How to tell the difference between a real and a fake sandalwood fan? Price and fragrance are the key points.

A sandalwood fan emits a unique sweet and gentle fragrance every time you look up at it. The beauty of the openwork carving that brings out the texture of the wood is also attractive, and many people may be longing to have a real sandalwood fan someday. Although sandalwood fans are sought after by many people, one needs to be somewhat careful when purchasing them, as there are counterfeit ones on the market that are made of materials other than sandalwood. In this article, we will show you how to distinguish between genuine and fake sandalwood fans. Please check the characteristics of genuine sandalwood fans to help you in your shopping.

Basic knowledge of sandalwood fans

Generally, fans are often used to keep cool by looking up, but there are also fans whose fragrance can be enjoyed when looking up. A fan made of sandalwood, a fragrant tree, is a luxury item known for its elegant fragrance. First, let us give you some basic knowledge about sandalwood fans.

What is a sandalwood fan?

A sandalwood fan is a fan made from sandalwood, which is one of the most famous fragrant woods. Sandalwood is also known as "sandalwood" and is used as a material for incense such as senko-incense. Sandalwood is characterized by the fragrance of the wood itself, which has a sweet, woody, gentle odor. It is used not only as a fragrance, but also as a material for carving Buddhist statues and prayer beads.

Suzhou, China is a famous production center for sandalwood fans. There, sandalwood fans are often sold as souvenirs. However, sandalwood, which is highly rare, tends to be basically difficult to obtain. Among the products distributed as sandalwood fans in the market, there are not a few fakes with artificially added fragrance. Therefore, if you are considering purchasing a sandalwood fan, we recommend that you check how to distinguish a real one from a fake one.

Sandalwood is known as a rare and highly prized fragrant wood. The reason for this is that it takes more than several decades for the sandalwood tree to grow and release its fragrance. Another reason is that it is difficult to plant sandalwood trees artificially and it takes a lot of time for the wood to begin to smell once it is cut down. In addition, sandalwood is difficult to obtain because India, the country of origin of sandalwood, regulates its export.

Attraction of sandalwood fans

The main attraction of sandalwood fans is that you can enjoy the sweet and elegant smell of the fragrant wood. It can be said that the fragrance spreads every time you look up at the fan, which is a feature not found in other fans. Sandalwood fans are also attractive as a craftwork. The wooden fan surface decorated with openwork or painted decoration is beautiful and designed to make the wearer look elegant. Sandalwood fans with high value are classified as high-class fans. As mentioned above, the high scarcity value of the material sandalwood itself is also a key point. One of the charms of owning a sandalwood fan is that you can enjoy a special feeling just by having it.

How to distinguish a genuine sandalwood fan from a fake one

If you want to enjoy the fragrance of sandalwood itself, you need to distinguish a genuine sandalwood fan when you buy one. What should we pay attention to in order to avoid fakes? Here, we introduce how to distinguish genuine from fake sandalwood fans for those who are in the market for sandalwood fans.

Distinguish by fragrance

Genuine sandalwood fans are characterized by a scent that gradually fades over time. However, since genuine sandalwood fans are scented by the wood itself, the fragrance can be restored with care. Wipe it with a damp and tightly wrung cloth to remove dirt from the surface, and the fragrance will return. After cleaning, dry it thoroughly. Thus, a fan with a long-lasting fragrance with proper care is considered to be a genuine sandalwood fan.


Another way to distinguish a genuine from a fake sandalwood fan is by the strength of the fan's fragrance. The fragrance of a genuine sandalwood fan is somewhat subdued. When you look up at it, you can smell its elegant and natural fragrance. On the other hand, fake sandalwood fans tend to have a strong fragrance due to the use of synthetic fragrances. Products whose fragrance is so strong that it spreads throughout the room, or whose fragrance disappears without returning even after care, are considered to have been perfumed with fragrance afterwards.

Distinguish by price range

Since sandalwood is rare and valuable, genuine sandalwood fans tend to be expensive, with the market price in the 100,000-200,000 yen range. In contrast, sandalwood fans made with synthetic fragrances have a lower market price and are sold for several hundred to several thousand yen. Thus, a product whose price is significantly lower than the market price is basically considered not to be made of sandalwood. In many cases, they are made of another wood with sandalwood fragrance, and are different from real sandalwood fans. Some stores sell fake sandalwood fans, even though they clearly state that the material is sandalwood. If you want a genuine sandalwood fan, you should buy it from a reliable specialty store.

Recommended sandalwood fans

Ibasen, a long-established shop of folding fans established in the Edo period, handles sandalwood fans. The sandalwood fan products listed in our online store can also be found in our store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. If you are interested in purchasing a sandalwood fan, please feel free to contact us.

Please note that we may sell out of the products because they are jointly stocked with the store. Please understand.

Overseas-produced folding fan, sandalwood fan, No.1 in new stock in 2022, with fan case and paulownia box

This sandalwood fan is made of genuine sandalwood from Indonesia. When you look up at it, the elegant sweet fragrance of sandalwood gently drifts in the air, and you can enjoy the fragrance for a long time with care. The fan surface is beautifully processed by the traditional technique of the Nanjing Dynasty in China. The elegant and fashionable design of the sandalwood fan is unique to sandalwood and brings out the texture of the wood. This product comes with a fan case and a paulownia wood box. This product is limited to one in stock.

Overseas Production Sandalwood Fan, 2022 New Arrival No.2, Faceted Sunflower, with fan case and paulownia box

This is a sandalwood fan made of genuine sandalwood from Indonesia. The parent bone and the fan face are decorated with sunflowers. Please enjoy the gorgeous sunflower design, which is finely drawn with the traditional technique of the Nanjing Dynasty in China. This fan made from genuine sandalwood is a rare item, and its great charm is that you can enjoy its elegant fragrance for a long time. Please contact us as soon as possible as we only have one in stock. The item will be delivered with a fan case and a paulownia wood box.

Overseas production fan, sandalwood fan, Yang Kwei, with fan case and paulownia box

This is a sandalwood fan made of real sandalwood. On the fan is a depiction of Empress Yang Kwei-Hui, known as one of the four most beautiful women in China. The beautiful design expressed by openwork carving is a big attraction. The graceful impression and design that attracts the wearer is the result of a traditional technique from the Nanjing Dynasty in China. You can enjoy the sweet and gentle fragrance and the beauty of this sandalwood fan as a craftwork. This product comes with a fan case and a paulownia wood box. If you are looking for a sandalwood fan with a particular design, please contact us.

Please enjoy our sandalwood fans by keeping a close eye on how to recognize the real thing!

We have told you how to tell a genuine sandalwood fan from a fake one. A genuine sandalwood fan has a slightly subdued fragrance and lasts longer with care. Another point to distinguish between them is that the material sandalwood is highly rare and its market price is high, ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 yen. When shopping, please be sure to refer to the points for discerning introduced here. Ibasen, a long-established fan shop, handles sandalwood fans. You can view our products in our online store and in our stores, so please visit us if you are in the market for a sandalwood fan.