Sandalwood is probably most famous for its pleasant, fragrant smell. It is used in incense, oils, perfumes and even fine woodwork. While extractions and imitations of sandalwood are commonly used for fragrances, real sandalwood is a very expensive commodity, highly protected in many countries yet still illegally cut down and smuggled.
Though sandalwood must be aged for at least 40 years before their aroma is considered mature enough for the market, the ideal age is 80 years. There are temples in India built from sandalwood which have an aroma which has continued to mature after centuries. True sandalwood is a very strong wood and is heavy, capable of sinking in water.
Being such an expensive wood, sandalwood is thus reserved only for the best of our swords. Unlike other woods, sandalwood does not need to be polished with oils or waxes, it possesses an inherent and natural sheen and lustre which deepens over time.
Purple sandalwood is currently not available.
Yellow Hua Li
The yellow hua li only grows in certain parts of China. It is famous for its beautiful finely detailed wood grains and for being a very robust timber. Sadly, the yellow hua li was not protected and has almost been extinct, all our yellow hua liwood is used from a 20 year old stock.
Paudak wood is also know as black hua li or 'chicken wing grain wood' and is normally sourced from South-East Asia. This type of wood is commonly used to make furniture because of its beautiful woodgrains, sturdiness and is easier to work with. Paudak is not as strong as yellow hua li, sourwood, or sandalwood, but is still stronger than most temperate wood and common hard woods.
Compared to yellow hua li, paudak is a much darker brown and has larger and more obvious wood grains.
Hong Mu (old Chinese red wood) was also known as 'sourwood'. Very expensive and being famous not only for its durability but also its pungent odour (especially when being worked), which is able to repel insects. Hong Mu has a deep, dark colour and richly patterned fine wood grains, and smooth surface with high density.