High-low: Old-school scents for men

High-low: Old-school scents for men

Musk, cedar, nutmeg, flowers: We sniff test two iconic men’s scents with many shared notes—Dior Fahrenheit vs Old Spice—and ask, “which classic is your best bet?”

It’s a battle of old-school scents featuring Christian Dior Fahrenheit and Old Spice Original. These two men’s fragrance giants have several vibrant notes in common, including citrus top notes and floral hearts.

HIGH: Dior Fahrenheit

First Launched: 1988

First Impression: This woody, floral musk seems a bit safe (read: plain), but the florals warm up nicely once you have it on.

Dior_FahrenheitTop: Nutmeg, lavender, mandarin orange
Middle: Violet, cedar, honeysuckle, jasmine
Base: Leather, vetiver, musk

Best For: The naughty-but-nice weekend away, a night at the symphony, a steakhouse splurge.

Biggest Fan: Classic, down-to-earth gents who have actually smoked a cigar before and liked it.

Spinoff: Dior Aqua Fahrenheit is the 2011 update, refreshed with hits of mint and basil, and a blast of grapefruit.

Christian Dior Fahrenheit EDT, $102 (100 ml), www.sephora.com

LOW: Old Spice

First Launched: 1938

First Impression: This clean Oriental smells like outside. It will take you back to Saturday mornings with dad (shaving with an electric razor) while you try to watch wrestling on TV.

Old Spice Classic CologneTop: Nutmeg, star anise and orangey aldehydes
Middle: Cinnamon carnation, jasmine, geranium
Base: Ambergris, benzoin (a camphor smell), vanilla, musk and cedar

Best For: Brunch, an afternoon bike ride, parent-teacher interview.

Biggest Fans: Chevy-driving, vintage vinyl-collecting, pinball-playing and lovable lugs who don’t own a cellphone.

Spinoffs: Resist the newer versions–Lime, Hawkridge, Wolfhorn–as they all smell like something is just not quite right.

Old Spice Classic Cologne, $15 (125 ml), www.well.ca

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Read more:
The appeal of leather-note perfumes
High tea, low tea: Testing tea-note perfumes
The best men’s fragrances are the classics

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Doug Wallace is a Toronto-based writer who began his fragrance wardrobe with a bottle of the now-iconic Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel and hasn’t looked back. A big fan of scents by houses Lalique and Boucheron, he is currently having a fling with all-things-British, including Clive Christian, Floris and Penhaligon’s. He treasures the dusty shoulders of some of his more aged bottles just as much as he does the shiny young ones.