A kiss or a whisper...
This is a fragrance foreseen in nightmares.
I have a suspicion that this was what Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now was talking about when quoting "The horror! The horror!" from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness".
In a recently discovered letter from Howard Philips Lovecraft to Clark Ashton Smith, in which Lovecraft describes one of his nightmares, the following passage was surely portending the birth of an anomaly like Salvador Dali pour Homme, some 50 years before its coming.
"...I dreamt of a dark pond amidst a desolated garden with long dead rose bushes. Its green, stagnant water was shimmering under an alien moon, emanating an unbearable foreboding of great evil. I was standing mesmerised in front of it, staring at its unfathomable depths, and completely unable to avert my eyes. And then I heard a cacophonous, orgiastic commotion of fifes coming from the ominous line of trees in the distance. And like answering to a call, the water begun to stir, like something unimaginably dreadful was about to emerge any moment. And along with the tumultuousness of the water, there came the smell...Oh dear God, the smell...
With a terrifying feeling that something was standing right behind me, I woke up drenched in sweat, and shaking. The last thing I remember from my dream was a fleeting glimpse of a pair of pitch black lips over my shoulder, whispering "I shall find you..." And although I'm sure that it was my imagination playing tricks on me, I'd swear that for what felt like an eternity, although it was only a few seconds, the smell seemed to have followed me, filling my bedroom.
God have mercy on us all, should this foulest of smells ever finds its way from the world of dreams to the world of the living."
If one and only one creation of every art was to be displayed in a gallery dedicated to art's finest examples, then it should be no other than Salvador Dali pour Homme representing perfumery. I guess it would be redundant to say anything about its bottle, other than it's the most bizarre and surrealistic vessel ever used to contain a fragrance. But since we're talking about Señor Dali, I also guess that this shouldn't come as surprise. I'll just add that this is not a bottle that anyone would like to sleep in the same room with. Perhaps Henry S. Whitehead's short story "The Lips" could give a good reason why. But if the bottle is bizzare one time, what's inside it simply doesn't have anything analogous in the known universe. I simply can't describe how it smells like, because I don't know what I'm smelling. But whatever it is, it is something on a titanic scale. Words like notes, sillage and longevity have absolutely no meaning here. Maybe this is the reason why it took Thierry Wasser 13 years to create another fragrance. Maybe he was someplace hiding, terrified after he realised what he had unleashed upon the world. For this is one of the very few scents, of which when I trace a whiff of them in the air, I wouldn't want to meet the one wearing it. I could swear that the air around me becomes thicker every time I dare to spray a single shot on me. And judging by their body language, I could also swear that it changes people's behaviour towards me when I'm wearing it. It's like they sense an undercurrent of hostility coming in spindrifts. And it makes an otherwise friendly smile looking beguiling in the light of day, and dangerous after dark. It is a scent that defies the senses and all the usual ways of perceiving a scent, and speaks directly to the soul. Or threatens to steal it...
I find the drydown excessively cloying... I can't with it, need a special day to wear it. If this were more on the bitter side, i would give it 9/10 stars. But cause of the sweetness, i give it 7,5. If you are a perfumista, is a must!
Why does the devil get all the good fragrances? Yes, it's true - SDph smells evil. If incense was commandeered by the Christian church, then SDph is official fragrance of the church of the dark side. It's evil, it's strong and packs a punch. The breathe and creativity of reviews already written about this wicked brew attest to the depth and striking originality of this scent. Thierry Wasser, he of the Guerlain mantel, created this? Say it is so!
If you want to get technical and dig a little deeper, SDph is a deadly fougere. Lavender and herbs (sage, basil) hit like a bolt of lightning. If you didn't recoil in horror at first blast, then you're in luck. The floral middle (think geranium & jasmine) takes over the show that leads shortly into what can only be described as the most intense and animalic musk you've ever smelled outside of a barnyard. Not even Kouros can match this. I can detect patchouli, oak moss & a drop of vanilla too but it's the musk that dominates your nose (and your soul!)
True story, I have a friend who is a dyed-in-the-wool Satanist and I've smelled SDph on him but I've never confirmed that he's actually wearing it.
Somewhere in the nether regions of the spirit world; grand ole Dali is still having a laugh over the fragrance he helped wrought onto mankind.
A haunting, claustrophobic genius fragrance which smells like nothing else. And makes nowadays' "gloomy" and dark animalic scents smell like candies. Not to stick to clichés due to the signature on the box, but the first minutes are actually a great surrealist olfactory journey in a weird, ghastly, bizarre world made of rancid fruits, carcasses, thick petrol, narcotic herbs, black rubbery sticky smoke. You really feel yourself stuck in a locked closet submerged by any kind of curiosités. And above all, or below all, a really elegant, timeless, subtle but bold fougère accord with a prominent smoke/black woods accord, which is just lying there, far and silent – an old man looking at you crawling in this gloomy, cadaveric circus of notes. Maybe Dalì himself, that is fun to see this that way. An amazingly evocative and morbid scent in which I can barely detect a couple of the notes which are supposed to be there – pure alchemic transformation into a unique, straightforward, undiscernible liquid. It takes a bit of time to love this potion, but when you start doing it, it's just one of the most unique and captivating fragrances ever made. And most important, back on Earth... a bit challenging but not as much it may seem (just a tad too rubbery after a while - better in cold days I guess).
This scent is, to me, absolutely, unwearably gorgeous. I get a dressed-up cinnamon and leather oriental, much like Gambler and Gambler Musk by Jovan, but richer and darker. It has that old, polished drawing room feeling of Van Cleef & Arpels, complete with the vase of assorted wilting white flowers from the Wife sitting on the corner of the desk. The scent becomes less spicy over time and eventually devolves into a sweet and musky patchouli and I am surprised to find I enjoy this as much as I do. Too bad, because as a 29 year-old in today's scentscape I'd probably receive a more favorable response if I went into the general Public on fire than if I had worn SDPH. Every time I find a new bygone love like this I must seem like a happy puppy, shaking and sharing a fresh carcass with anyone nearby. "Hey, Human! Look at my new toy! I'll share my new toy with you! Why are you running away?"