Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Dior Homme Eau de Toilette (2020 version) by Christian Dior

Total Reviews: 4
I own the older one. I just bought this 2020 version. They aren’t similar. The older one is a work of art. The 2020 version is not. However, I think the new idea is to actually sell a ton of fragrance, hence the reformulation.
I also love Fahrenheit, another work of art, but I don’t think it flies off the shelves.

This new version is nice, performs adequately, but you can tell it’s made to please the non-fragrance-obsessed.

Don’t buy into the hate for hate’s sake type criticism.

This smells nice, so I bought it.

Again, do I think the older version is more refined and a more original and sophisticated creation, without question, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the new one for what it is, a crowd pleaser.
16th February, 2020
Dior Homme 2020 is a very clean, crisp, sour-fresh and subtly sweet, airy, citrus-woody fragrance that is undoubtedly for men. It has a modern, deft, and synthetically polished feel to it--a skillful arrangement of cutting-edge aroma-chemicals which keep it on a swift, current, and stylish plane. It is NOT markedly synthetic in the harsh, clumsy, abrasive sense of modern designers that use their chemicals in heavy-handed, disproportionate fashions. However, it uses significant amounts of Iso-E Super, ambroxan, and white musks to illustrate its effect. But unless you're overly sensitive to aroma-chemicals, this should not bother you, as it's handled in a skillful manner, with no particular chemical getting in the way or obscuring the overall experience.

2020's bergamot is fresh and sour, approximating the smell of lemons and limes, and it opens bright and vibrant. It's the first thing to appear after spraying 2020 and it's immediately followed by woody undertones, creating a woody-citrus impression that feels light and lively. But there's more to it than just citrus and woods. Behind the bergamot, sort of in the spaces between it and the woody base, is a wonderfully subtle airy, breezy, semi-sweet smell that fills the gaps. Pink pepper has been listed as one of 2020's notes, and it's possible that it's here, mixing with some kind of white musk to create this airy sweetness that permeates through. It has a pleasant plasticky smell to it, and gives a firm, but discreet nod to the barbershop with its clean, sweet smell of tonics and powders. This is my favorite aspect of Dior Homme 2020 and perhaps its most distinct, defining aroma. It fills the spaces between the woody-citrus structure and creates a fragrance that is memorable and sophisticated, with its own unique flourish. In its base, 2020 concludes with silky smooth Iso-E, lending the fragrance transparency in a smooth, crisp, cedar wood finish. As I wear this new Dior, the fragrance appears in soft wafts, vacillating between a woody, citrus aromatic, and an airier, semi-sweet breeziness with subtle, aquatic hints. Overall, it's light, but present, and perhaps perfectly suited for a work environment or a situation where discretion is suggested. 2020 has a sophisticated, gentlemanly appeal and is perhaps a bit more mature than the average designer fragrance on the Macy's counter today. This is because it lacks the bold sweetness of many modern designers as well as the big, woody aroma chemicals that comprise their bases. It's a fragrance marked by subtlety, and smooth, proportioned and skillful blending. As a casual scent it will work well to convey an image of cleanliness, while dressed up it will add quiet elegance to one's overall image. In that sense, 2020 is versatile and the kind of fragrance that should see plenty of use.

One area in which I can understand people complaining about this is performance. While I personally enjoy the way 2020 performs, as I'm more in need of a discreet fragrance at this point than a loud one, if you're someone who likes your fragrances strong, with big projection and over 8 hours of longevity, you may be disappointed by this. While it has good sillage, Dior Homme 2020 doesn't project much beyond two feet at its absolute strongest, and lasts about 6 hours total. I say that with some reservation however, as aroma-chemicals like Iso-E Super can be very sneaky, coming and going in waves for a very long time while on the skin (or fabric). That's why I recommend a little caution before going all spray-crazy with this one--those aroma chemicals will get you if you're not careful. Still, 2020 does seem to be a bit not the quieter side, and not as long lasting as some of Dior's other fragrances. Personally, I don't mind this.

Final rating for this new release by Dior: A solid 8/10 with room for half a point more once I start wearing this and become more accustomed to it and hearing some feedback. Conversely, it could also lose half a point if its discreet performance proves 'too' discreet over time. Recommended as a blind buy if you want a palate-cleansing workhorse for the office or a mature, modern fragrance with quiet sophistication. Otherwise, sample it and see how it works out for you. And finally, Don't be scared off by all the negative press--this one's better than they'd have you believe.

