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......
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.