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.
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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?"
In one word "WOW"
For years I've been thinking to get this perfume, but for one reason or another I didn't, what a fool.
Finally I got it and this is one of the greatest perfumes of all times in my book, it shot right up to the top 5 of my list of favorites and considering in making it my number one.
It smells very similar to M. Micallef's Black Sashka, too similar maybe. The only difference is that the strong Artemisia note in Black Sashka has been replaced by Tarragon. Both notes are very similar but I thought I like the green and bitter Artemisia better than the sweeter anise like of Tarragon, but in SDpH case, the Tarragon seems to complement the other notes better, well, I am still in the fence on this.
The dominant note is patchouli, strong, dark, dirty patchouli which is boosted by a dark, damp oakmoss and a wet sandalwood. Lavender plays the perfect contrast to the sinister mood of the main notes and together with other notes delivers some luminosity to the murky, somber tone of this gem.
One of the most masculine perfumes in the market and lasts all day on me.
This gotta be the perfume of Barnabas Collins.
Pros: Dark, masculine, long lasting
Cons: None whatsoever"
Best fragrance i have ever used. I have had this about that 28 years and still using.
A BIG thumbs UP here. Powerful, daring and gorgeous. Patchouli, floral and LOADS of character. THE DARK POWERHOUSE !
Oh yes. I got a little story - lurking on the net, while watching Le Grand Duc's recommendations, I bumped onto this one. Bought a bottle and immediately after spraying I cursed myself. But, why so hurry, so I tried it once again... and again... and so on, always 100% disappointed by that STENCH (my ma' got suffocated by this when I was wearing it!) - so I had my ebay auction nearly finished, but - what about giving it one more chance. So I sprayed the thing and went to please my friday. And damn, then it happened! Dark sorcery, gummi-mastery, his magnificence Salvador Dali pour Homme just revealed THE THING!! Rubber, coal, incense. Outstanding and intense. Salvador is the door to my dark path in fragrances. Cancelled the ebay auction. From now on, one of my favorites! Not for everyone, but give it a chance and get surprised. Big thumbs up!
NOT dark , NOT gothic, NOT draculesque ... too much imagination .Nothing to do with Kouros .I get a kind of gasoline-alcohol start, but when it dries down you get a soappy-rose scent, not very manly .
This one was clearly such fragrance that needed several try-outs before i learned to like it. Even the second time it smelled much better than first time. Third time: i fell in love. I agree the opinions described by others as a dark, unique scent. Surrealistic? May be too much said, don't know. There is so much power in this fragrance, that it can be seen as 'evil' or 'creepy' but like said by some other reviewers but the key is spraying only 1-2 sprays! On my skin this amount developes really beautifully, when sprayed only 1-2 sprays under the shirt, to chest-belly area. Then this scent gives out its best. With heart/base notes i get a small connection to Kouros that some other mentioned, not very evident though.
One of the best sillage & longevity on my skin. Apparently this scent is more than average dependent of the skin type, because some reviewers get just opposite results of longevity.
If i think of possible candidates for the "signature scent" this is one to consider.
Magnificent smell. Mysterious, dark, romantic. Pathetic longevity. What a shame. Thumbs down for that reason only. If it lasted longer it would be one of my favourites.
Wow so many people are drama queens when it comes to fragrance reviews. I can say it's a wondeful fragrance that smells to me like One Man Show meets Kouros. I love this fragrance, and in my opinion it isn't nasty at all. I think it is more wearable than Kouros.
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I blind bought a sample of this because of all evil references in most of the reviews on Basenotes.
This smells like everything from 1970-1980 all mixed together. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as scary as I imagined and was slightly let down. I wanted a TOTALLY obnoxious scent, stronger than gasoline but, I didn’t get it.
I describe this like an old dusty bottle of POLO, burning in hell, sprinkled with baby powder. The dry down was actually pleasant, but not worthy of a regular rotation for me.
Unfortunately, it does contain the ‘grandpa’ note, that is to say, if your grandpa is CHUCK NORRIS.
You never have to smell this with your nose close to your wrist and then judge by this. Give it some space, some distance to pass by. It's the artsy cousin of Heritage and Zino and the wise uncle of Obsession. It's the grandfather of Tar and Garage with a spicy romantic heart. You can find him in his basement at night painting still pictures of flowers, using motor oil and burnt rubber for his art. He smells of darkness and cinnamon and he's aware of his weirdness. His nature is not actually of an animal: more like your surreal image of a dream fantastic creature. 20 years later, still not the coolest guy. Yet unlike Zino and Heritage, this one still deserves a talk now and then.
