Sandalwood is a class of woods harvested from trees within the Santalum genus.

These trees are heavy, yellow in color, and are extremely aromatic.

They have been used since ancient times for incense, perfume, jewelry, and many other purposes as well.

There are about 25 species within the Santalum genus, but not all of them are commonly sold.

This guide will explain which varieties of sandalwood are commonly harvested for commercial sale on the global market.

Varieties of Sandalwood

Indian Sandalwood

Indian Sandalwood is often considered to be the highest quality and is typically the most expensive.

In the world of incense, Mysore Indian sandalwood is ‘stuff of legends’ and is considered the ‘cream of the crop’.

Unfortunately, these trees have been over-harvested for quite a long time and so the cost of this material can be quite high nowadays.

It’s IUCN Red List status is currently “vulnerable.”

If this is something you are concerned about, then you could always opt for a plantation-grown sandalwood.

Australian Sandalwood

With the declining availability of quality Indian sandalwood, Australian sandalwood has seen more of the limelight.

This variety is also expensive, but it’s not considered ‘vulnerable.

The scent is typically a bit lighter then it’s Indian counterpart, but it still has quite a delectable aroma.

Coastal Sandalwood

This variety of sandalwood is endemic to Hawaii and works quite well for aromatherapy and potpourri.