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Friday, June 09, 2006

Perfume Review: Christian Dior Fahrenheit


Warning for those looking for an impartial examination and a thoughtful note-by-note analysis of Fahrenheit: this review will fail on both counts. I am incapable of being objective and coherent when it comes to this fragrance. Fahrenheit is without a doubt my most favorite “men’s” scent. I think it is stunning and so very sexy…Having said that, I can never be quite sure whether I think so highly of this scent on its own merit or because of the one who used to wear it and who was stunning and so very sexy. If he wore Axe, I probably would have thought it was the most exquisite fragrance in the world.

A couple of days ago I read on Now Smell This about a “warming tendency” in masculine fragrances. Fahrenheit to me is an example of a perfect (of course!) warm scent. It was created in 1988 by Jean-Louis Sieuzac, the author of Opium, and if anyone knows how to make a gorgeous warm scent, that is the perfumer who came up with Opium. Fahrenheit is quite a few degrees lower on a scale of warmth and is much less ornate and spicy, but the hand of the Master of Warmth is apparent. The scent to me is all about smoky leather, sweet amber and violet, which is not as much powdery as it is strangely and very delightfully “nutty”. The top accord of bergamot, lemon and lavender is brighter than the rest of the fragrance, but the brightness does not last long, almost immediately the three main players I mentioned become apparent and Fahrenheit acquires that robust, dark warmth that I find so very appealing. The further into the scent’s development, the darker it becomes, going through the beautiful stage of velvety sandalwood adorned with a subtle floral note, and finally culminating in the glorious drydown of leather enriched by amber, musk, and a hint of patchouli.

To me the smell of Fahrenheit is poignant; it is heavy with memories of what have been and regrets about what could have been; it gives me the blues. I cannot wear it often, it is too painful. Too painful to realize that I haven’t seen the-one-who-used-to-wear-it-so-well for ten years (today exactly) and that I am now six years older than he was ever destined to be. And yet, such is the power of perfume that, although my more or less atheistic brain tells me that I will never see him again, when I smell Fahrenheit, I swear, I can almost feel his presence

I wrote and discarded three versions of this review. This is the least sentimental one, believe me. Next week will be business as usual, no more soppiness. Please tune in on Monday for an (unemotional, but positive) review of the new Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle.

Fahrenheit is available at Scentiments.com, $24.89- $51.89.

36 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

I fully undersand the sentiment. There is a certain Gaultier scent that an ex used that takes me right back, and I cannot bear the scent of lilac: it reminds me of the funeral of a very dear friend of mine from High School and college who died too young.

That is the power of scent, for good or ill. I suppose that's my attraction to MKK. It's far too much for me to wear out of the house, mostly, but when I do wear it, I smell loved is the only way to put it (certainly in a family blog).

I'm going to go spritz on some Rahat Loukoum: for some reason, it's daffy candied sweetness can for me sometimes nip a case of the blues in the bud.

12:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Cait Shortell said...

Dear Sweet Marina,
Your review was not overly sentimental but instead, genuine and communicative. The Auden was perfect to back you up. I love your analysis of this composition; with such an archetypal masculine scent I can fail to analyze what I am smelling. Now that you did such a good job I want to go back and smell with this in mind.

12:19 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

T,
I am pondering whether I should be offended at being called a "family blog" :-D
But I know what you mean about MKK, that exactly how it smells.
I can't figure out the reason why, but I cannot bear the smell of lilac either, in nature or in perfume. It always makes me sad for some reason.

8:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Christina H. said...

Farhenheit has memories for me too but they're all negative so of course, I hate it and to me it stinks,lol! It's amazing how events in one's life can skew people's perceptions of fragrances.

8:10 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Dear Cait,
You are too kind to me, as always. I've read somewhere (in several places, in fact) that Fahrenheit has a note of honeysuckle. Try as I might, I am unable to find it there. Violet- yes, plenty. There is another floral accord in the heart, but it smells more like ...jasmine perhaps? to me.

8:11 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
When a scent becomes for me associated with something bad, that's it, it's all over for us. Loukhoum is one example of that. I swear, whenever I put it on (not anymore!), something bad happens to me. :-)

8:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

Wonderful review, Marina. *hugs* I can relate to your experience, and, no, I don't think it was sappy in the least. This and Egoiste are now on my Resniffage list for sure.

8:14 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

A beautiful, moving piece! And with Ina, I intend to sniff this and Egoiste at the first opportunity (though I am trying not to buy; oh, well--they will be around:)

8:24 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ina,
Thank you! I remember we talked about these things once and I know you can relate. Big hugs to you!!!

