The short film that the Brothers Quay made to promote the new Comme des Garçons fragrance, Wonderwood, opens with the words "Someone who loved wood more than words can say...", and Comme des Garçons describes the fragrance as a "positive overdose of woods, woody notes and synthetic wood construction (wood gone mad)". They're not kidding. Have they not yet made the fragrance that screamed WOOD loud enough to suit you? Then do try Wonderwood.
Wonderwood was developed by perfumer Antoine Lie, and it includes all the wood notes a wood freak could ask for, plus some spices to liven things up: Madagascan pepper, bergamot, incense, nutmeg, cristalon (a floral fruity note with rosy, plum and apple nuances), cashmeran, gaiacwood, cedar, caraway, javanol (sandalwood), sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli and oudh. What is smells like, mostly, is — you guessed it — wood: deep, dense wood, charred but not quite smoky. The early stages are peppery, and there's a faint swirl of incense, and it all feels a bit raw and rough around the edges. Later, it's smoother and more intense, and it smells like all of the woods listed and then some — surely there is some pine? — with some earthy patchouli underneath. It's mostly dry but not bone-dry, and it's undoubtedly more masculine than feminine.
Wonderwood is not really the loudest of the loud woods. Yves Saint Laurent M7 is (or was; I have not smelled it lately and it may have been reformulated) louder, and so are some of the Montale oudhs, and undoubtedly other things that aren't coming to mind at the moment (do comment and name your loudest wood fragrance). But it certainly gives other wood-focused fragrances a run for their money. It lasts all day and then some: if you put it on first thing in the morning and then take a shower in the late afternoon, it will still be there come dinner time. It might well make a wonderful layering fragrance, but then again it might well eat up anything lighter.
I enjoyed wearing Wonderwood. It's well done and exactly what the ad copy says it is. Still, the little "buy" node in my brain did not light up. After a few days of wearing it, I held a little wood-fest and wore it next to some (admittedly somewhat random) wood favorites: Comme des Garçons' Monocle Scent One: Hinoki (harsh in a good way), Serge Lutens Santal Blanc (my bestest pencil shavings fragrance), Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood (oudh without the blunt force trauma) and Gucci Pour Homme (Kevin aptly pegs it as tranquil and dignified). Yep, I still love wood, I just don't love Wonderwood. But if you love wood, it's very much worth a try.
Comme des Garçons Wonderwood is available in 50 ($95) and 100 ($125) ml Eau de Parfum; for buying information, see the listing for Comme des Garçons under Perfume Houses.