Friday, May 24, 2024

Scent Saturdays: The Mouthwatering, Minimalist Masterpiece of “Dior Homme Cologne”

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Scent Saturdays is a new column by culture writer John Darr, who has just joined the Fandomentals fragrance team. John will be working with Kori to bring you perfume reviews and features that break the mold and make our site a fragrant force to be reckoned with. And now…the review.

One of the most humiliating maneuvers in soccer, rudely titled the ‘nutmeg’ among the high school boys I once played with, involves tapping the ball between the legs of a defender as he stands between you and the goal. This seemed to me like no more than a party trick until I met a master of the move.

Fellow layers on my team would challenge this player, let’s call him Clark, to try and pull the move on them in a one-on-one scenario. In this very specific situation, Clark would amble around for about five seconds and suddenly the ball would be rolling through his teammate’s legs. His success rate, if I had to guess, hovered around ninety percent. On opponents who weren’t expecting it, the number stood closer to one hundred.

Before I cave in and start actually talking about the fragrance, one which indeed would have spared that soccer locker room some pain, I want to talk about the wondrous precision of the move. First, Clark would tap the ball between his feet until the opponent was caught, absorbed in the movement. Then he’d feign a lapse of concentration or speed in order to trick the defender into gaining confidence. Finally, he’d begin moving one way around the defender, then tap the ball at a near ninety-degree angle as he saw the defender’s foot step decisively to run alongside him. A second after this open space between cleats appeared, the defender would be looking wildly over his shoulders as Clark scooted past them to reclaim the soccer ball that was now that much closer to the goal.

Engage, distract, and juke. Three flawless, but simple, steps led to so many defenders flailing around that the move itself was a work of art. Introducing: Dior Homme Cologne.

Nestled deep within Dior’s stellar Dior Homme lineup, Dior Homme Cologne is about as simple and elegant as perfumes get. There’s exactly one top note, one heart note and one base note. And just like Clark’s maneuver, each of the three is seamlessly woven into a whole that stands a powerful argument for using a few ingredients well than many without discipline.

Bergamont is one of the least surprising top notes in a fresh male fragrance, and yet the bergamot that Dior Homme Cologne opens with is stunning. It’s fresh and sparkling, and there’s not a note in sight to compete for attention. The wisps of the heart and base notes simply cast a glow around the edges of the bergamot while it gradually blends into the background over the first two hours of the fragrance.

The transition from the tart juiciness of the bergamot to the lush grapefruit blossom at the heart is truly a thing to behold. Grapefruit blossom is essentially neroli with a sharper jaw, an engaging floral that’s sweet but undeniably serious. Hours into the fragrance, the bergamot sparkle continues to dance around the blossom if only in memory. Dior Homme Cologne is a rare fresh fragrance that does not dry up like a fruit left in the sun to reveal a cheap husk underneath, but rather appears to evaporate and hang like a twinkling, airier version of itself around the spot it was first applied.

And that’s when the base note, white musk, begins to shine. Dior Homme Cologne transforms into an undeniably sexy clean-skin smell during its fifth and sixth hour that carries memories of bergamot and grapefruit blossom around like cute Polaroids. Dior Homme Cologne separates itself so much from the standard fresh fragrance by drying down into a version of itself that’s just as clean as it starts, yet has gained a natural sensuality that blindsides the wearer by the time it shows up. “What did I spray on this morning?” you’ll wonder, and you’ll turn and look to see the bottle of Dior Homme Cologne standing coyly after outwitting you once again.

A remarkably well-blended fragrance that stands as yet another testament to perfumer Francois Demachy’s talents, Dior Homme Cologne is wonderfully versatile. As a lithe and clean fresh fragrance, it’s perfectly suited to both the gym and the workplace. By the time you’re back home, it’s ready for a romantic dinner. It may not be the most long-lasting or powerful fragrance on the market, but that’s honestly part of its charm. When you wear Dior Homme Cologne, you know that it doesn’t take maximalism to create a masterpiece. Play to your strengths and you’ll likely find that this fragrance is one of them.

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