Le Labo Santal 33 is one of the most gorgeous sandalwood perfumes out there right now. If you haven’t tried it, maybe don’t. You’ll just want it, and at $305 CAD for a 100ml bottle, you won’t thank me for making you want it. I am lucky enough to have a Santal 33 candle ( a hostess gift from my daughter’s adorable BF) and just walking by it even when it’s unlit makes me swoon. But, every time I sniffed Santal 33, it was reminding me of another scent. Santal 33’s sandalwood note has a subtle sweetness to it, it’s very soft, and doesn’t subtract from the masculine vibe that makes it so enticing. There is one other sandalwood centric fragrance I’ve recently loved that has a sandalwood with a bit of a fruity note – SJP Stash. That was it!
I got my hands on some SJP Stash immediately (thanks to the Marshall’s gods for the three piece set for $18, including eau de parfum and the Elixir which I reviewed here ) and lo – that yummy sandalwood note is there. They are not The Same but they are very similar. I’d say if you love Santal 33, you should seek out Stash, which is around $90 US for a large bottle. Every time I use it, my husband says “WOW THAT SMELLS SO GOOD” and that poor guy has to smell so many things, he barely registers things these days. And frankly, he could wear Stash as well. Smells like your boyfriend’s t-shirt, in the best way. And has that leathery manly vibe of Le Labo Santal 33. If any of this sounds appealing to you, SJP Stash is worth checking out, in my humble opinion. I especially love the Elixir, which is a perfumed oil that can go on skin, hair and be added to the bath. Divine.
I also think Stash is the perfume Sarah Jessica Parker always wanted to make. Lovely was really pretty, but it wasn’t the smoky musky delight one expected after hearing about her favourite perfume layering recipe. She wore Comme de Garcons Avignon, a gorgeous incense perfume, layered with Skin Musk oil, and an Egyptian Musk from a NYC street vendor. Could that be the Abdul Kareem Egyptian Musk I love so…?
So I was cross checking perfume notes with Stash and Santal 33 while I was comparing them, and one more scent came into my crosshairs. It was Clean Reserve Sel Santal (around $95 US for a big bottle). Yes, I know, Clean, right? But this is the Reserve Line, which came out a couple years ago, and it’s clear the brand is spending some money on blending and ingredients. I immediately remembered that I sniffed Sel Santal in Sephora when it came out and I LOVED it, so I sped over to Sephora to smell it again. Aaaah guys Sel Santal is soooo nice! I got a little purse spray, and I’m officially in love. Sel Santal opens with a salty, slightly oceanic note that is obviously not present in Santal 33, but it is an ocean note that is as light as air, and when it fades, it’s pure Santal 33 on skin. It’s a soft almost driftwood-sandalwood, but it also has that sweet-ish note present in Stash and Santal. What is that sweet note? To me, it smells a bit like fig. There is no fig listed in any of the note descriptions, but who knows. There could a new kind of sandalwood synthetic fragrance molecule that has a figgy nature. Whatever it is, I love it.
And let me tell you this. The husband actually flipped out for Sel Santal, too, and he ended up wearing it when we went out the other night. He smelled amazing. We need a big bottle of Clean Reserve Sel Santal in this house. Suffice it to say, Stash and Sel Santal are complete crowd pleasers, like Santal 33, and they just smell really, really good.