You think you can only find real powerscents from the 70's and 80's back catalog? Wrong. Kanon Agarwood, along with One Man Show Gold, is a powerhouse for this decade. I can't believe I'm saying this about an oud fragrance. I'm not a fan of oud, and I have yet to smell (until now) a really bad ass fragrance where oud is a major player. Sorry, but M7 is NOT a powerhouse fragrance. A great scent, absolutely, but no powerhouse. Though strong and powerful, oud fragrances are too refined to qualify, with their niche-y, artsy fartsy smell.
Let me start this review by saying this: if you are an oud fanatic, don't waste your time with Kanon Agarwood. Obviously at $20 for a 100 ml. bottle, you're not going to get real agarwood in this. Obviously the oud is synthetic. You're not getting Montale-level quality here, so just move along and don't bother with this one. You're going to hate it anyway.
I don't know who Kanon intended to market this fragrance for. What I do know is that this is a true, bareknuckles powerhouse. This juice is STRONG. In fact, it's even heavier and more powerful than many of the great 80's muscle frags. Even the color of the juice - a dark orangey red color - is retro, reminiscent of old 70's cheese fragrances like the original Bill Blass For Men.
Before I sprayed this on, I had a preconceived notion that it would not smell anything like agarwood. I almost laughed out loud at its totally crude, overblown attempt at the smell of oud. It's loudly medicinal, with no subtlely or complexity at all. But you know what? Who gives a shit? I certainly don't, because this is a good fragrance regardless of its hack job on the oud accord.
The people who will be satisfied with Kanon Agarwood are guys who like their fragrances loud and aggressive. It is bludgeoning and brash, and is one fragrance I can honestly say you do NOT want to overspray. I wore five shots of this the other night, and my brain felt numb after an hour. This is eye-wateringly powerful, and if you're not careful with the application, you'll feel like you've been poisoned. This is in the One Man Show Gold/Lapidus Pour Homme realm of brutality.
What does it smell like? It has the dense, thick texture of 80's heavyweights like Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui. Please keep in mind that this fragrance is so dense and jam-packed, it may be hard for me to accurately identify the notes in it, so bear with me. It starts off with a giant explosion of synthetic, medicinal oud, which is powerful in itself and smells good. Pretty soon the oud is overpowered by almost toxic levels of rosewood. The rosewood smell stays for about an hour or so. The drydown is also a firestorm - labdanum, patchouli, amber, moss and cedar create an inferno of smell that never lets up until, oh I don't know, maybe eight hours later. This juice kills.
One complaint I have is that after a few hours, the synthetic nature of its ingredients becomes blatantly obvious, and it develops an unpleasant, plasticine smell. This is another reason you can't overdo this fragrance. Just a couple of spritzes will give you more than enough power, and it will spare you from having to suffer through the plastic smell later on in the drydown.
What I especially like about Kanon Agarwood is that it's very 80's in style. That 80's smell comes on full force late in the drydown, when the labdanum, moss and patchouli is right out in the open. In fact, Kanon Agarwood reminds me of some of the mean-ass powerhouse perfumes for women from that decade - Fendi Per Donna comes to mind immediately. However, don't think this is a feminine smelling fragrance, even though a woman could pull it off well; a lot of 80's macho frags like Giorgio For Men and Sung Homme can be just as easily worn by women, for example. Don't worry. Kanon Agarwood has plenty of in-your-face swagger.
This is a niche fragrance snob's worst nightmare.
MY RATING: 7.5/10
Fragrance House: Kanon