History of Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil

History of Hawaiian Sandalwood Essential Oil

Hope Johnson
3 minute read

The History of Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil is unique. It was on the verge of extinction until a few decades ago, and I for one am so glad for the reforestation project that brought it back.

Up until the late 1700's, sandalwood trees that grew on Hawaii Island were used by the natives for waterproofing and scenting clothing, making musical instruments and tools, and for treating dandruff, lice, skin conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases.

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But once King Kamehameha conquered the islands in 1791, he realized the value of Hawaiian Sandalwood as a trade commodity.

Kamehameha taxed the people of Hawaii to the point where they had to extract sandalwood trees from the mountains in order to pay the king's tax.

Apparently, trading sandalwood trees allowed Kamehameha to pursue his obsession with acquiring guns, ships, and other traded goods.

By around 1825 the sandalwood population on Hawaii was so decimated that Hawaiian Sandalwood was nearly impossible to come by for around 200 years.

That was until recent years when a reforestation project brought back the production of Hawaiian Sandalwood in a sustainable way. 

When I visited the Hawaiian Sandalwood forest farm some years back, I learned that only dead and dying sandalwood trees are harvested for their wood and essential oils.

It brings joy to my being to know that these wonderfully fragrant trees get to live out their lives on the slopes of Mauna Loa before they are transformed into useful objects, and the most delicious sandalwood oil I've ever experienced.

You can check out the reforestation forest farm's website Here, and even book a tour if you feel so inclined. This is the same source that supplies larger brands that sell Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil for up to double our price.

I prefer Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil on its own, or blended with a small amount of Magnolia essential oil. I have also added it to many of our blends, which I adore, and which I will show you below.

I usually apply the essential oil directly onto my skin. I don't sense the need to dilute this one as it doesn't feel astringent at all. The oil feels velvety, and its effects are subtle yet powerful in a way that you only need a little bit, but if you used it liberally (as I do), it would not be overpowering.

History of hawaiian sandalwood essential oil

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