Dior Dune: The Classic in the Corner


Dior Dune is a steady seller that has had a firm fanbase for 22 years.  I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a recent launch that is anything quite like it, except perhaps for Penhaligon’s Love Potion No 9, created in 1998, which has some similarities.

Created just after the excesses of the Eighties, Dior’s 1991 creation was  almost a gateway between the heavy Orientals of the Eighties, and the “back to nature” feel of scent in the Nineties.  It kind of had a leg in each camp.

dior dune ad 1

When I think of Orientals, I often think of strong scents such as YSL Opium or Estee Lauder Cinnabar that, although excellent, can sometimes be too much for daytime (but what the heck, right?). However Dune, with its Woody notes and smooth undercurrent of velvety Patchouli, is certainly light enough for daytime, even office wear, whilst still retaining its originality and character.

The funny thing is that smelling this really does remind me of sand.  It’s smooth, dry and smells like it’s been baked in a dry desert heat.  It opens like an aldehyde, and when I first tried it today, I thought “Things ain’t what they used to be.”, but after half an hour that old familiar smell from when I was 21 came back just as I remember it. There is a sweetness I hadn’t picked up on in my youth, and I would attribute it to the citrus fruit within: in this case Oranges.  I often find that Oranges can work well alongside spice or wood in the same way that it can be used in a fruit cake without taking over.

dior dune ad 2

The basenotes come in fairly quickly and remain steady for around six or seven hours.  What I have at the end, when all has settled is a warm, Ambery, sandy scent like the heat of a Summer evening after a day on the beach. It’s not at the forefront of any big campaigns, it has just quietly got on with being a little bit of a classic.


8 thoughts on “Dior Dune: The Classic in the Corner”

  1. Dearest Iscent
    Yes, sand and oranges, oh and sunshine too. That’s exactly what I thought, and wrote, though that reminds me I must actually post the review sometime too.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. It is one of my favorites. Truly classic & elegant & not over powering but sure someone will stop & ask you about it. I am on my second bottle & little is left. Good you reminded me about it, I need to update my wish list. Thank you.

  3. Lovely review – I often see it described as ‘grim’ or very austere, but I don’t find it so. It’s a great choice for oriental lovers like myself (blond-ish hair, and not remotely sultry) for whom opium and the like just feel wrong, especially for day time. I think it opened the door for an exploration of woody oriental and dry wood perfumes in the 90s and after.

  4. Just read this review ,totally agree,, I love this perfume and always come back to it like an old and valued friend,one of my favourites.

    1. Hi Aileen, lovely to hear from you. It’s a real classic isn’t it? I love it. It’s too sweet for today’s youthful palate, but I say all the more reason to wear it!

      best wishes

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