An uncertain future
India accounts for 90% of world production of sandal oil, but production is declining as too many trees are cut down.
A far-flung tree
East Indian sandalwood and other species have also been harvested for their oil in Indonesia, Fiji and Australia. Overharvesting has been a common problem. The USA and France are two of the biggest importers.
Not just a pretty face
Sandalwood doesn't just smell nice. Scientific research has shown that the oil has soothing and anti-bacterial properties on the skin. It is added to hair oils and body lotions.
Sandalwood trees are semi-parasitic - they tap into the nutrient supply of nearby plants. Some 300 species are known to have been parasitised by sandalwood.