Perfume Directory

Eau Sauvage (1966)
by Christian Dior

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Eau Sauvage information

Year of Launch1966
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1192 votes)

People and companies

HouseChristian Dior
PerfumerEdmond Roudnitska
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Eau Sauvage

This classic citrus fragrance by Dior is a favourite of many. Packaged in a very classy bottle and a classy box to match. A more "Extreme" version is available (in black packaging) called 'Eau Sauvage Extreme'. Other Dior fragrances for men include Fahrenheit and most recently, Dune for Men.

Eau Sauvage fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Eau Sauvage

hcr Show all reviews
United States
Nice lemon drop candy for 5 minutes and then poof... gone. Pleasant scent, not offensive, but just not enough. I'll assume it was probably better 50 years ago. Will try this again sometime & see if it's any better.
30th June, 2018
Like the music composer Rimsky-korsakof, Edmond Roudnitska was a naturally gifted autodidact who delighted in subtle and complex forms. He may have been a great composer of symphonic perfumes but unlike Rimsky-korsakof, Roudnitska was not a prolific source of creative ideas. His complex and multi layered masterpiece of citrus - verbena - herbs - transparent floral and vetiver shares more than a little in the structure of citrus - verbena - white floral and chypre behind François Coty's cologne de toilette, Eau de Coty.

The main difference between them - and what marks Eau Sauvage out as belonging to a new generation of perfumes - is Roudnitska's bold use of hedione. This pale and translucent jasmin isolate displaces the lemon and sweet spicy focus of the Coty, it diffuses the white floral and in doing so opens up the profile like a paper fan.

Even if it is derivative of a relatively unknown perfume, Eau Sauvage is none the less a very subtle work. Today, it's difficult for us to comprehend just how new and different it must have felt when it first came out. Back in the 1960's, masculine perfumery was still "basically the barber's Eau de Cologne. There was the green, the blue and the amber. There was also Old Spice." This according to the president of the French Society of Perfumers who was quoted in a 2012 edition of Madame Figaro magazine. "With Eau Sauvage we discovered something quite different." Eau Sauvage represented a step change in perfumery, not only achieving a new level of subtlety but perfume in general was now able to express an ethereal quality that hadn't been possible before.

This translucent quality of Eau Sauvage can make it seem to disappear in short order. In fact it doesn't vanish but it does have a tendency to lie low. But what it lacks in odour yield is made up for with increased longevity - as compared to a citrus Eau de Cologne; an old French advert from the time reads 'Méfiez-vous de l'eau qui dort' - Beware of the water that sleeps. Sleeping water - a canny image for the pale and elusive Eau Sauvage.

Back in the sixties there was less competition in the market place and a masculine perfume could be somewhat diffident about its appeal, in fact anything louder than a whiff of Gauloises might have been thought unbearably vulgar. Eau Sauvage certainly didn't suffer for being discrete, it was a stand out success and nothing came close to matching its popularity.

Not only was Eau Sauvage a commercial success, it was - and still is - critically acclaimed as a masterpiece. In the book 111 Perfumes to Smell before you Die (Les cent onze parfums qu'il faut sentir avant de mourir) the editors of French parfumista magazine Nez selected what they consider to be the most notable perfumes of the modern era. Eau Sauvage is one of only sixteen masculines to make it into the book; it is the only one they describe as a work of art.

*****
21st June, 2018
The rosemary hit first with a trace of citrus that wasn't specifically lemon. The petitgrain and basil lead through to a clean, but not soapy, vetiver finish with a nice sun-warmed skin character. When I say vetiver this was more of the airy spicy side than the green plant matter aspect.
Overall, a clean yet masculine aroma that conjures the meeting of plants and seas. . My wife complimented on it almost immediately, describing it as "beachy" smell.
While I acknowledge this fragrance just may not have worked with my chemistry, down-thumbed this Dior classic because it was seemingly only detectable wet. After 20 minutes the show was over, and at an hour it was undetectable. Such a shame. Be sure and test it with your skin and consider the "extreme" version.
06th June, 2018
Loved, loved, loved this concoction back in the '80's and for some unexplained reason, I stopped wearing it. Fast forward to 2016. Received a 'new' bottle as a gift and became immediately ecstatic. Yes...the same honest lemon note...the clean, fresh aura that I had remembered from years gone by. End of story. No longevity. No sillage. Quel dommage. Now it sits on my fragrance shelf only to be used when the outside temperatures reach a sad over 90* roasting point only to enjoy for the 20 minutes or so after applying. I understand that the reformulation (God, how I hate that word!) has undergone the surgical removal of oakmoss. Is that the key to this horrific transformation? Whatever. It is still delightful for about 10 minutes but fails to deliver as I remember, from the past. But...a ray of sunshing...I truly enjoy the new magnetic cap...sort of ends there.
03rd May, 2018
The Ladies' Tower at the Alhambra by Martin Rico y Ortega 1871
21st December, 2017
There isn't a whole lot that can be said about Eau Sauvage that hasn't already been, and the general consensus (with which I agree) is that it's a masterpiece, but I will give it my grand review nonetheless. The famed Mr. Roudnitzka would only make 3 masculines (unless you count 1951's unisex Eau d'Hermés) in his time as a perfumer, and this is the only one still being produced, if that's any indication of it's timeless power. The first masculine created by the famed perfumer (Moustache by Rochas in 1949) was more or less an early blueprint of the male chypre, but the virile animalic potency of that scent wasn't for everyone, despite it's light dusting of citrus and lavender on top to keep it fresh and austere by the day's standard. The unisex Eau d'Hermés ultimately favored by men was further in the sexually-charged direction, and Eau Sauvage seems to be it's equal-opposite successor to Moustache, but this time Roudnitzka would go it without the help of his wife Theresa to create the scent, whom was a huge source of input for Moustache, and the resultant creation was ironically more feminine, or at least more gender-neutral than Eau d'Hermés could ever hope to be. Eau Sauvage would also prove to be the first male scent for designer Christian Dior, with a whole story behind it's naming, and the whole thing was just a big deal all around. I never knew any of this going in of course, but it's fun learning later that "Eau Sauvage" not only means "Wild Water" in French, but was a corrupting of "Oui Sauvage", the way in which Christian Dior's butler addressed his friend Percy Savage when he came to visit the designer's home. Just lovely bits of character that make the scent that much sweeter!

