Perfume Directory

Dune (1991)
by Christian Dior


Dune information

Year of Launch1991
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 440 votes)

People and companies

HouseChristian Dior
PerfumerMaurice Roger
PackagingVeronique Monod
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Dune

Dune is a feminine perfume by Christian Dior. The scent was launched in 1991 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Maurice Roger. The bottle was designed by Veronique Monod

Dune fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Dune

Dune by Christian Dior (1991) is one of the more interesting fragrances to emerge from the house in their post-Roudnitska modern history. Worked on by three perfumers just like Dior Fahrenheit (1988), Dune smells sort of like a similar challenging fracas of unlikely notes, with abrasive qualities to help connect the perfume to the name, but softer and more-alluring aspects in the finish. Unlike Fahrenheit, Dune is obviously not based around an accidental petroleum barrel note, but is sort of in its own way the feminine equivalent in terms of daring, even if it would ironically get a matching masculine iteration six years later that has nothing in common with it. Maurice Roger and Jean-Louis Sieuzac returned for Dune, bringing in Nejla Barbir to work on the rather unique opening of Dune specifically. To say Dune captures the essences of a sun and heat-blasted desert is pretty accurate even if the scent isn't necessarily earthy, but it works with what it's got and has decent performance to boot.

The overall vibe of Dune is a dry semi-oriental and animalic floral fougère, a genre itself mostly unused for feminine-marketed perfumes in the modern age. Dune skirts around this face by using a heap of peony in the heart alongside a rich array of white florals, making you forget the fougère base is there until it has settled to the skin phase. The opening of Dune is the most jarring aspect, with aldehydes and bergamot paired with palisander and that omnipresent peony which follows the scent all the way down to the finish. There is a bit of mandarin here but a musky "nether regions" accord surface after the opening blast fades, merging with the peony and following into a bed of muguet, similar to Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981) but without any civet or soapy orris. The ylang-ylang and rose play tug-of-war with indolic jasmine and a dry vanilla for your attention and by the heart, more of that yellowish musk shows up alongside patchouli to really warm up the sandy approach of Dune. Oakmoss and some tonka establish the fougère accord in the end but the tonka is a light dusting compared to benzoin and sandalwood accord that helps finish out Dune. The overall effect is pretty unique, strong, and typical of the late-generation challenging animalics appearing at the cusp of the 80's and 90's, just sold to women instead of men as was the usual for the period.

Dune really is unisex in hindsight, and men will likely enjoy its sillage more than women in the modern age, since it really is just a dry white floral semi-oriental fougère with light animalic touches like Paco Rabanne Ténéré (1988) or Sybaris Antonio Puig (1988), but with all the "dad's aftershave" touches from lavender and/or geranium ironed out to make it lean very gender-neutral. I'm genuinely surpirised more men into the old dandy styles haven't stumbled upon Dune but then again, Macy's barely pitches it in store and nobody really talks about it much, even the women who enjoy it. Dune ended up being something of a wash for Dior, and never got the flanker support of other entries, with Dune Esprit de Parfum (1994) and Dune Sun (1996) being the only expansions to the line. Bone dry and musky alongside indolic tones and that vividly defiant mandarin peony accord, Dune is not a perfume to be forgotten no matter who the wear is, that is for certain. Definitely worth a test for anyone into bold perfume strokes with a bit of safety in convention, Dune is almost a year-rounder but best in extreme temperatures whether warm or cool, to let its different sides show. An underrated gem! Thumbs up!
19th May, 2019
This is probably my favourite perfume of all time, and that says a lot if you've seen how much time I spend testing (and retesting, then buying, then selling, then rebuying, etc.)

Dune may intend to conjure up sandy mounds and ocean air blowing over a garden of herbs, but in reality it's a transparent oriental with immeasurable radiance.

Starting with a splash of citrus and greenery (stemone), you may feel like an herbal-fougere accord is oncoming with a hint of lavender, but instead, you get a musky (galaxolide), chocolate-floral with the sheen of jasmine (hedione.)

The drydown, which really is what Dune is all about, is peppered with patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla. If your bottle is old enough, you may even get some of those notes composed with natural materials. What makes all of these notes meld together, though, is a huge slug of orris, which adds a dry, austere feeling and lightens the weight of these heavy materials.

A genius, outstandingly original masterpiece. Dark, pensive, and something I could never live without.

Note - the EDT is my favourite, showcasing more of a diverse note list. The extrait is more dense and focused on the drydown. The alcohol-free summer spray is an unpleasant concoction with only minor nod to the real thing. I've not yet tried the esprrit de parfum. At the time of release, Dune had a ton of promo items like broaches, earrings, bracelets and the lot. You'll come across them at high prices, but I assure you, they are not fine jewelry and shouldn't be purchased as such.
14th July, 2018
From a vintage sample... Some aldehydes on top. Not too much. A touch of greenish-floral with some wood. The middle seemed dark and moody with sort of a waxy flower smell - jasmine, ylang, and rose were almost dirty; damp, like after a rain. Lovely base where I smell sandalwood, amber, a touch of patchouli, and an oakmoss-y accord. Dune is a safe fragrance; only a tiny bit daring.
22nd May, 2018
I tested Dune without much expectation. The woody opening smells just like how I remembered it while someone in my family wore it during my teenage years. Then, what a surprise when I sniffed my wrist a while later! The amber blended with benzoin, lily, jasmin and other flowers is such a pleasant scent, so smooth and comforting. I detect somehow a slight salty/sour/bitter/whatever note providing a tiny dry twist. The sandalwood lingers somewhere in drydown and slightly spices up, providing a deeper dimension. I don't get the beach/desert image as previous reviewers. But it definitely gives me a earthy feeling, like I was embraced by the mother earth. And the sillage and the longevity is pretty impressive for an EDT.

The only thing that I'm not so happy with is that I don't get the ethestics of the bottle. Otherwise, I'd definitely recommend this sensual fragrance.

Originally written in 2013.
26th December, 2017
Boozy and powdery, with a lot of peony... Dune is getting a very vintage feel now. Wearing it now is very empowering, very classy. I love it as much as I hated it. And I hate that I'm saying that.
23rd May, 2017
Recently bought this again out of nostalgia; wore it when it first came out in 1991 and remember getting some great compliments when I'd wear it. I don't know if it's because of my body chemistry or lame nose, but I don't recognize any floral notes at all. It's always a rich blend of amber, musk and woody notes, with a touch of the bergamot & mandarin for a delicate reading of citrus. I don't mind at all -- when I want rose, peony, etc. I've got other fragrances to wear. But when I wear Dune it's because I want the warm, soft yumminess of amber. So glad I have this back in my fragrance wardrobe!
14th November, 2015

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