Perfume Directory

Dunhill Icon (2015)
by Dunhill

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Dunhill Icon information

Year of Launch2015
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 149 votes)

People and companies

HouseDunhill
PerfumerCarlos Benaim
SupplierIFF
Parent CompanyInter Parfums

About Dunhill Icon

Dunhill Icon is a masculine fragrance by Dunhill. The scent was launched in 2015 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Carlos Benaim

Dunhill Icon fragrance notes

Reviews of Dunhill Icon

There are a lot of fragrances that seek to improve on the original 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser (1792), and many of them have, while in the process losing something of the charm that this simple staple eau de cologne possesses. The star note in these creations is almost always neroli, and I can perfectly understand that this is the most stand-out ingredient of any such eau de cologne made in the wake of the famous 4711. Until recent years, most things inspired by 4711 were satisfied with being of slightly greater strength but little more than an eau de toilette, but since Penhaligon's Castile (1998) set such a precedent as an eau de cologne-style fragrance with serious presence and staying power, a few perfumers seem to try embellishing on that formula with varying degrees of success. Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler (2001) is the big one of course, going in a soapier clean direction, followed by the high-end Eau de New York by Bond No. 9 (2004) which sought to take the accord into parfum strength with little added embellishments, but then we end up here well over a decade after the Bond No. 9 fragrance with Dunhill Icon (2015), doing things for neroli-powered eau de parfums nobody expected could be done. Carlos Benaim was brought in by Dunhill, whom had for years been in the discounter doldrums with release after release of uninspired dreck once they peaked in the male segment with Desire (2000), and as they changed hands from one company to another throughout the 2000's, they kept digging a deeper grave for their once-respected reputation as a mostly-masculine perfumer. Well, Icon is here to turn all that around, and Benaim intends to do so by not just strengthening and embellishing the classic eau de cologne accord as others have, but actually expanding it into something unmistakably traditional yet executed in modern style.

Dunhill Icon opens with an unmistakable neroli, so anyone hating orange blossom needs to check out of this review right now because you already know where this is headed. From this bright and semi-sweet opening floral citrus accord comes petigrain, not too dissimilar to the opening of Penhaligon's Castile, but also some black pepper and bergamot to bring home a more barbershop aspect than one might expect from a modern release. There's no ambroxan or norlimbanol to wash this into an ocean of scratch either, as the heart of lavender, sage, and juniper help re-assert that traditional barbershop eau de cologne introduction. From there, we get another whammy of classic clean dapper gentleman vibe with a nice iris note, bring in some comparisons to Dior Homme (2005), Versace the Dreamer (1996), or the sadly discontinued Infusion d'Homme by Prada (2008), but Dunhill Icon manages to avoid being an also-ran because of its secret weapon: oud. Yep, you read that right, Dunhill Icon is a neroli-focused eau de cologne style parfum with both a soapy iris note and dusty, medicinal Western oud vibe that brings it partially into the same lane as Yves Saint Laurent Oud Absolu (2011), but obviously with much less focus on oriental roundness. Once the dust settles on what must seem like a cacophony, oakmoss, a dry leather note, and a bit of grassy vetiver similar to Terre d'Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver (2018) shows up near the end, so what you get is a bright neroli barbershop fragrance that graduates from soapy and clean to mossy, green, aromatic, medicinal, and dry. Keep in mind, all of this splendor is delivered at eau de parfum strength! I don't quite see this as reinventing the wheel, but the wizardry here successfully creates a business casual daily signature scent with centuries worth of classic vibes under a revered nameplate, with a modern touch or two in the finish, and a really admirable dry down that avoids being tacky like most of the mall-savvy competition.

Dunhill Icon is not just for the mature man who never really left the 70's or 80's behind stylistically, but for the young man who can appreciate mature themes, poise, class, refinement, austerity, with just enough modern flash so as to seem contemporary. Although, I'd say a neroli-prominent scent is really unisex. Not only has Icon managed to single-handedly save the brand in the eyes of fragrance-going public, earning Dunhill a place once more alongside other high-end labels in shops like Nordstrom or Sack's Fifth Avenue, but also restored hope in the fragrance community that Dunhill can still produce good masculines, since most people still sing praises about Dunhill for Men (1934), Dunhill Blend 30 (1978) or Dunhill Edition (1984) but speak of little else after. Granted, there isn't nor ever will be anything revolutionary about revisiting the eau de cologne genre no matter how much you pad it out with other notes or increase its longevity, but much like how Castile helped save Penhaligon from being perceived a house stuck in a rut of its own history, Dunhill Icon helps free the tobacconist brand-turned-designer from the downmarket spiral it had experienced since the start of the new millennium, despite being little more than an amalgam of classic styles with newfangled flourishes. Sometimes, all you need or want is a dependable and respectable fragrance with no surprises and enough performance to earn its keep in a heavy rotation, and that is certainly the definition of Dunhill Icon. As a side note, the bottle is also massively dense and metal-clad glass almost a quarter-inch thick with a machined cap you could beat somebody with to death, so you'll never be short a paperweight in a pinch. Icon has already spawned some flankers, and they're pretty interesting, but the original is probably the most successful revisiting of a classic masculine style in existence coming from a designer in the 2010's, and that's not to be taken lightly. Thumbs up!
30th December, 2018
A really well blended fragrance from dunhill with smooth transition. The opening is all about neroli and petitgrain, bringing a orangey floral beginning with a touch of pepper but not overly obvious pepper, its just there slightly. Immediately I'm thinking of fragrances like ferrari bright neroli and neroli Portofino, what separate's icon from those is the transition to the lavender, vetiver and iris giving it more of a masculine appeal but retaining its bright energy. Icon smells fairly natural and lasts a reasonable amount of time on my skin, the bottle is the heaviest in my collection and is as appealing as any top end niche design but will present a problem in luggage weight allowance, price is fantastic also considering what your getting, well done dunhill.
14th December, 2018
Well well well!!!!!! I never thought I would smell a modern Dunhill this good!! I'm actually speechless. Fresh and classy. A cross between Aventus, Acqua Di Gio & Neroli Portofino. Just fabulous.
07th June, 2018
Icon is another one of Dunhill's updated barbershop scents, in many ways classically masculine. However this one has a relatively sharp / bitter start (neroli and pepper) which then is smoothed out with lavender and something a bit herbal, before finally giving way to a mossy-vetiver with incense (oud) and a iris that comes delightfully to the fore more and more as it dries down. I don't like it quite as much as Edition, but it is a succesful variation on a theme.
17th March, 2018
Truly an excellent, underrated, citrus masterpiece, with excellent performance.

This is 4711 with class. The dry down is addictive.
07th October, 2017
Stardate 20171002:


There are a few who are trying to do a modernist revision of old school perfumery.
L'envol and L'Hommage on violets while this one is a nice modern take on neroli centric eau de colognes.
I am not a big fan of Neroli but Icon has more to offer than just the likes of 4711. And I think this is what it shares with the other two - a certain extra oomph. Mostly done with modern ouds and musk.
Recommended if you like Neroli
02nd October, 2017

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