Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. The term has been used as a geographical and religious identifier for people indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; the historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims; the historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars.
A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma and contrasted it with Turaka dharma; the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Muslims.
The vast majority of Hindus 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom and Myanmar; these together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010. The word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means "a large body of water", covering "river, ocean", it was used as the name of the Indus river and referred to its tributaries. The actual term'hindu' first occurs, states Gavin Flood, as "a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhu in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, referring to northwestern India; the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama.
The term'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang. Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious" according to Arvind Sharma. While Xuanzang suggested that the term refers to the country named after the moon, another Buddhist scholar I-tsing contradicted the conclusion saying that In-tu was not a common name for the country. Al-Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, the texts of the Delhi Sultanate period use the term'Hindu', where it includes all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists, retains the ambiguity of being "a region or a religion". The'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to Romila Thapar.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially:'Indian','indigenous, local', virtually'native'. The Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves and their "traditional ways" from those of the invaders; the text Prithviraj Raso, by Chanda Baradai, about the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori, is full of references to "Hindus" and "Turks", at one stage, says "both the religions have drawn their curved swords. In Islamic literature,'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350, uses the word'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word'hindu' to mean'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion"; the poet Vidyapati's poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes "The Hindus and the Turks live close together. One of the earliest uses of word'Hindu' in religious context in a European language, was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.
Other prominent mentions of'Hindu' include the epigraphical inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim dynasties in the 14th century, where the word'Hindu' implies a religious identity in contrast to'Turks' or Islam
Japa is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name. It is a practice found in Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism; the mantra or name may be spoken enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken within the reciter's mind. Japa may be performed while sitting in a meditation posture, while performing other activities, or as part of formal worship in group settings; the Sanskrit word japa is derived from the root jap-, meaning "to utter in a low voice, repeat internally, mutter". It can be further defined as ja to destroy birth and reincarnation and pa meaning to destroy ones sins. Monier-Williams states that the term appears in Vedic literature such as in the Aitereya Brahmana and the Shatapatha Brahmana; the term means muttering, whispering or murmuring passages from the scripture, or charms, or names of deity. It is the repetitive singing of a verse or mantra, sometimes counted with the help of a rosary, called Japa-mala. A related word, Japana appears in Book 12 of the Mahabharata, where muttering prayers is described as a form of religious offering.
The concept of Japa is found in early Buddhist texts, is common in Tibetan Buddhism literature. According to Sage Patanjali, Japa is not the repetition of word or phase but rather contemplation on the meaning of the mantra, this definition sometimes persists across different sources. One method of Japa is mental repetition of a mantra, such as a method recommended by Eknath Easwaran. In some forms of japa, the repetitions are counted using a string of beads known as a japa mala. Many different types of materials are used for japa; the number of beads in the japa mala is 108. It is not uncommon for people to wear japa beads around their neck, although some practitioners prefer to carry them in a bead-bag in order to keep them clean. Tibetan Buddhists include japa meditation as a large part of their religious practices. In Tibet, states Harvey Alper, the prayer wheels are instruments for japa; the practice of nembutsu in Pure Land Buddhism is analogous to japa. Some Catholic prayer forms that involve repetition of prayers, such as use of the Rosary or one of various chaplets, are similar to, but not "japa", because the aim is different.
Mental methods of repeated short prayers similar to japa are used in Christian traditions, most notably the practice of repeating the Jesus Prayer found in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The practice of dhikr by Sufis is similar to japa; the stated aim, or goal of japa may vary depending on the mantra involved and the religious philosophy of the practitioner. In both Buddhist and Hindu traditions mantras may be given to aspirants by their guru, after some form of initiation; the stated goal could be moksha, bhakti, or simple personal communion with a divine power in a similar way to prayer. Many gurus and other spiritual teachers, other religious leaders Hindu and Buddhist, teach that these represent different names for the same transformed state of consciousness. However, this claim is not made about mantras that are not intended for spiritual growth and self-realization. After long use of a mantra, intended to foster self-realization or intimacy with a divine power, an individual may reach a state of ajapajapam.
