I will not go over the artificiality of the distinction between men's and women's perfumes here, except to say that my position is that, although the distinction should not be taken too seriously, one cannot deny nevertheless the fact that certain accords are traditionally coded as being masculine and hence may feel that way to a person brought up in a culture and era that mark those scents as such. I personally cannot wear a perfume that makes me feel like I am wearing an after-shave.......
Salvador Dali pour Homme is one of my favorite cross-gender discoveries. It was introduced in1987 and is classified as a fougère scent. The company which developed it, Cofinluxe, stresses its woody, floral and chypre aspects. The composition is by perfumer Thierry Wasser.
The smoky black bottle contains a perfume that is as dark and mysterious as its outer appearance. It is a rich sensual woody and leathery scent with earthy undertones and a sweet overtone. It offers an Oriental character and it is therefore no surprise that I found it perfectly appropriate for wearing while living in Istanbul. The jus has notes of Lavender, Clary Sage, Basil, Bergamot, Anise, Geranium, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, Cedar, Patchouli, Sandal, Leather, and Vanilla.
The aromatic cologney top accord is soon followed by a darker and more concentrated impression. It reveals both the earthiness of patchouli and the sweetness of cedar, anise, lavender, vanilla, and jasmine. The jus is fairly complex and the notes are not very distinct. The leather is quite animalic with very light fatty overtones. It smells a little like a stable, in a good way.The bergamot offers a bright crest to the dark animalic scent which together with the aromatic notes creates a little bit of a coca-cola accord except somebody blew some cigarette smoke in the bottle for fun. As the fragrance unfolds and calms down I start picking up on the gentler notes, like clary sage. The drydown is gorgeous, sensual, and long-lasting. Lovely floral notes mix with horse manure to create both an impression of civilization and naturalness. After several hours, it turns into a wonderful cedar-y skin scent accented with sandalwood and if you're lucky the jasmine will come forth in the longer drydown.
The jus is very concentrated, even in the eau de toilette concentration, so a light hand is advisable when applying. Someone like my husband will probably find the scent too sweet for his taste. By the same token, it is, I think, a scent that is easy to wear for women.
As I am led to reminisce about Istanbul I see how the smoky character of Salvador Dali pour Homme evokes well for me the (polluted) fog hanging over the port city as well as smells of the coal used to heat buildings in the fall and winter. The Turks are serious smokers so it also goes well with my memory of urban air filled with nicotine. Istanbul in the fall is grey and dark just like this scent; men majoritarily wear these colors which seem to reinforce the grave, tired, and hard expressions on many a faces. Its sweetness reminds me of gourmand Oriental indulgences and its herbs, of Turkish linden tea. Its earthiness calls my mind to travel back to the streets of Istanbul as I get an impression of dusty stones and fresh cement. I have, in this way, partly bottled my memories of a city.
Salvador Dali for Men is available at many discount stores.