In the early 2000’s it was so interesting to watch the mainstream brands try and incorporate some of the independent perfume aesthetic into their releases. One of the greatest successes was 2005’s Dior Homme. Perfumer Olivier Polge and creative director Hedi Slimane collaborated on what might be the most successful masculine floral ever released. By taking iris and wrapping it up in cacao, amber, leather, and patchouli they made florals appropriate for even the alpha males. It is a modern masterpiece which Dior treated as such in the subsequent flankers which weren’t called Dior Homme Sport. There hasn’t been a Dior Homme release since 2014’s Dior Homme Parfum.
The current state of Dior has been chronicled extensively as a brand which has replaced class with crass. It seems every move they make is saturated in cynicism. When I heard there was going to be a new Dior Homme Eau de Toilette early in 2020 I wondered what it would be like. Would this regain the classicism of the Dior Homme releases of the past? Or would it take its place on the shelf next to Joy by Dior as a bottle of functional fragrance meant to appeal to people who don’t like perfume?
My hope was raised by the participation of Francois Demachy who had been responsible for Dior Homme Parfum and a couple other of the flankers. I was worried because M. Demachy phoned it in with Joy by Dior. Unfortunately Dior Homme Eau de Toilette left me shaking my head in sadness in the same way Joy by Dior did.
Dior Homme broke barriers as a masculine floral. Dior Homme Eau de Toilette wants to smell like every other woody fragrance designed for blockheads. I laughed at the PR description of “a new, masculine sensuality”. There is nothing new here. The original Dior Homme was the antithesis to bland things like Dior Homme Eau de Toilette. This is the same Iso E Super, patchouli, and vetiver in hundreds of other perfumes marketed to men.
Dior Homme Eau de Toilette has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I can’t explain the choice at Dior to just give up on creativity in their fragrance offerings. It is like they are actively trying to push away those of us who love the history of Dior fragrance. Things like Joy by Dior and Dior Homme Eau de Toilette are made for people who desire bland inoffensive fragrance. Now when I tell someone that Dior Homme is one of the best perfumes of the last twenty years I’m going to have to put in a disclaimer. I walk away shaking my head at the ongoing decay of the House of Dior.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Dior.