SDpH is a great DD (dirty / dark) fragrance but to me it sounds like a good remix version of Kouros. Am I missing something?
That being said, it still smells terrific.
03rd May, 2011 (last edited: 08th January, 2012)
I am a huge fan of this fragrance, it is both dirty and sweet in its opening: like a dark latrine pit, or perhaps some freakish pitcher plant, into which someone has poured a sack of lime and into which several small animals may have fallen to their deaths. It also reminds me of the sweet smell of a recently dead animal decaying in the hot sun, which has then been covered in spice and added to a bowl of pot pouri. Throughout its early life, there is a dirtiness which is slightly veiled by a sweet spiciness. There is also at the same time, a bitter aspect - almost like cloves are present (even though no cloves are listed as ingredients).
After about an hour (or slightly longer or shorter depending on whether your watch has gone all floppy and has ants crawling all over it) this fragrance has toned down a little, but is still dark and brooding.
There is a similarity with Witness by Jacques Bogart and Zino Davidoff, but it is only slight. This fragrance has excellent sillage and longevity and would eat the aforementioned fragrances for breakfast (and given that the bottle is capped by a massive pair of lips, that's hardly surprising).
An electrical fire in a mausoleum. Equal parts stuffy, cloying flowers, burning circuits, and corruption. Good luck picking out the notes from the pyramid. This fragrance would eat A*Men or Le Male alive. Not for the faint of heart.
All that said, it's a unique masterpiece, the bottle is gorgeous, and it's worth having on hand to wear maybe once a year. Powerful, incredible longevity, but probably not suitable for day wear.
It took me a long time to get into this. For one, it’s painfully strong. This is without a doubt the strongest fragrance I have ever smelled. It's like having someone sticking an acetylene torch up your nose and turning the gas on. That's how strong this is. I could feel myself breaking a sweat when I first tried this scent. If you’re looking for a frag with face-ripping power and sillage, look no further. This is a heavy hitter like no other.
However, repeated samplings of this paid off, because I can finally appreciate this in all its ugliness. Publishing a note pyramid for Salvador Dali Pour Homme is both necessary and pointless. Without a pyramid, you would never be able to guess what the hell is in this. By the same token, a pyramid is misleading, because you won't be able to detect any individual note in this. Just because, for example, the pyramid lists patchouli and rose as notes, don't think, "Aw cool, rose and patchouli, my favorite notes! I'm gonna love this!!" Trust me, you won't smell your favorite fragrance notes in this. This is more of a dark morass than a perfume.
Don't expect me to describe what this smells like using perfume terminology. The best way to describe this is that it smells like burning road tar and metal mixed with every spice, wood and floral note known to man. Though this was released in 1985, it has nothing in common with the big powerhouse frags from that era. Frags like Kouros and Quorum smell mainstream and watered down by comparison. Salvador Dali gives new meaning to the term "powerhouse fragrance".
If this sounds like a negative review, don't take it that way, it's not. This also happens to be the most unique and daring fragrance I have ever smelled. It takes balls to pull off wearing this. This is an extremely dark and spicy fragrance, and you will definitely set yourself apart from anyone else around you. Sure, it smells synthetic, but it also smells very exotic. It deserves a thumbs up for its uniqueness alone, and its refusal to follow any perfume trends. Salvador Dali Pour Homme is OUT THERE.
