Dana (1936)

Average Rating:  59 User Reviews

Your ratings



Canoé by Dana

Fragrance Overview Where to Buy Reviews Community Ownership

About Canoé by Dana

People & Companies

Fragrance House
Jean Carles
Marc Rosen
Packaging / Bottle Design

Canoé is a men's fragrance launched in 1936 by Dana

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Where to buy Canoé

Some of the links we use are affiliate links, meaning if you click the links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, which helps us keep the site running

Reviews of Canoé by Dana

There are 59 reviews of Canoé by Dana.

It opens with a pleasant mix of lavender, citrus, clary sage, and geranium, but all that goes poof within minutes. Then you'll be overwhelmed by an immensely cloying powdery vanilla. When I say overwhelmed, understand that Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski used to splash Canoe on himself to mask the smell of decomposing corpses around him. True story.

How much you can enjoy this depends greatly on your tolerance for a talcum powder blitzkrieg. It certainly doesn't work well in hot climates. It's basically a higher concentration Pinaud Clubman - both cannot escape the top hat, monocle, and cane vibe. I can see why in Europe from the 1930s up until the 1990s Canoe was marketed to women, not men. Maybe it's just me, but it's not that often I want to smell like a French puttan. (Anyone catch that reference?)

Masculinity Level: Baron Victor Frankenstein from the Hammer Horror films.

I purchased Canoe based on its comparisons to Pinaud Clubman Aftershave. While I do appreciate the scent of Canoe, it goes in a slightly more powdery and vanillic direction. Though it is still strikingly similar and wearable, I want something that keeps the fresher more vibrant aspects of Clubman without trailing to a powdery vanillic scent. Penhaligon's Sartorial is definitely in the right direction, however, it comes off too upscale and formal "try hard" than Clubman, also I think it is discontinued. The classy old world vibe of Clubman with a casual and modern feel is what I am trying to find. Maybe a more casual version of Sartorial? If you have any suggestions please let me know. Cheers

It smells a lot like an EdT version of Pinaud Clubman- the ultimate American 'barbershop" scent. Almost every old school barbershop in USA had the Clubman aftershave and talc.

If you're a wetshaver type and like Clubman, you're crazy not to own Canoe. It really lengthens and extends that distinctive Clubman scent. You'll feel fresh from the barber all day long. And it's super inexpensive.

Being a mature guy, I can feel more comfortable wearing this than many.

First of all, an admission. Canoe is one of my favourites, both in the modern version, and the vintage which is richer, deeper and more complex; but both of them lack the fresh vitality of the reconstructed form held by the Osmothèque. It's like seeing a favourite oil painting after the restorers have stripped away the grime; the extra detail is exciting - and shocking in its clarity.

An aldehydic heliotrope fougère with pale tree fruits, Canoe also has a sweet powdery floral, and hard woody & metal-polish notes. Going by the Osmothèque sample, the original had a strong bergamot and citrus tang in the head, and a lick of civet in the base.

It has a hard feel, like a functional household smell: metal polish and waxed wood come to mind, notes which can be found in other thirties fougères such as Je Reviews and Blue Grass. In Canoe, the dour smelling metal polish, aldehyde and waxed woody notes are softened with powder, and sweetened with tree fruits, which makes them feel less functional. This 'housewife' accord, a sort of 'feminine in a pinafore' is quite different to the classic 'floral frock' we are used to.

But if Canoe really started life as a feminine then Dana had to rethink their marketing strategy as it started trending on the masculine market. This was possibly when the umlaut was dropped from the name and "can-o-way" became " canoo".

With its citrus and bergamot head, and lavender - geranium - coumarin body, Canoe has the architecture of a fougère. And this decorated with feminine themes: florals, powder, fruits. The contrasts that arise from this create an interesting - and for the era - adventurous feel of gender ambiguity. This is one of the strengths of Canoe, but it gave Dana some difficulty in knowing who to market their product to when men started to take it up and wear it.

The modern version smells quite different, neutered and less shapely, but it's still markedly old fashioned when compared to an Osmothèque re-creation. For whatever reason - maybe Canoe is too different to modern perfume, or too challenging perhaps, or simply because of a cheap formula - it tends to be overlooked these days.

There is one more point on formulation. Canoe's perfumer Jean Carles created three different versions of Shocking for Schiaparelli, so it's possible that more than one version of Canoe was drawn up. Who knows?

Old fashioned - it may be, and largely ignored these days, but Canoe is still historically significant. It draws on four important strands of perfumery: the aldehydic, the floral (in an unusual variant), the fougère and the fruity perfume.
And being ambiguously gendered, Canoe was an important precursor of modern mixed perfume.

Along with Fougère Royale and Azzaro pour Homme, Canoe is one of the milestones of the genre.

Rating : between *** and ***** depending on the formulation.

Smells remarkably similar now to the scent of the late 1970s and 80s. Starts out smelling like Brut, which is bad. During the drydown the offending patchouli-moss-cedar mixture goes away, and this fragrance becomes a lovely, dignified stroll down a lane lined by lavender, geraniums, and heliotrope in full bloom.

My memory of Canoe isn't good after not having smelled it since the mid-80s. I liked it alright, but not nearly so well as my Uncle or my brother, who both liked it well enough to make it their signature scents.

I think of it as very dated at this point, but it's cheap now so you might give it a try as a budget cologne or try the aftershave.

I'd give it a 2.5 out of 5

Show more reviews of Canoé...

Add your review of Canoé

You need to be logged in to add a review.

Log in here, or register


Canoé by Dana Perfume Ad Campaigns

in the Community

From the forums

Recently Viewed on this device

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...