I love this stuff. I sits right smack in the middle between two generations..old school, and "new" school. The herbal-ness, is definitely new school. And the aromatic-ness, and LOUDNESS of it, makes it an easy entry in the catagory of those powerhouse scents, from the 80s.
Olivier Polge, is a genius.
I used to own a bottle of this, but recently sold it. I can see it being fitting for somebody, but it just isn't me. First off this fragrance shouldn't be called "woody", it should be called "herbal".. by far one of the most herbal, if not, the most herbal designer fragrance I have ever smelled. The dry down I get more of the woods, but this is dominated by basil and rosemary. It also projects pretty big in the opening, so be careful, because you will smell like a spice cabinet.
Again, I'm sure it has a purpose for some people, as it caters to a specific crowd. If you're looking for an inexpensive herbal fragrance, and don't wanna spend all that money on niche, this could be for you.
This is a nice fragrance which has a good balance between both modern and classic elements.
At the start scent is very fresh.
I can smell lemon with it's tart and energetic aroma plus lots of pepper, some woods and a green kind of smell.
The pepper note is a bit strong at the start and may turns you down but give it a few minutes and it will settle down and goes into it's right place.
I can also smell some cedar plus a green and kind of minty smell that increases the freshness.
The opening is fresh, citrusy and green but dry, peppery and woody at the same time that you can say right from the start this is a masculine fragrance!
As time passes that tart and fresh lemon scent starts to get weaker and at the same time vetiver kicks in and gets bolder and bolder until dominate over all other notes.
In the mid I can still smell lemon but now softer beside much softer pepper note and some woods.
Te vetiver note is green, mossy and deep but still very fresh. the vetiver note in this fragrance kind of remind me of "Guerlain Vetiver" with that lovely classic feel. it's has almost the same feeling but not as dark, deep and complex as Guerlain. scent also has a soft clean and I would say soapy aura that it gets a little stronger in the base.
In the base I can smell almost the same thing but now vetiver is the strongest note of the fragrance with it's deep green and slightly smoky aura (not earthy at all) plus a fresh clean soapy smell and some woods in the background.
Also in this part scent gets a little sweet and slightly powdery which is a nice and interesting add.
Overall it's a solid fresh scent with very mature masculine aroma and also extremely versatile. you can rock this all year round easily but the best seasons to wear this are spring and summer in my opinion.
Projection is good and above average and longevity in the summer that I'm testing it is around 6-7 hours which is a very good number for a fresh scent.
15th July, 2015 (last edited: 18th July, 2015)
This “woody” flanker of Kenzo Homme is one of those fragrances you can’t really go wrong with. It has for me a remarkable balance of generic safeness and decent quality, and above all, it is really pleasant to wear. You won’t keep sniffing your wrists and you won’t hear underwear garments fall at your side, but you’ll smell nice, fresh and effortlessly, discreetly classy. Plus this fragrance is also extremely simple and clean, which is another “added value” in terms of versatility and wearabilty. Basically on my skin it smells literally of three or four bold and clear notes: some citrus, an initial ton of sharp minty-aromatic leafy green (the fairly realistic basil-mint accord) which will then slowly fade away, a really tiny hint of some soapy musk and a really enjoyable vetiver base which will emerge more clearly on the drydown – which is basically nearly only vetiver and some musk again. The vetiver here is grassy, fresh and woody, nothing forcedly “dark” or inky/smoky. I’d dare to compare it with the marvelous grassy vetiver note in Guerlain Homme Intense, just with a lower quality (surprisingly not that lower though, it smells actually really compelling). That’s it: nothing groundbreaking or memorable, rather the epitome of clean versatile safeness – something solid (and it really is for me, quality-wise) you can generously overspray on the rush in every situation with every weather, when you’re not in the mood of wearing something more fulfilling or complex.
Is this a woody scent? Well, yes and no. If you associate 'woody' with a more stereotypical image of tree trunks of the heavier robust kind, then no. Although the trunk is here too, albeit fresher and earthier, which might become more apparent when the base notes rise to the fore. But if you're thinking of twigs and leaves, or bamboo perhaps, then you will have a more accurate image.
Actually, I think this fragrance is a fine new addition to what woody might mean to be. And what do i mean with fine? Well, i must be thanking the holy noses out there when i spray this 'on', because this is another masterpiece in my experience. Many talk about Dior Homme as Olivier Polge's (single)masterpiece, but this, although entirely different, is just as much one.
You might go with the classical notion of top, heart and base to examen its composition, but you might miss its ingenuity if you do not consider the vertical aspect. The backbone of this vertical aspect is basil ( although listed as basil, i suspect it's actually tulsi). Everything in this composition is centered around basil. In the top the basil opens in an extraordinary accord with mint (and something else?). Probably not something everyone will like. I can only describe it as a fresh rubbery mixture. In the heart it transforms to an accord with rosemary (and some rests of mint?). And then the woody aspects of basil lingers in the base, not very prominent, but it gives a very interesting touch to the vetiver.
While this composition is very skeleton-like, the sheer brilliance of it is that it is not fleshed out, but left to linger or dance in a cloud /haze /mist. There's quiet a saltiness to that mist. Is it calone? It might be but it it cannot only be that. In the top that mist has notes of citrus, limonene and linalool (lavender). In the heart the pepper and the saltiness comes more pronounced, and in the base the cedar catches the mist. There's also a dash of coumarine and ionones present witch gives that mist a slight sweet woody tone.
A skeleton made of branches and twigs with the leaves left on, held together with stems of herbs, dancing in the mist along the seaside. That's the image i convey. Or smelling someone who just came back from a long walk along the seaside and the woods. Love it.
Of course there's preferences, perhaps this is not your thing, but at least even a slightly trained nose must realise this is a very finely crafted fragrance. Not for the masses, but top notch! It 'll become an overlooked classic, you'll see...