Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme ~ fragrance review

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme

While having dinner at a restaurant recently, I noticed a pleasant scent — sweet, powdery, clean — coming from the direction of my waiter. I rarely ask men what fragrance they have on because lots of guys think that’s a too-personal question (and I don’t want to appear as if I’m “flirting” either) but for the first time in my life, I asked a waiter what perfume he was wearing. As I feared, he seemed taken aback at the question, uncomfortable; he hemmed and hawed, said he could not remember, and fled. Then, near the end of dinner, he returned to say he had remembered; it was the “blue” Dolce & Gabbana scent: “I have three bottles at home with different colored caps…this one is in the bottle with the dark blue cap.”

I did a Google image search when I got home and saw the blue-capped D&G scent was Pour Homme; originally released in 1994, it was just relaunched by Dolce & Gabbana this autumn. Could it be possible there existed a D&G scent I liked?

Pour Homme goes on smelling a tad “retro” (think heavier, late-Eighties masculine fragrances) with a citrus bite, a pungent pinch of lavender leaf and neroli floating on the side. There’s also a note or accord that reminds me of the scent of pine needles. This “cool” opening, a mix of lavender, a resin-y note, and bergamot/citrus oils, follows Pour Homme into its mid-development, where the perfume comes close to sports fragrance territory (you know…that “tingly”/menthol-type fragrance); thank goodness, Pour Homme veers from the sports genre — by a hair. As the fragrance develops further, it gets sweeter, and silky, (this is the phase I was smelling on my waiter) with tonka bean, cedar and almost-not-there tobacco aromas. I’d describe Pour Homme’s overall character as “fresh from the shower.”

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme is an unmistakably mainstream fragrance, there’s nothing unusual about it, but within its comfortable, uncomplicated and non-threatening slot it does a good job. I don’t remember smelling the Pour Homme formula when it was released in the early Nineties; if you knew the “old” Pour Homme and have smelled the new version, do comment on any changes you notice.

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme is available in 40 ($45), 75 ($58) and 125 ($73) ml Eau de Toilette; its lasting power and sillage are good.

This is my last review of 2012; unlike Robin I've done an awful job of covering mainstream launches this year (thus, this "eleventh-hour" review of Pour Homme). I will say that the latter part of 2012 helped save the 'perfume year' for me; within the last six weeks I've sniffed several new, great-smelling niche perfumes I'm anxious to review next year. Till then, have a wonderful holiday season!

* Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme lists fragrance notes of neroli, citrus/tangerine, bergamot, lavender, sage, pepper, tobacco, cedarwood and tonka bean. The perfumer for the original 1994 version was Max Gavarry.

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  1. relleric says:

    Kevin, thanks for the great review.
    I can’t remember if I have tried this or not, so I will definitely sample it the next time I see it.
    Have a wonderful Holiday, see you next year! :)

    • Kevin says:

      Relleric, thanks!

  2. JolieFleurs says:

    I think some restaurants have restrictions on their serves wearing scents, so he may have been afraid you were going to turn him in!

    This sounds very nice, and maybe something for my fragrance-phobic husband to try?

    • Kevin says:

      Jolie, didn’t think of that! And this would be a good bet for fragrance-phobes…or those who like straight-forward scents.

  3. donnie says:

    No need to apologize for supposed failure to cover whatever. As you can see, I’m right here looking for your post. What you choose to review is as interesting as how you review it. Wonderful season to you too.
    And yes, it crosses a line to ask “what fragrance are you wearing?” but sometimes I find I’m doing it anyway. Could be fun topic, Robin: Stories about asking that question…

  4. Kevin says:

    Thank you, Donnie

  5. JolieFleurs says:

    I want to add my “ditto” to what donnie said…I think y’all should review whatever you want to, new or old. I tend to like the old stuff better anyway, and I really enjoy reading reviews about them. But all reviews are informative and almost always entertaining, as well!

    Happy Holidays and New Year!

  6. behemot says:

    Great review Kevin! I always thought this fragrance is horrible, I don’t know why. Must smell it.
    BTW, I adore you sense of humor, as always. Poor waiter :)

    • Kevin says:

      Behemot, don’t worry…he got a good tip

      • behemot says:

        I hope you treated him well :)

  7. Racine says:

    This is One my must haves! It’s not that i use it daily but I know I would miss it !!
    I used much more at the late nineties and always got the same compliment ” you smell sexy and clean in an after the shower way”.
    I tried the new version and think it’s the same just a little lighter less heavy on the peppery side.
    I would recomend it of course but with a warning for its big sillage!!

    • Kevin says:

      Racine, good to know it’s not changed much with the new release.

