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Oud and cumin are natural allies -- cumin picks up with sweaty spice where oud leaves off with animalic medicinal tones. Bond No. 9 explored this accord in their incomparable Harrods Oud (2010). Make no mistake, Fahrenheit Absolute is also about this accord. Cumin is the star of the show here, despite its conspicuous absence in Dior's marketing materials. Comparisons to Cartier's Declaration are therefore apt.
In Harrods Oud, galbanum is used as a fulcrum between cumin and the myrrh/oud base -- myrrh also being present in Fahrenheit Absolute. Galbanum is green, earthy, and resinous -- the latter two properties forming harmonies with the myrrh and oud, respectively.
Dior decided on a green approach to oud with Fahrenheit Absolute as well, but utilized violet leaves instead. Violet leaf absolute is the key ingredient of the original Fahrenheit, a daring, fresh green floral with petroleum overtones. In it, the violet leaf forms a coherent harmony with the honeysuckle, chamomile, and other herbs while functioning as a bridge to the tarry synthetics.
In this flanker, however, the fresh violet leaf clashes in dissonance with the cumin, creating a uniquely repulsive accord of rank sweat and the impression of melon, though no Calone is present. The medicinal oud and thick, cloying vanilla feel tacked on and the whole structure is loose and wobbly. The unfortunate absence of vetiver removes a key pillar of structure that might have helped this olfactory house of cards from completely collapsing.
Fahrenheit Absolute, to me, is an attempt to graft on the oud and amber from Yves St Laurent's groundbreaking M7 (2002) onto the top accord of Fahrenheit. The result is not daring. Instead, it's nauseating.
08 March, 2012