The Dior Homme line of perfumes is one of the most iconic and successful in modern fragrance history. Characterized by its signature lipsticky iris note, the line has spawned a number of flankers that have grown into legends in their own right, as well as influenced countless others, including Valentino with its Uomo Intense (which I also own), Givenchy’s Gentleman Eau de Parfum and Prada’s L’Homme Intense.
Dior Homme Parfum, released in 2014, is perhaps the most fabled of the bunch, enjoying an almost mythic reputation in the fragrance community. But does Dior Homme Parfum really live up to the hype?
Dior Homme Parfum is the darkest, richest, and deepest variation on the theme of Dior Homme, adding leather, oud, and rose. With monumental performance, classy presentation, and great value for money, Dior Homme Parfum is without a doubt one of the best designer men’s fragrances money can buy.
Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look at Dior Homme Parfum.
Top Notes: Tuscan iris, Italian orange
Middle Notes: leather, rose
Base Notes: sandalwood, ambrette, oud, cedar
Dior Homme Parfum is an absolutely stunning scent and to this day one of my favorite fragrances of all time. I will do my best to remain as impartial as I can in this review, but full disclosure: this fragrance makes me go ga-ga. It’s the only perfume I have a back-up bottle of.
I first encountered Dior Homme Parfum near the beginning of my “fragrance journey” – the term we use in the hobby to describe our history with collecting and appreciating perfumes. It stopped me dead in my tracks; I had never smelled anything like it, and was absolutely floored both by its wonderful scent and its great strength.
It was one of my first great fragrance loves, along with Laura Biagiotti’s Roma Uomo (a 90s classic) and Bentley For Men Intense, and definitely played a large part in influencing my taste in fragrances today.
But how does it smell? Let’s get right into it.
Dior Homme Parfum opens up with a strong blast of iris that the Dior Homme line is known for, though here it is decidedly less lipsticky than in the original Dior Homme or Dior Homme Intense. That iris is coupled with just the barest bit of brightness from the orange, but soon both are overwhelmed by the dominant chord of the fragrance: smoky leather and woods.
Yes, this is a smoky, woody, leathery, and slightly powdery fragrance. At times, it actually somewhat reminds me of the smell of a campfire. This is not your clean, smooth handbag leather, like you’ll find in fragrances like Hermes’ Cuir d’Ange. Instead, the leather here is dark, rough, and yes, smoky, almost like the heavy, castoreum-laden leathers of yesterday, as in Chanel’s Antaeus or Pascal Morabito’s Or Black.
But for those who are opposed to strong leather fragrances like Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather, never fear. As the fragrance dries down, a smooth blend of creamy sandalwood, clean (not animalic) oud, ambrette (a plant-based musk), cedarwood, and, to my nose at least, a touch of vanilla. This softens the smoky, leathery harshness of the mid, lending the fragrance a creamy, almost dark chocolatey vibe that is absolutely to die for.
Another note lightening the dark, heavy load is the rose. The rose employed here is brilliant, having an almost rose watery feel which combines perfectly with the sandalwood and oud in the drydown.
There is very little sweetness to be found in Dior Homme Parfum compared to something like Valentino Uomo Intense, for example, or even Dior Homme Intense. Dior Homme Parfum is all about dark, sexy leather, woods, and smooth, powdery iris, lending it an air of maturity and sophistication that is unmatched even by many other fragrances that I own.
Overall, the scent of Dior Homme Parfum is, for my tastes at least, utterly intoxicating, sexy (though not romantic), and as dark and crepuscular as the color of the juice inside the bottle would suggest.
If I were to describe Dior Homme Parfum in a few words, they would be: dark, rich, smoky, woody, leathery, creamy, and complex.
The presentation of Dior Homme Parfum, like virtually all Dior fragrances, is superior.
Unfortunately I don’t have the box for either of the bottles I own on hand, so I will have to go by memory and Google. According to Google and memory, though, the box for Dior Homme Parfum was simple and a little bit barebones, but nice.
