Archive for the ‘Christian Dior’ Category

Dior Dune pour Homme Review

July 6, 2009

Saturday was the Green Sniff n Speak day over at Basenotes. I took the opportunity to revisit one of my favourite summer scents, Dior’s fantastic Dune pour Homme, first launched in 1997.

Dune pour HommeDune opens on sharp Bergamot, and wet green leaves. It’s like leaves that still have raindrops on them. The sharpness is left behind quickly, and it becomes smooth.
There is a distinct Fig note in the heart, creamy and milky (like when you cut a leaf open and the milky looking liquid comes out) and rich, as well as perfectly ripe – just taken off the tree. The Fig is surrounded by an aquatic, watery feeling note – the effect Hedione helps creates in fragrances.
The verdant “green-ness” is maintained throughout the fragrance, is somewhat tart and reminds me of Rhubarb leaves.
The aquatic note recedes for the drydown and Dune is left as a soft, fuzzy and comfy Cedarwood and Tonka combination, which although not innovative, is very pleasant and enjoyable

Top: Fig Leaves, Basil Leaves, Blackcurrant Leaves, Mandarin
Middle: Hedione, Rose, Moss, Sage
Base: Fig Tree, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir Review

April 14, 2009

Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir is a 2007 limited edition version of the perennial best seller Eau Sauvage, formerly reviewed here. As the name suggests, it’s highlight is a ‘fresh’ Leather note. Francois Demachy, LVMH’s in-house perfumer, created the updated version of the classic, and did a fantastic job. I am not normally a fan of Leather scents, but ESFC is light enough that I think it would work for anyone.

esfcA sweet sherbet Lemon note is present in the opening, alongside the Aramis-like leather note. I say ‘Aramis-like’. It smells similar, but it’s nowhere near as heady or overpowering as Aramis can be. Another point is that Fraicheur Cuir is not as dusty in the opening as the original Eau Sauvage. It is also similar to Chanel’s Pour Monsieur, with a sweet-citrus-chypre feeling.
The Eau Sauvage-y opening fades away and creates a green Leather chypre. It’s not at all heavy or thick, rather light and bright with a softness that is hard to find the right words for. It’s warm, and certainly feels like Chanel No 19, but without the potent Iris note and the vegetal thickness.
The drydown is slightly ‘wet’ feeling, with the warm leather note being supported by a moss-y note. I think the Chypre illusion created here by synthetic molecules (read: not Oakmoss, even though it smells oakmoss-y) is very convincing and should be taken as proof that losing Oakmoss itself as an ingredient doesn’t mean the end of the Chypre family, as long as the classics are treated with care.

Top: Sicilian Lemon
Middle: Hedione, Aromatic Herbs, Cedar
Base: Chypre Accord, Ambery Leather

Miss Dior Review

March 7, 2009

It’s the first Saturday of the month, which means it’s Sniff ‘n’ Speak day at Basenotes. March is the month of the Chypre, and Miss Dior is an absolute classic of the genre.

missdiorShe opens with a simultaneously sharp and bitter floral note, as well as something boozy, reminiscent of bay rum to me. It’s loud, but in no way harsh. But whats surprising about Miss Dior is that it comes across as more unisex to me, maybe not so much of the “Miss”.
The heart is powdery, warm, ambery Labdanum with the Oakmoss playing a huge role, with it’s ‘fairytale’ smoky quality. The florals feel scorched and burned, but also dried out and similar to a pot pourri. None of the floral notes are particularly prominent.
The drydown is dry smoky Oakmoss and green Patchouli, with a soft Leather and Vanilla in the background, as well as a downright dirty and almost fecal Jasmine. It’s difficult to imagine this on a “Miss” though, she’d probably be buying “Miss Dior Cherie”.

Top: Gardenia, Galbanum, Bergamot, Clary Sage
Middle: Jasmine, Narcissus, Neroli, Rose
Base: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum, Sandalwood

Fahrenheit Review

February 15, 2009

Fahrenheit, according to Chandler Burr, was originally going to be the fragrance that ended up as Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. The success of that would have been interesting to see, but apparently Dior lost their bottle and changed it to the fragrance we know now at the last minute.

fahrenheitFahrenheit’s top notes are a blast of ‘deep heat’, the stuff that you put on sports injuries, but with a cold feel instead of a burning smell. Bitter and pungent, something that feels like Anise and Cloves, and with a sweet spicy note, not a spice cupboard one. Also, there is a camphor or menthol note up top with the Violet Leaves pretty much walking centre stage and shouting it’s lines out.
Then something medicinal comes along, as well as something that smells oily or like fuel of some kind. Of course, the Violet Leaves are still here. What shocks me about Fahrenheit is that it’s so loud all the way through it’s development. It seems like it’s related to Ultraviolet, but an icy version (rather than the warm spicy sugar that UVman is).
The drydown is just Violet Leaves to me. They never go away, and just get more and more tenacious. I think I must be hyperosmic to some violet leaf chemicals, because I always seem to notice the note. The loudness of this note in Fahrenheit is what makes me dislike it.

