Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Dunhill Icon by Dunhill

Total Reviews: 37
This is just a lot of fun. Nice, juicy opening and a soft, dapper dry down with a hint of pepper. Feels buttoned down and classy but has a nice, uplifting energy to it.

Looking at the note pyramid, I would have expected a slightly drier and more bracing opening, but Carlos Benaim went in a different direction than I expected and gave it a really bright, rich and juicy start that puts a smile on my face, then married it to a very smooth, comforting dry down.

As many have said, the bottle is just fantastic and for its price point its hard to really dislike this. It's agreeable and people pleasing without feeling boring or completely derivative. Big thumbs up.
27th December, 2019 (last edited: 30th December, 2019)
A fresh-woody scent for men (rather, unisex) that's been given a nice twist by adding a lot of neroli, and a touch of pepper. The issue is that the budget appears limited. That's why the neroli is rather synthetic (though not screechy by any means), and at times the composition does smell quite close to grape soda and orange popsicles, especially in the initial and mid phases. It could've been more abstract. The base is mostly soft woods, with hints of the earlier neroli. The dry-down is rather faint and light, which could sometimes be a blessing rather than the blaring synthetic woody-amber masculine perfumes that have proliferated in this market segment. At no point of time in its development is it loud or cheap. Perhaps good for people in college or at their first job, if they buy it at a discount.

3/5
13th August, 2019
hcr Show all reviews
United States
Enjoyed the opening, very nice and fresh. Not too familiar with classic neroli scents so not much to compare it to. However after about an hour I got the "grapefruit" note I get from Invictus and Dylan Blue that I can't stand and can't get past. Not as strong but still there. This goes to the sample graveyard.
04th July, 2019
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Destined to be a mere footnote in the fragrance landscape of our moment, perhaps, but it's still a very nice Carlos Benaim creation, following on from his work with Polo in marrying classic masculine fragrance character with contemporary designer aesthetics.

Icon is absolutely a designer fragrance--nothing niche about it, right down to the transparently synthetic construction--but it's terrifically well-built. The sharp, neroli-fueled opening dissipates and we enter more subdued herbal greenery over a smoky background. It puts its best foot forward in cold weather, when the fragrance feels especially crisp and the juniper can really come out to play.

Perfectly suited to the well-dressed man, regardless of age.
25th March, 2019 (last edited: 27th March, 2019)
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
You can't really over spray this one. I've tried. This is not a projection monster in the least. After 3 hours this becomes a skin scent. The initial blast is light and floral. Good for work.
22nd March, 2017
Why is Dunhill trying to be Bulgari or Zegna? Their theme hasn't been being 'in' since the 50's. I love their old lineup of fragrances up until about 2003, but this is just not up to snuff. Acridly bitter bergamot/pepper opening tainted with a now trendy overdose of cardamom, and of course we have to throw some 'oud' in the base, just so we've covered as much ground stylistically as we can. Whenever I read ad copy for top-loaded releases like this they always seem to have a phrase like,"a touch of modernity," which I am starting to read as, "We got rid of all the real-smelling ingredients so nobody will mistake you for an old man." Icon is painfully disjointed and burnt to my nose. Among the company's roster it feels like a 50 year-old businessman mimicking a college club-goer. Odds are that the folks who like this stuff best will be wearing entirely too much of it. A bit long-winded here, but my rant's over.
07th February, 2017
It is a great scent, no doubt. It reminds me of Terre D'hermes for sure only that woody. I don't like the opening of Terre D'hermes, so I prefer this to that... BUT, Terre D'hermes Eau Tres Fraiche is the best. As such, Tres Fraiche gets a 5/5 this gets a 4/5 only because I live in extreme heat. If I lived in a cool area, pretty sure I'd prefer the Icon.
04th December, 2016
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A pretty common, yet classic theme that's just really well done. Icon opens with a nice neroli and bergamot accord that slowly shapes by Black pepper and petigrain, but it's soft and without the bite that I usually associate with pepper and pet I grain. A nice soft vetiver and wood base supports and there are hints of lavender, iris and juniper floating in the background. It's a fairly light fragrance that is best suited for day wear, but could be worn both casually or in a professional setting. Good versatility. What fragrances used to be. Subtle and correct, but not rich enough to be elegant.

