How did they get the horse into the bottle? No joke, sometimes I can smell this horse barn note also in Kelly Calèche by Hermès. It is something about the leather that produces this effect I think. Highly subjective, of course.
Santal 33 was inspired by the American myth of the Marlboro Man, sitting by the fireside, leaning on a worn leather saddle, lighting a cigarette, “an icon so powerful that every man wanted to be him and every woman wanted to have him“. Sounds good so far. I would add “a horse in the background“.
Santal 33 opens up clean and woody with sandalwood, cedar, cardamom and ambrox. It smells rather fresh, a little bit like camphor, masculine.
At the next step the scent is getting warmer, softer, you get iris, which smells like having been extended with carrot seeds and this aspect reminds me of Iris de Nuit by Heeley. A soft and in a way feminine combination sweetened with violet. The base is dominated by leather, rather suede, soft and brown. But in combination with the musk it turns into something animalic and that’s what evokes this association of a warm horse. This is not too crazy, because I have asked a friend of mine who horse rides regularly and she just said “absolutely!“ So, just to be safe.
But in the end Santal 33 turns out to be an intense leather scent with loads of sweet musk and sandalwood. I find it too strong and the next morning after I had used it, it even annoyed me. Due to a high concentration of essential oils the scent has a huge longevity.
I would recommend this perfume to men, or did you ever hear about a Marlboro Woman? Howdy?
Perfumer: Frank Voelkl
Notes: cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox, sandalwood, cedar, papyrus, leather, musk, amber