Dior Homme Eau for Men & Juniper Ridge Winter Redwood ~ fragrance reviews

Dior Homme Eau for Men

A bunch of men’s fragrances have recently hit the market (what’s new? there's no let-up!); to stay as current as possible (or start to catch up), I’m reviewing two perfumes today in one post: one fragrance I had no interest in (I'm being honest) and the other was a wild card (accent on “wild”).

Dior Homme Eau for Men

(bergamot, grapefruit, coriander, iris, cedar)

Christian Dior Dior Homme Eau for Men didn't intrigue me (it has a DUMB name, it’s described by Dior as “a fresh, woody fragrance”...ho-hum... and the ad copy's references to James Dean made me laugh — the Robert Pattinson connection didn't appeal either); I probably never would have tried Dior Homme Eau for Men if a sample didn't fall into my lap.

When first applied to skin, Dior Homme Eau for Men smells like hot plastic (for a split-second I was worried a cat toy had been sent flying into the fireplace); after the initial industrial aroma burns off, the fragrance starts to smell like a little girl’s vinyl purse stuffed with artificially flavored fruit candies — made of the sort of chemicals IFRA should tackle instead of beloved natural essences!

Not one note in Dior Homme Eau for Men smells real or even close to reality. All notes are gauzy, hazy, indistinct as the fragrance develops. Dior Homme Eau for Men’s iris and cedar notes (if there ever was a smidgen of naturalness associated with them) seem to have been divided into a thousand parts and then reassembled with only 10 parts remaining, and those parts seem diluted even further. Dior Homme Eau for Men’s base notes smell like several hundred other sports and acqua/aqua/Eaux on the market — with the sweet and dreary aroma of generic, inexpensive men's cologne.

Dior Homme Eau for Men is a scent for a person immune to distinctions of quality in fragrance. Now, if Dior had made this a hyper-unrealistic, powerfully artificial experience it could have worked in the vein of Comme des Garçons Odeur 53. But, no…that won’t happen with a brand like Dior: we get banal instead.

Dior Homme Eau for Men is at Macy’s, 50 ml/100 ml Eau de Toilette for $62-$84 (crazily overpriced in my opinion).

Juniper Ridge Winter Redwood

Juniper Ridge Winter Redwood 

(redwood needles, bay laurel, Douglas fir pitch, sea grass, Chanterelles, sage, woodsmoke)

Oakland, CA-based ‘wilderness perfumer’ Juniper Ridge makes perfumes by steam- and campfire-distillation, tincture and infusion, and enfleurage. Their latest limited edition fragrance, Winter Redwood (337 bottles were made), was inspired by Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County in Northern California.

Winter Redwood begins with intense notes, some food-y, some medicinal, some resinous. As I wore Winter Redwood for two days, a couple scenarios came to mind to describe the scents of this perfume during different stages of development: one involved a rustic, mountain restaurant (one serving forest-foraged foods) that uses wood to fire its ovens (“rooty,” earthy notes mingle with the wood smoke); on another day, Winter Redwood smelled like a rain-soaked sequoia, recently drenched by cougar piss, too (with some "marshland" thrown in). And if you think that’s a put-down…it ain’t. For me, there’s always room for an interesting concoction that smells like the natural world.

Winter Redwood is expensive; one must use a lot of fragrance to make it last (the company recommends putting a nickel-sized amount of perfume in your palm and then rubbing the fragrance onto your jeans and/or neck. One ounce of perfume would not last long. I wish the Juniper Ridge perfume line came in spray bottles, but perhaps the oils are just too powerful for (destructive to) plastic spray parts? If you have the chance, do give Winter Redwood a sniff (I still need to try Juniper Ridge incense sticks.)

Juniper Ridge Winter Redwood is $70 for 30 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Juniper Ridge under Perfume Houses.

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31 Comments

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  1. Janice says:

    When I read “a little girl’s vinyl purse stuffed with artificially flavored fruit candies” I thought of Comme des Garcons, too (the one I was thinking of was their Series 1 – Tea) and I wondered if it was a deliberate choice, but I guess not. Too bad. Winter Redwood sounds really nice, if not quite my kind of thing, but if I ever get a chance I will try it.

