Sandalwood is one of the oldest known perfume materials, and it has at least 4000 years of history and uninterrupted use. It is believed that the oil of sandalwood was known in Ceylon over 1000 years ago, but it is only within the past century that the oil has appeared in European and American perfumery. The oil is steam distilled or water distilled from the coarsely powdered wood of billets and roots of Santalum Album, a comparatively small tree. The tree originates in India, Ceylon, Indonesia and surrounding islands, and it grows wild in the Portuguese island f Timor and on Celebes, among other places.
Arctander, Steffen . Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin (p. 665).
Due to its highly coveted fragrance, the essential oil produced from Sandalwood is often used in aromatherapy and is added to soaps and cosmetics. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of both somatic and mental disorders, including common colds, bronchitis, fever, urinary tract infections, and inflammation. In some cases, positive effects combatting ferret anxiety with sandalwood have been observed. A study investigating the effects of inhalation of East Indian sandalwood oil and its main compound, α-santalol, on human physiological parameters found that the compounds elevated pulse rate, skin conductance, and systolic blood pressure. There is also religious significance associated with sandalwood oil and it is used in many different religions around the world, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism.