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Nature's Gift Sandalwood EO AS Splash

I recently received a package from a little Tennessee-based company called Nature's Gift. They specialize mainly in the sale of essential oils -- they have just about every oil you can think of (and quite a few that you can't). They also make some of their own products, all EO-based.

One of the products they offer is a Sandalwood aftershave splash. The product's description says (among other things) that it's "...lavishly scented with real sandalwood." Sandalwood EO freak that I am, how could I resist? So I coughed up $12 (pre-shipping, which seemed VERY cheap for a Sandalwood EO-based product but whatever) and ordered a bottle.

The dark blue, plastic bottle contains 4 oz. of AS. It has one of those caps where you press down on one side & the other side pops up w/the opening.

Following is the list of ingredients:

Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Alcohol, Rosemarinus Officinalis ch Verbenon (Rosemary) Distillate, Lavendula Distillate, Calendula Officinalis Distillate, Olibanum (Frankincense) Distillate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Artemisia Ludoviciana (Owyhee) Distillate, Glycerine, Hydrolized Oats, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Absolute, Potassium Sorbate

As you can see, but for the addition of Potassium Sorbate (which I'm pretty sure is a preservative) this concoction is almost entirely EO-based with the addition of alcohol, aloe, hydrolized oats & glycerine.

I've now used this AS 2 days in a row. The good news? It's a 1st rate product. The bad news? Strangely enough, the weakest part of this product is its Sandalwood scent.

Let me explain.

Yesterday's shave was rough. I used a Feather that was on its last legs loaded in a Fatboy. I used Olivia's Dschinn soap, which is a very good product. Nevertheless, the ensuing scraping left me with plenty of razor burn to contend with, mostly on my neck. I was going to use some Thayer's Medicated Superhazel after rinsing with warm water, my usual Drug of Choice to deal with burn, but then thought better of it. After all, this AS is crammed with allegedly skin-healing EOs. Why not take advantage of my disadvantage & put this product through the wringer?

As rough as the shave was, I felt only a mild tingle from the alcohol upon applying the product to my skin. Its consistency is runny, more like water than anything else, and it's pretty much clear. Almost immediately, I felt my skin begin to calm down. The stuff just sinks right in. There was no tackiness, shininess or oily, greasy feeling at all. Within 5-10 minutes my neck felt much, much better (though the red areas were still clearly visible). Within about 1/2 hour, the red areas were pretty much gone. My skin felt smooth, comfortable & moisturized.

(NB: There's no menthol or mint in this product which is why I've ticked "n/a" under "cooling sensation." It fights razor burn, yes, but there's no blast of menthol or anything else that's traditionally associated with "cooling.")

For today's shave I used a brand new Feather & a Hemp Oil shaving stick. Considering the quality of yesterday's shave I figured I should take it easy. The Hemp stick is ridiculously moisturizing.

Alas, it was not to be.

I'll spare you the gory details; suffice it to say that today's shave was an even better test of this AS's skin-healing abilities than yesterday's. And once again, it didn't disappoint. I felt more of a tingle/slight burn from the alcohol than I did yesterday but still, nothing excessive. And once again, the stuff set to work immediately calming my skin. So thus far, from a purely skin-healing perspective this seems to be a wonderful product. The choice and combination of essential oils used really works well to calm, soothe & moisturize irritated skin.

But the Sandalwood, you say. What about the Sandalwood?

Yes, it's there. Yes, as soon as you squeeze some out into your hand, you're conscious of & enveloped in the scent of Sandalwood. And it does stick around; I shaved about 8 hours ago and I can still sense it (albeit veeeeeery slightly) on my skin. However. This is not the scent of QED's Sandalwood, or Tam Dao's Sandalwood. This is not a rich, woody, heady Sandalwood. Not by a long shot. It's Sandalwood, yes, but the word that comes to mind that best describes it is "anemic." It's like a pale reflection of Sandalwood. Present, yes, but weak & thin. Which, I suppose, is why it costs $12 & not $40+.

I dunno about you guys but for my $$, if I'm gonna buy a Sandalwood splash made with real Sandalwood EO, I want it to smell good! As in QED or Tam Dao good! Maybe I'm in the minority here but I wouldn't mind shelling out more dough for a product like that. This truly is a case of you get what you pay for. (By comparison, Hydrolast's Sandalwood balm is made with real Mysore Sandalwood EO. And you can tell. It also costs $23 more than this product does.)

So. Is it a a quality, EO-based AS that works? Yes. Does it heal & calm your skin with a minimum of fuss? You bet. Does it smell like Sandalwood? Yes, and the scent sticks around for a long time. But in my opinion, it's a watery reflection of Sandalwood. Will I be replacing it when it's gone? I think so, but not because of its scent.

And that's a shame.
5.00 star(s)
3.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
4.00 star(s)
No Alcohol Burn
4.00 star(s)
Cooling Sensation
1.00 star(s)
Fights Razor Burn
5.00 star(s)
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