Dunhill for Men by Alfred Dunhill of London speaks softly of waking in Mayfair on the street where she lives. It is a glimpse of young men down from the country stepping off a train at Victoria Station in a cloud of steam. It is Kensington Gardens in the fog and Belgravia in the spring, Harrods at Christmas, and the British Museum anytime. It is very upstairs behind closed doors, it is Ivor Novello, David Niven, The Duke of Winsor, more than any of that it is Bond, James Bond. Quintessentially British and completely undeniably dangerous.
The first spritz is an eye opening surprise of English lavender, Amalfi lemons, nutmeg and geranium. A short overture that momentarily off set me but then the curtain rose on splendiferous evolving notes of iris, a perfect English rose set near a bed of carnations near some stunning woodsy notes. A glorious jasmine entwines the rose and one would be near swooning if it were not for the fact that the leather comes up fast and gives all these flowers a commanding macho edge. It all becomes intoxicatingly masculine without being over bearing. This was the moment I fell in love with Dunhill for Men. The dry down is a class act of citrusy vetiver, rich sandalwood, heady oak moss and refined Virginia cedar. A dash of old Tonka bean vanilla encased in fine tooled dark leather that is sublime. It is a very adult masculine fragrance of supreme urbanity and sophisticated charm. Indeed old school, in fact old world and that is what makes it exciting and challenging. Created in the twilight of the British Empire in 1934 Dunhill for Men is a time trip back to an age of elegant sartorial grandeur. But yet there lurks just below the surface that danger that draws you in with a promise of adventure and sex.
This is a fine rich introduction for young men to the sophisticated possibilities that lie beyond the fads of today. Not “Fresh”, not “Clean” but rather it smells like a man. A little dirty, a bit animalistic, and very dangerously sexy. Dunhill is the scent for the kind of gentleman who is really not a gentleman at all. He is a man who knows his way around the casino at Monte Carlo as well as he does the back alleys of the Wan Chi in Hong Kong.
I put it on at six in the evening and when I woke at six the next morning it was lingering still and daring me to have another go. As dangerous as that may seem, that’s just what I did.
Five platinum stars *****
(Photos from Eon Produtions / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Colombia produtions of “Skyfall” staring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem. Directed by Sam Mendez. Trailer: http://www.skyfall-movie.com/site/ )