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By Deborah Fulsang
I love men’s fragrances. And, as you know, I am endlessly fascinated with perfume history—hello, The Whale & The Rose! As part of my frequent Googling, I look for scent and designer anniversaries. And so, while doing some groundwork for a recent story, I discovered that 2013 is the 25th anniversary for Dior’s iconic men’s scent, Fahrenheit.
Not able to draw up my scent memory of said juice, I headed over to my nearest perfume counter to sample the spritz.
Launched in 1988, leather and wood accords combined with essences of mandarin and flowers. New iterations have been added to the Fahrenheit portfolio—Fahrenheit 32 and Aqua Fahrenheit as well; they all temper their virile essence with an elegant violet accord.
The original, composed by perfumer Francois Demachy, remains a great scent. And it still smells crisp yet warm, spicy yet refined; and modern. In fact, it was originally conceived as marriage of opposites; of contrasts: hot and cold, masculine with feminine.
Derick Chetty, Fashion Director of Zoomer Magazine in Toronto, shared his love—and nostalgia—of Fahrenheit with me recently for a story I was assembling for Holt Renfrew’s Muse blog.
“As a university student, I went for a vacation to Athens for the first time in the summer of 1990,” he said. “I enjoyed exploring and strolling the city, day-dreaming what it must have been like during ancient times. Regardless of where I was–on the street, a store or a café–I repeatedly encountered a distinctive scent–woody with a hint of leather. Because it felt so clean and fresh, I thought, ‘Wow, the Greeks must all use the same brand of soap!
“Back in Toronto, months later, I was walking through the now-defunct Eaton’s department store with a friend and I stopped dead in my tracks. ‘There was that smell again! I was immediately transported back to the streets of Athens. I grabbed my friend, ‘Can you smell that? What is that scent?’ He pointed to [a] huge display we were standing next to, ‘It’s that new cologne, Fahrenheit. Everyone is wearing it.’
“To this day,” Chetty added, “Fahrenheit reminds me of the love affair I had with Athens.”