It’s your basic black cardboard box with the name of the fragrance and the house in gold lettering. The 2020 version of the fragrance, however, has a dark, navy blue box and adds the characteristic bee logo to the box.
Overall, the box for Dior Homme Parfum is simple but elegant.
The bottle of Dior Homme Parfum is fantastic. For one, the design is incredibly iconic and instantly recognizable. The dark juice with the black stem makes the bottle look stark, monolithic, and darkly beautiful.
As I’ve mentioned, I have two bottles of Dior Homme Parfum: a 2.5 oz (75ml) 2017 bottle, and a 3.4 oz (100ml) 2021 bottle. Both bottles are almost exactly the same, though there are certain differences.
The 75ml is of course shorter, but it also feels weightier, made of heftier glass. It also has a kind of black, plinth-like shelf separating the top part of the glass from the atomizer. The 100ml bottle does not have this plinth-like shelf thing, and, as I said, feels a bit lighter.
The only remaining difference is that the font and spacing on the front of the bottle has been changed, with “Dior Homme” being larger and more vertical than on the 75ml bottle.
The plastic cap snaps snugly into place atop the bottle, though unlike the Sauvage series, it is not magnetic. The initials “CD” are carved into the top of the cap and into the top of the atomizer. The sprayer is a Dior sprayer, which means that it shoots out like a firehose and is very easy to control.
Overall, the presentation for Dior Homme Parfum is simple but classy and elegant, in line with all Dior perfumes.
The performance of Dior Homme Parfum is absolutely outstanding.
The longevity of Dior Homme Parfum is monstrous, easily lasting on skin all day and then some. It’s also one of the few fragrances I’ve encountered that can still be clearly smelled on skin (and even projecting) the next day after sleeping through the night.
Two sprays on my perfume eating skin nets me twelve to fourteen hours of longevity minimum, and more on fabric.
This is a very long-lasting fragrance. Its strength is regarded as legendary, and I am happy to say that it lives up to the hype. This is the kind of scent that will stay on your skin until you take a shower, if it even comes off in the shower. Spray on your clothes with CAUTION: it will easily last for weeks, if not months, on fabric.
Projection & Sillage
The projection and sillage of Dior Homme Parfum are both atomic.
Two sprays on my perfume eating skin nets me four to five hours of continuous projection and radiant, arm’s length sillage.
This is the kind of scent that can easily fill up a room with even half a spray. It’s that potent; in fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s easily within the top three most potent fragrances in my collection (along with Costume National Homme Parfum and Arabian Oud Resala) and one of the most potent I’ve ever encountered.
Spray with that in mind.
This is a two or three spray fragrance, and three is really pushing it. People will notice you, without a doubt, even if you only spray it once.
Value For Money
I would, generally speaking, rate the value for money for Dior Homme Parfum as extremely high.
However, it must be said that that issue is a bit complicated when it comes to this fragrance. Similarly to Fahrenheit Le Parfum, Dior Homme Parfum is not distributed in North America or Asia, but is readily available in other parts of the world, including in Europe and the Middle East.
For a time, there were whispers that this fragrance was discontinued. Consequently, prices for the 75ml, pre-2020 bottles skyrocketed on Ebay and other online retailers. I saw bottles going for upwards of $400, which is a ludicrous price, despite the fact that I love the fragrance.
However, it has been proven now, unequivocally, that the fragrance is not discontinued and has not, contrary to many people’s fears, been reformulated for the worst.
I will say categorically, owning both the 75ml, pre-2020 version, and the 100ml 2021 version, that Dior Homme Parfum has not been changed and smells just as wonderful and beastly as it did upon its release in 2014.
In fact, it smells to my nose even better than my 2017 bottle. And I’ve got 25ml more of it now!
But, of course, the major downside is that if you wish to purchase Dior Homme Parfum and you’re located in North America, you’re going to have to go through hoops to get it.
In Europe, Dior Homme Parfum retails for €134, or about $150 for a 3.4oz (100ml) bottle. That’s $1.50/ml.
