Any guesses as to what those brown beads are to the left of the gorgeous (can’t you just smell them) sandalwood beads?
Read on to find out the true identity of those brown, crusty beads…the truth may shock you…
…can you handle the truth?!
When you receive our sandalwood beads, you will notice the lovely sandalwood fragrance that makes sandalwood so desirable and the light yellowish honey brown color. As you wear your beads, you may become dismayed to see they darken with age and lose their lovely scent. This is typical, and in no way reflects the authenticity of the original sandalwood beads you received – it is just natural, untreated wood reacting to its environment!
Sandalwood beads are hand carved from Santalum album, a medium-sized hemiparasitic tree, (and part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe *kiss*kiss*) that grows in India. The beads you receive from our shop are untreated in any way, and as such, they are bound to the pitfalls of any natural wood.
I am rough, really, really rough on my sandalwood beads that I wear. And to top that off, I live in a very harsh environment redolent with high levels of air pollutants, high temperatures, and humidity. To add insult to injury (to my beads) I wear copious amounts of sunblock, never leave the house without makeup on, and sweat with the best of them the minute I leave my air-conditioned sanctuary. After a few months of wear, my sandalwood beads look and smell nothing like the original, pristine wooden orbs they once were. Just take a look at the ugly truth of aging sandalwood below: you can recognize the lovely, honey colored beads on the right, but what are those hideous beads to the left? My sandalwood beads…caked with sunblock, makeup, and sweat!! Yep! and Yikes!!
FACT: Aging happens with sandalwood beads and there is nothing you can do about it.
The more you wear, love and fondle your beads, the more they are going to look and smell nothing like the original babies right out of the bag. In fact, if you insist upon beautiful, scented sandalwood beads for the rest of their lives, keep them locked up in a plastic bag and never, ever let them out!
Even if you are very gentle with your beads, and don’t go outside with them, and don’t wear gobby skin products – still, if they are next to your skin, they are absorbing your natural scents and oils.
Think about it.
So what can you do to minimize the effects of aging on your precious beads?
I don’t recommend keeping them locked up. Just be realistic about the effects of aging on them, and enjoy the lovely patina that comes with wear.
And here’s some cleaning and caring steps to keep them looking and smelling their best:
- Periodically wash in soap and water using a sponge to scrub off dirt and grime.
- After washing and drying with a clean, soft cotton cloth, oil the beads using mustard seed oil.
- Add a few drops of sandalwood oil to the mustard oil to bring out the fragrance.
If you wear your sandalwood beads, they will eventually change in color and scent. It is natural, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Just let them age gracefully and enjoy the changing beauty!!