Imagine being able to fill your home with the fragrance of your favorite perfume without having to use it as an air freshener; heaven forbid! Well, New York-based niche perfume designer, Le Labo has allowed this dream to come true.
If you’re a fan of the massively popular Santal 33 fragrance, then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a room fragrance and candle to match in the form of Santal 26.
I wanted to compare the two to see whether the home fragrance range lives up to the hype. I haven’t been disappointed but what I will say is that the Santal collection from Le Labo does have very mixed effects on people.
Santal 33 was created by perfumer Frank Voelk and was launched back in 2011. It is a perfume designed for both men and women but as it happens, 33 leans far more masculine than it does feminine.
A woody aromatic fragrance, Santal 33 is, of course, based around the sweet woody aroma of sandalwood. This sits alongside leather, papyrus, cedar, amber, violet, cardamom and iris. It’s a pretty diverse blend but what keeps coming through is this beautiful green freshness.
While you might think that this makes Santal 33 more of a summer fragrance, you’d be mistaken. I feel as though this reminds me of the last dregs of summer, when that autumnal weather is really starting to come through. Imagine walking through the woods across wet leaves and you’re headed in the right direction.
However, while this is a beautiful accord, this is one of the things that makes Santal 33 more of a men’s perfume. Women can wear this but it might feel a little too manly, especially when you consider the heavy woody notes that smell just like a brand-new piece of real wood furniture or the hardwood floors in a high-end hotel lobby.
I have heard that layering Santal 33 with a strong vanilla perfume does turn it a little more womanly. So if you like that sweetness, it’s worth a try. At least with a sample bottle as a full 100ml flacon will set you back an eye-watering $310!
Is it worth this price? I hear you cry. Well, if you want something strong and long-lasting then yes, it definitely is. On the skin, you’ll get at least 10 hours of wear if not more and Santal 33 has a lovely projection. Although it does stand out, it’s not at all offensive and will earn you a lot of compliments.
My Verdict of Le Labo Santal 33
I think Santal 33 is a great everyday perfume as it’s so easy to wear. It won’t offend the nose and so can be easily worn for a multitude of occasions including running errands, going to work; all the usual mundane stuff that can be made more enjoyable with a constant whiff of this fresh, delightful scent.
It’s a shame that it’s marketed as a unisex fragrance because there really is a masculine character to it. Santal 33 is incredibly sensual and perfect for a date, especially if you don’t want to come across as too much. While it is strong, there’s a gentleness about it that feels almost welcoming.
Overall, I really like it. There are people that say it smells nothing like they expected and have therefore been disappointed. It’s certainly not a sandalwood perfume in the traditional sense so go into it with an open mind and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Usually, when I do these comparison reviews, I’m pitting one version of a perfume against its flanker. But not today. I’m super excited to discuss Santal 26 because it’s not a perfume at all!
Santal 26 started its life as a perfume when it was created for the initial launch of the Le Labo classics collection in 2006. However, they felt that it wasn’t quite strong enough but repurposed the fragrance for use in the home. And boy am I glad they did.
Santal 26 is a remarkably similar composition to the perfume, Santal 33, with notes of sandalwood, cedar, amber and a dash of vanilla and musk for added sweetness. It’s perfect for those fall evenings when you just want to cozy up with a good book and a mug of steaming hot cocoa.
Santal 26 smells very gentle but has a charming character that Le Labo describes as aristocratic. I can totally see where they’re coming from as I can almost imagine this fragrance floating around a regal castle in the hills.
There is a stark contrast between warmth and freshness that really hits you when you smell Santal 26. However, while it is quite strong, the scent won’t fill a large room so I’d suggest this for perhaps a den or a bedroom. There is a room spray and a candle although the prices of these are pretty steep.
You’ll pay $125 for the 100 ml spray or $60 for a 245g candle. As far as home fragrance goes, that’s quite expensive. However, the candle does last a long time, especially when compared to other brands and there’s a luxurious feel that you only get from high-end items like these.
My Verdict of Le Labo Santal 26
I’m a sucker for home fragrance; always on the lookout for something that’ll make my home smell welcoming and comfortable. That’s what you get from Santal 26; it feels cozy and inviting as though you’ve just arrived home after a day out in the cold, blanket and hot drink waiting.
But there is also a subtle freshness that I think gives this candle and room spray a very unique and distinct vibe. It’s unmistakable and will give your home a noticeable scent. But for the price, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
My Winner: Santal 26 vs Santal 33
It really would be fair for me to choose a winner between Santal 33 and Santal 26 because, while they smell the same, they’re totally different products. If you’re here because you want a unique-smelling sandalwood perfume then you’ll naturally go for 33. However, if you’re looking to refresh your home with a warm, gentle yet fresh fragrance, it’s going to be 26.
Typically, I’d review the nuances between the performance of each fragrance and their value for money. But I can’t fairly do that here. Santal 33 is a very well-performing perfume that’s ideal for people who want something that’ll remain strong and noticeable all day.
On the other hand, Santal 26 fills the home with a delicate fragrance that’s not so overpowering that it gives you a headache when you walk in.
Both of these products come with a seriously high price tag. If you’re not willing to part with a decent sum of money then I wouldn’t recommend it either. That said, for what you’re getting in terms of the distinct scent and brilliant performance, it’s definitely not a waste of money.
Santal 33 and Santal 26 are, to my nose, beautiful, comforting scents that are easy to smell. They compliment day-to-day life perfectly whether on the skin or as a home fragrance.
What’s The Difference Between Santal 26 And Santal 33?
The key difference between Santal 26 and Santal 33 is that one is a personal perfume while the other is a collection of home fragrances.