engage your senses

Doing good for sandalwood

One of the most precious raw materials in perfumery, the use of sandalwood can be traced back thousands of years.

One of the most precious raw materials in perfumery, the use of sandalwood can be traced back thousands of years. Consumers today love its refined woody scent, and its exotic, mystical connotations. Many associate India with fine sandalwood, but we prefer to use Australian sandalwood due to the deforestation and quality issues that now threaten the Indian industry.

The Dutjahn sandalwood supply chain is a model recognised by Local, State and Federal Government in Australia and captured in winning Emerging New Exporter of the year 2018. The oil coming from Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils has a 50% Indigenous financial benefit with all royalties controlled by Indigenous people. It also offers a superior quality of essential oil for Santalum spicatum coming from the Indigenous desert.

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First programme of Sourcing for Shared Value

Sandalwood in Australia has been our first programme of Sourcing for Shared Value and we are now reinforcing the Sourcing at Origin aspects through a new cooperation with local company Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils who will supply most of our essential oil of Santalum spicatum.

Western Australia now produces large amounts of sandalwood – both wild and from private plantations. Local Aboriginal farmers will harvest the wood from both sources for our partner Dutjahn who will run the distillation of the essential oil. This will provide Givaudan with a Sourcing at Origin and sustainable and transparent production.

The evolution to a plantation industry alongside the gradual depletion of the naturally occurring wild sandalwood offers a stronger position of Sourcing for Shared Value. Givaudan’s support is important to that ongoing sustainability, while allowing our perfumers access to high quality essential oils to use in fine fragrance and consumer products.

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Reliable and traceable benefits

Givaudan will pay a premium for the wood to support local communities through K. Farmer Dutjahn Foundation. Dutjanh is run by the indigenous desert nomads and they are driving this project, and they are engaged in supporting local communities by combining sustainable exploitation of wild trees from desert areas with new plantations.

Facts about sandalwood

  • Sandalwood essence is made by extracting oil from the ‘heartwood’, the darkest part of the wood.
  • Oil distillation takes about 50 hours.
  • Fifty kilos of wood for each kilogram of essential oil.
  • A cut piece of sandalwood will retain its scent for decades.
  • It takes 30 years or more to harvest sandalwood oil.
  • In India, sandalwood trees have been declared an endangered species due to declining numbers.
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Ethical sourcing programme

Sustainable actions such as these are a result of our ‘Ethical sourcing’ programme, whereby we selected special ingredients to protect and nurture over the long-term. This programme recognises the importance of maintaining the world’s supplies of unique raw materials. By operating sustainable business models involving people, products, the environment and society, the future of these resources can blossom.

Read more about our other ethical sourcing programmes below:

Benzoin
Lavender
Patchouli
Tonka beans
Vetiver
Vanilla
Ylang ylang