MY RATING: 8/10
Suggestions apart this oriental fougere, due to its trademark bloody vibe, is one of the few real draculesque, almost macabre scents out there, a juice (as already written somewhere by others) to be worn with caution for secret unmentionable rendez-vous. Try to smell it, in the main part of its development at least, it’s disturbing, extremely herbal, metallic (the initial smell conjures me vaguely the urine aroma), bloody, rancid (acid) but crude at once (i know the sensations are opposite but i perceive both). As soon as the base notes are set down, the scent becomes sweeter but still sinister and vintage, projecting the smell of a retro and bohemian deep lounge bursting of baroque objects, pictures, mirrors and antiques ,becoming then so tarry, churchy, leathery, old fashion and in my perception spicy, as a magic ritual potion full of wings of bat and nails of dragon. I agree who with talks about a sort of spicy/smoky/earthy kind of Cocacola effect cause this is the "taste" i detect in this phase, or better before the dry down becomes too obscure, "complicated" and rough. It's told they have blended more than 100 ingredients in a unique blend. The scent reminds me the taste of a typical barbarian sweet cake from south Italy, Calabria to be precise, prepared with blood of pork. Who follows my reviews on Basenotes knows my passion for the naughty dark potions. This one, emphasis apart, is something olfactory grotesque as an obscure hooded fellow whereof you detect under hood white eyes without a face. The problem is that this potion for 3/4 of its development is almost off-putting, strangely and marvellously off-acid. I figure in my mind some old desolate aristocratic theatre but paradoxically (it depends from the level of development) even a huge bare basement where you feel a presence somewhere behind a pillar or an heap of tires. This scent is not particularly viscous or dense but is anyway cold as a stone and dark as dark ink or better it projects the colour of its bottle, dreadful and appalling with those gigantic lips. I wear it just in some occasions, when feel in a certain mood, like a solitary dead man walking in this strange life out but i don't risk to use it on a first date for sure cause, if you get there moody and dark clothed, she could run away scared to death by your dangerously kinky aura. Going to blend itself i read somewhere it has the smell of some acid fruit and insects in decomposition down the pit of a red-violet latrine. Specially at the beginning the smell of urine and addle fruit comes to mind. In the cold, distant, separated top notes the scent contains anise, basil, clary sage and citrus-lavender. It anchors the smell to 80's and since the beginning the scent is heavy but dry-herbal. I perceive a sort of animalic vibe yet from this stage and this element is in contrast with the aromatic greeness of the first whiffs in a twisting botanic-animalic game of complexity. This corporeal feel is perceivable throughout the trip by the inquiring nose. The heart of the scent expresses nocturnal flowers as lily of the valley (providing the melancholic vibe), jasmine and obscure geranium (the coldness). The situation keeps on being for a while a metallic and impersonal affair but is destined to evolve slowly in to a sort of more obscure, deliciously stuffy, smoother, retro and decadent stage. The baroque dry down is indeed woody with vanilla, amber, dirty musk and leather which turn the scent out oriental and mysterious tough holding an averagely dry temperament. The longevity is high in my perception.
04th January, 2011 (last edited: 04th January, 2014)
Salvador Dali is a dark potion: strange bottle and stranger scent. Having said that, I like this a great deal. Quite unique with a niche-like sense of adventure. Sillage and longevity are outstanding.
I won't pretend to understand what I am smelling here. Initially it seemed to be a civet-tobacco in the Givenchy Gentleman tradition, but GG mellows into a smooth leather. Salvador Dali Pour Homme is not such a gentleman unless one's idea of a gentleman is Kim Fowley circa 1968.
There is sweetness in here but I cannot call this a sweet fragrance; it's certainly not a gourmand. The sweetness is like one of the voices emanating from Regan in "The Exorcist." It's there and then someone else shouts a bit louder - first smoke, then tobacco, then leather, then musky, musky civet. Is that Bal a Versailles I just saw for a second?
This is among my more satisfying recent purchases, since I know I won't come across many clones of this bad boy.
Imagine standing next to an old woman, an old woman that doesn't wash her clothes, an old woman who has her hair done every 3 months whether she needs to or not, an old woman that has her makeup done by The Joker, an old woman that doesn't bathe and simply applies more perfume each time she leaves the house, an old woman that just spilled GASOLINE all over her polyester pantsuit...NOW, TAKE A WHIFF! Sorry, I wanted to like this fragrance but it reeks of the above mentioned old woman with too much perfume covered in gasoline
Here's an updated version of my review for Dali PH:
An outstanding concoction that's dark and austere, and improbably sensual at the same time. Appealing and slightly off-putting like a bizarre sex rite one's attracted to immensely yet in the end fails to participate in. Celestial and, erm . . . fecal in equal measures. INSPIRED. Unique.
3,5/5 stars in my book.
And yet . . . I'm not sure it's for me.
Vincent Price bottled…dark, enigmatic, smoky, craggy, menacing, scary to some… but ultimately camp…perhaps like Salvador Dali himself in which case this scent is an artistic triumph that has successfully captured his persona in a smell. If you soaked some burnt toast in Quorum for week, you might end up with something similar to this. I don’t think the scent is very versatile, but could accept that it might smell quite stylish on the right type of person at the right time, e.g. on someone mature in an expensive leather jacket &/or dark clothes or in a dark formal suit in autumn or winter evenings only. Ugly surrealistic bottle BTW but with a nice frosted dark green-brown colour that I believe matches the “colour” of the smell remarkably well. In summary, one of those that contributes valuably to the rich tapestry of men’s fragrances and that I admire but in the end I doubt I would buy. Whenever I need a dark evening fragrance I would prefer to look to Jacomo de Jacomo or BMen, or to Grey Flannel for something nearly as craggy as SDpH but more upbeat. Nonetheless, it definitely warrants a thumbs up for being so daring & artistic – and good luck to those who can pull it off with the style it deserves.
