Dior’s successful Homme fragrance of 2005 has since spawned a long line of flankers.
Just like in cinema, the world of fragrance often finds a smash hit to be followed by a series of spin-off entries in the series. It’s part business strategy, but also can give the opportunity for the creator or the commissioner to explore a different take on a fragrance. For instance, something released initially as an eau de toilette often finds itself later accompanied by reinterpretations in eau de parfum and parfum strengths. These usually have a tweaked mix compared to their progenitors, and can be lauded or panned by fragrance fans accordingly.
Another common flanker to many successful releases is a ‘sport’ version. As is in the name, these usually tend to be something with the original’s DNA that would be suited to wear during exercise, which is another way of saying it’s going to be inoffensive, lacking character and ‘fresh’.
It has also been popular, as of late, to include a ‘cologne’ flanker in fragrance lineups. Again, these are summed up by their names, tending to be a brighter and shorter-lived version of their progenitor. This does initially lead to a thought of how is this different to the ‘sport’ versions?, and in some cases it doesn’t seem to carry a lot of difference in approach and execution. However, occasionally a cologne flanker can be an interesting and artful take on a composition.
Dior Homme spawned all of these styles of flanker, and more. Today we’ll dive into my experiences with all of them.
The good, the bad, the ugly and the surprising.
I won’t cover the Dior Homme EDT and its reformulations in this article, since they already have their own article.
Additionally, Dior Homme 2020 also has a standalone review article.
This one’s purely for the flankers!
Dior Homme Intense
Released in 2007, Reformulated in 2011, apparently reformulated again in 2020.
Intense flankers are usually just a more concentrated version of an original eau de toilette release, and this one’s no exception. I’ve not tried the original formulation of DHI, but the 2011 formulation is quite good. It’s more faithful to the 2005 EDT release than it is to the 2011 reformulation of the EDT. I find that it smells fairly similar and has similar performance. Good projection and good longevity.
Heart: Iris, Ambrette, Pear
Base: Vetiver, Cedar
I’m a fan of the 2011 formulation, it’s an intimate and sweet fragrance. More about this fragrance can be found here.
Dior Homme Parfum
Released in 2014, apparently reformulated since.
Like intense flankers, parfum flankers are another popular choice in marketing strategy. Again, it’s simply a concentration difference, but the concentration affects the characteristics of the formula.
Dior Homme Parfum is simplistic, sits close to the skin and is quite thick on the olfactory senses.
It’s very long lasting, giving me around 10 hours, and a faint presence the next morning.
Iris, Sandalwood, Leather
The parfum flanker of Dior Homme has a leathery accord to it which isn’t so prominent in the other concentrations. If you’re a fan of leather, and/or a fan of heavy scents, you’ll find it a welcome addition to the Dior Homme character.
If you’re not a fan of leather, you’ll like this one less.
If you find heavy scents cloying, you’ll also want to avoid it.
Dior Homme Eau for Men
Released in 2014, apparently reformulated in 2017, apparently discontinued.
When I wear Dior Homme Eau, it almost feels like I’ve layered the original Dior Homme with remnants of Penhaligon’s Sartorial; it’s DH lightened up with a fresh, steamy accord to it.
This comparison changes when the fragrance dries down to the base, however, as the base contains notably different accords once the buttery sweet iris disappears.
The projection is decent, and the longevity is around 6 hours on my skin.
Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Coriander
Base: Cedar, Amber
I’ve only worn the 2017 formulation. Scuttlebutt says the original formula was markedly better, however I’m always a little skeptical of how much difference really is in batch variations or subtle reformulations, given that there doesn’t seem to be a recognised date of reformulation for this scent.
I don’t really find this fragrance sufficiently different to the original Dior Homme EDT to want to buy a bottle, but it’s indisputably a quality and pleasant scent.
And I very much enjoy the steamy fresh accord that lasts the whole skin life of the fragrance.
Dior Homme Sport
Released in 2008, Reformulated in 2012, again in 2017
I’ve only worn the 2017 formulation of Dior Homme Sport, so can only directly comment on that one.
I’m told that the original formula was quite spicy and interesting, while the 2012 reformulation is supposedly a more powdery version of Dior Homme EDT, and I think that would probably have been quite nice.
The 2017 version, however, is bland and inoffensive. There’s nothing more to say about it.
Bland, and inoffensive.
Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lemon, Elemi resin
Heart: Vetiver, Cedar, Ginger
Base: Sandalwood, Rosemary, Lavender
Top: Citrus, Ginger
Base: Green notes, Cedar
Top: Grapefruit, Blood orange, Pear, Lemon
Heart: Pink pepper, Nutmeg, Geranium
Base: Vetiver, Sandalwood
The projection on the 2017 formulation is decent, and the longevity for me was around 5 hours.
Dior Homme Cologne
Released in 2007, Reformulated in 2013
Shown across is the 2013 bottle.
The 2007 bottle had a black atomiser, and the juice was a more yellow colour, as opposed to the 2013 reformulation which has an essentially clear liquid.
I’ve heard that the original release of this was essentially a cologne concentration of the original Dior Homme formula, but haven’t worn it. Interestingly, it’s a creation attributed to Francis Kurkdjian, rather than Dior’s in-house perfumer (at the time) Francois Demachy.
The current formula, however, is something I have worn and it is also a completely different story. This time, it is a Demachy creation. Reformulated Dior Homme Cologne has none of the character of Dior Homme, and like Homme 2020 EDT, it’s really a part of the portfolio in name only. Spray the current formulation of Dior Homme Cologne and the nose is presented with little other than lemon, which reminded me more of dishwashing detergent than a designer priced fragrance.
Top: Lavender, Neroli, Sage, Cardamom, Bergamot, Mandarin
Base: Cacao, Amber, Leather, Patchouli, Vetiver
Projection on the current formulation is average, thankfully, and the performance is one hour at best.
I can’t speak for the original, but it certainly sounds like it’s worth sniffing.
Conclusion and acknowledgements
Many designer perfumes nowadays boast a sizeable lineup of flankers, and Dior Homme is one of those which is somewhat labyrinthine. Hopefully this guide will have shed some light, and made your journey through exploring the Homme line easier to navigate.
Special thanks to Ashu Rahman for generously providing me a sample of Dior Homme Eau for Men so I could complete this guide. Also to Alice Tang for suggesting the idea of writing the guide.
All images of perfume bottles are from Fragrantica, with the exception of the feature image, which is my own photograph.