West Timor Sandalwood Oil
A reassuring and grounding scent, straight from Indonesia.
Where do we get it?
As its name suggests, Lush purchases this oil from West Timor, Indonesia. There, the precious wood is collected from sustainable sources located in 5 villages and involving 500 sandalwood custodians. They are all engaged in the protection and replanting of the trees.
What are the challenges when buying sandalwood oil?
Because of its popular fragrance and importance in many rites and folk medicine around the globe, sandalwood has been overexploited and the harvesting badly managed for centuries, leaving some species endangered. Although regulations have been made by governments, the high value of the wood still leads to smuggling, counterfeits and corruption, making it very difficult to find sustainable sources and a good oil quality. After long investigations and adventures, Lush buyers have found a few reliable sources, including this one.
What are the benefits for people and the planet?
The West Timor source is an exciting project in which Lush has been actively involved since the first quarter of 2021. It goes beyond the simple production of an oil. To ensure the sustainable management of the trees, seedlings need to be cultivated and planted for future harvests. This is why two nurseries have been created with Lush’s help. One of them is dedicated to the production of 1000 seedlings that will become "mother trees" (these will never be cut but will be used to produce more seeds to replant more trees). The other nursery is for 20,000 high-quality sandalwood seedlings which, when big enough, will be distributed to the villages, replanted locally on common lands and looked after by the villagers.
In addition, as the Komodo dragon is native to the area where the trees grow, an Indonesian conservation group called WALHI has been included in the project. Their aim is to educate the local population on preserving the habitat of this endangered reptile.
What are the benefits of sandalwood oil for you?
- Diffuses a warm, sweet and woody aroma.
- Is astringent, emollient and soothing to the skin.
- Helps fix the other essential oils, naturally enhancing the longevity of a perfume.
Sandalwood is an umbrella name for many scented trees, all belonging to the Santalum genus. These evergreen trees can grow up to 50 feet tall and have to be at least 25 years old before the wood is ready for distillation. Depending on the variety of sandalwood, the resulting oils will have a slightly different scent, even though it needs a trained nose to really smell these subtleties.