Some of you may remember the hoops Kevin had to jump through in order to get his hands on Dsquared2's debut scent, He Wood, last year. Thanks to the glory that is Nordstrom, my story is happier, but less entertaining: I just walked in, picked up the tester, and asked them to make me a sample. Done.
I've never been able to make up my mind about He Wood. I like it well enough and find it pleasant to wear, but I'm not wildly enthusiastic: the dry down is maybe a bit more clean and a bit less wood than I'd prefer. Regardless, it's certainly not the über-masculine concoction you might expect from the name and the packaging; in fact, He Wood apparently has plenty of female fans already, and Dean and Dan Caten, the founders of the DSquared2 label, took pains to point out that they weren't after something über-feminine with She Wood:
...they wanted to create a modern woman's scent for the "cool girls who wear men's scents."
"We started from a men's fragrance and made it feminine. We didn't start off by saying let's do woman's fragrance," said Dean Caten.
"It's not that girly that we can't wear it, I like doing fragrances that are a bit more unisex. Both of our scents are complementary and timeless," Dan Caten added. (via wwd, 5/16/2008)
Like He Wood, She Wood was developed by perfumer Daphne Bugey, and the woody floral centers on three themes: light (lemon, jasmine, neroli), sap (violet, heliotrope and musk) and wood (cedar, vetiver and vegetable amber). I'd agree it isn't so girly a man couldn't wear it, but it's clear they wanted at least a touch of girly in the top notes to attract those women giving it a quick shot on paper at the fragrance counter; the opening ventures briefly into mainstream pink 'n fruity territory. When it settles down, the heart is a mild, rather bland floral, with the violet and pale woody-earthy notes of He Wood wrapped here in a soft vanillic gauze.
Like He Wood, She Wood is quiet — almost a skin scent. Unlike He Wood, which like it or hate it, at least had the virtue of not smelling like every other men's fragrance on the market, She Wood isn't interesting or unusual enough to stand out from the (massive) competition. I had no trouble at all making up my mind: it's fine and very wearable, but I don't need any. It's worth a try (almost everything is worth a try), but if you're a cool girl who wears men's scents, you might be better off with He Wood.
Dsquared2 She Wood is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products.