Dune pour Homme is for me among the most enigmatic and elusive mainstream fragrances ever made, for how it elaborates a generic “designer” theme in a fascinating way. It should be supposed to be a versatile, clean and “easy” exotic fig-green scent with a soapy-musky base, and it partially is so indeed; actually the smell itself is really simple, totally good and totally wearable. A gentle, graceful, mannered and slightly creamy fig-musk-green scent. But to me, and I admit this may be a totally personal perception, it has something else which makes it completely unique and, well, kind of creepy at the same time. That “creepy” feature is connected to its signature sort of warm, blurred and watery texture, which is due to the use of hedione and musk (ketones, I guess); it feels slightly humid, lactescent and “grey” too, and for some odd reasons it makes me think of some old, faded 8 mm homemade videotape shot in a cloudy, muggy August afternoon lost in the mid-1990s. The “analogic filter” role played by the film grain corresponds to hedione here, which is I think the key of Dune’s magic – a sort of fruity-watery-grey note which gives Dune this sort of damp, plastic, sultry feel.
This together with some more ordinary, decent-quality and undoubtedly “summery” nuances like green notes and fig leaves, produce a really fascinating “summer feel”, but where “summer” means “a summer of your childhood lost in your imagination”. Nothing crisp and realistic, on the contrary a blurry, cozy, faded souvenir. It’s like if the use of hedione and musk here gives the blend a sort of nostalgic and almost hallucinating feel which makes you plunge into your own memories. Grey, sort of humid and sweltering, at the same time “faded” and quiet. Out of all the dozens of similarly synthetic scents I’ve tried and owned, this is the only one which triggers that path of associations, showing how creatively one can make good use of synthetic aromachemicals (assuming there was an intention to be creative, otherwise I guess it’s just bare luck). Anyway, aside from all of that which is maybe just a subjective frenzy of mine, Dune pour Homme is surely a good, clean and cozy greenish-exotic all-rounder with a really respectable quality and a perfect balance of distinction and “safeness”. Nothing groundbreaking and a bit short-lived (as you can expect with these notes) but inexpensively solid.
A must try if you are looking for fragrance which is suit very well in dry and hot climate. I noticed this Dior Dune while worked in Middle east desert and bought it when I back home. The fig note once make me little bit dizzy but it gone after few days later. A must have if you live in equatorial countries. Versatile, pleasant and unique smell.
Genre: Woody Oriental
By way of a disclaimer, perfume critic Tanya Sanchez’s description of Dune pour Homme as “A very good eau de cologne (sic) with a transparent, natural feeling in its leafy, lemon top note and a sweet, soapy floral drydown” bears no resemblance to the scent I’m reviewing. Is my sample mislabeled? I’m not sure, since Michael Edwards does list Dune pour Homme as a woody oriental in his taxonomy of fragrances. At any rate, here are my impressions:
Dune pour Homme’s first few minutes on my skin are an olfactory train wreck of raw alcohol, soap, powdery-sweet gourmand notes, citrus, calone, and brash, banal synthetic woods. It’s as if Dior decided to play every commonplace theme from the past twenty years of masculine perfumery at once in an effort to include everybody’s favorite. Thank heavens the raw alcohol subsides quickly, while the woody notes, soap and powder integrate. The resulting structure is an opaque, gourmand woody oriental lolling in a pool of artificial fruit punch and calone.
The idea here was apparently to juxtapose a sweet woody oriental in the manner of A*Men or Lolita Lempicka au Masculin with a fresh, sporty citrus aquatic. It turns out to have been a very bad idea. These two ubiquitous stereotypes of 1990s male fragrance are dreary enough on their own, but their combination amounts to even less than the paltry sum of its parts.
But wait; it gets worse! Though supposedly developed in rebellion against the bombastic “powerhouse” scents of the 1980s, the masculine aquatic and the woody oriental gourmands are both in fact extremely loud and tenacious olfactory constructs. Piling the two on top of one another is akin to booking Metallica and Mötley Crüe for the same stage. It’s one battle of the bands that I don’t want to hear. Enough to make me wish I were anosmic.
Dry, light, airy... perfect summer fragrance!
As others have mentioned, this is like being at the beach on a hot day. It shines in summer weather, bringing to mind blue skies and hot sand. I would expect this do to especially well in the summer, but would not go for it in cooler months as it is just too light to be noticed at any other time of the year.
Definitely a must if you want something unique and appealing, it is also completely accessible and inoffensive to others. So perfect for wearing around people who don't like the smell of perfume. It's that kind of scent as well.
A brilliant fragrance for hot weather. Well done Dior!
A nice orange top note with blackcurrant added merges into somewhat greener areas, mainly into basil. Heroine is present too. Overarching, however, is a strong fig note that dominates. Later in the drydown cedar and a good dose of vanilla add sweetness. Three hours of longevity. Solid but not very exciting.