May 22, 2023

What's the difference between Indian Sandalwood and Australian Sandalwood? We're glad you asked.

Image of sandalwood with text that reads, "The intriguing  history of sandalwood

What's the story with Sandalwood? 

If you possess nearly any level of interest in the world of fine fragrance, odds are that you are at least somewhat familiar with the ingredient Sandalwood. At Fulton & Roark, it’s a centerpiece ingredient for both Calle Ocho and Blue Ridge. Sandalwood offers a rich, woody scent that is hard not to love.
But what you may not know, is the intriguing history of Sandalwood in the fragrance industry, and why we have seen a transition from Indian Sandalwood to its Australian counterpart, as well as the reasons behind this shift. We’ll also explore the olfactive similarities and differences between the Indian and Australian species.


The OG, Indian Sandalwood:

For centuries, Sandalwood has been revered for its exquisite fragrance and versatility. However, Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) has become increasingly scarce, leading reputable fragrance companies to explore alternative sources. Why is Indian Sandalwood rarely used today? The answer lies in its dwindling supply and sustainability concerns.

Indian Sandalwood's popularity and demand have resulted in overharvesting for years. When combined with the slow growth rate of Indian Sandalwood trees, the ecological imbalance lead to severe shortage. Moreover, strict governmental regulations in India restrict the export of raw Sandalwood, making it even scarcer on the global market. Recognizing these challenges and ethical concerns, many fragrance companies (including F&R) have turned their attention to Australia.


Enter the Australian Alternative:

Enter Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to the scarcity of Indian Sandalwood. In the late 19th century, Sandalwood seeds were brought to Western Australia from India and planted in the vast arid landscapes. Initially, these plantations were established to meet the demands of the incense industry.

Over time, Sandalwood cultivation expanded, attracting farmers, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists alike. The unique Australian climate, with its sandy soils and dry conditions, proved conducive to the growth of Sandalwood trees. The fragrance industry soon discovered the remarkable potential of Australian Sandalwood, and its use in perfumes and fine fragrances began to flourish.


The Sustainability Advantage:

One of the key reasons behind the increasing preference for Australian Sandalwood is its sustainability. Unlike Indian Sandalwood, Australian Sandalwood is plantation-grown, ensuring a reliable and consistent supply. These plantations are carefully managed to maximize resource utilization and minimize environmental impact.

Australian Sandalwood offers a shorter growth cycle, allowing for more frequent harvesting without endangering the species. Additionally, Sandalwood trees have a positive effect on the environment, with their deep root systems preventing soil erosion and enhancing soil fertility. This sustainable approach promotes the long-term viability of Sandalwood cultivation, preserving this precious resource for future generations.


The Fragrance Distinctions:

While Indian and Australian Sandalwood share some similarities, they also possess unique olfactory characteristics. Indian Sandalwood is known for its rich, creamy, and warm aroma. It exudes a luxurious, slightly sweet, and woody scent, often described as velvety and sensual. The fragrance is captivating, with a long-lasting presence that lends a certain depth and sophistication to perfumes.

On the other hand, Australian Sandalwood offers a different olfactory experience. Its scent is softer, lighter, and more delicate than its Indian counterpart. The fragrance is often described as fresh, green, and subtly woody, with hints of citrus and floral notes. Australian Sandalwood possesses a unique versatility that allows perfumers to create a range of modern, vibrant, and contemporary fragrances.

Where things stand today:

As the fragrance industry evolved, so did the sourcing of Sandalwood. While Indian Sandalwood once reigned supreme, the sustainable cultivation of Australian Sandalwood has emerged as an environmentally friendly solution. The shift towards Australian Sandalwood ensures a reliable supply while reducing the ecological impact caused by overharvesting. Furthermore, the distinct fragrances offered by Indian and Australian Sandalwood provide perfumers with an exciting array of possibilities to craft exquisite olfactory compositions.
For two examples on the amazing versatility of Australian Sandalwood in fine fragrance, consider our two scents, Calle Ocho and Blue Ridge. Calle Ocho also features notes of Tobacco Leaf, Vanilla, and Aged Rum, creating a rich, warm, and inviting aura that is remarkably addictive. Meanwhile, Blue Ridge pairs Sandalwood with Sage and cool amber to create a remarkably fresh scent that is perfect for any occasion. No matter which you choose, you can feel confident knowing the Sandalwood we source is sustainably and ethically procured.

