Holiday scents #7 - Comme de Garcons "Wonderwood"
The note pyramid reads like an ode to wood: timber all the way down: wood without end through all stages, timber seasoned with pepper. The opening, though, is all vetiver. To my nose, this is not the vetiver of Encre Noire, i.e., wet, natural, and as gothic as a Victorian's nightmare; nor yet of Guerlain's vetiver, which is all grassy manicured lawns. This is vetiver in its pencil-shavings instantiation, dry and lacking in dimension, or any support from the other woods listed.
So you have to give CdGW some time before its best features emerge. Eventually they do: the remaining woods make an appearance and round out the whole picture, giving the lasting impression of real living wood rather than chips or offcuts. By the end, a touch of hardly detectable sweetness and fullness appears. The vetiver stays throughout, but in the drydown is accommpanied by the other notes as a supporting cast, all working to add depth and a dignified vibrancy to the main component. It's a little like the "Vetiver Concerto".
In short, I like CdGW a lot for its development and successful take on just-wood, highly recommend a try, and put both thumbs up here. I suspect it would work better in more temperate climes than the 30C+ heat I am currently in, and you might want to apply it at least two hours before doing anything important, but these are the only caveats.
09th August, 2016 (last edited: 30th August, 2016)
This smells good and it is extremely easy to wear. When I say it I mean it. It's one of those fragrances that are just friendly and simple. Nothing weird about it. At a first try, nothing shocking, it's not one of those perfumes that you need to get used to with time. You just love it. Nice and easy.
It has a downside. No projection. It disappears almost after 30 minutes. I used an entire bottle and I think that I only got a compliment once, when I was talking to someone and I had this person really close.
Conclusion: this is not a perfume to mark an impression, this is a perfume you use for just the personal and individual pleasure of spraying it on yourself. So nice. I can absolutely recommend it.
Cannot smell it myself after 10 mins but my wife likes it.
Wonderwood opens with bergamot and a blast of spicy blended woods, bolstered by a soft, creamy cashmeran and sandalwood middle and base. The vetiver is quite pronounced and reminds me of the way vetiver is used in Sycomore, though I dare say I like this more synthetic fragrance better because it somehow seems fuller and cozier to my nose—more filled-out. The cushiony base reins in the cedarwood, cypress, and vetiver, which would otherwise be too sharp for my taste.
Longevity and sillage are better than average, and this scent reminds me a lot of fall. This is a good projector, too. If you like lots of wood with a smooth base, and don't mind the less-than-natural take on the ingredients listed, this one is for you.
24th November, 2015 (last edited: 06th January, 2016)
This one is so comfortable it’s the tracksuit bottom of woody fragrances; therein its main virtue (so supple, easy and everyday) and its main drawback (too easy and everyday).
Wonderwood is a peppery cedar with a high clear frankincense that wears light and fresh despite the evident spicing. Many CdG perfumes take an approach with natural notes that is akin to airbrushing – the note is recognizable but it is lifted and smoothed and buffed to the point that somehow takes it out of nature.
I have a soft spot for woody perfumes, but this one left me wanting due to its uberpolished execution; which perhaps also explains the reviews that go, ‘I don’t normally like woody perfumes, but this one did it for me’. The whole is brought together with finesse, it just fails to excite me. A shame as the name is so evocative and enticing.
Oud is mentioned in the notes list but is so apologetic it seems hardly worth mentioning.