Dior’s reworked Homme Sport fails to qualify for me

You know the pain you feel when a really good friend lets you down or does something so out of character it shocks you to the core? Well, this is how I felt when I first got a whiff of the new edition of Dior Homme Sport.

Two of my all time favourite fragrances (Eau Sauvage and Fahrenheit) come from the house of Dior) and whilst I’ve never worn Dior Homme Sport I can appreciate its appeal.  This “modulated” version introduces Tuscan Iris as a new note and to my nose the whole thing is quite horrible. It’s acrid, powdery and definitely not a fragrance for confined spaces, which may explain why the ad features Jude Law careering around the south of France in an open-top car (any passengers would surely have passed out if it wasn’t a convertible).

In this Olympic year there are so many sport variants out there and many of them, like Givenchy’s Play Sport, are real winners. I’m afraid that, for me at least, this one doesn’t even make the qualifiers.

Dior Homme Sport is available from 28th May, priced £44 for 50ml eau de toilette.

Aramis’ new Perfume Calligraphy – full of Eastern promise

It’s not often a fragrance lands on my desk that both I and my mum could wear. So it’s quite a novelty to be reviewing Aramis’ intriguing new unisex scent Perfume Calligraphy.

A shameless stab at the Middle Eastern fragrance market (it openly claims to have been developed especially for the Arabian consumer) it’s a fantastically rich, heady, supersweet and faintly intoxicating blend of cardamon, myrrh, patchouli, amber, musk and (of course) oud wood.

It’s absolutely not for the fainthearted and has an intensity that will be alien to many a western nose, weaned as we are on a diet of insipid scents where a black pepper note is about as daring as things get. There’s something about it, too, that reminds me of some of perfumier Roja Dove’s muskier moments.

I myself had a surprisingly complex reaction to it. I kind of love it but can’t wear it, being strangely attracted to the muskiness but unable to live with it on my own skin (not at this time of year anyway, maybe in winter). I must say, it’s a reaction I find rather refreshing because I’m terribly black or white when it comes to fragrance, either loving something or recoiling – as I did when I first got a whiff of Dolce Gabbana’s The One Sport – in utter horror.

In what I’ll admit is quite possibly the strangest analogy imaginable for a fragrance review it’s like stumbling across something dead in your garden – you don’t want to look but you simply cannot resist doing so. Basically, compelling.

Available exclusively from Harrods priced £105 for 100ml eau de parfum