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Donna Karan Essence: Wenge (2005)
by Donna Karan


Donna Karan Essence: Wenge information

Year of Launch2005
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 38 votes)

People and companies

HouseDonna Karan
PerfumerRodrigo Flores-Roux
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies > Aramis and Designer Fragrances

About Donna Karan Essence: Wenge

The four favourite fragrances of Donna Karan: Lavender, Jasmine, Wenge, and Labdanum. The scents are designed to be worn alone or combined.

Donna Karan Essence: Wenge fragrance notes

Reviews of Donna Karan Essence: Wenge

This is a basic uncomplicated pleasant scent. It is not a grand perfume. I found myself spraying whenever passing it at the store, so finally ordered a sample.

Ok. Strength is discreet and minimal. I get a base of vanilla skin musk pudding. Then there are twin voices of cinnamon-cedar and incense harmonizing with one another. It all sounds foodie...but it's more woodsy. A happy uplifting woodsy skin scent.
23rd April, 2013
From what I can tell, Essence Wenge is the big favourite from this series. I can certainly see why.

This is a lovely interpretation of wenge, an African wood. It comes across as a beautiful, soft and creamy blend of sandalwood, spices and soothing vanilla.

I do believe that the whole series is intended to be unisex, so I'm a little unsure as to why it is listed as a feminine scent here.

This fragrance reminded me of Woodhue by Ava Luxe in some ways. They are both delicate woody scents with a subtle, sweet creaminess and a hint of smoke. Some people vehemently state that Essence Wenge is very much like a softer Black Cashmere, however I find this fragrance less dark and more vanillary.

I have also heard people likening this fragrance to being gourmand, mostly vanilla and hot chocolate. I get dusty woods, a hint of smoky incense and the slightest touch of vanilla. As strange as it may sound, Essence Wenge, for me, is a refreshing woodsy scent.

The lasting power is fairly good and the same could be said for the sillage. I haven't had the chance to layer this fragrance with anything as of yet, but I am eager to.
23rd March, 2012
This reminds one of an Ava Luxe wood (she does woods so beautifully.) I get No. 23 without the florals. This is comforting and lovely on it's own. I imagine wearing on a day when I am in the mood to feel clean and relaxed. I could also get into layering with some heavy florals to lighten them up (Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia comes to mind) or a wonderful simple vanilla like L'Aromarine Vanille to make an interesting cosy combo. Simply lovely and FB worthy!

07th March, 2012
I swear something must be wrong with my nose because I get none of the labdanum, musk or amber other reviewers mention. After multiple assessments all I smell are slightly sweet cedar chips. Like a guinea pig lifted from its cage after eating a sugar cube.
31st January, 2011

Wenge is quite similar to Black Cashmere. It is softer… not as dark. It has the addition of labdanum, a noticeable vanilla, and more amber; in fact, with its sweet note, Wenge approaches gourmand status. The wenge (wood) note is like a sweeter sandalwood note and the sweetness has a strong transforming effect on the whole fragrance because the wenge note is there from beginning to end contributing its essence and character to the fragrance. I think the incense is a bit weaker in Wenge than in Black Cashmere and Wenge is less dramatic and more comfortable. Wenge has that heart of sweetness that escapes Black Cashmere. Whatever the differences between BC and Wenge, they both work handsomely: Wenge is another great fragrance, different enough from BC to deserve a consideration even if you own BC.

16th December, 2008
Woody, but not dry or bitter like some woods. It's a smooth, musky, buttery soft wood note like Mysore sandalwood. Actually, it's a dead ringer for some amber notes: sweet, powdery, golden, exotic, rich... I really enjoy it, and I think it can easily be worn as a scent in its own right. To layer it... well, perhaps a little citrus for a sparkly top note? Or peppery spices for an oriental? Can't imagine it'd be very good with either jasmine or lavender, but then I'm not a fan of these notes. I'll have to try the Labdanum though.
09th February, 2007

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