The top notes are citrus, lavender, warm leather, and a shot of green floral notes that are quite daringly conspicuous in a scent for men. Dunhill's lavender is very soapy at first, so that the initial impression is of a sophisticated barbershop. This is the perfect scent for Alfred Dunhill: it's solid, impeccably crafted, and (after that initial floral burst,) conservative to the core.
As the citrus and lavender calm down the floral notes meld into a tightly blended accord of vetiver and dry woods. Dunhill's leather is neither the sweet, fruity leather of Royal English Leather, nor the birch tar soaked leather of Creed's Cuir de Russie. Instead it is a very dry, brisk, "sanitized" leather. It's only well into Dunhill's development that it reveals a sweeter, softer aspect. The composition slowly takes on a warmer, almost nutty, character, though plenty of the soapy notes remain in play. Traces of tonka bean and a very gentle almond (heliotrope?) note soften the scent further as it dries down.
Dunhill for Men shares with Blenheim Bouquet and Vintage Tabarome a remarkable ability to project arrogance. There is something in its detached, dry accords that says "You are of no consequence to me." Dunhill for Men is not all that potent, nor does it display any of the brashness common to the 1980s "power scents," but it nonetheless embodies power. Dunhill's power is the power of understatement, the power of the perfectly folded handkerchief, and the power of aristocratic disdain. It's masculine in that peculiarly sexless manner that's so perfectly depicted in the drawing rooms of 19th century English novels. And why not? It is Dunhill, after all!
The top note with it citrus, clary sage and lavender is traditional but the depth impressive and the lavender not too much in the foreground. The drydown adds jasmine and a touch of rose, with wood added at the base, and a very gentle leather background that stays around unil the end. The quality is impeccable and the blending superb. This scent is a restrained and unobtrusive composition that is not meant to impress or overwhelm others. Decent projection and longevity of about three hours. A delightful classic fougère.
great tobacco scent so old but so modern, an all time classic!
03rd September, 2012 (last edited: 16th January, 2013)
If this is at all true to the original 1934 Dunhill, then it is the progenitor of many classic masculine fragrance tropes. Moustache and Eau Sauvage, to name just two, would owe a sizable debt to Dunhill's eponymous cologne. The combination of bergamot/lemon and clary sage is done to perfection here. There is also, soon after the top notes bloom, a slight detour into classic fougere territory where Zizanie and Canoe may be seen through a partially-closed window, just for a moment. A slightly, quite mild, smoky leather note makes a cameo as well. Ho Hang and Equipage sample beats from this section. Chaz tried to duplicate this and failed. This is the real deal.
Those who find 4711 too vulgar or too fleeting should make a beeline to Dunhill. On top of all of this symphonic interaction of masculine fragrance staples, the longevity is phenomenal, easily exceeding 12 hours without being overbearing and overpotent. In summary, Dunhill is a superbly-judged anthology of traditional masculine perfumery.
I wanted to like this Dunhill. When I started down the primrose path of cologne I asked the Hive Mind which colognes where the best for men. An older gentleman suggested this one. Bolstered by strong reviews I set out on a search. I especially wanted to find Dunhill as I did not want a common scent. I eventually acquired a bottle. Although I have received complements (from a middle aged lady) I initially thought the bottle was a fake because it smelled so different that I expected. But, it was confirmed, and I just almost never wear it. I have kept the bottle, but it is not one of the favorites.