I would say that Dior Homme is such a brilliant, timeless cornerstone of modern perfumery, that any variation on it will always be at least quite good. But then Dior came up with that abysmal Dior Homme Sport, so sadly that isn’t completely valid. But well, apart from that, basically all Dior Homme flankers have been compelling so far – and so is this recent Parfum version. Not entirely, but mostly. And surely not as much as the Intense. Nonetheless it’s very fine. It’s fun that I completely skipped this flanker at first, thinking that it was just a different concentration of classic Dior Homme, and didn’t even bother to read the notes or some reviews. If you’re reading this it already means you didn’t do my mistake, but well, just in case – don’t do my mistake! Dior Homme Parfum is a solid, refined, kind of more formal (or more “mature”) and drier variation on Dior Homme, specifically played on darker, luscious, spicy notes and a recognizable leather base with a clever soft hint of soapy sandalwood. Classic Dior Homme’s DNA is here, sadly not as much as I wished but still here; the unmistakable cocoa-iris-musk structure is the core vein of the fragrance (although in a slightly cheaper rendition if compared to its original form), wrapped in smooth black leather dusted with a sweet blend of pepper, some nondescript sort of blackcurrant feel and an added dose of cocoa. Sort of “Dior Homme in a bitter black praline”, so to speak, at once enhancing the sweet-dusty side of Dior Homme by giving it a sort of more carnal and mature feel, and reinforcing its darker foundation thanks to a sophisticated smooth layer of classy, slightly musky black leather. Leather is quite peculiar here – it smells kind of oily, slightly bitter and rubbery, a bit artificial (shoe-polish type, so to speak) but still very pleasant and classy. I appreciate the fact that it smells discreet and skillfully blended, so it’s not just a rough leather patch glued on the scent as it sometimes happens with leather flankers. Actually the whole scent smells pleasantly discreet and smooth, feeling sultry, quiet, somehow cozy (mostly thanks to sandalwood for me) but at the same time almost austere, with an interesting feel of musky dirt running throughout its apparent “mannered” black feel.
The only flaw I have noticed after a few wearings past the initial enthusiasm is a certain subtle feel of flatness – almost cheapness, honestly. Dior Homme Parfum is a very pleasant scent and there’s definitely some creativity here, but I feel it can’t really compete with classic Dior Homme’s quality in terms of richness, dynamism and deepness (contrary to the Intense version, which perfectly stands to that level). It feels a bit simplistic – and I don’t mean “more minimalist”, I mean just a bit cheaper, more shallow. As if the budget wasn’t as good as the concept (which is potentially great in fact). Something you can notice in the “performances” of this scent as well – kind of linear, with a slightly disappointing drydown mostly based on plain synthetic musk. But well, maybe I’m just being too picky, among today’s garbage my rating is still surely positive. All considered, if you don’t compare it to classic Dior Homme, it’s still one of the nicest, most versatile and most creative “niche-like” recent designer leathers on the market, definitely perfect if you’re looking for a classy, subtly sweet, sultry androgynous leather for your dirty nights out.