Perfume Directory

Fahrenheit (1988)
by Christian Dior


Fahrenheit information

Year of Launch1988
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1603 votes)

People and companies

HouseChristian Dior
PerfumerJean-Louis Sieuzac
PerfumerMaurice Roger
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Fahrenheit

Fahrenheit is a bright "green" fragrance and is popular today, twelve years after it's launch. It is a fragrance that whether you love it or hate it, it is instantly recognisable.

Reviews of Fahrenheit

This stuff does not work on me. It smells TERRIBLE. The petroleum-fuel smell is overpowering and does not go away. It smells like an accident in a garage that one would use Goop hand cleaner to wash off -- but it doesn't wash off easily. Thumbs DOWN.
29th August, 2018
Fahrenheit is a watershed fragrance on the same level of provocation as most Dior masculines, save maybe the mild-mannered Jules (1980), and has both a legion of devout users and folks who've "crossed paths" with the scent unsuccessfully. Whether or not you find the scent fascinating in it's appeal or just altogether odd depends on how you feel about it's "barrel note", but more on that later. Fahrenheit plays on hot and cold tones within it's main structure, fusing a cool floral top with a warm woodsy middle, a base of green leather and tonka, plus that all-powerful X factor no other fragrance has, nor even can have, because the creation of Fahrenheit's most characteristic quality was a total accident. Michael Almairac, Maurice Roger, and Jean-Louis Sieuzac were all competing perfumers working on primitives to win the bid fo the next masculine Dior fragrance, but none had their idea accepted by the design house, and tossed their samples all in the same waste barrel for disposal. As fate would have it, that barrel sat out in the sunlight for a while and fused together, essentially "cooking" into one, and when somebody returned to find the barrel still there, the smell that came off was evidently so captivating that Dior had chemists analyze a sample of it so the perfumers could form a new composition around it as the base! The infamous "barrel note" is really just leather and a strong violet at it's core, which is the root cause for the petrol smell everyone comments on when they sniff the opening of Fahrenheit, but there's a mish-mash of whatever else was in those original perfume formulas in there too, cooked up and reduced in a way only nature could, so it's impossible to replicate without having the formula gleaned from the sample's analysis. The rest of Fahrenheit is more or less the same late 80's men's floral ya-ya that everyone was doing right before the age of aquatics when calone and dihydromyrcenol took over as the chemistry du jour, and is one of few such floral powerhouses from the era still available.

I'd be lying if I said this strange and cool circumstance wasn't part of the appeal for me, but beyond that, what you end up with here is a scent that fuses the "petrol leather" smell of something antique like Knize Ten (1924), with a violet-led green floral chypre that compares favorably with scents like Chanel No 19 (1971), or Jacomo Silences (1978). We have another situation here like so many of this genre where the masculine or feminine lean is entirely dependent on marketing, and a woman could totally pull this off given she enjoys that petrol leather aura. The opening of Fahrenheit is hawthorne, and honeysuckle, both really odd choices for a men's fragrance, further asserting my previous statement on gender, with bergamot, mandarin, and lavender rounding it out to keep it cool. The bergamot and mandarin aren't really enough to make this a citrus-led scent, as that "barrel note" comes out the gate right away to greet the nose, followed by a warm middle of sandalwood, cedar, chamomile, nutmeg, muguet, jasmine, and the prominent violet which also helps define Fahrenheit. Base notes are all green save the amber, and come in with the leather, patchouli, vetiver, styrax and tonka. The gasoline-like "barrel note" was reduced in 2011 because it evidently didn't meet IFRA standards, but it's still plenty there, and I've smelled both deep vintage from a year after the scent launched, and a more-recent 2015 bottle, with only the presence of the "gasoline smell" dialed back a bit in the newer one. The big deciding factor of hunting vintage or getting newer bottles entirely comes down to what you want to smell more: the "barrel note" itself or wonderful floral chypre surrounding that infamous accord, because that's what you're picking between when you choose vintage or new production, respectively. For me it's a hard choice, but ultimately the newer one wins out simply because of convenience.

Fahrenheit is also infamously brutal on longevity, although sillage can be controlled better than haters will have you believe by simply avoiding your face when applying. A spray on the chest and upper back before donning the shirt is the best way to keep your own personal "barrel bubble" closer to you. I quite like the stuff, and it stands up to heat as well as cold, because it's sharp floral nature prevents Fahrenheit from being too sweet, thick, or cloying like many things this spicy. After all, this is a leather scent we're talking here, and they're known to be pretty hardy in many weather conditions, it's just most leather scents are saddled with aromatics or tons of shrill citrus and powder to narrow their usability. Fahrenheit falls into the same relative class of "dandy-like" floral dalliances laced with something very 80's and very potent, which in this case is styrax over the usual civet found in these kinds of things. Fahrenheit does wear surprisingly well in the 21st century because of it's gender-neutral florals, which combined with it's feverish fan base, explains it's continued production for 30 years, and that's totally outside the fact that the curiosity of experiencing the scent's fuel-like signature accord just keeps drawing new people in. I enjoy this immensely, but I'll be blunt: you have to enjoy stiff leather, florals, and green chypre base notes to truly enjoy Fahrenheit, regardless of the marketing hoo-hah Dior tosses at you, so if green floral chypres or prominent leather accords aren't for you, this is no exception, so sample before going over a barrel with a full bottle purchase. I'd say this is best worn on casual days or out with friends, running errands, and nights at home. If you want to dare this in the office space or a date, you're probably the kind of risk-taker Dior tailors their Fahrenheit ads towards, but don't say I didn't warn you when you get mixed reactions. A divisive but genre-defining classic that scratches an itch for those strange friends everyone has that actually enjoy the smell of gasoline.
15th August, 2018 (last edited: 16th August, 2018)
As many, I also thoguht I was smelling gasoline out of Fahrenheit, but I was wrong. It was only after getting in touch and possessig both Chanel Cuir de Russie and Cuir de Lancome, which have the same petrol smell, tha I came to realiza that in fact that it doesn't smell of petrol, but Leather.

Altohough I like it very much, I have to be in the mood for Fahrenheit, otherwise is like being chased by a shadow that it's not my owm.
27th May, 2018
When I was in high school in the 90's I remember walking down the hall and some guy passed by me wearing this and I was instantly attracted to the scent. I literally walked around all week sniffing guys as they passed to try to find this scent. I just had to know what it was! When I finally found out who the guy was and what he was wearing, I went straight to the mall and bought it. The scent was so amazing that I became instantly obsessed with it. Newer versions don't do justice to it. There truly is no comparison to the original. Every now and then I'll pass a random guy who still has this, and every single time my head still turns on instinct.
29th April, 2018

I ran out of gas on the highway so I poured this into my fuel tank.

Just playing but yall know what I'm saying.

Them people on "My Strange Addiction" would love this cologne. .
03rd April, 2018
TeeEm Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This smell was unique! (non citrus but not spicy...)
I absolutely loved it in 1990 when I fist came across it.
Strong scent, Massive projection, good longevity

I bought it again in 2017 after a 20 year lapse BUT
the smell is weaker and slightly different (almost chemical) and its projection and longevity is now average
Has it been reformulated? Have I bought a fake? Was my bottle out of date
Based on this 3/10
06th January, 2018

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