Dior Fahrenheit (1988) belongs in the hall of fame for sure. It has sold very well since being introduced, it’s well known by many, still retains a strong following, and has a very unique smell.
Notes include: bergamot, hawthorn, honeysuckle, nutmeg, violet leaf, sandalwood, cedar, tonka bean, patchouli, leather.
My opinion of what it smells like is slightly tainted seeing as I read what to expect before I smelled it for the first time. However, I took my mom shopping while visiting her and she instantly perceived it to smell exactly like what many other people think it smells like. Gasoline. Yes you read that correctly. Fahrenheit is floral and green with a heart of gasoline and leather. Imagine smelling your hands after spending the afternoon cutting the grass and refilling the lawn mower. Even in its unique smell, this often oversimplified fragrance has a classically composed structure of top, mid, and base notes that can be picked out with experience.
Here comes the letdown. If you have read other reviews on this fragrance some keywords you might have seen include: ultra masculine; tenacious; powerful. Unfortunately, over the years this fragrance has been reworked and weakened due to international restrictions on allowed ingredients. Dior might share some of the blame either thru cutting costs or trying to “update” Fahrenheit to be more appealing to the modern masses. Believe me though, it still smells like petrol which for some people is a real turn off. I have smelled some of the older juice, and the current version doesn’t seem to have that real wow like it used to. That super macho smell has been dialed back and I even get a certain level of soapiness. It also doesn’t last nearly as long as it used to.
If you have never tried it, I would highly recommend that you do. The smell is very intoxicating to me. Test it out and see how it works for you. I would go to your local store and try to get a few samples to test on your skin. ***Make sure that the tester is the current formulation*** I have included a picture below of what the current bottle looks like. The picture at the top of this post is what the old bottle and packaging look like. Note how the bottles have different writing and the box has different coloration. I have seen a few stores that were selling the new, but the tester they had out was the old. You might try the old stuff and then end up buying something that is quite a bit different in smell and performance.
As of today, I only own the current fragrance. I quite enjoy it. I think it is one of the best designer scents of all time with the caveat that it has slowly been downgraded over time. In being honest, I admit I don’t wear it out at night very often. I just don’t get that standout performance. I personally think it does better in the daytime and warmer weather. This way you are still pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in those conditions which is the original purpose of this fragrance. Perhaps a few sprays to wear to work or apply liberally on a warm casual afternoon when you are strolling around town. Of course don’t let that stop you from wearing it at night when you feel like it.
If you do try it out and end up falling really hard for the smell of Fahrenheit like me, then hunting down an old bottle on eBay or your local flea market is your best bet. The old bottles are fairly hard to find locally, but on eBay you can track them down if you are willing to pay the high price. I really only recommend this to the biggest of Fahrenheit fans.
So maybe more with Fahrenheit than most you really have to ask yourself, “why would I buy this?” Back in the late 80s & 90s you could pick yourself up a bottle of Fahrenheit and comfortably know that you were purchasing something that really stood out. It was very masculine and daring. Nowadays, depending on what kind of performance it has on your skin if you wear it out at night it’s possible you or others around you may not smell it. Again, I recommend testing it out for yourself. See how it works for you. See what others say. Determine why, where, and when you would wear it. I love it for the smell and it’s history, but I know other people add to their collection based on functionality.
I knew from the outset I was going to end up discussing performance & reformulations. This is often the case with fragrances that have been on the market for several years. Typically I don’t like getting too involved in this, but in this case I felt it was useful because many of the other reviews and opinions I see out there fall more in line with what it used to smell like, rather than what it currently smells like. Not only has the smell been altered, but I find its most suited occasions for wearing have shifted as well.
Feel free to leave any comments or questions that you have.