A friend recommends a movie: "Kevin, it's perfect for you...about death, suicide, the past...the things you love!" I go, and want to leave the theater after 15 minutes. I've often bought a chocolate bar or bottle of wine after reading an article proclaiming their merits: "...you'll experience rich notes of raisin, orange peel, dates, rose, saffron." I eat and drink and want to spit. "Read this book, it will change your life!" Mostly unread, the book is now in Africa...either delighting or puzzling a child who happened to grab it from a bookshelf. If you're reading this blog, you've probably bought a perfume without smelling it because it was praised by a "trusted" reviewer. I have! I buy...and cry: "What a waste of money!"
In my early years, I would get mad at being 'tricked' out of my time and cash. I'd rant: "Liars!" "Fools!" "Tasteless ignoramuses!" Now, I'm gentle. I think: maybe that book or chocolate bar or movie or perfume DID bring joy, a sense of revelation to someone — else.
Regarding the new Dior Sauvage, I trust perfumer François Demachy believes what he says about it: 1. Sauvage is composed of materials that are"Natural...selected with extreme care...in excessive doses." 2. Sauvage's Reggio bergamot is better than ordinary bergamot, it's "fruitier...with a tinge of pepper." 3. Sauvage's Ambroxan is "An ingredient of natural origin" (so is Tupperware, quoth Robin here at Now Smell This).
Demachy and I have different takes on Sauvage.
Sauvage begins with bergamot so disfigured and diluted by alcohol/chemicals it smells cheap and abrasive (like a Whole Foods "natural" household cleaner). Sauvage's opening leads to a stale ozone and generic fruit accord that mingles with Ambroxan (delivering some pale, faux-wood aromas, with a hint of powder and meek muskiness). Sauvage smells unnatural, "plain," frugal. I'm betting 99.9 percent of Sauvage's budget went to Johnny Depp's salary and to advertising expenses (the photography and ludicrous Sauvage video).
When Chanel released Bleu de Chanel, there was a mini-uproar from perfume lovers in the blog-o-sphere; the gist of the complaints was that Chanel was "selling out" to please the mainstream, mall-loving, middle-of-the-road consumer. Well...yeah! That's how you make the big bucks! Bleu de Chanel is a huge success. Lots of online perfume commenters have said Sauvage is Dior's Bleu de Chanel. Certainly Dior wants a BIG perfume hit, but compared to Sauvage, Bleu de Chanel is complex and luxurious (though no more than a tad better in the originality department). It will be interesting to see if bland Sauvage is as big a success as Bleu de Chanel (I'm betting it won't be).
For those wondering: Sauvage has no scent relationship to the best of Dior's men's perfumes — Eau Sauvage.
Dior Sauvage is available in 60 ($72) or 100 ($89) ml Eau de Toilette; after-shave lotion and spray deodorant are also available.