Bottle is pretty substantial as well. I'd buy this one. Thumbs up.
26th November, 2016
This one has a classic nature to it that hearkens back to 4711, yet has a subtly contemporary trait as well. Love the neroli and bergamot combination that mellows out into a nice woody character. Definitely one to test drive first, as it won't appeal to everyone.
12th November, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I have long been a fan of Dunhill’s fragrances, although they went through a thin patch for many years. After putting out the wonderful original 1934 men’s scent, the fantastic Blend 30 and the phenomenal Edition, where do you go from there? They chose to put out a string of mediocre scents which were commercial if not critical successes. They followed market trends instead of creating them. When the brand decided to get back to their core, luxury brand promise I was thrilled. If Icon was a return to Dunhill’s glory days, then I was all for it! For starters, the packaging is spectacular, even for Dunhill, which tends to do that part very well. The scent itself? Well, it is very, very good. What it is not, however, is original the way their first three scents were. Icon is a classy, quality mashup of Cartier’s Déclaration and Terre d’Hermès—both classy, quality scents themselves. Maybe a little more lavender and a slug of pepper, but the topnotes, with the cardamom and cedar is very close. But wait, this is Carlos Benaim at the helm and he is no lemming….. Where this becomes evident is in the basenotes. Once the Ellena-like opening is over, the heart is revealed to be a soapier, muskier proposition—slightly more mature and classy as can be. A hint of juniper suggests that this elegant gent, who just came from the barber’s, is a gin drinker and a slight leather note indicates that he is a fan of Dunhill’s fine leather goods. Not a bad chap to smell like.
02nd August, 2016 (last edited: 08th November, 2016)
One of the best releases by a designer house in 2015. A MASTERPIECE...And from a house i've long since written off. WHAT A COMEBACK. This scent is exactly what i was hoping to get from DIOR. An interesting, unique, quality juice which is modern, a compliment magnet, performs nicely and is masculine. This scent is a mind blower from the presentation, to the sprayer to the scent. A very strong statement from DUNHILL.

ICON is very MANLY...Men out there will love this because it has all the elements of what many women like in a men's fragrance citrus/fruity, soapy/fresh-clean, with a little bit of dirty spice for added sensuality. It does conjure comparisons to other scents like Terre de hermes and Aventus. I know, i know people always claim something smells like Aventus and this doesn't. But why Icon reminds me of the Aventus is based on their characteristics. They both are complex, clean, manly scents with huge emphasis on fruit and wood. It does share some of Terre's vibe as well in the opening based on the citrus and spice which comes across as earthy and dirty. But again this is a scent that is unique enough to be in its own lane.

This can be worn in any season, any occasion, any time. Its an Eau De Parfum and lasts 8 hours with decent projection and sillage. Its not a beast but this is beast enough and with its awesome smell you don't feel cheated at all.

I can go on and on about the beauty of this scent but i would just implore you to find this and try this. It's truly blind buy worthy. This is the type of scent the public should be paying attention to. Unfortunately the sheep are only trained to notice certain names. Icon has given me hope that it is still possible for an IFRA regulated designer house to make game changing juices. I would gladly pay retail for this scent if i had to (I didn't...lol). If DIOR or CHANEL made this it would be THE SCENT everyone would be raving about and rushing to buy. Branding and perception is truly everything. This is a scent that is as close to a perfect scent as you can get in these modern reformulated times. KUDOS DUNHILL for filling a huge VOID.

Simply put...One of the best designer releases over the last 5 years...

10/10
27th April, 2016
Diddy Show all reviews
United States
I find Icon to be pleasant, have a bit of classic and solid for spring time daytime. It's been a compliment getter for me, if that matters. I get 9-10hrs of longevity, and safe enough for my office. I too pick up the sweet orange (dreamcicle?) note, although it's not overbearing on my skin.

For those of you who like the scent but are turned off by the sweet citrus note, check out DR Harris' Windsor. To my nose they smell nearly identical, with that sweet note being the only difference. Windsor lasts on me all day as well.

Regards
15th April, 2016
UPDATE: Thumbs up. You need to spray more than 'normal' to get the effect. At least 6 sprays.

This will be a thumbs up for most, but for me, it's neutral.

Why?

It opens like Mugler cologne but muted by...wait for it...semen. Yes, semen. So Mugler Cologne lists an 'S' note in its ingredients...not sure what that is, but if it is semen, the Icon has it in spades.

The neroli is very present in the opening and for me it over shadows the other top notes.

Terre d'Hermes starts to peer through the dull neroli to eventually become prominent but muted like the neroli.

And that's about it. Maybe Icon Absolute will be better...

