Another review of Eau Sauvage because… At some point the scent needs to be evaluated for what it is, in comparison to other available fragrances, rather than in comparison with the memories (or aging bottles) of a vintage formulation. I would also underscore that the version of Eau Sauvage I’m reviewing is François Demachy’s post 2011ish reformulation (lighter colour, magnetic cap), which in fact had much better longevity than a NIB bottle of the 2009 formulation (oakmoss listed on the box, but weaker, flatter & shorter-lived) picked up at Sephora last year.
There’s not really any point in listing the notes: educate your nose and you can detect everything listed in an extended pyramid (the one BN lists plus things like iris, caraway, etc.), enjoying the lucid note separation while you’re at it. What’s key is not the notes but the blending… Following the initial citric burn, the balance is smooth and dynamic, with an elegant, trailing drydown. The great features of this composition that are part of its legend (a vivifying citrus, a watery freshness, a second-skin ‘sweat’ accord athwart the expected classical balance) are all there, as translated from old school reviews to what’s right under your nose. There are synthetics here, but unlike some fragrances that whine, buzz or rasp recklessly, the texture overall is graceful, and a little shabby in the most elegant possible way. Speaking of elegance, the 3.4 ounce bottle is a piece of Platonic pleasure that fits well in your hand, the metal label, like a nameplate outside an apartment in a very good neighborhood still presents Dior’s Christian name (sorry for the pun), and the atomizer is generous and efficient.
Final notes: Complaints about longevity should be read with some skepticism as the possible products of past history and knee-jerk repetition. I’ve only been into this hobby for a few years, but most things I’ve tried act just like this, if I am lucky: 1-2 hours of good projection on post-shower skin, followed by a drydown that lasts 4-6 hours on skin and 6-8 hours on the collar of my shirt. Eau Sauvage reactivates crisply with body heat and smells affectingly natural lining the skin at the end of a working day. It reapplies very effectively at the cocktail hour and will last the rest of the night if you decide to take it into the evening. Observations based on several bottles? This macerates (ages) better than most of what I’ve tried, new or vintage: my bottles have firmed up beautifully in just about six months, gaining a bit more punch in terms of both strength and longevity; if it feels too fleeting, shelve it for a season or two and try again.
Why all the fuss? If you are looking for compliments, they’re there to be had, but this is also one of the best educations in fragrance composition your designer-level dollars can buy. As a meeting point of art and entertainment, beauty, versatility and reliability, it holds its place in the present as both signature and statement.
Initial citrus blast, somewhat synthetic in aspect, but still pleasant. This was followed with ten minutes or so by a woodsy note that almost smelled like rosewood to me. I really enjoyed this addition. I should say the woodsy rosewood smell "joined", not followed, because the citrus didn't leave. It was still there as well, and they worked well together to produce a very nice combination of notes that was very enjoyable. After three hours or so, Eau Sauvage started to develop a soapy smell which became the dominant note, but the citrus and wood also persisted. It was a nice "clean", "fresh" soapy note, not overpowering or headache inducing in any way. It struck me as a nice "Dove" soap smell. I'm now at twelve and a half hours post application, it's a nice skin scent and I'm still picking up the citrus, wood, and soap aspects. This is the first Dior product that I've cared for of the ones I've tried. A very enjoyable fragrance and Eau Sauvage is definitely a permanent addition to my wardrobe. It's amazing that this fragrance was created in 1966! A testament to great perfuming!
I have nothing new or particularly profound to say about Eau Sauvage that hasn't already been said. I recently "rediscovered" it after a very prolonged hiatus. There have no doubt been many reformulations between my first bottle and the one I recently acquired. Can I call the current version a carbon copy of the vintage? Of course not. My memory isn't that good. What I can say is that my renewed acquaintance immediately evoked old memories in the uncanny way that only scent can do. For that reason I call this a successful reinterpretation of what started out as, and to my nose remains, an iconic masculine fragrance. Rejoins my shortlist of must-haves.
Light lemony-basil scent. The lemon reminds me of cut up lemons that have been run through the garbage disposal. You get the same sharp, yet fleeting lemon wafting through the air. As it drys down, more of a basil comes through and the lemon hangs around in the background. Longevity and projection are not great, but this is the type of scent that works better in an understated profile.
For me, this gets most use on hot days or after an evening shave as a refresher.
Holiday scents #8 - Dior Eau Sauvage
Because the world needs another review of Eau Sauvage... I'll kepp this brief. Terrific, genre-defining chypre full of well-balanced bergamot and lavender. I understand that the modern version has lost the oakmoss component, retaining a dose of vetiver for the woody base. Immediately fresh and familiar, I'm not sure what the oakmoss would add. No doubt those with more mileage could say.
One thing it might add would be a boost to longevity, as my sample was seriously underpowered. To be as fair as possible, I attribute some of this to the small size of the sample sprayer, and I suspect a proper size atomiser would lead to better results.
Therefore, an enthusiastic but provisional thumbs up until such time that I can re-test under more propitious conditions. Until then, caveat emptor, but there are no caveats in my mind about the ongoing relevance and importance of this fragrance.