Yes, that is expensive for a designer perfume, though it is increasingly becoming the standard pricing for parfum concentrations. Don’t know the difference between parfum, eau de parfum, and eau de toilette? Take a look at this handy guide here for more deets.
In short, despite the fact that it is expensive for a designer fragrance, I think Dior Homme Parfum absolutely has high value for money. For the money, you’re getting a unique, niche quality fragrance with incredible performance and great packaging. One bottle could easily last you a lifetime, too. The downside is, of course, it’s lack of availability in North America.
Who Would Like It
I would say this is a somewhat polarizing fragrance. Some people have given me the most glowing, positive comments about it, while others have said that it’s too strong or too smoky for their tastes.
The fact of the matter is that smoky fragrances are not for everyone, and this is a smoky fragrance. It also isn’t sweet or fresh, which makes it somewhat of an anomaly in today’s world of freshies and gourmands.
For that reason, I think Dior Homme Parfum will be favored by more mature people, say at least twenty-five and up, though it’s probably best suited to thirty and up. In my view, it’s strictly a masculine fragrance, unlike its brother Dior Homme Intense, which is easily unisex.
To really love Dior Homme Parfum, you need to be able to appreciate smoke, leather, and powder, all things which take somewhat of an acquired taste. That said, I think it is a people pleaser and something that will be appreciated by a lot of people. It might, however, not be appreciated by all people. Don’t let that stop you, though!
When To Wear It
Dior Homme Parfum is, to me, strictly a winter fragrance. One reason is due to its strength; it’s simply too hard to pull off in temperatures above 50 degrees (10°C). Another is due to the scent profile. There is something about it that reminds me of the smell of distant smoke on a cold winter or late autumn day, which puts this pretty much in the cold weather only camp for me.
As far as occasions go, this is not the easiest fragrance in the world to wear. I would wear this to formal occasions, to a fancy dinner, or to a night out in the bar (not a dive bar, mind you, but a cigar lounge kind of vibe).
Otherwise, I don’t really wear it that often.
If I wear it to work, I restrict myself to a single or half spray. I wouldn’t wear this on a first date, simply because it might be a bit too strong or challenging for your date partner; instead I’d opt for the easier, breezier Dior Homme Intense.
This is not a scent you can dress down. It demands at the very least dark attire, and definitely not a hoodie and sweatpants. I like to wear it with a leather jacket, heavy sweater, and boots, and I think it would be equally at home paired with a nice dark suit or even a tuxedo.
There are quite a few fragrances that are similar to Dior Homme Parfum, though none quite match it in terms of intensity and character.
One, of course, is the lighter Dior Homme Intense, which is also an amazing fragrance and is essentially the same scent profile without the smoky leather.
Another would be Valentino Uomo Intense, which I also own. That fragrances retains the lipsticky iris of the Dior Homme line, but goes in a sweeter, more gourmand direction, in addition to adding a bit of smooth, black handbag leather.
Givenchy’s Gentleman Eau de Parfum also goes in a more gourmand direction, but also adds a spicy, balsamic twist to the mix with tolu balsam, cloves, and benzoin.
Finally, for a budget fragrance, Zara’s No. 2 Bergamot & Leather Spritz actually gets kind of close to Dior Homme Perfume, since it retains the smoky oud and leather combo. Of course, it’s not as high quality or long lasting as the Dior, but you can get it for $25, so, hey, why not?
Pros & Cons
- Unique, intoxicating scent
- Monstrous performance
- Simple but elegant packaging
- Hard to find in some regions
- Might be too overwhelming or challenging for some noses
- Cheaper alternatives can get you pretty close to the real deal
The Final Word
Overall, Dior Homme Parfum is an incredible fragrance that, in my view, absolutely lives up to its legendary reputation. It remains one of my all time favorite fragrances for a reason – whenever I smell it, I can’t help letting out a sigh of immense pleasure.
Offering a unique and beautiful scent profile, fantastic performance, chic packaging, and good value for money (if you can find it), Dior Homme Parfum is a must-have for lovers of dark, rich, and elegant masculine perfumes.
★★★★★ 5 stars out of 5