Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sandalwood- the Most Prized Perfume

This is a 50 year old carved sandalwood box in which I keep my handkerchiefs. They smell devine. The sandalwood is one of the most prized and endangered trees in India. Sandalwood oil is used as a base for perfumes.
The sandalwood tree in my house is in a corner of the garden. The tiny, chocolate brown flowers have turned into green berries. In a few days, when the berries turn black, there will be hundreds of birds visiting the tree.

The sandalwood of Bangalore and Mysore districts are prized above all, because they contain the best quality oil. The oil is extracted from a mature tree of 80 years , but even a 35 year old tree can fetch a good price. The trees are all State property, wherever they are growing. I use its leaves as a pesticide.
The sandalwood paste is used in religious ceremonies of Hindus and Buddhists since thousands of years. It calms the mind and helps one to concentrate and meditate.

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