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
Yikes, I hope they will be around! *knocks on wood* Fahrenheit can be had for cheap, if not on discount sites, then on eBay, but Egoiste is, as all Chanels, never really all *that* discounted. Still, it's worth it. I've been living off the miniatures, but in the end it adds up to more than a proper bottle. And that is my story and I am sticking to it. :-)

8:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Elle said...

Wonderful review. Not at all too emotional - just honest and open. I am now compelled to go revisit Fahrenheit. I wish I could wear scents of those I've loved and lost, but I can't. Love the Auden poem.

9:15 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Elle,
Thank you! It is certainly almost impossible to be able to easily wear scents like that. It's at once painful but in a strange way comforting too. More painful than comforting though.

9:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

Beautifully said, Marina. I had my dad's truck for years after he died, and it killed me to part with it because it just smelled like him. I finally gave it up to my oldest son, and I always wondered if he smelled him in there like I did.

11:04 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

((((Patty))))

Is the handsome musician in that video your oldest son?

11:06 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Lovely review, M.

I am going to do APEE next week too...do you think we'll agree?

12:28 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
I can never predict with you :-) I liked APEE much more than I did AP. Can't wait to read your review!

12:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Dusan said...

Dear Marina, being (too) emotional is not a crime!
Anyway, Fahrenheit is my Dad's favourite fragrance and I used to wear it back in high school. I liked it then, but today it is somehow overpowering to me, violets perhaps??, I dunno, there's something in it that clogs my throat. Still, I'll retry it, if only to pay homage to your scented memories :).

1:06 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Dusan,
Thank you!
That clogging thing that bothers you, might very well be violet. To me it has a plesant "nuttyness", but if does not agree with you chemistry, that "nuttyness" might really be cloying.

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Victoria said...

My favorite man's scent too. Drives me crazy. If hubby were smart he wear it more. :O)

2:51 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Victoria,
Your taste is impeccable! :-)

2:53 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy! I met a man once and after an incredible weekend ask him what fragrance he kept wearing was he said "Fahrenheit, it's the only one I've ever worn". Well the next day I went to the mall and the first thing I told her we had to do was go to the Men's Fragrance counter to smell something. I told the SA to spray a couple cards with this stuff and I immediately inhaled this incredible juice and viola! All these passionate sexy thoughts came rushing at me, I closed my eyes and could see him. This is the best mens frag I have ever had the honor of nuzzling. I luckily got to keep that man as my husband,and his signature scent!

3:08 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ah! Lucky, lucky you, how wonderful!!

3:15 PM EDT  
Blogger The Scented Salamander said...

Thank you for sharing your memories with us. As the Turks say when something bad happens, geçmis olsun, may it pass.

Fahrenheit, I actually associate with my sister who used to wear it several years ago....sorry! No sexy details to feast upon here:D

BTW, I tried Ambre Russe by Parfums d'Empire...Mamma mia!

7:46 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

M,
Thank you!
And is it good Mamma Mia or bad Mamma Mia? :-)

8:03 PM EDT  
Blogger The Scented Salamander said...

It is good, it is very good!!! I love it!

Mimi

9:39 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Woohoo!!!

9:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

I have always liked this one - for some reason I always imagine some wonderful idealized man when I smell it -I guess that's what all men's fragrances aim for but very few achieve.

2:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous sybil said...

Oh my...I am sorry for your loss. Scents can dredge up such difficult emotions sometimes. I still cannot smell a particular cologne associated with a dear friend w/out pretty much sobbing full out. You were very brave to write this lovely review.

6:50 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Flora,
You are so right. In any case no recent reviews were able to evoke that kind of image in me. Not even Terre d'hermes, which I love dearly.

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Sybil,
Thank you very much, you are very kind! So sorry for your loss. Big hugs!

8:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have a sad memory of Fahrenheit. I know I'll never see him again, and probably shouldn't see him ever again. But the thought of the scent still makes me feel all hot and dizzy....

5:57 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Very sorry to hear that :-(

10:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Charles said...

Not sure if the person your writing about is no longer living and if this is the case then I am sorry for your sorrow and I hope you feel better in your memories. Time has a way of making sorrow go away and just remember the wonderful times we spent together - at least I have found this to be true in certain cases.
I found this, over a year olde, piece and could not help but write to you and tell you in honor of your lost I will ware the Fahrenheit today July 19, 2007.
The review as always was very good.

9:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Dear Charles,
Thank you very much, you are very kind!

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger air.ocean said...

Marina,

Am researching fragrances similar to Fahrenheit for a lady friend who is a bit tired of F. and wants to wear "something like it". Stumbled upon your review - thanks! Could you think of any scents in the same line as Fahrenheit? Warm, but greenish? If you can, I'd be forever grateful!

3:53 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

air.ocean
I would recommend Dzing. It has the same leathery-floral vibe as Fahrenheit, to me.

8:07 PM EST  

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