It was around January 1998 when I first met Katia. She was a short, dark-haired girl – ordinary. If she had an attractive figure, I would have never known as she dressed unremarkably (in her defense it was the 90s and nothing in terms of fashion was remarkable…. apart from “Buffalo’s”). Had I not been introduced to her, I would have mistaken her for an obstacle in the way of viewing my obsession – the beautiful pursuit I dubbed “Wild Oranges”. But, introduced to Katia I was, and from that star-crossed encounter with this Succubus, my life for the next 9 months would read like the torments and tortures in Dante’s “Inferno”. She performed, on me, a sinister mind-PHUK, as she, tenderly enticed me into a relationship of immense passion followed by immeasurable anguish and back again – and AGAIN! She derived such gratification from my desperation that she made sure I stayed on her agonizing Ferris-Wheel.

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To garnish her dish of cruelty, she gave me a vial of Sandalwood oil, which she obtained after having bathed in chicken-blood at a scheming visit to her witch doctor. I was now certain this “Black Magic Woman” was “trying to make a devil out of me” with one of earth’s most powerfully sexual scents. A scent which is permanently carved into my mind. For me, this rare aroma is shrouded in emotion, passion, and obsession. Sandalwood is a dark, deep scent. It’s incredibly sexy but not raw or dirty, instead it oozes voluptuous sensuality. 20 years later and I still have the vial of Sandalwood she gave me and I avoid it most of the time, cautious not to spiral down a vortex of insanity. I do, however, get tempted from time to time to take a sniff of the bottle. And when I do, it inevitably sucks me in, like a dwarf star on the fringes of a black hole. In my hypnotic state, I end up in a dark room filled with her soft touch and wicked games. It’s controlling, it’s consuming! I quickly screw on the cap and push it far into the depths of my cupboard – away from me.

So, you can imagine my confusion and turmoil when my wife came home with an expensive bottle of Tom Ford’s Santal Blush! It’s the closest scent to Katia’s vial of Sandalwood I have smelled. Graciously Tom Ford has delicately blended this stirring ingredient – Sandalwood – with fine company, purging the agonizing visions of my past and replacing it with immense pleasure.
Although very subtle and almost unnoticed, the top notes are cinnamon, caraway, fenugreek, and carrot seed. The Perfumer’s intention here is to create a spicy introduction.
The middle notes are a floral trio of jasmine, ylang-ylang, and rose. The combination of these florals gives this fragrance a delicious complexity and a refined feminine touch. It is the magic that turns my darkness into light.
The bottom notes are a combination of woods (such as Oud, Cedar, and Sandalwood); Benzoin and Musk. Among the woods, Sandalwood is most prominent and glorious (Obviously). The Benzoin smooths its edges and the musk gives more flesh to this already highly sensual fragrance.
Santal Blush keeps Sandalwood high on the pedestal adorned with elegance and femininity in the warmth of the sun. Closing my eyes and taking in a deep breath of it, I get sucked in once more to a new Succubus in the room.