Monday, October 6, 2008

She Wood by Dsquared2 : Perfume Review

Last week I reviewed Dsquared2’s first scented offering, the masculine He Wood in quite glowing terms. Being a fan of the design duo, I wish I could be as positive about their second, newest fragrance She Wood – this time a feminine scent – but quite honestly I can’t. Especially true at the time of its European launch, back in 2007, He Wood was a quite unique entrance. Quite the opposite holds for She Wood, which seems uninspired and derivative, albeit truth be told, nowhere near offensive.

The bottle seems to be a dumbed down version of the masculine flacon, which I happen to love, once again a perfect square, but this time only utilizing wood on the top part instead of having it luxuriously encasing the tactile material. For She Wood the choice has been for a piece of North American walnut, which sits rather smug (and decidedly brown) on top of the pink juice, not really adding anything to the design, but actually making it look cheaper. I would have really preferred the old design, and most definitely a softer shade of wood as well – perhaps a bleached wood dyed soft grey? No matter, what’s the use of crying over the bottle if the juice inside is hardly worth speaking of? As with the masculine version, the top, middle and base notes are conceptualized as different accords, this time as Light, Sap and Wood respectively. The opening is punchy and energizing, utilizing a rather pretty bitter neroli note, but quite unfortunately not allowing it to reach its full, rather sensuous potential due to the distracting dry zesty notes that keep dancing around it. As the top notes fade, the fragrance becomes all the more compellingly familiar, creating this unsettling sense of déjà vu. It finally hit me today as I was testing this again, and a side by side comparison confirmed my suspicions: She Wood smells like a more intense version of Feerie, minus the dark berries, which as you might remember smells quite a bit like Love in Black (No wonder I am bored). Looking at the official notes, this comes as no surprise after all. They all have similar notes, but most importantly they are all heavy on violet and cedar. She Wood is not as dusty, even though it is still an intensely dry fragrance and it is far greener than the other two. Still even though it is more tenacious and intense, it somehow manages to feel both thinner and cheaper. The woody, musky drydown is insipid and far less smoky than its sisters and makes use of a quite prominent and slightly metallic vetiver note. The middle stage of the development is probably the most interesting with its smooth violet notes, but everything seems to slowly fall apart after that, as if the perfumer lost interest halfway. Not interesting enough to be declared awful, She Wood won’t send me to the sink for a scrub-off. However tolerable though, it can hardly be called a great scent either. It hangs somewhere in the middle: Inoffensive and indifferently likeable is more like it.

Images: http://sito.dsquared2.com


12 comments:

Jenavira13 said...

Apparently violets are the in note this season. You know I like walnut, but that bottle just looks tacky.

FragranceTalk said...

The bottle does look cheesy and kiddish. I heard this was an interesting scent though.

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Divina said...

Jen, that's what I noticed too.. It's strange isn't it, considering how many people have 'grandmarish' and 'old' association with the scent of violets. Quite intriguing, since the perfume industry has been trying so hard to appeal to the teen and tween crowd the last years.. Thankfully I love violets, but I know I will get bored if I keep smelling it over and over again. (The same thing happend to me with Iris..)

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Ines said...

Dear Divina,
I was wondering whether you were going to mention Love in Black because all I got was violets (again) and not in the full manner of Love in Black but rather bland. I wish I know what HeWood smells like because it sounds like so much more interesting than this one.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Oh dear... this bottle is rather unfortunate... what were they thinking? I agree Divina, a lighter wood or a gray shade would have been slightly better...

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I also don't usually like such a literal translation- they didn't need to use the wood...we get it!

Anonymous said...

yuck! Im with you all on the bottle, really ugly. What is the cap made of anyway? Looks like a copper pipe piece :-O

Christine

Divina said...

Hi Ines dear! Seems like we had the same reaction to this one. Yes, very bland, indeed... Is He Wood not available over there yet? I wish I knew cause I would have included a sample, but I have already sent your packet out I'm afraid :/

Divina said...

LOL @ the name, Daily, yes, I was thinking about that as well, especially in regards of the male one! Hahah... A bit tongue in cheek, no? Not very chic, in any case :P

Divina said...

Christine, even though I have held the bottle in my hands in Douglas lately, I'll admit I can't quite remember what it's made of! You're right though, in the pic it does look as though it's made of copper... Hope they weren't aiming for rose gold ;)

Ines said...

Unfortunately, neither is SheWood available (actually, that's not unfortunate). ;) I got the sample while swapping with a girl from Italy. Thanks for the nice thought though.