With fond memories of Christian Dior’s last big launch — Higher — I have excitedly been awaiting my sample of their newest men’s Eau de Toilette, Dior Homme. Touted by Dior as a "masculine iris, a ‘skin’ fragrance with an addictive grace," it is the 4th fragrance to be launched by Dior's new artistic director for men’s fragrance, Hedi Slimane. It was created by Olivier Polge, and has notes of sage, bergamot, lavender, Italian iris concrete, cocoa, amber, vetiver, patchouli, and possibly leather and cardamom.
While the bottle is being described as a unique design, with a steel column housing the usual plastic spray tube, the fragrance, with its iris and cocoa notes, is being described as a composition that does not conform to current trends in men’s perfumery. I have to disagree. The best way to describe the overall effect of Dior Homme is "sweet". Like Hanae Mori Men a decade ago, like Yohji Homme 5 years ago, and like Nikos Homme last year, Dior Homme is a men’s gourmand and shares similarities with all three.
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. If amber and lavender sound familiar to you, think Gaultier’s Le Male. I can’t detect the sage and bergamot at all, and after about an hour, had difficulty detecting the fragrance, full stop. I had been hoping for more leather and patchouli, something slightly richer in the basenotes, and I’m hoping that in the future we’ll perhaps see a variation on the theme with greater depth and richness along the lines of Cartier’s Must Essence or Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche Intense.
Overall, the effect is a bit too sweet for my tastes and invites close comparison to Hanae Mori Men. Still, the bottle and packaging are well done and it’s nice to see Dior step up to the plate with a men’s gourmand to compliment Addict. Now if only there was a bit of coffee or a richer leather note added to the composition — alas, one can dream…
Christian Dior Dior Homme is currently being launched in department stores around the world.