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.
I really think Colin and alfarom's reviews nail this scent. Industrial, natural, geometric.
I think it might be the pepper that gives an almost concrete like aroma at the beginning.
As alarm says, simple but not simplistic. All of the notes are laid out there and easy to see, but there's something about the interplay of what are really very familiar notes working together in a way I've never come across before. The cypress/grapefruit lasts from the opening throughout most of the scent's life, and its interplay with the iris and other notes teases, giving hints of something more floral that I can't quite put my finger on, leaving me fascinated and frequently coming back for more.
I get good longevity from this by CdG standards. Definitely a unisex scent that can be comfortably worn by anyone. I love Hinoki, but I think this is the best of the Monocle series.