In ajapajapam, the mantra "repeats itself" in the mind. Similar states have been reached by adherents to other major faith traditions, using prayers from their own traditions. Japa is an important part of Sikh worship practices; the two main Sikh scriptures open with sections, named after the term, these are called Japji Sahib and Jaap Sahib. Popular Japa mantras General Eknath Easwaran. Mantram Handbook. Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press. ISBN 1-58638-028-1 Shankar Gopal Tulpule; the Divine name in the Indian tradition. New Delhi, India: Indus Publishing Company / Indian Institute of Advanced Study. ISBN 81-85182-50-7 Hanumanprasad Poddar; the divine name and its practice. Gorakhpur, India: Gita Press. ASIN: B0007ALM2S Japa Yoga by Swami Sivananda
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
A garland is a decorative wreath of flowers, leaves, or other material. Garlands can be worn on the head or around the neck, hung on an inanimate object, or laid in a place of cultural or religious importance. From the French "guirlande", itself from the Italian "ghirlanda," a braid. Bead garland Flower garland Lei - the traditional garland of Hawaiʻi Pennant garland Pine garland Popcorn and/or cranberry garland Rope garland Tinsel garland Vine garland Mundamala - garland of severed heads or skulls, in Hindu and Buddhist iconography A garland created from the daisy flower is called a daisy chain. One method of creating a daisy chain is to pick daisies and create a hole towards the base of the stem; the stem of the next flower can be threaded through. By repeating this with many daisies, it is possible to build up long chains and to form them into simple bracelets and necklaces. Another popular method involves pressing the flower heads against each other to create a look similar to a caterpillar.
The terms "daisy chain" or "daisy chaining" can refer to various technical and social "chains." In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, before Alice's adventures begin, she is sitting outside with her sister considering whether to make a daisy chain before being interrupted by a White Rabbit. Garlands appear including "La Belle Dame sans Merci" by John Keats. In the Bible, Proverbs 4:9 describes Wisdom as: "She will place on your head a graceful garland. In the 1913 novel The Golden Road by Lucy M. Montgomery a "fading garland" is used as a metaphor for the evening of life or aging in general " Did she realize in a flash of prescience that there was no earthly future for our sweet Cecily? Not for her were to be the lengthening shadows or the fading garland; the end was to come while the rainbow still sparkled on her wine of life, ere a single petal had fallen from her rose of joy. ". In the 1906 children's book The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit, garland is used as a metaphor as well: "Let the garland of friendship be green."
India In India, where flower garlands have an important and traditional role in every festival, Hindu deities are decorated with garlands made from different fragrant flowers and leaves. Both fragrant and non-fragrant flowers and religiously-significant leaves are used to make garlands to worship Hindu deities; some of those flowers are as follows: jasmine, lotus, ashoka, nerium/oleander, roses, pinwheel flowers, manoranjini etc. Apart from these and grasses like arugampul, davanam, paneer leaves, lavancha are used for making garlands. Fruit and sometimes currency notes are used for garlands, given as thanksgiving. In wedding the couple wears a wedding garland. In other occasions, it is used to show respect to statue. In Tamil Nadu marigold, nitya kalyani flower garlands are used only for dead bodies or burial rituals. In functions, garlands are used to denote the main person. A Gajra is a flower garland which women in India and Bangladesh wear in their hair during traditional festivals, it is made of jasmine.
It can be worn both in braids. Women wear these when they wear sarees. Sometimes, they are pinned in hair like roses. In Tamil Nadu temples kings appointed people for making garlands daily for a particular deity, they were not allowed to sell that garland. Each Hindu temple in southern India has nandavanam where floral plants, trees for garlands are grown. Huge Shiva temples like Thillai Nataraja Temple, Thyagaraja Temple and Arunachaleswara Temple, Thiruvannamalai still preserves such Nandavanams for supply of flowers for everyday rituals. Stone Inscriptions of Raja Raja Chola I at Thanjavur gives details of patronage of royals to the conservation of Nadavanams that belongs to The Big Temple. In Srirangam Ranganathar temple only garlands made by temple sattharars are used to adorn Lord Ranganatha. No other garlands, flowers are used there. Sattarars have traditional rules for everything - from plucking the flower to making garlands; some of them are as follows: The flowers should be plucked in early morning.
The flowers should not be smelled by anyone. They should be plucked only after having bath; the flowers which fell down on earth or dirt should not be used. Namajapam or the repetition of holy names should be done while plucking flowers. While making garlands they keep flowers and other materials on a table because the garland for God should not touch the feet, it is always kept above hip level. Depending upon the pattern and materials used the south Indian garlands are of different types; some of them are: Thodutha maalai - which means garland made using fiber is used. Most of the garlands used for marriage, Gods are made using this method, it ranges in length from 1 1/2 feet to 12 feet and has a thickness from 2 inches to 3/4 feet in diameter. In all Hindu marriages the bride and bridegroom exchange garlands three times. Kortha maalai - made using needle & thread. Jasmine and lotus garlands are made using this method; the maala for Gods has 2 free lower ends with kunjam, i.e. only the upper two ends are joined and the lower ends should not be not joined.