    • Kevin says:

      Janice…yes!…but the Tea was artificial in a good way.

  2. galbanumgal says:

    My goodness, what’s going on at Dior? Both the men’s & women’s lines had really distinctive offerings. Admit I haven’t tried the newer exclusive line, whatever that’s called.

    • melissa says:

      You mean their Collection Privee? Those do get better reviews, but companies like Hermes and Cartier have done the prestige/exclusive thing without phoning it in on the prestige side. I award them no points!

      • Kevin says:

        Melissa…ha! (Though I am no expert on Dior’s current feminine scents)

    • Robin says:

      You know, I have only tried a couple of the Privee scents, but I do think the dismal state of the mainstream line is part of why I don’t have that much interest. I think you’re exactly right Melissa.

  3. Kevin says:

    Ggal…I can’t remember the name of those either!

  4. rivercitylizzy says:

    Ugh, do not want to be huffing burnt plastic ;P Seems such a shame, as I like Eau Sauvage a great deal (enough to buy a bottle for my dad as a Father’s Day gift a few years back).

    I adore the Juniper Ridge incense sticks–they smell rich, earthy, and resinous. They are also a great way to offset the smell of wet dog in the rainy season, hahaha! Hubs will not wear perfume, but he loves the smell of the Juniper Ridge soaps and incense as much as I do, so there’s an endorsement (FWIW).

    I’ve yet to try any of the Juniper Ridge fragrances, but it sounds like Winter Redwood would be an intriguing one to test out.

    • Kevin says:

      Rivercity…must order some incense!

      • rivercitylizzy says:

        The Death Valley, Siskiyou, and Sweetgrass incenses are my favorites from the line ;)

  5. Rictor07 says:

    I didnt get any burnt plastic when i tried the Dior, but i also had no desire to ever wear it or make a purchase.

    I have not tried anything from Juniper Ridge, but lately i have been looking at their soaps and body washes with some interest. My skin has been super dry this winter, so i will need to stick with some very moisturizing soap. Do you have any experience with these products?

    • Kevin says:

      Rictor…I have tried their soaps, but Ive yet to find a really moisturizing soap…usually stick with bath gels in winter.

  6. BigslyFragrance says:

    Glad to hear that you don’t mind “speaking truth to power” but I have a feeling this is the future of designer scents, at lest those marketed to men and for the next several years. Perhaps by then the IFRA guidelines won’t be as much of an issue (for one reason or another) and the public will be moving away from scents that smell like Windex and laundry musk combinations, perhaps with something like fizzy, synthetic iris and suede notes thrown in to supposedly justify the prices. For a long time now, I’ve been saying that if you can’t produce anything memorable then why should anyone buy this kind of thing when the dollar store scents are quite good (for a dollar, that is).

    • Kevin says:

      Bigsly..oh, hope you are wrong…fragrances if this caliber only. Shudder.

  7. Merlin says:

    The only word that comes to mind when I try remember Dior Homme Eau is ‘wan’ but now I need to try it again to try detect vinyl and fruit candy! Not that it sounds as though these notes were in any way pleasant:)

    Recently however I tried Hypnotic Poison EDP and really did enjoy it. So Dior is back in my interest. (the almond of the EDT is weaker in the EDP and the licorice stronger – which suits me just fine!)

    • Kevin says:

      Merlin…have never sniffed any Poisons but the original. Dior is off my radar usually, but want to try the new Fahrenheit…even after sniffing this horror.

      • Merlin says:

        Oh! Quite a lot is made of Dior Homme and Homme Intense! And I actually like Fahrenheit – as well as the absolue. Even the Eau Savauges are well done, though they don’t appeal to me that much.

        And that’s just talking about the so called masculines, lol!

  8. hajusuuri says:

    Passing on the Dior.

