What kind of scent is conjured up in your mind by the words "wood gone mad"? Not, I reckon, a scent like Wonderwood, although that's precisely the term CdG are using to describe the latest addition to their 'pebble bottle' range. My nose does, unquestionably, read it as woody, but far from finding anything remotely psychotic about its take on timber, I see it as displaying a balanced air of sanity. The key players in its heart are the pencil-shaving notes of cedar, the smokiness of clean frankincense and the familiar pseudo-sweaty raunch of vetiver, which eventually give way to the powder and spice of IFF's Cashmeran. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the fragrance, but if this review sounds a little lukewarm, then that's probably because my longing for something surprising to spring up in the middle of this lumber yard was left unfulfilled. As an experiment in a wholly wood-based perfume, this is certainly interesting - and it's much more wearable than most of the forgettable fodder that gets released at this time of year - but it also serves to highlight the importance of contrast. Wonderwood's closest cousins are Gucci's Pour Homme and CdG's own 2 Man, fragrances which I admire for their ability to bring out the characteristics of what appears to be a single note (cedar and candle smoke respectively) by setting it against a suitably different background. Had Wonderwood displayed similar skill, it may well have risen to the majestic altitudes of a giant sequioa.
For the next few weeks, Selfridges is one of the only places where Wonderwood is available, but the friendly CdG staff at the London branch have kindly provided me with one sample to give away to a reader of this blog. If you'd like to enter the draw, then please leave a comment on this post.
Please note: i) the draw will be open only for a few days, after which the comment facility will be disabled; ii) the winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog; iii) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; iv) by entering the draw, you indicate that customs regulations in your country permit you to receive an alcohol-based perfume posted from the UK; v) if the sample is lost in transit, it will not be possible for a replacement to be sent; vi) the address of the winner will not be kept on record, nor will it be passed to any third parties; vii) Persolaise takes no responsibility for the composition of the scent, as regards potential allergens and/or restricted materials.
[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum obtained in 2010; fragrance tested on skin.]
UPDATE 3rd July 2010: The draw is now closed. A big thank you to everyone who entered. To find out if you're the winner, please click here.