It has two kunjams. Whereas garlands for humans have both lower ends joined together; each Hindu deity has a unique garland: Goddess L
Rudraksha is a seed traditionally used as a prayer bead in Hinduism. Rudraksha seeds are covered by a blue outer shell when ripe, hence being called blueberry beads; the seeds are produced by several species of large evergreen broad-leaved tree in the genus Elaeocarpus, with Elaeocarpus ganitrus roxb being the principal species. They are associated with the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and are worn for protection and for chanting the Om Namah Shivaya mantra by devotees; the seeds are used in India and Nepal as beads for organic jewellery and malas and are valued to semi-precious stones. Various meanings and potencies are attributed to beads with different numbers of segments and rare or unique beads are prized and valuable. Rudraksha is a Sanskrit compound word consisting of akṣa. Rudra is one of Lord Shiva's vedic names and Akṣa means'teardrops'. Thus, the name means Lord Rudra's teardrops. There are sources like Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and Kamal Narayan Seetha who translate Akṣa as eye. In this case the meaning of rudraksha could mean "Eye of Lord Shiva" or "Eye of Rudra".
The term Rudraksha is used both for the berries themselves and in reference to the type of mala made from them. There is a long tradition of wearing rudraksha beads in India within Shaivism, due to their association with Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva; the mantra Om Namah Shivaya is repeated using the rudraksha beads. Rudraksha malas have been used by Hindus as rosaries from at least the 10th century for meditation purposes and to sanctify the mind and soul. Rudraksha beads may be strung together as a mala and used to count the repetition of a mantra or prayer, similar to the use of rosaries in Christianity. Most garlands contain 108 beads plus one, as 108 is considered sacred and a suitable number of times to recite a short mantra; the extra bead, called the "Meru", bindu, or "guru bead", helps mark the beginning and end of a cycle of 108, as well as having symbolic value as a'principle' bead. While counting the mala, the meru should not be overtaken but when it is reached the mala is recited in reverse order.
Recitation should be done after covering the mala and it should not touch the ground. After recitation, the mala should be kept in a cotton bag. Rudraksha malas contain beads in the following combination: 27+1, 54+1, or 108+1. 54+1 needs to be recited twice for one complete round. 27+1 needs to be recited four times for one complete round. It is possible to carry a single seed or several seeds strung on the same thread. Devi-Bhagavata Purana describes the preparation of rudraksha mala; the beads are strung on silk or on a black or red cotton thread. Less jewellers may use copper, silver, or gold wires, though the rudraksha may be damaged if strung too tightly. Elaeocarpus ganitrus roxb grow to a height of 60-80 feet and are found from the Gangetic plain in the foothills of the Himalayas to Southeast Asia, Nepal, New Guinea, to Australia, Hawaii, Taiwan, parts of Malaysia, Java. Out of 300 species of Elaeocarpus, 35 are found in India. Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer husk of blue when ripe, for this reason are known as blueberry beads.
The blue color is structural. It is an evergreen tree; the rudraksha tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years from germination. As the tree matures, the roots form buttresses, rising up near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground; the tree can be found from sea level up to 3000m. It tends to grow in narrow spaces, not on open ground, its leaves are longer. It yields one to two thousand fruits annually; these fruits are known as Amritphala. Rudraksha beads are found with a variety of much ranging from 1 to 21. A 27-mukhi rudraksha was found in Nepal. 80% of all rudrakshas have 4, 5, 6 mukhi. 1-mukhi is the rarest type of bead. Rudrakshas from Nepal are of bigger size and Indonesian rudrakshas are smaller. Rudrakshas are available in white, brown and black. There are special types of rudraksha available, such as Gauri Shankar, Sawar and other rare ones like Ved, etc. A rudraksha's surface should be hard and the projections should be well grooved, as found in most of the Nepalese Rudrakshas.
