3/8/13

The Dreamer (Versace)



This review is for the older version of The Dreamer, with the nebula cloud on the box, as opposed to the even, star-patterned packaging of the re-release. Not that it matters much, as I hear the new version is pretty faithful to the original, with perhaps a touch more tobacco in the opening. This is a very nice fragrance. It's a unique concept, executed with loving directness, possessing an intelligence and three-dimensional intellect few designer releases strive for. I've read all sorts of comparisons and analyses of The Dreamer, and almost none of them do it justice. It wouldn't be surprising if mine fell grossly short as well. This 1996 creation is not an easy fragrance to wear, especially on a daily basis, and isn't by any means your typical, saccharine, tonka-heavy nineties masculine. In fact, it doesn't smell of any one decade's style at all, but instead has a strangely aloof and timeless character.

The Dreamer is basically a soapy green fragrance overlaid with the smell of un-smoked cigarettes. You know that first whiff of a freshly-opened pack of Marlboros? That's the tobacco note in here. It's treated tobacco, not the raw leaf. It has a very brownish, almost raisin-like hue, with a tender balance between sweetness and spice. It smells at once clean and sooty. Framing that is a little ditty of muguet, lavender, pine, and orange citrus. It's perhaps not the intended effect, but to me this facet of The Dreamer smells like Zest Aqua soap. It's a snappy, partly floral, partly herbal affair. When patched to the tobacco, it creates the essence of a freshly-scrubbed guy who just stepped out into the woods for a moment of absent-minded solitude with his ciggies, that precious moment before lighting up in the wilderness ever-so-lucidly captured in perfume.

People complain about The Dreamer's "cacophonous" opening. The opening is a bit unusual, with its green top note vying for attention over an otherwise-linear tobacco accord, but I don't find it to be especially over the top. It's sharper and less defined than what follows, but it smells clean and strangely refreshing. Comparisons to JPG's Le Mâle also abound, but I smell no similarity. Le Mâle has no tobacco, and precious little green-soapiness (it does have a more powdery-vanillic lavender soapiness), so I can't find the connection between these two. But I do admire The Dreamer's ability to replicate the physical space surrounding a hypothetical, wilderness-bound smoker who leans against oak trees before lighting up. I'm not sure I want to smell of that headspace often, but when I do, I'll wear this one-of-a-kind EDT from a brand that usually dabbles in commercial dreck. At least there's one Versace worth wearing, and it's a real dream.










4 comments:

  1. I have a bottle of Versace Dreamer. "Nice". In an ever-so-esoteric way. It's not particularly offensive, not soapy, not typical of a 90's fragrance, in fact it has its moments of pleasantry. I'm thinking to when I bought my bottle, and it's probably the updated version (I recall the starred box). I agree with you that Versace hasn't been known for much in the way of decent scents in some years, similar to how I feel about Bvlgari Black (not that they're similar in the least).

    I wish I had a little more love for this one because I find it 'nice' but it's definitely not among the first things I'll reach for in my collection. My word for it: Reserved.

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    1. It definitely is "nice" as you put, in that in-the-know way. Definitely inoffensive and atypical of its time, although I admit I find it a little soapy. I found myself wondering if it was how tobacco soap would smell (I'm sure tobacco-scented soap is out there but I've never encountered a bar). But I'm the same way with it Andrew, I don't often reach for this one because for some reason it makes me think of smoking, a habit I left behind years ago! Something tells me that Versace is in decline, based on the latest fragrance news from that brand . . .

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  2. I just picked up a bottle of this today partially based on your excellent review above. So far I really like what I'm experiencing with it. I've never been a smoker so I don't have any negative connotations to the unsmoked pack of cigs smell. In fact I love that aspect of it!

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    1. That's great! I actually don't think of the cigarette smell "negatively" though, it's more of a wistful type of aroma that blends nicely with the greens. I'm looking to re-test Creed's Tabarome Millesime now that I've rejuvenated my interest in tobacco with The Dreamer. Oddly enough, I find as time goes on that I don't wear The Dreamer all that often. Still trying to figure that out.

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