Top: Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Mandarin, Bergamot
Middle: Sandalwood, Violet Leaves, Nutmeg, Carnation
Base: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Leather

Eau Sauvage Review

February 13, 2009

Eau Sauvage is the classic masculine Dior fragrance. Created back in 1966 and still on shelves today, for good reason. Eau Sauvage is famous for including a high dose of Hedione in the formula, to give a luminous, lightly floral character. It, or one of it’s many similar spinoffs, deserves a place in any man’s wardrobe.

eausauvage1Eau Sauvage opens with an interesting play on textures, dry and dusty, with a somehow wet and soapy Lemon note, similar to DKNY Woman. But sharper, crisp, and clean, with a sherberty quality to it.
Moving on to a green, leafy floral heart, still maintaining it’s soapy clean quality. Clear and bright, feeling masculine with the wet grean leaves and it’s dusty feel is persistent. It reminds me at this point of Caron’s Troisiemme Homme.
The powdery, woody feeling base is thick, not soft and bright like many modern masculines. It also has a musky, leathery feel, which reminds me of Aramis, but cleaned up, and a green note from the oakmoss.
Base point for hundreds of copy-cats, Eau Sauvage is the king of clean, soapy masculines.

Top: Lemon, Rosemary, Petitgrain, Basil
Middle: Jasmine, Rose, Carnation, Orris
Base: Vetiver, Oakmoss, Musk

Dior Homme Review

December 17, 2008

The final part of my Dior Homme series is the review of the original Dior Homme. Launched in 2005, and designed by Olivier Polge, Dior Homme is my favourite male fragrance. I think it to be very refined, and hope it remains on the shelves for the next 30 (at least) years, much like the other Dior classics, Eau Sauvage, Miss Dior and co, have remained on the shelves. The prominent use of Iris seperated it from many male fragrances, especially when most other releases were (and still seem to be) aquatics.

I must be honest and say that the first time that I smelled Dior Homme, I didn’t like it. I’d sprayed it on a tester card, diorhomme1and thought it smelled of nothing but wet card and talcum powder. I discarded the card and didn’t bother looking at it again. I’m so pleased that I went about sampling other fragrances, especially those that contain Iris, because once I returned to Dior Homme 2 years later, I fell head over heels in love with it. So to anyone sampling fragrance, I want to tell you this: tester cards tell lies about fragrances. Dior Homme needs to be tried on the skin. Also, I don’t understand where the association with lipstick or makeup bags came from. It doesn’t smell remotely makeup bag-like. Dior Homme is a compliment monster.

I sprayed Dior Homme on this morning and am immediately reminded of why I love it: today, a very cold and crisp Winter day, it smells lightly Citrus and Chocolatey (Bergamot and Cocoa). When I spray it on in the middle of summer, it smells more Aromatic, (this must be the Sage and Lavender) and slightly powdered and dry (Iris). What happens quite quickly is that Iris heads centre stage and coats everything with it’s dry, talcum powdery scent, and the top notes take a backseat while this happens – they are still there, but just watching before they head on home. Amber usually makes fragrances warmer, but I think Dior Homme remains suitably cool when Amber should be making it’s presence known.

As the fragrance hits it’s drydown, it turns from powdery Iris to a soft Leather jacket, followed by a sweet musky Patchouli and slightly smoky Tobacco. Don’t be concerned – this Patchouli is not in drag like Midnight Poison – it’s very soft and pleasant. Dior Homme is a true gentleman in all his guises.

Top: Sage, Lavender, Bergamot
Middle: Iris Concrete, Cocoa, Amber
Base: Vetiver, Patchouli, Leather

Dior Homme Cologne Review

December 17, 2008

Dior Homme Cologne was the first flanker to Dior Homme, and was launched in 2007. Cologne is probably the consumer friendliest of the original Dior Homme fragrances, but also possibly the most feminine of the bunch. Though the larger flacon does look more imposing amongst my fragrances.

diorhommecologneThe first impression of Dior Homme Cologne is that it is very citrus-y. This is not unusual for a Cologne. The Citrus note is quite bright though, almost as though a lemon has been freshly squeezed out of the bottle for you.