The Indonesian rudraksha has a different appearance. Rudrakshas from India show high and grooved projections resembling natural deep hills and valleys. Most fake rudrakshas exhibit 1 mukhi due to its rarity. A variety of rudrakshas called; the 1-mukhi rudraksha is faked using Areca nut. Some suppliers sell fake rudrakshas which have a serpent, Shiva-lingam, etc. carved on them. A real rudraksha does not have these markings. Fake rudrakshas are made by carving extra lines on lower-mukhi rudrakshas to obtain the rare and higher-priced higher-mukhi rudrakshas or by hiding lines to make a rarer lower-mukhi rudraksha. A fake Gauri Shankar rudraksha is made by gluing together two rudraksha beads. To recognize real rudrakshas, many techniques are used, such as sinking and floating of rudrakshas as well as revolving rudraksha
Sandalwood is a class of woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy and fine-grained, unlike many other aromatic woods, they retain their fragrance for decades. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods for use. Sandalwood is the second-most expensive wood in the world. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance, valued for centuries. Species of these slow-growing trees have suffered overharvesting in the past century. Sandalwoods are medium-sized hemiparasitic trees, part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe. Notable members of this group are Indian Australian sandalwood; these are found in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and other Pacific Islands. S. album is a threatened species indigenous to South India, grows in the Western Ghats and a few other mountain ranges such as the Kalrayan and Shevaroy Hills. Although sandalwood trees in India and Nepal are government-owned and their harvest is controlled, many trees are illegally cut down. Sandalwood oil prices have risen to $2,000 per kg recently.
Red sanders is endemic in Seshachalam, Veliganda and Palakonda hill ranges, distributed in districts of Kadapa and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region and parts of Nellore and Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh, Mysore region of Karnataka, marayoor forest in Kerala, southern India, is high in quality. New plantations were created with international aid in Tamil Nadu for economic exploitation. In Kununurra in Western Australia, Indian sandalwood is grown on a large scale; this species is the primary source of sandalwood used in commercial oil production and should not be confused with West Indian Sandalwood, Amyris balsamifera. S. ellipticum, S. freycinetianum, S. paniculatum, the Hawaiian sandalwood, were used and considered high quality. These three species were exploited between 1825 before the supply of trees ran out. Although S. freycinetianum and S. paniculatum are common today, they have not regained their former abundance or size, S. ellipticum remains rare. S. spicatum is used by perfumers. The oil concentration differs from other Santalum species.
In the 1840s, sandalwood was Western Australia’s biggest export earner. Oil was distilled for the first time in 1875, by the turn of the 20th century, production of Australian sandalwood oil was intermittent. However, in the late 1990s, Western Australian sandalwood oil enjoyed a revival and by 2009 had peaked at more than 20,000 kg per year – much of which went to the fragrance industries in Europe. Although overall production has decreased, by 2011, a significant percentage of its production was heading to the chewing tobacco industry in India alongside Indian sandalwood – the chewing tobacco market being the largest market for both oils in 2012. Other species: Commercially, various other species, not belonging to Santalum species, are used as sandalwood. Various unrelated plants with scented wood or oil include: Adenanthera pavonina - sandalwood tree, red or false red sandalwood Baphia nitida - camwood known as African sandalwood Eremophila mitchellii - sandalwood. Yield of oil tends to vary depending on the location of the tree.
Australia will be the largest producer of S. album by 2018, the majority grown around Kununurra, Western Australia. Western Australian sandalwood is grown in plantations in its traditional growing area in the wheatbelt east of Perth, where more than 15,000 ha are in plantations. Western Australian sandalwood is only wild harvested and can achieve upwards of AU$16,000 per tonne, which has sparked a growing illegal trade speculated to be worth AU$2.5 million in 2012. Sandalwood is expensive compared to other types of woods, so to maximize profit, sandalwood is harvested by removing the entire tree instead of sawing it down at the trunk close to ground level; this way wood from the stump and root, which possesses high levels of sandalwood oil, can be processed and sold. Sandalwood oil has a distinctive soft, smooth and milky precious-wood scent, it imparts a long-lasting, woody base to perfumes from the oriental, fougère, chypre families, as well as a fixative to floral and citrus fragrances. When used in smaller proportions in a perfume, it acts as a fixative, enhancing the longevity of other, more volatile, materials in the composite.
Sandalwood is a key ingredient in the "floriental" fragrance family – when combined with white florals such as jasmine, ylang ylang, plumeria, orange blossom, etc. Sandalwood oil in India is used in the cosmetic industry; the main source of true sandalwood, S. album, is a protected species, demand for it cannot be met. Many species of plants are traded as "sandalwood"; the genus Santalum has more than 19 species. Traders accept oil from related species, as well as from unrelat