A rich, warm, amber-y labdanum bomb that simply gets everything right.
This is probably my personal favorite from the line as it maps so neatly onto the genres that I enjoy the most, but I’d begin by noting that Winter Woods is not quite as woodsy as the name infers. What you get here is a cozy oriental that veers a touch toward the liturgical in that the amber accord is neither dry nor gourmand, but closer to a resinous theme. There’s guiaic for density, cedar for texture, tar and castoreum for character, but the star is the trademark house labdanum—an accord that echoes a number of scents from the line but is fully showcased here as the scent’s nucleus.
Whereas labdanum’s usually a sticky note, sweet and turpenic in equal measure, the foundation that elevates the accord is thoughtful in that it doesn’t add extra heft; it provides the central accord the right amount of space on the main stage. To me, this scent sits somewhere between Amber Absolute, L’Air du Desert Marocain, and Interlude Man with the dry down mirroring Interlude Man to a tee.
Also echoed here is the slight smoke effect of Incense Pure and the superb burning leaves accord that’s most prominent in Fireside Intense. Winter Woods folds them together into a cozy, thermal richness that's all about comfort and nostalgia. It should be noted, however, that the name conjures up certain associations that don’t seem to materialize in the scent itself; the woody notes are pretty subdued, and it’s clearly a scent that reproduces the warmth of the indoors rather than freezing conditions. In other words, it’s the kind of thing you’d want to wear while visiting the woods in winter rather than smelling like them.
The blending, of course, is seamless; and although it’s a sweeter scent, there’s no need to put the dentist on speed dial—the sweetness is tasteful and not too caloric. The sandalwood—a material that’s prominently used in many of the house’s compositions (yet rarely make itself that apparent in the mix) is much more noticeable here, lending the fragrance a slight lactonic dimension and bolstering the overall richness of the amber.
Winter Woods doesn’t strike me as complex as some of the others in the line (although you can tell that some of the trademark OCD micro-blending is present)—it’s essentially a labdanum, sandalwood, and cedar fragrance with both resinous and sweet nuances. It doesn’t have any flashy tricks up its sleeve, nor does it pull any unusual punches, but it’s a perfectly put together comfort scent.
If you love oriental fragrances, but want to stay away from anything saccharine, this one is unmissable. It’s not the most striking scent in the line, but that doesn’t take away any of its warmth.
At the outset, l am wondering if some of SSS's scents do indeed share a similar base, as this does smell quite a bit like Champagne de Bois in its buttery, ambery sweetness. As it develops though, this takes a much more woody path, the most prominent wood being pine, with a slightly burnt aspect. lt's resinous, but still sweet. Four or five hours in, there's a little vetiver, & later on a softly animalic base of castoreum along with labdanum. Nine hours in it's faded to a skin scent.
This may not be a "wow" perfume, but it is a very pleasantly comforting scent, & aptly named. Alfarom's comparison to "your favourite brown cashmere sweater you use for winter walks" describes it perfectly.
Nice. WW has a nice forest vibe going on with cedar and a slight incense. Kind of reminds me of a gourmand at first smell (New Haarlem wooded version). This is one that I will be purchasing in the near future. 8/10.
I mainly get Amber and some smokey vibe from it. Nothing like others experience of walking in the woods or some such thing. It is pretty linear, and the longevity is solid on my skin, 8+ hours. Can't comment on sillage, there's no one around to ask. Only thing is, I think others have done with scent better. Ambre 114 comes to mind. However I'm only experiencing this out of a 1ml sample vial, spraying it may bring out more complexity than what I'm experiencing. A very lovely scent, only loses points for originality.
For most of its duration, this is a deep burnished ambery oriental on my skin. The animalics give it a real sizzle of sensual heat. It has a boozy sweet tone which feels right and wraps the fragrance with richness and depth. It also has a retro 70's ambery vibe that is quite flirty. I don't know where the flirtatious quality is coming from as I'd say this is a fairly sophisticated amber with all that booze and castoreum, but the amber keeps it a little fun. Otherwise I might feel like Little Red Riding Hood being stalked by the wolf. I was pleased this fragrance stayed pretty much the same into the dry down as I liked what was going on with it.
Yet there's a downside. It's very long-lasting, at least 12 hours, at which point I scrubbed it off. After the 7th hour, most of the notes except the animalics had dissipated. These stayed, unadulterated and prominent. So, at the very end, the fragrance turned urinal and sour. If the amber had somehow been made to last as long as the castoreum, etc, this would have been a smashing fragrance. As it is, only the first part is. My only option, if I were to wear this, is to scrub it off after 7 hours. While I would be willing to do that, it also makes it not a keeper.
It's like meeting a guy at a party who wows you, bringing him home with you and having an incredible couple of hours. But with the slow coming of the dawn, you notice the charm has gone and all that's left is hormones, lying raw and smelly in your bed. You know he's not a keeper. How do you have that night time experience without waking up to Dracula in the morning? More importantly, how do you erase the morning-after picture in your head?
28th December, 2013 (last edited: 03rd May, 2014)