8/6/18

Norwegian Wood (Kanøn)



I recall a post about Grey Flannel a few years back, in which I commented about its use of alpha-isomethyl ionone, and how it resembles Indian sandalwood when skillfully blended with similar materials. I have a-ionone in isolation, and can report that at one percent concentration, it smells of wood with a hint of violet flower. There is little doubt that jugs of the stuff resides in a large number of masculine frags produced over the last forty years.

Norwegian Wood gets some buzz online for smelling of "sandalwood." A number of basenotes, fragrantica, and YouTube reviews mention a heavy sandalwood essence. Having worn the fragrance for a day, my take is far simpler: this is a pretty spare and uneventful a-ionone scent, and it is almost completely linear. Aside from a pinch of black pepper on top, and a drop of vanilla down below, there's nothing else to it. Pretty disappointing, especially since it barely projects (I might be anosmic to it, actually), and seems to last ten minutes on my skin.

Despite Shamu's glowing review on his Pour Monsieur blog, and some chatter about it on B&B, I don't think Norwegian Wood deserves any attention. It's priced at $29 for 100ml on Palm Beach Beaute's web site, which is a complete joke, and even at six dollars on discount shelves, it's a rip-off for anyone intending to use it as an EDT. On the plus side, it's a worthy alternative to English Leather aftershave (also an a-ionone bomb), which is where I think this one excels. Still, with Skin Bracer out there, you could do better. This frag is the definition of dull.


7 comments:

  1. Yeah, I bought this blind based on Shamu. It's crap for sure. I do love the original Kanon and wish they'd produce flankers that played on that one's structure a bit. I've always wondered what your thoughts on the original are....

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    1. I've seen the original for sale before, if I see it again I'll try and grab it.

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    2. I'd recommend it. It's odd, often compared to Royal Copenhagen, which I barely get at all. Starts sour, almost melon like, ends dry and Woody.

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  2. Very interesting article on the use of alpha-isomethyl ionone and when proportionately blended can smell like Indian Sandalwood.

    I can so imagine what the marketing departement was thinking while they came up with the Norwegian Wood name. (So it smells like wood? How about we call this... Norwegian Wood? - Like that Beatles song? Yes! And put a real wooden cap to enhance the perception! - Wooden cap? Isn't that expensive? - It isn't but it will look much more expensive! Ah! So we can ask more too! Haha Indeed!).

    Since this doesn't perform much more than an aftershave, I'll just stick to Elisabeth Arden Men Sandalwood, it's longer lasting and at least contains some real Sandalwood oil.

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    1. I think they had the Beatles in mind when they named it, yes. EA Sandalwood is a far better (and more natural smelling) fragrance with infinitely better longevity and projection, plus it has the added benefit of actually smelling like sandalwood.

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    2. Another thing: the cap isn't really made of wood!

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    3. My cap is definitely made of wood? Interesting.

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