  8. Ericgmd says:


    I had the chance to experience the Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme of the 90s and it was indeed a beautiful fragrance. However I could never wear it despite its commercial success.
    As you know me by now, I am adventurous and even a spritz of Le Labo Oud 27 or MKK are not scary to me (to cite a couple of “difficult” fragrances as examples)
    But this fragrance, despite its mainstream appeal, was impossible for me to wear!
    I felt as if it wore me and I was smelling it continuously. Not always in a good way. Sort of like when a wool sweater mixes with a fragrance and starts emanating fur-like fumes. The word cloying is really an understatement here…
    I know a guy who chose it as his signature fragrance and its sillage on him is a monster. But people compliment him all the time. During mid day, when his own body chemistry mixes with it, he seems to have even more compliments on it from people. I witnessed it in an elevator, from a total stranger once!
    I think he also spritzes some under his arms actually.

    The new formulation took away that exact sweaty potential and has been toned down significantly while retaining the original signature scent that allows people to recognize this beast. It is definitely more wearable now. Gosh I never thought I’d find myself saying this about a reformulation.
    It must be that guy’s armpits that never stopped projecting I guess!

    • BChant says:

      You are certainly correct about the scent being toned down. When I still worked at the frag counter, we compared the old version with the ‘metal’ label to the newer version with the printed name and they are indeed different. However, I don’t think it is discernible unless you are very familiar with the old version. The new version is still quite good, if a bit thinner.

    • Kevin says:

      Eric: HAHA! This one DID smell like it had the potential to “bloom” with time, but it must be because of the revamping that it always stays under control. I would have liked to sniff the monster though in its heyday.

  9. Merlin says:

    Most people seem uncomfortable when asked about their frag – unless you know them well, hugged them hello, or something. I guess its partly because one feels ones smell is highly personal and intimate – even if it comes out a bottle (!) and also sometimes people feel a little embarrassed that their scent is discernible to others at a regular distance.
    A stranger has NEVER remarked on my scent and I would love a positive, out of the blue comment – even though I primarily wear perfume for my own entertainment!

    Thank you for the wonderful reviews throughout the year, Kevin, including this one. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    • Kevin says:

      Merlin: thanks so much. I don’t mind if people ask me about my perfume either; it happens quite often, especially on a “test day” when I wear a perfume full-on (many sprays) as I write a review.

  10. nozknoz says:

    What a find, Kevin! That $45 dollar size would be a great stocking stuffer.

    I’m glad you braved a moment of awkwardness and found a worthwhile mainstream fragrance – that’s a true public service – and I’m REALLY looking forward to your reviews of 2012-redeeming niche perfumes. There were some good ones, and when I read through the Perfume Posse list of 2012 launches, I realized that I had tried very few of them. I’m still catching up on previous years, not to mention decades/century. ;-)

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: isn’t it the TRUTH! We’ll never catch up.

  11. Rictor07 says:

    I have owned a bottle of this maybe 8 years ago. It is one of the only D&G fragrances i like also. I even find the bottle to be simple, yet elegant.

    • Kevin says:

      Rictor: it seems to have lots of fans. I may have to get one of those small bottles.

  12. PinoiPerfumista says:

    “and I don’t want to appear as if I’m “flirting” either”. You are so funny Kevin! And I can imagine the waiter giving you his “curious” look. Thanks for the review.

    • Merlin says:

      This is definitely a concern. I almost never ask a guy about his fragrance for this reason. In fact, only if he is together with a MALE partner do I feel safe enough to ask. (I’m a girl)

    • Kevin says:

      Pinoi: well, to make matters worse it was not just me at the table…so he was being scrutinized by more than one set of nostrils. HA!

  13. D&G smells a bit dated, but still a good masculine scent. Nice review.

  14. Rappleyea says:

    Happy, happy holiday to you, Kevin. And all of the best in 2013.

    • Kevin says:

      Donna: thanks so much!

  15. mpachta says:

    I agree with JolieFleurs. I work in the service industry and perfuming one’s self is generally discouraged. I, however, boldly defy authority and wear perfume to work everyday and no one’s dining experience seems to have been adversely affected. Just don’t show up in Angel.

  16. Lars Lapsus says:

    I told you years ago this is one of the best male mainstream fragrances ever! I’m shocked at seeing it reformulated… I tried recently the new version and find it less interesting, though probably not completely disappointing. It smells like it’s been slightly adapted to Asian taste …
    I will try to get an old bottle, I still love this after all these years. Sweet, but not gourmand, herbal, but not a fougère. Characteristic but not intrusive. I love the bitter almond and the relaxedness of the tabacco note. Classy. Like D&G before they smelled the money that was in the game if they mainstreamed their design language, transferred production to Turkey and China and used more synthetic fibres …

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