Perfume Directory

Dilettante (2016)
by Hiram Green


Dilettante information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 31 votes)

People and companies

HouseHiram Green
PerfumerHiram Green

About Dilettante

Inspired by such simple pleasures as a stroll through a luscious garden after a rain shower, Hiram Green’s latest perfume, Dilettante, is an enchanted and light-hearted celebration of summer.  Based on a triptych of orange flower, petitgrain and essential oil of orange, Dilettante is an all-natural fruity and floral eau de parfum that is fresh and sweet throughout.

Dilettante fragrance notes

Reviews of Dilettante

TheDeen Show all reviews
United Kingdom
So Hiram Green is a perfumer that I have great affection for simply based on Slowdive, a fragrance I adore with every fibre of my being.
Moonbloom is naturally stunning and Hyde, Lustre etc... deliver what is expected from the raw materials used.
I'm in two minds about the compositions though, because they do heavily rely on one fantastic raw material. There's nothing wrong with that, showcasing a single material is harder than it seems and knowing just how painstaking perfumery is, it's really not that simple. However, the end result will be if you're just not that into Bulgarian Rose absolute then something like Lustre for example, is so dominant and doesn't have much else there to cling on to. I would never go as far to say it's lazy or one dimensional but it's no symphony of notes found in a classic chypre or something, but then again it's not trying to be and Hiram Green makes a deliberate, stylistic choice to make perfumes this way.

Anyway, this one is an orange blossom of the highest clarity and like most scents from this brand impeccably rendered and made with the purist in mind.
I'd say this is less on the lactonic, waxy, lightly powdered side you get from orange blossom's by Francis Kurkdjian or Serge Lutens Fleure d'Oranger and instead with a wetter, more fresh bouquet. It's quite green in the opening and does have some of the typical, leafy citrus of petitgrain.
As it settles though the floral musk develops more sour and what I perceive as vaguely animal aspects start to chime in, lightly projecting and reminding me of the challenges I faced in enjoying Orange blossom for many years. However, when I sniff close to my skin all the sweet orange is still there and I release a sigh of satisfaction at just how lovely this white floral component can be.

I have a neroli material that exhibits greener characteristics and not something I'd really picked up on in 'neroli' perfumes until I tried Pink Neroli from Abel. Not a coincidence then that they are a natural brand too.

I don't usually talk about comments or god forbid 'compliments' but this has received several remarks from my family already today. My partner said I smelled like her 'old nan' she also mentioned 4711 which I totally get. Then my Mum said I reminded her of 'old lady' (she is one like but...) and said it reminded her of a Coty perfume she used to wear in the 60's or whatever and Yardley Freesia...and 4711 my mum was FULL of the perfume history knowledge today! Haha...My sister thought it was awful.

This is lasting very well as expected, because despite being all natural Hiram Green perfumes last very well and Orange blossom is pretty tenacious stuff.

I'm enjoying it as a multifaceted orange blossom of supreme quality and although it's less headache inducing than the Serge Luten's I think I'd rather have that as it's a bit more predictably sweet throughtout. Wouldn't be suprised if Orange blossom aficionados rank this among the very best.
18th July, 2019
I like this very much and I find it so disappointing that it lasts 3-4 hours maximum on my skin. I get heady jasmine and neroli ... and then all the rest. Either my skin "eats" this up, or my sample batch was weak. On the other hand it could also be that the lack of synthetic adhesives turns this otherworldly floral bomb into a children's firecracker. Still I find it compelling.
04th July, 2019
My my, Mr. Green has a way with flowers!

Just like his Moon Bloom is my favorite tuberose, Dilettante is the very best orange blossom I have ever smelled. It is, to my nose, perfection.

It smells like an orange grove at sunset; the green of leaves, the bitterness of bark, soft flower petals, a hint of citrusy tartness, the oiliness of rinds, the honeyd wax of a bee hive in the trees, it is all there, drenched in an golden orange light. It is saturated, yet light, and very uplifting.

Wearing this reminds me that life is beautiful.

I tremble at the thought of what this perfumer could do with other flowers, let's say rose, or jasmine...
14th October, 2018
The assumption behind many indie brands is that a well turned-out line should have a broad range of styles. This generally leads to slot-filling, an unfortunate and unsuccessful tactic. Green takes a different tack. His four perfumes might look similar on paper---resinous florals of one type or another---but they vary considerably. Moon Bloom is a narcotic floral portrait, Shangri-La is dark fruity-floral chypre, Voyage is a resinous vanillic-floral. Green uses floral notes to investigate traditional genres that are ‘natural’ at their core, such as the chypre (bergamot, labdanum, moss) and the amber/oriental (resin, spice, flower). The perfumes are coherent as a collection, but their differences are quite noticeable, especially when the perfumes are compared side-to-side. The four perfumes have a similar aesthetic, but not a shared set of notes, or a house accord. For a set of four floral perfumes, there is surprisingly little overlap among them and I can easily imagine the brand’s customer buying more than one perfume.

Dilettante struck me instantly as a shrewd feel-good perfume. The joy and pleasure are direct and instantaneous, but the heart and basenotes follow with meticulous attention to dynamics and have some unexpected changes. The combination of spontaneity and precision hints at a methodical but inspired approach to composition. Dilettante ostensibly creates an idealized orange tree: flower, fruit, leaves, twigs and all. If it were just a pretty, plein-air exercise, it might reinforce the ‘perfume-lite’ bias against natural perfumery. Fortunately, there’s more to it. The fruity, green and floral notes fly at you and the perfume is unabashedly lovely, but it rotates through a range of other tones. Honeyed, woody, smokey, astringent facets undergird the heartnotes. The sweaty orange blossom salts the honey and adds a measured gourmand touch that lasts through the drydown.