September 08, 2021

What's in this stuff? A guide to our Inspired Deodorants

Deodorant is a product that you most likely apply to your skin every single day. What's more, unlike a soap or shave cream, it's not one that you rinse off after a minute or two. It's a product that sits on your skin all day. That's a big deal, and it's why we think it's so important that you know what's in your deodorant and that you feel good about those ingredients.  View full article →

August 17, 2021

The Story of Ramble

With Ramble, we wanted to change things up and offer a scent that was complex enough to be immediately attractive, but difficult for to immediately identify any of the key ingredients. While this is easy to achieve with synthetics, we wanted to rely heavily on natural ingredients from the  Naturals Together program, which focuses on sourcing natural ingredients in a way that is both environmentally responsible and respectful to the people who grow and harvest them. View full article →

July 06, 2021

What's in this stuff? A guide to our Formula 5 Multipurpose Oil

We all know it's a good idea to check the labels before putting food in our bodies. It's also a good idea to see what's in a product before putting it on your body too. As with all of our offerings, we are happy to tell you exactly what is in our Formula 5 Multipurpose Oil and why it's in there. 

As for why we created this magical portion that's literally great for everything from styling your beard to smoothing your elbows, we're happy to tell you that story too. 

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July 30, 2019

Fragrance Deep Dive: The Fougere

Timeless classics are sometimes the best options for the modern fragrance wearer.  This includes the fresh yet woodsy scent known as fougère (pronounced foo-JAIR). While it’s considered a pillar of men’s cologne categories, even those familiar with fragrance may still feel unclear on fougère as there are many different ideas of what fougère should smell like.  In our fragrance deep dive, we take a look at everything you need to know involving fougère. View full article →

October 02, 2018

What's in this stuff? A closer look at our solid fragrances

When we started Fulton & Roark, we began with a clear mission: To identify the best and worst elements for a man of getting groomed and ready, and to create new products that kept all of the good while eliminating or at least minimizing the downsides. The first product we began with was cologne because, in our minds, it was the area of grooming that was in the most desperate need of improvement.

We live in an age of carry-on luggage and TSA security lines, of fitness-minded men who get ready every morning in their gyms' locker rooms, of tightly-scheduled professionals who go straight from the office to their evening outings without time to stop by their place to freshen up. This is no longer the era for big and fragile glass spray bottles full of flammable liquid.

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September 16, 2018

What's In This Stuff? A Closer Look At Our Aftershave Cloths.

Rather than offer a bottle of aftershave, we decided to create individually packaged towelettes, each loaded with just the right amount of aftershave for a single use. Individually packaging the towelettes made them much easier for traveling. If you're leaving town for a couple days, you can just grab a couple, rather than packing an entire package. The towelette also helps to better remove excess oil and leftover shave cream residue than a splash on its own.

In short, our Aftershave Cloths perform better than anything else we have ever used, all while making your processes a little easier in the process. 

Check out the ingredients below to learn what's in our formula, and why it matters.

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August 23, 2018

What's In This Stuff? A Closer Look Into Our Bar Soap.

When we set out to create the best bar soap, we had several big goals in mind.

First, we wanted a soap that left your skin feeling healthy and clean. Second, we wanted a bar that was a pleasure to use. That meant, it needed to smell great, it needed to create a great lather (whether you were using a washcloth or not,) and it needed to last a long time. 

Finally, we wanted to make a soap made of ingredients that we felt good about. They had to be safe, good for your skin, and responsibly produced. Below is a list of the ingredients and an explanation of what function they provide. We think you’ll like what you see.

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June 29, 2018

Know Your Ingredients: Tea Tree

 Tea Tree oil is inarguably one of the most useful essential oils around. It also has one of the most confusing names in all of the English language. 

Also known as the Narrow-leaved Paperbark, the Tea Tree is a small tree native to Australia, with the scientific name, Melaleuca Alternifolia.

Here's the tricky part. The Melaleuca Alternifolia is not at all related to the tree,  Camellia Sinensis, which produces the five main types of tea that we drink

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June 25, 2018

Know Your Ingredients: Eucalyptus

If you're a fan of our 2-1 Shampoo + Body Wash or our Bar Soap, you're likely already a fan of Eucalyptus, whether you know it or not. The earthy, sharp, and slightly minty scent of Eucalyptus is a large part of what gives our wash products their invigorating fragrance. But Eucalyptus also does more than just smell good. View full article →

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