Comme des Garçons launched White in 1996. It was conceived as a brighter, more floral (and presumably, more wearable) variation on the original Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum, and like that scent, was created by perfumer Mark Buxton. The fragrance notes include pomegranate, tagete, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, clove, nutemeg, cardamom, lily of the valley, white rose, amber and cedar.
The top notes, like those of the Eau de Parfum, are a blend of woods and heavy spices, but the medicinal undertones are largely absent, and the opening is thus less challenging, more conventional. Still, it doesn't go too far in that direction: the pomegranate cheers things up at the start, yet it remains subdued: White has nothing whatsoever in common with your average sugar-laden fruity floral.
The dry down still smells like the spiced sandalwood incense of the Eau de Parfum, and there are still hints (very mild) of something green and slightly bitter, but in keeping with its name, it is paler, not quite so uncompromising. All that remains of the smoldering pencil shavings is a wisp of smoke; the floral notes are, as advertised, brighter, but without being any more distinct. It has a velvety finish that doesn't quite go to powder, and while I don't think anyone would call it sweet, it manages to avoid the bone-dry, take-no-prisoners aspect of the Eau de Parfum.
White is easily more wearable than the Eau de Parfum, but happily, it doesn't feel dumbed down. The base retains a satisfying depth, and the lasting power is still quite good. It is entirely unisex, and a perfect scent for winter.
White is an Eau de Toilette, and is available in 50 ml bottles. For buying information, see the listing for Comme des Garçons under Perfume Houses.