On the opening I'm getting strong notes of cardamom and citrus with pink peppers and powdery violets. This is surrounded by a soft ever-present sandalwood.
The opening is a little overbearing but it soon settles down to a powdery violets and woods accord with a dash of incense.
A rough opening that settles down to a very pleasant fragrance.
My first thought after sniffing Guerlain’s Arsène Lupin Dandy was “How marvelous.” My second was that it smelled vaguely and hauntingly familiar. It didn’t take me too long to figure out why, either. It turns out that Dandy is the only scent I’ve found so far that closely approaches Amouage’s subtly beautiful Dia for Men in style – and, to a lesser extent, in content. Like Dia, Dandy is a complex, sophisticated, and finely balanced composition centered on high quality labdanum (cistus), frankincense (olibanum), and iris root, with prominent cardamom, sandalwood, and bergamot accents.
How much alike do the two actually smell? Extended side-by-side comparison reveals many parallels, but the two are not close enough to be redundant. Dia is the spicier, sweeter, and more incense-forward composition, while Dandy, true to its name, is more powdery and more conspicuously floral, with a very potent rose note at its heart. I find it comically ironic that the only fragrance I know which in any way approximates Dia is both harder to come by and (did I ever think I’d say this) even more expensive.
All comparisons aside, Dandy is an impressive composition, and easily the most accomplished masculine fragrance Guerlain has released in some time. The scent opens on a very lively and pleasing accord of bergamot, pink peppercorns, and cardamom, with dry frankincense following very closely behind. The rose and powdery iris root slide in after a few more minutes, while mildly animalic labdanum and luxuriously creamy woods shore up the foundation. For all its layered complexity, Dandy remains remarkably luminous and transparent on the skin, with little of the Edwardian bombast one might expect from the name and the contents. Too bad this couldn’t have been Guerlain Homme.
leather but atypical
It's not leathery like Knize Ten, Cuirnde Russe and Bandit. It's a sweet'ish violets, cardamom & leather with a subtle myrrh & sandalwood dry down.
I enjoyed the opening & dry down more than the middle bits. At certain points it becomes neatly identical to Cuir Amethyste (which I own& enjoy).
But where C. Amethyste is dominated by birch & vanilla accord, Dandy is predominantly myrrh, sandalwood & the Guerlinade but severely toned down.
Pros: above average complexity
Cons: a bit uninspiring in the middle section
Mmmmmm, this is lovely. A creamy suede leather, violets and cardamom (one of my favourite notes in perfumery) on a Guerlinade backbone. Warm, enveloping and more-ish. Yes, it is similar to Dia Man, but bolder, less shy. Sillage and longevity are good. Well worth the money in my book.
A gentle, discreet, well-blended take on sweet, powdery violets and pale woods. The prominence of its floral accord places it within the small category of feminine perfumes pretending to be masculine, scents such as Dior Homme which dare to go against the received wisdom of market research and choose to play the gender-bending card. One of the main reasons why Olivier Polge's creation worked was because it didn't settle for half-measures, but Le Dandy doesn't have the same boldness, uncertainly hovering somewhere between Habit Rouge and Lutens' Bois De Violette. It's pleasant and inoffensive, but also rather thin and certainly not interesting or complex enough to justify its high price tag.