Fahrenheit 32 by Dior {Perfume Review & Musings} {Men's Cologne}



Nearly 20 years after the introduction of  the now classic Fahrenheit, in 1988, and several summer limited editions later, Dior has struck again, coming up once more with an unconventional men’s perfume playing with gender boundaries through the uninhibited showcasing of a central floral bouquet enhanced by salicylates, which are used to create a blooming effect. This time, like for Jean-Paul Gaultier Fleur du Mâle in 2007, it is based on orange blossom. Both the Fahrenheit and Mâle series skillfully display crossover qualities that make them easy to adopt by women......

Photo of iris glass flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History by cf071 

The green-floral accents of the violet leaves of Fahrenheit, originally inspired by Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene, linger on in the new juice composed by Louise Turner after a concept proposed by François Demachy. Louise Turner is also the author of Jennifer Lopez Glow (with Catherine Walsh), L'Eau by Chaumet, and Incanto for Men by Salvatore Ferragamo. The conceptual evolution is spectacular, thanks also to the recognizable quirky touch of Dior’s former Artistic Director, Hedi Slimane. It is as if Fahrenheit had donned on a white and silvery space suit and is dancing to the tune of a Strauss waltz from 2001 Space Odissey.

Fahrenheit 32 refers to the freezing point for water to emphasize a temperamental contrast with the warmer Fahrenheit. The white frosty bottle gets the point across further in its contrasts with the red solar tones of Fahrenheit.

The perfume starts with a main woody, floral, and salty-marine impression. As the floralcy intensifies, the scent becomes more powdery as well, resting on a central accord of orange blossom and dusty vetiver. Sweet balsamic vanillic undertones emerge, all the while playing with a constant subtle aqueous note that seems to ripple through and refresh the warm notes.  

The scent creates a spatial feeling of openness and expansion with the ozone, salicylates, and aldehydes. The floral bouquet is an interesting study in contrast between orange blossom, violet leaves, and violet/iris. It conjures up the image of a metallic, even glassy iris, this meant in a good way, making one think of the collection of glass flowers at the Museum of Natural History at Harvard (The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants). The proud stalk of the iris then softens, seems to turn to dust, like an image made of sand in a special-effect movie would. A very soft isolated note interplays at this point with the scent with nuances of angelica and hay.

On the skin, the drydown is precious and powdery, complex, with a subtle spicy nuance of cumin as well as a discrete note of leather sometimes bringing forth an oily/fatty nuance to the mix. The bottom note offers tobacco facets. More separated from the body, the sillage scents the air with a trail of soft orange blossom.

The first impression one gets of Fahrenheit 32 is one of originality and quirkiness, allied nevertheless with a sense of it being devised to be a wearable concoction. In designers’ fragrances, if the story told is sometimes atypical, it usually manages to draw a consensus of wearability by the end of the fragrance’s development. A little bit like Tom Ford Black Orchid, but to a lesser degree, it is more striking in the beginning and middle parts of the fragrance than in the end. There is also a vanillic-musky nuance, which I unfortunately liken to cheaper-smelling vanilla scents, that is to be found in Fahrenheit 32 and that breaks somewhat for me the magic of the scent as I find it to be, quite frankly, a bit nauseating. The most attractive aspects of the scent are the combining of a discreetly earthy and cool violet/iris (Ionones can have both facets) with vetiver and with salty nuances. Longevity of the perfume is, unsurprisingly and as advertised, that of an eau de toilette, that is, rather short-lived.

A gorgeous first impression, that upon further inhaling, retreats a bit in the corner of my memory and leaves place to more mixed feelings. But that might also be due to fluctuating acuteness in the sense of smell as in general my morning impressions are more vivid, less subtle, which does not mean necessarily that they are more true.

Notes are: fresh notes, orange blossom, vetiver, vanilla, and solar note. 

Fahrenheit 32 is available at Macy's from $47.


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9 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Thanks for the detailed review.
    As I mentioned on my own a while back, it is a very pleasant scent, but not as original as anticipated/hoped for.
    The orange blossom note does make waves this season, though, huh? LOL

    I didn't get prominent vetiver or saltiness either, more the hazy hay and powdery vanillic interplay with synthetic clean musk in the base. But of course each of us has their own perception.
    All in all I prefered the Gaultier effort. It seemed more "consistent".
    Nice try though.

  2. I am having trouble with that musk -- it smells cheap to my nose. Didn't you get the marine aspect?

  3. You have a point: that kind of musk is so usual in mainstream department store frags though, I have grown used to it and come to expect it *sigh*
    I didn't get what I deem "marine" accords, but maybe we have a different definition of this? I have to admit that I haven't come across anything that really smells to me of the ocean though (except Anya's Garden Fairchild), so you have been warned of my selective proclivities, LOL.

    I liked you final paragraph on how sense of smell is more acute at certain points. Nose fatigue is very real, I think myself.

  4. Yes, true, LOL. You may have higher standards than mine regarding what the smell of the ocean truly consists of.

    So, would you consider that Coney Island does not have an ocean smell? For me, it's there like the nose in the middle of the face as we say in French. I wonder what it translates into for you then?

  5. LOL, indeed I live in close proximity, so I have a pretty good idea.
    Oh, Coney Island is very much more sea-like than most(good phrase that in french BTW). It has the salty element down pat (great for summer!), but also the boozy character and it keeps some dryness that is necessary. Too sweet does not a good sea smell make IMO.
    I think also AP Preparation Parfumee does a good approximation of a body of water, but more of a pond or a river than the sea (no salty/iodine element).

  6. Sounds good. I am definitely looking forward to trying this one. Dior's last mens fragrance was the fantastic fragrance Dior Homme, and I consider it to be one of the finest iris fragrances created, second only to no.19 but more dynamic and interesting than both Iris Silver Mist and Hiris.

  7. I share your enthusiasm for Dior Homme, which incidentally, makes me think that, that iris in Fahrenheit 32 might not be there by pure accident if the note was successful with Dior Homme. I have not given as much thought as you have regarding the different iris fragrances you mention, but I look forward to doing so as it is a worthy object of meditation. I tended to prefer Iris Poudre over Iris Silver Mist, but there again, further thoughts would not hurt.

  8. Incredible review, M-H! I'm probably one of the few men who are excited to see the creativity in men's marketed scents centering around floral accords. You took the words right out of my mouth...I'm sure the followup on another floral composition for the creation of F.32 is due to the well received Dior Homme, which I'm sure was created that way to follow the concept of their mens line, a modern punk rock dandy.

    The original Fahrenheit was definitely all about the refinement of a leather scent made lighter and fresher to perhaps attract younger crowd at the time. It makes sense that the leather note still remains in the new composition to tie Fahrenheit's legacy.

    Haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking it might be an instant love. Interesting too, that F.32 has made an instant wide distribution compared to Dior Homme, where distribution was a bit tentative or perhaps exclusive, available in select stores. Even the Dior boutique in my area didn't carry it. I'm not sure about now, but my local Sephora finally made it available a few months ago. Glad that I don't have to hunt the internet for a bottle of Fahrenheit 32. I'm sure Macy's already has it available for testing on a display table dedicated to the scent alone.

  9. i need to know howmuch the price of fahrenheit 32
    thank u for reading

    ahmed alhajrcy

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