I grew up in the 1980s and '90s. I'm not opposed to fresh fragrances - they defined the era in which I lived as a young person, and were instrumental to everyone but me getting laid in high school. Oh, it's okay, I've managed since my teenage years, but at this point smelling fresh isn't what gets me the girls. Personality and spiritual connections are what bond me to women at this stage of my life. I know that sounds cheesy, but what can I say? I've matured. Somewhat.
People in the perfume blogosphere seem to forget that not everyone is in their 20s and 30s. Not all perfumes are for fully mature adults. We have our sophisticated orientals, vetivers, and citrus chypres. We wetshavers have our woodsy fougères; the ladies enjoy floral arrangements and smooth vanilla orientals, ala Shalimar. But these things don't exactly appeal to 16, 17, and 18 year-olds. That 20 year-old college guy who mows lawns in the summer isn't saving up for a bottle of Oud Ispahan. The notion that a guy could wear something rose-flavored hasn't entered his mind yet, and won't for another six or seven summers, if ever. With perfume, it's all about one thing: whatever attracts girls.
Christian Dior inflated this concept when his brand hired Edmond Roudnitska to create its citrus chypre masterpieces - Eau Sauvage is still wearable by pretty much anyone, at any age. But in the 1960s and '70s, women were attracted to men with cars. If you were the guy who rode his bike to McDonalds, you were pretty much in a long-term relationship with your right hand. In 2012, girls take cars for granted. Today's girls aren't impressed by your 1998 Mustang. They're impressed if you're cool. And smelling cool is a whole big part of the package.
Dior Homme Sport is very, very cool. It boasts a neon-yellow lemon note that smells both intensely artificial and remarkably refreshing. If you use your imagination, you may detect a slight edging of lime, before a pretty ginger pulls up and keeps pace with Sport's predominantly citrus body. After twenty minutes on skin, Sport becomes more herbal, with a muted grapefruit lending the freshness a hint of funk, and a shadow of sandalwood adding depth. Beyond these light, airy notes, Sport is simply clean, a bit loud, and very unsophisticated. There's a little rosemary, a little lemon balm, maybe a hint of mint. There's nothing memorable here.
But this fragrance isn't for adults. It's for the teenagers who save their after-school job money and visit the fragrance counter at Macy's twice a year. It's for the 18 year-old guy who has a crush on Lauren in homeroom, and dreams of getting to third base with her in the back of his 1998 Mustang. It's for all those girls who associate synthetic air-freshener fragrances with being "clean," and illogically connect "clean" to "sexy," because that's what The Hills taught them to think. Does this fragrance work as a fine perfume for a 30 year-old guy who wants a long-lasting, meaningful relationship with an intelligent and mature woman? Maybe, but he doesn't need it, he has Eau Sauvage, or even Diorella for that. Does it work for the kid making milkshakes at Denmo's? I hope so: we're incredibly cruel to male virgins in the Northeast.