Dilettante creates a very particular olfactory image (hallucination?) each time I wear it. It has the earthy/floral aroma of masa, the alkalized corn used to make sopes and tortillas. Fresh masa smells surprisingly floral, sweaty and honeyed in the same way that Dilettante does. This vegetal-floral tone enhances the animalism of the resinous base. Less animal ass than sweaty human neck. The far drydown of Dilettante is notable for two things. The first, that it exists at all. Few natural perfumes have the endurance to survive 12+ hours. The second is complexity. Dilettante’s honeyed drydown is as intricate as its singing topnotes but is richer and deeper.

I’d recommend the Hiram Green line for anyone interested in natural perfumes. More to the point, I’d recommend it to anyone simply looking for first-rate perfumery.

24th January, 2017
I’ve been very run down recently, both in body and spirit. I have a nasty eye infection that has caused my left eye to swell up like a baboon’s arse, and although I have always been rather plain, this sudden lurch towards outright ugliness has thrown me into a deep funk. (I would like to be all “Little Women” about this, but it turns out I have no depth of character, only a succession of shallow pools).

But there are two bright spots in my gloom. Well, three if you count my children, but since they are so unreliable in their light-bestowing capacity, I won’t. The first was the totally unexpected gift by a friend of a small Le Rouge Lipstick by Givenchy included in a transatlantic perfume swap. I loved the perfumes, of course, but I was delighted by the rouge. With my face looking like a freshly-peeled potato, the swipe of labia-pink lipstick was exactly what the doctor ordered for my looks and overall mood. I might look like the back of a van, but my lips are on point.

The second bright spot was a small vial of Hiram Green’s new fragrance, Dilettante, which he had thoughtfully sent me with a note explaining that this was a fruity-floral scent, “fresh, sweet and ideal for the summer months.” This description, plus the fact that the scent was orange blossom-focused, made me feel even grumpier. Surely when you’re down, you need something that matches the blackness of your soul, not the keys to Disneyland.

But I was wrong – Dilettante is not only very lovely, but is a perfume that deals in pure joy. I am doling out my sample in small drops because I take my orange blossom in therapeutic doses, like pure vitamin C on the tongue. Dilettante is a tonic; a shot in the arm. I kind of feel like Madonna.

The first few moments of the fragrance are like getting a full hit on a whole orange tree – the green, waxy leaves, the bitter rind, the pulp, and the bark. I can’t adequately describe all the different shades of green I smell in the opening of Dilettante, but it’s kind of like driving in Ireland on a summer’s day and catching a glimpse of the colors of the fields and trees, with their gold-green, pollen-green, grey-green, jungle-green, rapeseed-green and so on whirling gently into one verdant ribbon streaming at the sideline of your vision.

It’s quite oily and heavy at the start, as if all the natural oils and absolutes are fighting each other for dominance, but it also manages to feel green and fresh. It is strongly aromatic, and I sense the presence of lavender as well as the petigrain.

After a few minutes, the intensely green, orangey topnotes settle down and the more floral orange blossom begins to bloom. But I have to thank Hiram Green with all my heart here, because the naturally syrupy sweetness of the orange blossom is cut with those sharp green notes, making it the one orange blossom-focused fragrance that I think I could wear on a regular basis rather than just doling it out like Echinacea.

Dilettante grows ever more floral as time goes by, eventually settling into a pale green wax heart that smells like pure neroli oils being mixed by hand into molten beeswax, or the cushioned air of an upscale massage parlor. There may be some jasmine, but I mainly smell beeswax, neroli, orange oil, and the slight caramelized edge of lavender. I don’t find it particularly indolic, but rather waxy, gentle, and floral-aromatic in a muted way.

For a natural perfume, the longevity and sillage as impressive. I found this to be the case also with Voyage and Shangri-La. But better yet, the base is not just some lazy fading out into green soapy vagueness as with most other orange blossom scents, but contains a little surprise animal kick to reward those willing to hang around for it – a salty, skanky “licked-skin” note that is very sensual.

Although I have no idea what Hiram Green used for the base, I suspect it is either a vegetal musk derived from ambrette seed or a tincture of real ambergris. There was a beached whale recently in the Netherlands, and although it was the Indian company Ajmal that bought the huge chunk of ambergris hacked out of its gut for an undisclosed figure, I’d like to think that someone slipped Mr. Green, who himself lives in the Netherlands, a small chunk of ambergris to tinker with.

Dilettante is not at all, as the name implies, trite. It is a sunny, orangey fragrance first and foremost but there is shading here that adds complexity. And the way that animalic, musky base slides in at the end – well, that shows that the perfumer is no amateur.

On the other hand, I’d imagine that this is the first Hiram Green fragrance that would appeal to a broader, more commercial market, because it is an easy-to-enjoy citrusy fragrance that lasts a long time and just smells so darned, uncomplicatedly good. You don’t need to know much about fragrance to enjoy Dilettante, unlike perhaps with his previous perfumes where it might help to have some experience with chypres, tuberose soliflores, or complex orientals. Dilettante requires no learning curve. It is a true elixir of vitamin C for people with troubled souls and sore, weeping eyes.
08th July, 2016

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