    I was looking at the Juniper Ridge website yesterday and saw the recommendation on how to apply Winter Redwood. I don’t recall ever deliberately apply perfume to clothes — no matter how good something smells and no matter how good the quality is of the ingredients, I am always concerned about damaging the fabric no matter how tough (jeans!). That said, this one sounds interesting.

    You mentioned “cougar piss” — could you elaborate more as to what other perfume has that accord?

    Finally, does this lean masculine or unisex?

    • Kevin says:

      Haju, this is more masculine to me. I guess Serge Lutens Miel de Bois has a bit of cougar piss in it? I love Miel de Bois by the way.

  9. Marjorie Rose says:

    Thanks, Kevin, for yet again being willing to try the banal so that we don’t have to!

    On a completely separate note, I’ve been trying decide whether or not to comment on your newer gravatar. . . you see, and this probably says far more about me than it does you!. . . but I can’t help but see it as a nipple. Something about that red center keeps it out of bullseye territory. . . sorry. Maybe I still shouldn’t say anything? You know I love ya’ anyway, right?! :]

    • Kevin says:

      MR, Ha! It is a miniaturized sea creature! From a 19th c book of prints.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        OH NO! I just noticed that you switched away from the sea creature back to your Egyptian flower-sniffer! SO not my intent to encourage a change! I’m truly sorry if I made you self-conscious with my dirty mind! . . .

  10. nozknoz says:

    Dior Homme Eau for Men. As opposed to Dior Homme Eau for Women? Dreck like this makes me want to change my gravatar to Grumpy Cat!

    • Kevin says:

      Noz, ha! Wish we could easily switch gravatars with our moods.

  11. Omega says:

    Eau dear, what happened to Dior? Mega pass.

    Cougar pee? lol.

    (briefly thinks about throwing a cat toy into the fireplace to see what it would smell like, perhaps catnip, plastic, kitty breath, cat hair, feathers and yarn burning…hey, an idea for a new scent! Eau de Chaton le Purr Fraiche).

    • Kevin says:

      Omega, if only someone had the nerve to make it

      • rivercitylizzy says:

        Maybe a Comme des Garcons scent? Or Thierry Mugler? CB I Hate Perfume?

  12. leechiyong says:

    Received my bottle of Winter Redwood; I’ve been wanting to try Juniper Ridge and for some reason, stick limited edition on it and I must have it.

    I like it, but I totally know where you’re coming from on the second description. It’s in no way a bad thing. To me, it smells citrusy mixed with fir. I’d just like to comment on how once you hear it described as such, you can’t really smell it any other way…

  13. jmg1975 says:

    Go figure…I like the Dior Homme line. I think it is one of the better mainstream offerings out there for men. I always found the original smooth, refined and low key. It even comes off a bit daring because it ventures quite obviously into feminine aspects of perfumery. Dior Homme Sport is a great summer flanker with brightened highlights and citrus. I find Eau to be better than anything else sitting on the men’s counters at Macys. It isn’t a me-too fragrance and still comes off smooth and refined and low key. It is synthetic but what mainstream isn’t? It lasts long and never gets out of hand. It seems like it brings Dior Homme into a younger generation ..it is brighter and seems a bit more casual. I even find it much less sweet and in your face than all the other current men’s fragrances in department stores. I think the strange opening is even impressive because it doesn’t try to grab you with a generic “good” smell right away. I don’t know too much about perfumes but I’ve worn a lot and I still think the Dior Homme line is solid. I still like the original and find the whole line to stand out from the mainstream crowd and not give in to the trend of the moment. I think Eau is more subtle than banal.

  14. CWBjr1958 says:

    You would think with the resources Dior has they could make a winning men’s fragrance but sadly this is just a rehash of the original. They all smell the same. Blah ;@)

  15. Jamie K. says:

    There seems to be a new (pure?) parfum version of Dior Homme, but only Sephora France has it and there’s very little information on it. http://www.sephora.fr/Parfum/Parfum-Homme/Dior-Homme-Parfum/P1918001

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