Secret of sandal oil

Print edition : October 09, 2009

MYSORE is the abode of Mysore Sandal Oil & Soap. The Government Soap Factory was set up in 1916 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, Maharaja of Mysore, with the engineering skill and expertise of Sir M. Visvesvaraya assisted by Professor Watson, Dr S. Rao and Sir S.G. Shastry, who perfected the process for the manufacture of sandalwood oil and the famous Mysore Sandal Soap.

The sharabha is the logo of the Government Soap Factory (now Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited, or KS&DL). It is a mythological creature described in the Puranas and embodies the virtues of wisdom, courage and strength. It has the body of a lion and the head of an elephant, symbolising the power that removes imperfections and impurities. The Maharaja of Mysore adopted it as his official emblem. KS&DLs flagship brand, Mysore Sandal Soap, is one of its kind and has natural sandalwood oil distilled in its own factory.

Sandalwood oil is known to soften and moisturise the skin and remove blemishes and is a natural astringent that cleanses and tones the skin. It has traditionally been used for treating skin dryness, skin irritation, acne and insomnia.

Its therapeutic and cosmetic properties find mention in ancient texts such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Arthashastra (200 B.C.), Mahabhasya (100 B.C.) and Nirukta (5 B.C.). KS&DLs stringent manufaturing conditions ensure that the Mysore Sandal Soap retains all these qualities.

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