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Red Sandalwood

lepaṃcandanakardamena racitaṃ saubhāgyasampatkaraṃ...

A mask prepared with sandalwood paste brings good fortune and wealth...

The line above appears in the Cārucaryā, a versified Sanskrit manual on hygiene and healthy conduct attributed to the eleventh-century scholar king Bhoja of Malwa in central India.

Sandalwood and its skincare applications are a major topic in the work, with a great range of beauty and health benefits ascribed to them. The Cārucaryā distinguishes between the different types of sandalwood, emphatically stating the red sandalwood to be the best and most valuable. The text notes that “cooling, pungent red sandalwood extinguishes the burning of inflammation and intoxication” and also that the very best is produced in Kerala, the lush southwestern-most corner of the Indian Subcontinent.