With a name like Wonderwood I was expecting a pungent, macho blast straight from the woodyard but the opening of this fragrance came across to me as all peppery, androgynous frankincense. The peppery incense took a good five minutes to calm down and reveal any wood at all. First to arrive was cedar, and the combination of incense, pepper and cedar gives the frag a dry (but not dusty) warmth. For the next couple of hours the peppery incense and cedar dance together, with one or the other becoming the more prominent accord but rarely do I get the sense of both melded together. The black pepper remains in the background throughout, adding a cozy, almost dirty/clean spiciness. I really enjoy this effect. After about four or five hours the base is revealed as a sweet, resinous sandalwood, with perhaps a little oud. I am sure there are many more notes that my nose isn't subtle enough to distinguish, but to me cedar and sandalwood are the woods this fragrance is built around. Personally I don't get any vetiver at all which I know could be a disappointment for some; I am quietly pleased for myself, as I often find it embitters an otherwise pleasent drydown. Wonderwood lingers pleasantly on clothing and is especially enjoyable on a cozy sweater or leather jacket.
There isn't a particularly loud fragrance, projection is polite but still noticeable. With all the incense and wood I can definitely see the family resemblance between this and Comme des Garçons 2, although it is a more introverted sibling. It could certainly be read as the more masculine of the two, but I wear this very comfortably as a woman and it is quickly becoming my signature.
14th October, 2016 (last edited: 20th October, 2016)
Wonderwood is an odd one for me. In theory it should have been a no brainer because - a CdG scent comprising wood, wood and more wood? Sounds like it should be right up my alley.
I first sampled it on paper several times, and it just never agreed with me. I think it was the first scent I had ever smelled with a prominent synthetic oud accord and there was something about the way the nutmeg, woods, and oud combined that turned my stomach in the way they clashes. I think the nutmeg just had too many associations with custard tarts and the like.
So, a few years later I was lucky enough to be sent a sample and actually took the leap to sampling it on my skin, and the balance of notes worked much better for me. The nutmeg no longer seemed as prominent and I had several years if smelling various oud accords, and even some cheap oud oils, to acclimatise myself.
Wonderwood opens with a burst of pepper, some subtle bergamot, a little incense, and some nutmeg. It dries down into a very rounded and smooth woody heart with the pepper still handing around. The smooth texture seems to come from the synthetic sandalwood notes, as well as the smoothing effect I notice synthetic oud oil often has on many scents, and it reminds me a little of Montale's Dark Aoud.
Although often described as a sandalwood scent, it's the pepper and the oud that really stick out to my nose, while the sandalwood blends with other woods (a touch of cedar, some vetiver, and the bitterness of guiac wood) to give it body.
A nice, smooth, comforting scent that I am still getting my head around.
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.