Naturals will always have one key advantage over their synthetic counterparts to justify their expense: complexity. Patchouli is simultaneously resinous, woody, earthy, fruity and ambery.
Amber, as in the fossilised tree resin used to make jewellery, carries little smell and is not used in perfumery. Rather, the term refers loosely to a sensual, vanilla-resinous note that at most is an interpretation of the golden glow present in the real thing. The family of ingredients classed as amber is large and contains both naturals and synthetics as well as pre-made bases.
from Sri Lanka
A victim of its own success, sandalwood oil from Mysore, India was used so extensively (being of very good quality and rather low price) that it became a totally unsustainable resource; inadequate management meant the tree population was dangerously diminished. Since a ban was placed on its production the murky business of smuggling oils and/or cutting with other oils has arisen; something we want no part in. Fortunately Sri Lanka has provided the answer, producing oil that is both sustainable and of quality similar to Mysore (something Australian sandalwood could not offer).
So why all the fuss? Sandalwood oil is one of the few ingredients you could happily wear by itself. A unique milky note sits softly over a nutty-woody base.
Super crisp, clean and dry wood.
Mildly smoky wood with a cheerfully fruity/rosy note.
Suede calls for similar notes as leather but with a lighter touch (less of the rich smoky notes more of the inky metallic isobutyl quinoleine). Added to that, the aptly named Suederal helps recreate the soft feel that makes suede so attractive.