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.
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.
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.