11/14/11

Fahrenheit (Dior)


If you're a man's man, then wearing Fahrenheit is redundant to you, as you would already smell of motor oil and freshly cut grass. If you're a woman, wearing Fahrenheit would make you the sexiest woman alive. Fahrenheit, like Grey Flannel, was a fragrance that I put off trying for a long time. I felt it was right there with Cool Water and Polo as one of those "blah" scents, the kind you've smelled a million times on a million people over the course of millions of parties, pow-wows, and Pinot Noir tastings. Well okay, maybe not Pino Noir tastings. But you get the idea.

The peculiar thing about this perfume is that it accomplishes masculinity without dwelling on conventionally masculine accords, things like lavender, coumarin, or sandalwood. Like all great scents it exhibits a steady tension throughout its lifespan on skin, with an odd petroleum note performing against an array of sweet and grassy floral elements. It's a minimalist concept executed as a flourishing Rococo olfactory aesthetic. The gravity of the petrol note is such that any woman who attempts to pass Fahrenheit off as an elegant lipstick floral will be as successful as a disgraced investment banker's wife at a PBS fundraiser. If you can't accept what you're wearing here, you may as well dab some bottled fart to your pulse points and call it a day. This is man juice, and while it works for a confident gal with butch sensibilities, it can't and won't work without the right attitude.

Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Maurice Roger's composition is unique; Fahrenheit opens with a highly-concentrated mixture of violet leaf, hawthorn, and honeysuckle, so condensed as to make the accord seem propellent. Gradually the floral notes drift apart, fleshing out the sharply upholding bergamot, carnation, vetiver, and patchouli, all very fresh and delicate. As green meets clean, its oily top-note slips behind a sweet violet and honeysuckle, which eventually merge on a light base of sandalwood and benzoin. The effect is one of freshly-cut grass, including oil-stained clumps from the lawnmower bag. It's this lingering petrol note that seals Fahrenheit's masculinity and weds it to its time. It's a daring, elusively simple idea that few contemporary houses have bothered to update. That's a shame, particularly because there are plenty of Saturday's outdoor-chore guys who could use more oily-green themed fragrances to further color their macho identities.

Grey Flannel is considered by some to be the inspiration for Fahrenheit, and there are some similarities, notably in the use of violet leaf. I don't think they're that close, though. To my nose, Grey Flannel is an essay on citrus, violet leaf, and oakmoss, while Fahrenheit is a more modern interpretation of honeysuckle. Its green sweetness is attributable to several flowers, some of which are invented synthetics, but the drydown of honeysuckle, tinged with spicy carnation and sandalwood, sets Fahrenheit apart. Also, Grey Flannel lacks the piercing oily top structure of the Dior. My love for Grey Flannel goes unchallenged, but my admiration for Fahrenheit ends there, with little possibility of feeling any closer to it. My personality, temperament, and overall persona is outdoorsy but aloof; something with a dank, shady feel defines me better than anything in direct sunlight. Fahrenheit's warmth is its greatest asset, and ironically is what makes it less attractive to me. But given the choice between this and bottled fart, I'll go with Fahrenheit, and skip the PBS fundraiser altogether.


As an aside: Fahrenheit is also compared to Creed's Green Valley, which I will review in the spring. They are distantly related, but anyone hoping for an upscale Fahrenheit in the Creed would be sorely disappointed, if only because of how truly different they are.






























4 comments:

  1. hahaha! I know of some men that will go with bottled fart. They have these little habits that get me down!

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  2. bottled fart is something some niche firms have aspired to. Secretions Magnifiques apparently has some in it.

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  3. Yuk! Only apparently? I'm just taking my first coffee now... R-e-a-l-l-y???? I can't believe it! I thought that just has 'The Fourth Horsemen of the Apocalypse' (haha!): Blood, Sweat, Sperm and Saliva... but Fart, too? ewwww! ;)

    and Fahrenheit! I get tired of it in record time...but what an icon! I think every man in my family wore it more than... twice!
    I'm always just curious to know any opinion about Fahrenheit. This is not disappointing at all!

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  4. I like it, although I've moved on since my first bottle. Perhaps I'll revisit Fahrenheit again in the future.

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