10th July, 2010 (last edited: 14th May, 2011)
The bottle looks like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors and the fragrance smells like it.
Sweet but wilted stalks of slightly charred plant matter. Strong, dense base.
Esoteric oriental fougere.
Salvador Dali pour Homme is a fascinating blend of contrasts. Out of the bottle it is deep and bewitching. The lavender and clary sage on top gives an unusual fougere treatment to the dark oriental depth that comes bubbling up as this scent first leaves the bottle. The florals in the heart lend a hand to the gothic sensation of this fragrance. The base notes are all woods, patchouli, amber and vanilla. For me, SDpH conjures up images of ancient castles, witches sabbats under the full moon, upscale occult stores, and Aleister Crowley, O.T.O. and A.'.A.'. Ceremonies. I really love this one a lot. Choosing the right setting for it can be a bit challenging however.
This is a very interesting scent and I would definitely recommend testing it before purchasing it. A heavy, oriental scent, SDpH is an 80's style fragrance that isn't too dry for a younger man to appreciate. In my humble opinion, this is one for special occassions, whether evening dinners or formal events. It starts with a lavender, clary sage, and basil which is immediately herbaceous, and the bergamot gives the opening a slight brightness. At the same time one becomes aware of the heart notes which are dark and floral - kinda murky and damp. The impression is then herbal, floral and dark. This lasts for quite some time but after an hour or so, the base of leather, amber, patchouli, cedar and vanilla. It took a while for me to appreciate it, but its a great spicy-sweet, leathery dry down. Wish I had more occasions to wear this one.
Look no further than perfaddict's review. Spot on.
For me...late 70s and 80s at its finest. Dark blue green and spice+leather. A bit of Drakkar Noir in the top flowing to Gianfranco Ferre's first (and arguably the best) offering, For Man. Manly powerhouse that is to be reveered.
I am totally in love with this. After years of sampling and reviewing fragrances, this stands out, and is in the company of such masterpieces as Macassar. You simply have to be patient with it.
24th October, 2009 (last edited: 08th May, 2013)
Salvador Dali pour Homme is the first fragrance I have ever tried that has made me recoil in discomfort, and made me want to immediately scrub it off. Within a few seconds of application a hot animalic note smothered and overwhelmed me. The feeling was something like claustrophobia (as if I was trapped within this smell), and I had to will myself to calm down and not head straight for the bathroom.
I don’t know what the hot animalic note is, but I can try to describe it. Other reviewers have suggested that it is a lot of castoreum, and it may well be, but it is the heat that gets me and that I want to try to describe. Imagine the smell of a pan on a hot stove with nothing in it starting to glow red; now add the smell of air above hot tarmac on a sweltering day; and now add the smell of the blast of heat that comes out of an old tin shed when you open the door on a stiflingly hot day. The hot note is pervasive, and warps the animalic note far away from any civet, musk, or castoreum note I have smelled up until now.
Within a minute of application, and after calming myself down, I began to smell some other things. The basil and sage come across as a kind of dewy greenness, which provides a strangely captivating counterpoint to the hot animalic note. The contrast between the hot animalic note and the dewy greenness is interesting and somehow calming.
The arrival of the jasmine and lily of the valley add sweetness and depth to the dewy greenness, and at this point SDpH becomes wearable for me. Don’t smell your wrist directly at this point, or the hot animalic note will overwhelm everything else that is present to be smelled.
As the woods arrive, SDpH begins to lose its dewy greenness, which is a bad thing. The hot animalic note turns all of the woods dry and almost acrid, and it is only the sweetness from the amber and/or vanilla that gives SDpH any life in its dry down. The leather that comes through in the dry down is not just old and dry: it somehow smells like decay.
Salvador Dali pour Homme is a confronting and challenging fragrance. The opening is a shock, the middle is interesting, and the dry down is off putting. I have left it on for three testings, and I am pretty sure that there will not be a forth.
I am very pleased to have this wonderful fragrance in my collection! Salvador Dali Pour Homme is without a doubt a fragrance for special occasions. It is also wearable for most evening outings, if applied in moderation (a maximum of 2 sprays would be the recommended dosage). This is quite possibly the darkest selection in my collection, and while I would not hesitate to wear it for most evening outings (it is a bit too heavy for hot summer usage), it is most likely not an office or casual daily usage scent. It is a difficult to describe fragrance, and while heavy and most certainly a dark fragrance, most of the aforementioned satanic cult references can be readily dismissed. I would describe Salvador Dali Pour Homme as a very unique, heavy oriental fragrance with strong sillage and excellent longeivity, which is very wearable for most occasions when applied with judiciously. The bottle is also primo and in true Dali form!