Dior Homme Intense is perhaps one of the greatest fragrances of all time. This timeless fragrance made its first successful debut in 2007 as a flanker to Dior’s Homme which was released back in 2005. Both releases, and later on the Parfum version, shook the foundations of world perfumery, and it was love at first sight, or sniff if you may.
Perfume lovers are accustomed to the fact that any designer’s Homme or pour Homme was a barbershop powerhouse, like Chanel’s pour monsieur and Yves saint Laurent pour Homme, Yet, Dior, known for their avant-garde releases, surprised everyone with an unorthodox iris-based masterpiece.
Dior Homme Intense makes its theatrical entrance with the invigorating and beautiful Tuscan Iris riding the fresh lavender. In order to tame this wild sharpness of the lavender, the Ecuadorian ambrette dominates the scene, engulfing the lavender and tunning it down for the heart phase of the fragrance. Then, comes the heavenly woody dry down. The woody notes come out of their hiding place and find the lingering Iris. The cedar, along with the iris, keep clinging to each other for the rest of the ride and they turn the atmosphere into a gloomy, mystic, and glacial one that draws a great distinction between the cheerful opening and the dark dry down.
Straight to the controversy, is Dior Homme intense still worthy in 2022? Have there been any reformulations for the fragrance? Is the performance still solid?
Let me start speaking from my personal experience, I own/owned 2013, 2014, 2017, 2020, and 2021 batches, moreover, I tried the 2018 one. To start answering the question of the hour; are there any differences between them, we have to first understand perfume chemistry, the oil-alcohol blending, and the maceration process.
Perfumes are a blend of perfume oils and alcohol. When you start spraying the perfume, oxygen enters the bottle adding a new ingredient to the blend. Of course, this is well accounted for in the broad sense of the word, however, sometimes side effects chronically occur. These side effects are usually well-recognized. On the other hand, some people misinterpret them as perfume reformulations.
Some of these side effects are the slow vanishing or decay of some top notes, and while directly skipping to the heart of the perfume may miss the inviting opening, it gives a certain depth to the perfume and directs the minds of thorough frag heads to reformulation.
A long story short, aside from actual reformulations, Perfumes change a little over time. Sometimes, the performance boosts, other times, some of the notes get tuned down or vanish from the notes pyramid. In my own humble opinion, that is the case with Dior Homme intense.
Dior Homme Intense has two official releases the 2007 version and the 2011 version. However, claims are made of two unofficial reformulations for the 2011 version, one amid 2014 and another one in 2020.
I still own the 4R01 batch of April 2014 and for two years I have had the 2013 3Y04 batch. Both are supposedly the same as the 2011 version. Smelling it as I write this article, the iris in the opening is much more tuned down and the lavender takes the lead. That’s as much of a difference as I can get in the opening. Moving forward towards the heart of the fragrance, I sense some cacao and ambrette along with some remanent vanilla, which is not listed. During the dry-down, the lavender disappears completely leaving a resinous, warm and sweet smell.
Now, for the 2020 and 2021 batches, which I own as well, the fresh opening persists throughout the perfume’s lifetime. The iris and lavender play host to all the other notes.
2020/2021 batches are ‘fresher’ or cleaner, maybe even closer to Dior Homme, but the rest is as I mentioned in the beginning of this article.
Performance wise, there is a very slight degradation in performance of the new batches which may also be due to the maceration process. Nevertheless, Personally, and from various years of experience, the difference in performance is negligible.
All in all, Is Dior Homme intense still a masterpiece?
The answer is ‘Yes’. Is it still worth the price? Undoubtedly. Do you have to dig up old batches and get them at exaggerated prices? That’s a definite ‘NO. I would not recommend getting the old batch unless the price is reasonable or slightly higher than the new batch, since the price difference between the old and new batches is not worth the huge price hike.
I would love to know about your experience with Dior Homme intense. If you own both old and new batches, let me know if you point out any differences between them.