Monday, July 6, 2009
Do you love the demurely cloying smell of iris? If you don’t, then you will half-justifiably find Dior Homme unbearably sweet and perhaps overtly feminine, which to me is usually a sigh the individual lacks self-confidence and poise. Touted by Dior as a “masculine iris, a skin fragrance with an addictive grace,” Dior Home was the 4th fragrance to be launched by Dior’s new artistic director for men’s fragrances, Hedi Slimane. Created by Olivier Polge, who’s work I love, and has notes of sage, bergamot, lavender, Italian iris concrete, cocoa, amber, vetiver, patchouli, and possibly leather and cardamom, Dior Homme is an embodiment of the sleek and sophisticated style unanimous with the Christian Dior house.. The bottle, see main pic, has a unique design, with a steel column housing the usual plastic spray tube, and beautifully crafted strong corners. The fragrance begins with a sweet blast of iris, cocoa and amber, perfectly blended and just the right strength, but then begins to fade into a slightly powdery amber accord with a mere hint of patchouli and lavender, the after effect leaves an off-white suede & a slightly smoky scent, with the amber and lavender reminiscent of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male. Dior Homme is a men’s gourmand fragrance so it comes off as a bit feminine, and doesn’t apologise for it, but then again this is Dior, much like Prada, Dior does not shy away from folding floral notes into their arrangement and embellishing them with sweet accents, and lets face it almost all gourmand fragrances smell a tiny bit feminine to evoke the comforting, warm, and addictive components we all love in gourmand fragrances. Because of its modest sillage this fragrance would most likely not go with a t-shirt and jeans or noisy, crowded clubs, instead better suited for more intimate, slightly chilly, "sweater" nights out on the town, or to a dinner. On the first whiff I was mostly taken by the coolness of the iris shimmering under the transparent top accord that is sweetly herbaceous and crisp that hastily unfolds fully with its metallic violets and cold roots tonality overtaking the composition like an opalescent mist. The dissonance between the chilly orris and the ambered leathery base is at first disconcerting, especially since the arrangement moves rapidly from the hazy coldness into the powdery sweetness accented by cocoa. Nevertheless, the supple leather underpinning the base of the composition provides an elegant backdrop against which the woody chilliness of iris is extended by the crisp earthiness of vetiver *sigh*. Barring the fact that Dior Homme doesn’t last very long on the skin, to me, this is a masterpiece.