Comme des Garcons has some really quirky packaging. From the plastic dummy bottles in the Guerrilla series to the unfolding metallic box in the LUXE series, their packaging (though not the most luxurious, is definitely some of the most original. Comme des Garcons EDP, released in 1994, is no exception. It comes in a simple white card stock box with plain black printing on it. Open the box and the bottle is presented in something you might expect to save meat in the freezer with. The “as-seen-on-TV” style pouch seems to cover all the bottles of the same shape from CdG that I’ve tried. I’m still not completely sold on the bottle shape – though it serves its purpose quite well, it has a hard time sitting next to others in a collection. It ends up just being plunked there in the front.
As for the scent, it can certainly hold its own. This 1994 EDP is a melange of spices, loaded with clove and hot cinnamon. It advertises itself to work like a medicine and behave like a drug – though I don’t find the opening quite as medicinal as some, it is undoubtedly intense and slightly medicinal, perhaps due to the camphorous notes that you’ll find in the top. I find a good bit of rose throughout, but it’s never overly floral – merely a supporting note. It settles nicely into a smoother cedar and sandalwood-rich scent with the black pepper present through most of the day. Longevity on me is superb, which is not a surprise with its nearly 20% concentration. Sillage is above average for me on this one – I wore it yesterday and felt at times that I was leaving a trail a bit more tenacious than I usually like to. 12 hours into it, the GF (wife in a month – woo!) had her interest piqued and pressed her face into my neck to exclaim how good it smelled.
From what I gather, this scent was reformulated and the new version is now made in Spain. Some reviews point to the reformulated version as being lighter and less intense, but I’ve only tried this version (French made version), so I can’t compare. There don’t seem to be many good pictures of it online, but the ones that I have seen of the newer one (on Luckyscent and Dover Street Market sites) look considerably lighter in color. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily always point to a noticeable shift in ingredients.
I’ve done the hand sample a few times with Passion Boisée by the house of Frapin. Its notes lead me to think it would be right up my alley:
Tangerine, nutmeg, rum, oak moss, clove, leather, patchouli, cedarwood (courtesy of Luckyscent)
While it’s quite nice, it isn’t grabbing me like other scent with those notes. It opens very oddly – like freshly cut cedar with overtones of paint and fingernail polish. It’s pretty sharp and abrasive out of the gates which doesn’t bother me – it’s actually the most interesting part. It, however, dries relatively quickly into a cedar and nutmeg combo with the other notes hiding meekly behind. I think it would be perfectly suited for someone looking for a well made, close wearing cedar scent, but if you already have a couple that you love, you won’t find any surprises here. I would give it a 6/10 for my own tastes. I’d happily wear it if I had it, but wouldn’t buy it over any number of similar scents. I think an over application may be in order to try to discover some of those other notes.