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Knock on Wood: Eight Wonderful Woody Fragrances

Whether your favorite scent is a sparkling-green or a deep-white floral oriental, wood notes are the magic that give your fragrance its depth and staying power. Notes such as vetiver, oakmoss, amber, sandalwood, and oud are at the heart of fine perfumery. Because of their variety and versatility, fragrances with prominent woody notes have enjoyed a resurgence lately, but these notes have always made their presence known. Below, some of my favorites, both new and classic.
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  • Aromatics Elixir, by Clinique

    Introduced in 1971, Aromatics Elixir has had a devoted following ever since. Notes of rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, and vetiver combine to create a sparkling yet sultry classic.
    (_$21 for .34 ounces, clinique.com)

  • Bois de Paradis, by Parfums DelRae

    Spicy and fruity, Bois de Paradis opens big and stays that way. Intoxicating and beautifully made, its notes of citrus, French rose, blackberry, fig, spices, woods, and amber made me rethink my aversion to fruity floral perfumes.
    (_$135, luckyscent.com)

  • Harrods Oud, by Bond No. 9

    Harrods Oud is big, bold, exotic, and not for the faint of heart. Its combination of black pepper, cumin, amber, myrrh, oud, and vetiver will knock your socks off.
    (_$330 without Swarovski, $625 with Swarovski bondno9.com)

  • Sensuous, by Estée Lauder

    Sensuous is warm and inviting, but light enough for everyday wear. With its notes of ghost lily accord, magnolia, jasmine petals, molten woods, amber, sandalwood, black pepper, mandarin pulp, and honey, it’s been a hit since its release.
    (_$45 for a one-ounce bottle, estéelauder.com)

  • L’Air du Desert Marocain, by Tauer Perfumes

    Mystical and intense, L’Air du Desert Marocain will set you dreaming of the western deserts of Africa. Notes include coriander, bitter orange, lemon, bergamot, jasmine, geranium, cedar, vetiver, vanilla, patchouli, and ambergris.
    (_$125, luckyscent.com)

  • Ormonde Woman, by Ormonde Jayne

    Ormonde Woman is as mesmerizing as the deep woods in winter. It’s utterly unique, with notes including cardamom, coriander, black hemlock, violet, jasmine absolute, vetiver, cedar, amber, and sandalwood.
    (_$112 to $290, ormondejayne.com)

  • Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, by Hermes

    Sheer and watery, with undercurrents of smoke and flowers, Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is irresistible, with notes of lotus, green mango, grapefruit, calamus, sycamore, and incense. Find me a felucca and float me down the Nile!
    (_$80.61 for a 3.4-ounce bottle, amazon.com)

  • White Diamonds, by Elizabeth Taylor

    White Diamonds was introduced in 1991 and it remains the bestselling celebrity perfume of all time. As glamorous and feminine as Elizabeth Taylor herself, White Diamonds includes notes of lily, tagette oil, Egyptian tuberose, narcisse, muguet, jasmine, orris, amber, oakmoss and patchouli. Viva la Liz!
    (_$52 for a 1.7 ounce bottle, macys.com)

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