The great player of Dior Homme, Iris, also makes a wonderful play here in Cologne. It’s a pleasing twist on the original Cologne theme. The Iris note here is made warmer, and more powdery, almost as though another great powdery floral, Helitrope, has been added. Heliotrope reminds me of Ghost Sweetheart, a sticky-sweet powdery-floral feminine. But Tangerine and Orange Blossom both follow the Iris into the heartnoes, and sweeten it somewhat, reminding me of one of the many faces of Guerlain’s beautiful Cologne du 68.

The drydown is again, a very soft Leather, with Iris.

Top: Bergamot, Tangerine, Orange Blossom
Middle: Iris
Base: Vetiver, Leather

Dior Homme Intense Review

December 17, 2008

Dior Homme Intense was the second flanker to Dior Homme, and is the second in my Dior Homme Series of reviews. It was a limited edition, but has recently been reissued, which is very good news. The darker bottle and packaging of Intense gives a clue of what the fragrance smells of, which makes a change – usually things are called Black (ie; Dunhill Black, which smells Grey, not Black), Extreme (Paul Smith Extreme is a completely different fragrance to Paul Smith Man), or Intense, and smell either nothing like the original or the name is not an accurate description of the fragrance.

Dior Homme Intense is the Gourmand of the series, immediately sweeter than the original Dior Homme. It most certainly gives the most impressive sillage and longevity, and catches more attention than the other Dior Homme fragrances, so is probably best suited for a clubbing fragrance.

When I first spray Intense, I smell warm, almost molten Chocolate.  Iris (the soft, powdery floral note that caused so much stir when the original Dior Homme was launched) appears after the initial blast wears away, and transforms the fragrance into a powdered Chocolate scent.diorhommeintense

As the fragrance progresses, I catch a very strong sweet note appearing. This is reminiscent of M7, but it is certainly not Oud. After a little digging around the internet for the notes, I found out that this is caused by Ambrette (also known as Hibiscus seed). Ambrette seeds, if you’ve never smelled them, are used in the place of ingredients like Civet (a secretion from a cats glands), and are slightly musky and animal smelling, but also lightly fruity and sweet.

There is something Leathery and a Smoky Tobacco note in Intense, but it is hidden by much of the sweetness.

Top: Lavender
Middle: Iris, Hibiscus Seed
Base: Cedar, Vetiver

Dior Homme Sport Review

December 17, 2008

Over the past week, I’ve been off work suffering from a chest infection. This has left me with plenty of free time, and as my sense of smell is in no way hampered by the infection (it’s not a cold!), I’ve taken the time to write a series of reviews of the Dior Homme family of fragrances. I’m starting with 2008’s Sport, the most recent release from the house.

As part of my job, I go on training courses ran by the companies that own the fragrance brands. I remember the day I first smelled Dior Homme Sport, because it was the same day I smelled Insolence EdP for the first time (which is an absolutely stunning Violet fragrance, jacked up on steroids and fizzy pop), and fell in love with it, as well as the new Guerlain Homme (which made me order a Mojito at the bar opposite the Cardiff hotel where the training took place afterwards, and resulted in a very drunk and loud train journey home). Before we sniffed the fragrance, the rep from LVMH gave us all a glass of Ginger Beer, with lots of fresh lemon in it. I didn’t like the ginger beer very much. It stopped me being able to smell the fragrance properly, too.

diorhommesportDior Homme Sport is bright. Very bright. This is due to a large dose of citrus, mostly Lemon, but backed up with Bergamot and Grapefruit – it must intend to be White Grapefruit, because it’s almost bitter. As I press my nose to my arm again, I can almost see Lemon rind on the counter top, it’s been grated to go into the topping of a cheesecake that my friend baked – it was the best cheesecake I ever ate. The citrus is also slightly soapy, and fresh from the shower.

But the extremely bright Lemon is not alone here, which is how it feels in Allure Homme Sport Cologne. It’s brought a friend, a very brash and loud Ginger. Ginger brings a great spicy asset to the fragrance. Most of the Sport fragrances on the market are citrus and shower fresh, but there isn’t much else to them. Ginger is the reason Dior Homme Sport is different, and in my opinion, better, than those others.

A light Aromatic accord plays in the background, almost as if it were the harmony in a song to Lemon and Ginger’s leading role. Also, there is something fizzy in here. Fizzy seems to be the word I use to describe Cedar lately – it is the same fizzy sensation I get from Armani Diamonds, and Comme des Garcons H&M. The drydown is a soft, dry woody fragrance, with a slightly salted vetiver note.

Top: Citron, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Middle: Ginger, Elemi, Lavender
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Sandalwood