The formula of this couldn't really be simpler, which is it's beauty to be honest. It's classified as a chypre, but it doesn't really contain the prerequisite hoary animalic base notes, but we give that a slide since literally everything else is textbook chypre. It opens with lemon rosemary, a lavender, bergamot, which is fairly barbershop-ish in modern times. After the lemon and rosemary greet you, petitgrain, jasmine, and a light dusting of sandalwood comes up to say hello in the middle, and after it dries, the textbook oakmoss, musk, amber and a touch of vetiver for a masculine edge holds your hand for the rest of the experience. That's it! No fuss, no muss, no civet or castoreum to sour or sharpen the mix, just heaps of fresh, green sophistication through a use of just a few primary vegetable notes and once-animalic but since synthetic fixatives (ambergris and deer musk have long since ceased being in commercial perfume even before Eau Sauvage came long). There is a drawback to this purely herbal composition, and that is the scent has pretty mediocre projection like a typical Avon/Mary Kay or department store fragrance under $30USD; it's totally okay if you want something that requires folks to come a little closer to enjoy your aura, but for the projection-means-better guys, this one won't do. Eau Sauvage does have pretty mean longevity though, and it should for the price: this one still goes between $60-$90USD even after being over 50 years old! It's a testament to it's desirability and staying power I suppose, and Dior has spun off a half-dozen flankers including 2 parfum formulations, an "extreme", and "extreme intense" and now one just called "Sauvage" (a modern reboot but not a replacement), all of which sit alongside the eponymous original.

Most people who smell Eau Sauvage now for the first time aren't even aware of it's age, since it's fresh, semi-sweet, and green tones just make it so classy and timeless. There is a certain degree of person who won't like stuff such as this because it doesn't have any richness to it, or chemical oomph of modern scents; I have heard some people liken this to a middle-aged man's contemporary scent, in that you have to be over a certain age to pull it off, but once you reach that age (regardless of when you were spawned), it will instantly be your signature scent. There is truth in these words to some degree, as I probably would not have appreciated something this dapper and soft in my early 20's as I do now, despite it's "wild" nomenclature. If nothing else, this joins the ranks of scents like Caron Pour Un Homme (1934), Canoe (1936), Chanel Pour Monsieur (1955), Monsieur Givenchy (1959), Aramis (1965), Kouros (1981), Eternity for Men (1989), Acqua di Gio (1996), and other time-worn men's essential classics that should be experienced, if not owned, at some point in a guy's lifespan. The scent works in nearly all seasons, and for nearly all occasions, all times of day, and is literally so well balanced, it could be my one-and-only desert island fragrance if I had to reduce everything I owned down to one selection. I only hold back on wearing it more with respect to the rest of my collection. If the art of the male chypre had an apex point, it would be this scent, and it's no wonder fougères overtook these chypre scents a decade or so after this. Where else was there left to go after Eau Sauvage? That's a question still waiting for an answer 50+ years later.
13th November, 2017 (last edited: 16th March, 2018)

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Christian Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette EDT Cologne 10ml Sample Size Bottle

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SAUVAGE EAU DE PARFUM - Christian Dior Homme EDP SAMPLE ONLY 1.5ml 3ml 5ml 10ml

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CHRISTIAN DIOR SAUVAGE Eau de Toilette EDT Cologne SAMPLE 3-5-10mL Travel Spray

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Eau Sauvage By Christian Dior 3.3/3.4 oz. EDT Spray For Men (As in picture)

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Christian Dior Sauvage 2oz Men's Eau de Toilette

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CHRISTIAN DIOR SAUVAGE Eau de Toilette EDT Cologne SAMPLE 3-5-10mL Travel Spray

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Sauvage by Christian Dior Eau de Parfum 3.4 oz / 100 ml Men's Spray

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2X - CHRISTIAN DIOR SAUVAGE - Eau De PARFUM Sample Travel Size Vial X 2

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Sauvage Cologne By CHRISTIAN DIOR FOR MEN 3.4 oz 100 Ml 3.3 oz 2 oz Spray NEW

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