© 2014 Liam Sardea
Ultimately, Dior’s Fahrenheit is a very distinctive fragrance. It is described as something: Truly embodying the pioneering spirit of Dior, Fahrenheit entered a territory thus far unexplored by a fragrance: the land of dreams, of fancy, of the quest for meaning and the infinite. A legendary bold, powerful and magnetic signature that plays on hot and cold, masculinity and sensuality.
The beauty of this fragrance lies in its ballsy, animal-like character. It is unlike any other fragrances because it utilises a very unique series of notes to create magic in a bottle. It isn’t moreish in a gourmand sense; it is the anti-gourmand, but rather a
warming hot, red and masculine scent that’s protective and intoxicating.
I think of dry earth touched by petroleum rain from a gasoline cloud, hot oozing magma from dark igneous rock only fuelled more and made destructive from a dousing of unleaded. Unlike many other fragrances that I smell, this doesn’t evoke calm or serenity, but rather a sense of self-pride and immense hedonism.
It’s undeniably a fragrance you need to dedicate yourself too; that is, considering the infinitely masculine nature of the fragrance, you need to be in the right headspace to wear it.
The gasoline note is best described as ozonic and almost processed. It is combined with the dryness of tobacco leaf, tonka bean, sumptuous leather, chamomile, cedar, sandalwood, amber, nutmeg and pepper to create the earthy, dustiness I prior described. These notes are the ones that require some dedication to wear. You cannot, nor should not wear this when you have a headache, because the dryness can be too much. The heaviness and the pleasant deepness of these notes make the fragrance red and almost aphrodisiac like.
However, the gasoline is purely mind-blowing and is like an artful ‘rust’ on the composition of this fragrance. It gives it the three dimensional quality and also serves to create something attractive, surprising and unexpected. The standout note in the mix.
Whilst the top note contains the ozonic gasoline scent, through rather masterful blending, the perfect fougere and citrus blend of lavender, bergamot, vetiver and lemon come through with a hint of chamomile bud. Fresh violet leaf amongst linalool come out amazingly also.
All these notes give it a ‘sexy’ character. I read somewhere that this fragrance is perfect for communicating sexuality. I think this notion is perfect- as in fragrances you get the polarity of a femininity, ie. “a profusion of florals”, but sometimes the male pole is ambiguous. Fahrenheit by Dior is frankly, testosterone bottled, it is what males have been missing.
“A fragrance shared unintentionally by the perfect event and encounter…or so to speak.”
The dry-down shifts from the boozy and ozonic character to a harmonious blend. The pepperiness stays; barely tame, where now the citrus and flower is elevated a little more behind the façade of gasoline. Lavender and violet leaf are now but a stern whisper, and the chamomile is, in my opinion, very important in this mix. It is the glue holding citrus and gasoline together and without it, the headiness of gasoline would figuratively be too corrosive and kill the delicates. Chamomile and its herbal, sun-dried character is the ‘aperitif’ for the gasoline- or the base in fragrance talk.
Citrus in the mix keeps the juice ‘oily’, combating the dry character of some of the woody/fougere notes to keep everything whet/wet, both you and your palette plus the fragrance.
All in all, Fahrenheit is a seasonless fragrance. Many would argue it’s strictly for winter, however some of the more floral notes are perfect for spring and summer. I must say the gasoline is a bit heavy the first 10 minutes and a bit dizzying (like literal gasoline) but I swear it’s addictive- the thematics similarities are quite humorous!
Fahrenheit screams manliness without the (ever-so) disgusting character of overwhelming civet, urine or castoreum- which I feel is something that is supposed to be manly, but is just putrid. “I’m looking at you Antaeus (Chanel)”. This is ‘manly!’ satisfied without the excessiveness and as a result this fragrance is pure timelessness. To wear this you cannot be unconfident. Stand tall and be proud of all that you do. An individual with doubt and dubiousness cannot wear this fragrance to full effect.
Personally, I love this fragrance, but it isn’t as accessible in terms of wear than other fragrances. Regardless, I most certainly appreciate highly how this fragrance opened a new scent profile and fragrance category for many to follow.
Alternatives: Terre D’Hermès by Hermès; Series 6: Tar by Comme Des Garçons; and Bang by Marc Jacobs
Subjective rating : Vintage 5/5, Reformulated 4/5
Objective rating: 4/5