amberwood, labdanum

Best Clean Sandalwood Cologne

Acqua Di Parma Sandalo Eau de Parfum

Sandalo Eau de Parfum

Best Clean Sandalwood Cologne

Acqua Di Parma Sandalo Eau de Parfum

This elegantly masculine scent is all about the clean feeling it gives you. It’s reminiscent of a barbershop, with the soapy lavender and the fresh citrus clearing the way for smooth sandalwood and tonka bean to ground everything. It gives the impression that you’re the kind of guy who gets regular barber shaves and definitely knows his way around a safety razor. It’s traditional and masculine yet modern and subtle at the same time.

Size 3.4 oz
Fragrance Family Woody, Fresh
Notes Calabrian bergamot, orange, lemon, petitgrain, lavender, cardamom, sandalwood, tonka bean, amber

Best Subtle Sandalwood Cologne

Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

Best Subtle Sandalwood Cologne

Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford doesn’t do subtle very often and even with this one, there is a lot going on. The spicy opening, the floral middle notes, and the rich deep base of wood, musk, and oud all sound like they’re going to overwhelm the senses. In practice, however, a deft hand created this, so everything intermingles like a symphony and the result has surprisingly low projection, but is still attention-grabbing enough that people will notice—and want to come in closer for a better whiff.

Size 1.7 oz
Fragrance Family Amber, Woody
Notes Spices, cinnamon, caraway, fenugreek, carrot seeds, ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, benzoin, Virginia cedar, musk, oud

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Best Floral Sandalwood Cologne

Boy Smells Woodphoria Eau de Parfum

Woodphoria Eau de Parfum

Best Floral Sandalwood Cologne

Boy Smells Woodphoria Eau de Parfum

There’s an underlying sweetness to this fragrance that amps up the woodiness in an interesting and unique way. Sticky fig, sweet jasmine, and subtle lily-of-the-valley play off of the sandalwood and cedarwood in the base to create a push pull between earthy and airy. Paired with the skin-scent musks, it’s a deeply inviting scent that’s light enough to wear during the day, but definitely sexy enough that it can (and should) be worn at night.

Size 0.3 oz, 2.2 oz
Fragrance Family Woody, Spicy, Floral
Notes Coconut water, cardamom, black pepper, fig leaves, jasmine petals, lily-of-the-valley, suede, ambroxan, sandalwood, cedarwood, salted musks

Best Woody Sandalwood Cologne

Diptyque Tam Dao Eau de Parfum

Tam Dao Eau de Parfum

Best Woody Sandalwood Cologne

Diptyque Tam Dao Eau de Parfum

The sandalwood in the middle note of this very woody fragrance acts as a smooth, warm bridge between the floral top note and the wood-heavy base. The warm sandalwood is a subtle temper to the more distinctive rosewood and cedar, but is a welcome addition, along with white musk, to turn what could be a lot of wood into something more wearable. It’s the thinking man’s wood fragrance.

Size 2.5 oz
Fragrance Family Woody, Floral
Notes Italian cypress, myrtle, rose, sandalwood, cedar, Brazilian rosewood, spices, amber, white musk

Best Smoky Sandalwood Cologne

Caswell-Massey 2571 Eau de Parfum

2571 Eau de Parfum

Best Smoky Sandalwood Cologne

Caswell-Massey 2571 Eau de Parfum

Fresh top notes of bergamot and cardamom immediately open your senses, but quickly give way to woody cypress and sandalwood. There’s no mistaking that this a wood fragrance—it has an earthy, smoky quality that’s reminiscent of walking through the forest. It somehow captures everything about wood: the green leaves, the crackling texture, the warmth of the earth at the roots. It’s both familiar and surprising at the same time.

Size 7.5ml, 100ml
Fragrance Family Woody, Floral
Notes Cardamom, bergamot, cypress, orris root, sandalwood, vetiver, amber

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Best Musky Sandalwood Cologne

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

Musc Ravageur

Best Musky Sandalwood Cologne

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

This deep, rich, über-elegant fragrance is not for the shrinking violet. It’s one of the ultimate sexy fragrances and when you wear it, it delivers a sensual draw that’s unmatched. It’s spicy and warm, with a hefty dash of musk that really amps up the carnal factor. Then, of course, we have the sandalwood, which, along with tonka bean and amber, creates a smooth, warm feeling like silk slipping over skin. Wear it when you want extra swagger.

Size 3.4 oz
Fragrance Family Amber
Notes Lavender, tangerine, bergamot, cinnamon, cloves, musk, vanilla, tonka bean, amber, sandalwood, guaiac wood, cedar

Best Everyday Sandalwood Cologne

Aesop Eidesis Eau de Parfum

Eidesis Eau de Parfum

Best Everyday Sandalwood Cologne

Aesop Eidesis Eau de Parfum

There’s a misleading simplicity to this scent that one could argue is the olfactory version of “quiet luxury.” The pepper in the top note gives it a kick of spice, a double dose of frankincense (olibanum) delivers a luxurious resinous quality, and the smooth base of sandalwood isn’t as apparent as some other sandalwood colognes, but still gives it a warm, smooth, woody longevity that sticks around for hours. It’s like a perfect cashmere baseball cap or fur-lined Chelsea boots—a comfortable staple that’s deceptively high quality.

Size 1.6 oz
Fragrance Family Amber, Woody
Notes Black pepper, olibanum, petitgrain, cedar, cumin, sandalwood, vetiver

Best Designer Sandalwood Cologne

Dior Sauvage Parfum

Sauvage Parfum

Best Designer Sandalwood Cologne

Dior Sauvage Parfum

The bolder version of the original Sauvage, this still has the fresh, blue quality that makes the original so great, but dials up the warmth with a lot of sandalwood that gives way to a base note of tonka bean and amber (two notes that really compliment sandalwood). The warm, woody quality of sandalwood sticks around on your skin for hours; seriously, the longevity here is something to behold. It’s a welcome take on a classic.

Size 1 oz, 2 oz, 3.4 oz
Fragrance Family Amber, Fresh
Notes Bergamot, mandarin orange, elemi, sandalwood, olibanum, tonka bean, vanilla

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What To Consider In A Sandalwood Cologne

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Apart from considering the usual, like the strength of the cologne as noted in the name like Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum, the most important thing to consider when picking a sandalwood cologne is what the other notes are and what fragrance family it belongs to. Most sandalwood fragrances are in the Amber family, which means they’re warm and smooth, but depending on what the other notes are, they can be spicy, fresh, floral, and more. Sandalwood can be all of these things, so don’t go into a purchase thinking you know exactly what sandalwood smells like. It’s a chameleon, remember? If you like spicy fragrances, look for sandalwood paired with spices; if you like floral scents, look for floral notes. You get the idea.

Why Trust Us

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We’re not going to say something is great unless it’s actually great. Every product in Esquire’s round-ups is carefully curated by our grooming and e-commerce teams.

When it comes to fragrance, one of the most important grooming items a man can have, you can rest assured that we’re hand-selecting scents that we’ve personally tested, tried, and loved. Our grooming editor Garrett Munce, along with the rest of the style team, has spent years spritzing, spraying, wearing, and test driving hundreds (thousands!) of colognes and we are confident that these are the best.

Every pick on this list (and our other lists) comes from these years of testing. We know that no two tastes are the same, no two men are the same, and how you want to smell may vary from someone else. But if you’re looking for the right place to start, with advice from folks who and care (possibly too much!) about this sort of stuff, this is the place to be.

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