The bottle is GORGEOUS.
31st March, 2016 (last edited: 16th July, 2016)
Act One: Icon smells like peaches cut fresh and eaten with the skin still on. Bergamot (lemon), Neroli (warm orange floral), Petitgrain (dry bitter orange) with the dryness of pepper and the coldness of cardamom = fuzzy peaches. Act Two: healing cool green herbal from lavender, sage, juniper and cardamom. This green combined with the peachy opening smells a little of pineapple and is indeed similar to the Aventus opening as someone mentioned. But the base is distinctly its own and more distinguished. Act Three unfolds with leather, oud and vetiver into a deep mysterious, cold, cavern of damp air. The longer it wears the more prominent the base becomes as the receptive leather, oud, vetiver aroma underscores the peach fruity opening.

Icon has a nice contrast of opening through to the base and very interesting development! This is a great bottle too! For the price, this fragrance is a bargain and is almost disrespectful of the quality of the thing. For under $70 you can possess Dunhill Icon which is far superior to many an exclusively treasured niche brand that demand triple the price. This is an excellent value for this new Dunhill Carlos Benaim crafted perfume, and is an under the radar, under appreciated and underpriced gem. Some respect for Dunhill please!
19th March, 2016 (last edited: 07th September, 2016)
Very unique fragrance. I smell mostly like Skittles in the opening but the cardamom is startng to come through in the drydown stage. Not projecting much but I can smell it clearly with all the citrus coming through.
06th March, 2016 (last edited: 14th March, 2016)
Classy, versatile and unique. Excellent performance as well.
17th February, 2016
This is a nice fragrance but I am very disappointed that the dry-down became a smoother Terre D'hermes which I love. It's very disappointing to have 2 scents that are this similar. Due to the lack of creativity I am going to score Dunhill Icon a "neutral"
07th January, 2016
A pretty nice fragrance that starts off doing the citrus/pineapple fruity thing going on that is so popular right now, but morphs into something more sophisticated, grown up and spicy over time. Fairly long lasting; this rates a 7 on the "JOE" meter for different-ness. It is not like everything else that is out there. It is a good man's fragrance; a valiant effort; fairly complex and generally worthy for a modern fragrance, many of which I consider weak, wimpy rubbish. Not as good as Edition that is still on the market, and nowhere as good as Dunhill 1934, which is not. All in all, not bad, mildly intriguing and better than a lot of things peddled by movie stars and other mindless ignoramuses. Congratulations, Dunhill, you haven't sold out with this one. Oh, and the "bottle" is great. Will impress any visitors who have access to your medicine cabinet.
05th December, 2015
To me, its essence focuses on a very juicy bergamot and herbal notes...lasts a lot longer in warm/hot weather. A very chic, sophisticated scent. I was genuinely surpeised and Im looking forward to getting the intense version, to be sold in a similar, gold flacon.

Icon, is a favorite of mine. Im complimwnted a good bit, when I wear it, and layer it a little with Dolce Gabbana/Masculine or Diptyque/Oyedo.
26th November, 2015
Not bad at all. The first thing that came to mind was grape soda. Strange. Seems this would be ok in warm weather. Didn't get any oud or leather in this, but a nice fragrance nonetheless. 7/10
23rd October, 2015
Opens with a fresh mandarin and juniper berry note that is sweet in the aromatic sense and stands out quite a bit as it's fairly unique and unto itself as far as openings go. It's the kind of opening accord that probably needs to be experienced to be fully understood and I was pleasantly surprised by it. This is layered over a soft cedar note comprised of what smells like Iso-E Super and warm cardamom, which in turn creates a bit of the shaved pencil/curry aroma that's become common among the woody genre harking all the way back to the release of Declaration. Despite its familiarity, it's well-done and blends effortlessly with the opening accord. Icon is marked by a clean, soap-like sheen as a pale lavender note permeates throughout. Overall, this is a very good fragrance and reminds me a lot of a cleaner, brighter Terre d'Hermes. Both share similar orange notes over woods with cedar/Iso-e playing an important component and more or less maintaining the base. The main difference is that Icon opens sweeter, and a little less dirty, and Hermes features what feels like a deeper, more substantial woody base. While I would not place this on an equal level with Jean Claude Ellena's masterpiece, it can certainly hold its own, and I'd rank Carlos Benaim's latest offering perhaps just a step below. A solid daily-wear fragrance for work and casual nights out (or in). Projection is moderate and longevity is around 6-8 hours. It features a great bottle and solid, Dior-like atomizer as well. I look forward to wearing Icon a lot this fall. Thumbs up!
26th September, 2015 (last edited: 27th September, 2015)
Finally something able to stand up to Dunhill’s reputation. They aren’t Kilgour or Anderson & Sheppard, but they definitely deserve better than that Custom, Black, Xcentric rubbish they’ve been releasing for the past dozen of years or so. Icon finally marks some difference, starting from the bottle, a heavy – and I mean, physically hell heavy – piece of great design, not some usual random glass bottle with some lousy chrome-plastic cap. Coming to the juice inside it, well... it isn’t a groundbreaking fragrance and it doesn’t aim to be so – except for the vaguely megalomaniac name, but it’s surely miles above the abovementioned mediocrity which Dunhill has been getting us used to for the past years. Nothing overly exciting, but it’s good.

