“YOU SIR, ARE NO GENTLEMAN!” ~ Dunhill for Men by Alfred Dunhill


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/ )


  1. As always, thank you for the brilliant, potent prose. “English lavender, Amalfi lemons, nutmeg and geranium” are the top notes? I am sold. Yikes. I’m looking forward to testing this beauty. Again, bravo! T. (Your images are also very lovely. Merci.)

    • Dear Theadora, thank you! It really is a stunning scent that I have rediscovered recently. Yes those are the top notes and they are brilliantly bold out of the bottle. The photos are fun but I could not find one of the bottle I liked so I propped mine up on some of my “Bond” books and took a photograph. That was FUN!

      • Oh, it worked. It worked. You totally captured its vibe. I’m now intrigued. Very intrigued. What a treat. T.

        Clap. Clap.

  2. The first big crush of my life was on Air Force pilot who had left the service and was studying at the Architectural Association off Tottenham Court Road — big brother to another American school girl in London. One day I saw his sweater in my friend’s room and I pilfered it and carried it off to my dorm and slept with it under my head and all night smelled expensive soap and sweat… Like Dunhill? I’ll have to check! (Did you see “Gosford Park”? I think Jeremy Northam was portraying an Ivor Novello-like character. Jasmine and leather, indeed!)

    • What a wonderful story Miss Lester. You had me right there in your pocket all the way. You need to work that into a screenplay or short story. It is so wonderful, universal and touching. Yes expensive soap and sweat is what it smells like to me. I just couldn’t put my finger on it like you did. I adore Dunhill for Men. It reminds me of my old Mafia boyfriend in college. (Long story!)
      And yes Jeremy Northam did indeed play Ivor Novello…the only real person in that wonderful fiction. And Maggie Smith…well what can I say, except. “The time to make up your mind about people is never.”

  3. I’m not very conversant in men’s fragrances, especially mainstream ones, but holy cow! Lanier, excellent post. Of course, the Daniel Craig photos don’t hurt either…… 🙂

  4. Great post!

    Speaking of James Bond, have you ever tried the Floris n°89?

    • No I haven’t tried it, and I am dying to.it. I understand that it was Ian Flemings signature scent. I need to break down buy a sample or see if they have it in town. Thanks for reminding me!

  5. I’m not sure if I’ve ever smelled this perfume (the same as Dionne, I’m not too good with masculine mass market offerings) but I still enjoyed reading your review.

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