SIDE NOTE: For the record, I 100% prefer the original over this. The original is an absolute masterpiece. 2020 is simply a pleasant experience which has its firm purpose and place in my wardrobe. If the intent behind creating 2020 was to completely replace the original, entirely halting its production, I'd understand the ire. And maybe that will happen at some point (I seriously hope not). But until then we simply have more options, so this one should be able to be enjoyed on its own without the stigma of being the demise of the classic we love. Hopefully Dior is sincere about keeping the OG in production with the name "Original" on the bottle. But the cynic in me can't help but feel that the writing's already on the wall.
18th January, 2020 (last edited: 20th January, 2020)
It’s definitely something different than traditional Dior Homme, but if you’re a fan of modern synthetics, it’s in the realm of BdC and Sauvage. For the first two hours it came across as an inbred relative of BdC and Office For Men. If other fragrances hadn’t done this before it would be something special.
17th January, 2020
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Rumours had persisted for the better part of 2019 that a new version of Dior Homme (2005) was coming, especially in light of Dior house perfumer François Demachy having reformulated Olivier Polge’s original 2005 composition in 2011 after taking over, as if to put his own stamp. People were unhappy then with the change from iconic sliver stem to black in the bottle, but the scent was more or less recognizable as it was before. After that, Demachy began messing with flankers, inventing and reinventing them several times through multiple iterations, dialing back the signature iris accord just a little more each time until it was completely absent from the last version of Dior Homme Cologne (2013). However, Demachy did something of a fake-out and tricked everyone thinking he hated iris by releasing Dior Homme Eau (2014) the following year, which probably has the most-bitter representation of the note in the whole line, only to walk back by releasing the latest version of DIor Homme Sport (2017) that once again removed it almost completely (but not entirely like in Dior Homme Cologne). I know what you might be thinking: why all this fuss over iris and cacao? Maybe it’s the fact that iris is a signature note of Olivier Polge, as he was to feature it again in Valentino Uomo (2017) before replacing his father at Chanel as house perfumer, or maybe François Demachy just really wants to rebuild the Dior Homme portfolio to his own standard, but realistically the answer is something far less dramatic . Dior Homme just doesn’t sell well enough for the kind of numbers designers want to pull from their mainstream releases these days and Dior asked him to re-orchestrate it into an entirely new scent. Iris is something of a niche flavor in men’s perfume because it is so indelibly associated with women’s cosmetics thanks to Guerlain lipstick scented with Shalimar (1925) and Coty’s Air-Spun face powder, itself scented with Coty L’Orignan (1905) before that. Some guys could just never get over that makeup-like ionone note no matter how you dress it up, and after the initial flash of gourmand genius that was Dior Homme in 2005, it clung to survival only so long based on a hardcore minority fanbase. Keep in mind I say this with love as a fan myself.

That isn’t to say Dior Homme [New] (2020) should instantly be abhorred and shunned as a pretender to the throne for replacing a sacred and beloved fragrance among hardcore Dior fans, and Dior itself is smart enough to redub the outgoing formula as “Originale” like they did with the first version of Miss Dior (1947), but this move also means more-limited production and likely a higher pricetag because of it. For those willing to wade into new designer waters, this 2020 iteration of Dior Homme is an intensely woody affair, overdosing sour musks and woods in the same way Dior Sauvage (2015) overdosed ambroxan and norlimbanol to create its own buzzy scratchy “desert-like” warmth. The opening of Dior Homme [New] is full of bergamot, pink pepper, and elemi. This sour blast is boosted with a heart of cashmeran, a synthetic wood saddled with the natural wood of atlas cedar and dry patchouli to create a green aromatic core that the sourness floats on. The base is a bit of musk and vetiver, with a touch of cypriol and a lot of Iso E Super in similar fashion to Terre d’Hermès (2008), of which I can see this draws some inspiration. Is this sexy as the new ad copy claims? Well not really, and I can tell you that the sourness of the elemi and cypriol contrasted with the herbal woody nature of this scent is going to be somewhat divisive and not mass-appealling like Sauvage, but also more “classically masculine” like a citrus chypre for men from the mid-20th century. Granted, there’s no oakmoss or sandalwood to give this the gravitas and naturalism vintage guys would expect from an accord like this, but Demachy tries to capture the same mood with modern McMolecules. Dior Homme [New] therefore is ultimately safer, and better for the office or generalist use than either previous iteration of Dior Homme before it, which translates to higher sales in the accountant-lead world of post-2000’s profit-centric designer perfume. Wear time is about 8 hours on average, with moderate performance all around, leaving a nice tart trail that will follow you throughout the day. Suggested use is fall through early spring for business casual environments or evenings.

Will fans of the original Dior Homme like this new version? Most likely not, and many of them are already screeching like incensed banshees at the notion of not getting their iris fix from their beloved favorite Dior, but some of the most discerning (also read: stuck up) Dior Homme fans clocked out years ago when the stem changed from silver to black and won’t wear anything but original vintage Dior Homme anyway, so you can’t exactly take their opinion to the bank. Personally, I like this scent well enough, but being a connoisseur of cheap-ish barbershop and drugstore masculines anyway, I’ve already smelled this sort of “sour citrus over herbs, musk and woods” combination before, as budget hearthrobs like Avon and Revlon have been doing it for decades before Demachy decided to make the Dior version of this style. You can go all the way back to Moustache by Rochas (1949) if you really want to smell the origin of the species, and get real whiffs of bergamot, sandalwood, oakmoss, and civet musk while you’re at it. Likewise, Avon did this style as recently as Avon Paradigm (2002), just with a leather twist and more herbs. Many people are already sharpening the edges of their pitchforks and lighting the bonfires without having even smelled this new Dior Homme, gearing up to tear down Castle Dior and pull Demachy from his bed for a proper scarlet lettering, but if the original iteration of Dior Homme remains available even if in limited distrubution, it should be enough for folks wishing to sit this one out. Otherwise, Valentino Uomo is also availabe if you don’t mind a splash of Nutella in your ionone-based iris, and for those undaunted by gender boundaries, Guerlain Shalimar will likely be available until the end of days. Taken on its own, Dior Homme [New] is a novel “nü-chypre” sort of deal for men, and although I think it would have been better served by a new name, I can set aside politics and enjoy it, just not in the company of other fragrance enthusiasts for fear of my life. Thumbs up.
14th January, 2020