Basically Icon is an elegant, clean and laid-back everyday fragrance built on a conventional, yet always pleasant structure of classy neroli – that means a zesty mandarin note tinted with some floral-leafy muskiness – blended with cardamom, lavender, crisp woods, tangy peppery notes (I smell quite a bold note of juniper too) and a subtle sort of smooth, dusty, slightly sweet vibe all over, which I guess may be due to musk, tea (as usual, a generic sort of mellow sugary-green note), some amber and a touch of powder, well contrasting the fresh head notes. A fresh, spicy-floral and orange-y take on a “barbershop” scent with a really enjoyable soapy freshness. At first, as other reviewers mentioned, it smells a bit like Declaration due to the initial blast of cardamom on a fresh, aromatic “eau de cologne” base, just with a sharper and fresher feel; then it slowly becomes woodier and slightly soapier, with a warm and slightly smoky base keeping the distinguished “mature” vibe going on, also adding a whiff of synthetic leather.

I agree with the reference to Terre d’Hermès and similar scents (just a bit more floral and muskier, and with some richer neroli instead of some more ordinary citrus), but I also think the tart, bracing sort of brightness which persists all over Icon’s life on skin reminds me of Guerlain Homme, especially the radiant Eau Boisée flanker. Finally, I think Icon may sit also somewhere near the current version of Eau Sauvage, just in generic terms of “family”. With these names on the table, you get the picture: it won’t surprise and amaze you, but the quality is good – and that’s the point – and the fragrance smells crisp, compelling, long-lasting and refined, with a persistent, really pleasant feel of clean elegance. Mature and youthful at once, fresh, long-lasting but discreet enough to be perfect for any situation – from the office, to a date. A respectable and unpretentious candidate for a “signature scent”, surely ending straight on top of Dunhill offerings for men – it didn’t take that much for that, though.

The only “con” I would mention is an annoying synthetic, slightly sweet woody-ambery-powdery base... thing, which I get in every, and I mean every single masculine fragrance manufactured by Interparfums. I don’t know what that is, probably some of their standard bases, but at some point on the drydown, here it is – Interparfums’ signature, like a thief signing his robberies. It’s not tragic, that note/base I mean – but a bit cheap, flatly plastic. And Icon didn’t deserve that. But well, it’s nice anyway, and Benaim did a respectable job. The official retail price seems a bit too high for me, but you already find some discounted bottles here and there – at half the price, it’s perfectly worthy the purchase for me.

7/10
07th September, 2015
When I tried Dunhill for the first time around I gave it 4 stars as it was nice to smell with a good bergamot & neroli opening and a easy sweet drydown -though I couldn't notice the vetiver or leather
but I have changed my ratings to a 3 star as I wore it again for the past 2 days ...and I couldn't help but get this feeling of a chemically sweetened note which just doesn't leave the scent --right from the opening the notes are sweet like candy and it over shadows everything from top to base ..though after 2 hrs ...you get a faint vetiver but its not noticeable.......and one doesn't really like to be smelling of candy for 4 to 5 hrs straight.
Other Reviewers have talked about the bottle and how nice it looks but it doesn't really help the mediocrity of scent.
In Conclusion : I cant recommend this as it has a chemical driven /synthetic vibe to it ..which is too sweet and cloying !
21st August, 2015
My father just bought a bottle for himself duty free on an airplane from London. I smelled it for the first time today. I was first like wow such a cool bottle and so dang heavy, must be an intense alpha male type scent. Looked at notes: "wow looks like a very good mix of notes that I like a lot in my fragrances... Boy was I in for a surprise. Even giving it 5 mins on the skin was too much; vigorous scrubbing ensued...haven't had that kind of reaction in a long time. Disgusting candy-like smell is all I get, not like 1 million, but unique in its own right and absolutely terrible nonetheless.
To each his own, but my goodness, how could anyone say "intensely masculine." I believe the only time appropriate for a man to wear this would be if he was a clown at a carnival surrounded by all those sickening smells of sweet junk food to muddle it's presence.
I wouldn't even use this as a toilet air freshener to be honest.
10th July, 2015