Caran d’Ache is a Swiss company that’s known for high quality, luxury writing instruments. Even though they have some extravagant looking limited edition fountain pens, I love their ballpoints and pencils most. If you’ve ever clicked the mechanism on either mode, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They have some of the smoothest mechanisms – even on their everyday “Office” line (see the 849 here). But that’s lined up for another blog review. A few years back, I happily discovered their wood pencils. They’ve got some awesome variations on the classic wooden pencil that makes it so special and unique. Namely, the Caran d’Ache Edition Number 9 Pencil – Les Crayons Scented Geneve + Mizensir Limited Edition, is one of the more fun concepts.
The first, most obvious “cool factor” is the scented part. Admittedly, as a pencil guy, when I initially saw that it’s marketed as a scented pencil, I was very doubtful and thought it was just a gimmick. Yet, when I opened that box and the scent wafted up to my nostrils, I knew I was hooked. It’s definitely not just a gimmick. Ever since, I’ve gotten each release. I love how the scent even lingers on my fingers after I’m done writing! The No. 9’s scent is Mizensir’s “Alps Spirit” fragrance. Mizensir is Geneva’s specialist in candles and ambient fragrances. They describe it as having notes of patchouli, orange, and nutmeg. I could smell this awesomeness even through the plastic shrink-wrap, and it’s even better in the hand.
Functionally, the wood is incredibly strong and durable. It’s made of a high quality, noble species of wood. This Caran d’Ache Edition Number 9 Pencil is a combination of Poplar and Ayous woods. These are known for their robustness and lightness, as well as being easy to sharpen. I love the unique swirls and colors of all four pencils that come in the pack.
Of course, they are HB hardness, which is a nice middle-of-the-road hardness as far as I’m concerned. Usually I prefer a softer graphite (B or softer), but this is still a nice balance of soft and darker, as well as firm. I like how easy it is to erase my numerous mistakes when taking notes. Speaking of balance, this pencil feels great in the hand. It’s not too light, and not too heavy. You can definitely feel you have a quality wooden pencil that goes way beyond average.
What do you think? Do you have yours yet? You can check it out here.