Fragrance Trends

Responsibly-Sourced Sri Lankan Sandalwood


Emily Austin



This week the world celebrated the UN World Habitat Day. At CPL Aromas we reflect on the importance of maintaining our habitat by responsibly sourcing our raw materials. We are committed to securing a stable and sustainable supply, working with as many of our suppliers as possible for greater transparency. We also want to improve on the safety, environmental, social and business aspects of the practices. 


One of the many ingredients we have on our Responsibly Sourced trends set of aromas is our Indian Sandalwood – also known as Santalum album. Sandalwood is a small, ever-green tree which reaches maturity at around 30 years old. It has a brown-grey trunk and leathery-feel leaves. The oil extracted from this tree has a sweet and woody scent and can add smooth and warm nuances to a fragrance with milky and spicy undertones. The scent is known to help reduce stress and promote restful sleep.


The oil from Sandalwood is extracted from the darkest part of the tree through steam distillation. The powdered heartwood of the tree is placed in a large still along with water. Heat is applied, the water evaporates, and the fragrant constituents are captured and condensed to create the sandalwood essential oil. 


CPL’s Sandalwood supplier in Sri Lanka cultivates the ingredient on what used to be a tea plantation. The owners still maintain a small number of tea plants to create an additional revenue for the workers and a better way of life for them. They also support the local communities by donating any waste wood from the manufacturing process for the people to use to create incense sticks to sell. To minimise waste and support the environment, the water used in the condenser during distillation is recycled and fed back into the process. For further local social support in the community, the supplier is also committed to training women and young people in environmental education, giving them further opportunities of employment. There is also an ongoing social project to improve access to healthy water for the locals and reduce the spread of disease.  


Continual improvement is at the heart of our responsible sourcing policy, and our suppliers are on board with this. CPL’s responsibly sourced Sandalwood, a widely popular ingredient – one of the oldest in perfume history – is a part of this sustainable journey.


Let’s create together.


Read more about our Responsibly sourced Ingredients here: