Dunhill For Men Fragrance Review: A Classic Old-School Cologne From 1934

By | 2018-06-28T08:22:37+00:00 Jun 28th, 2018|Categories: Fragrance: Men's Perfume, Cologne & Aftershave|6 Comments

Dunhill For Men Cologne & Packaging

Whilst Pour Un Homme de Caron is often credited as the world’s first fragrance that was marketed for men, Dunhill For Men was also released in the same year. Therefore, it can be suggested that 1934 was a major year for men’s fragrances as it revolutionised the way they were perceived and worn.

Given my passion for the history of men’s fragrances, I was handed a bottle of Dunhill For Men by Bespoke Unit founder Paul Anthony so I could give it a full review. After many months of trying it every now and again, the time had come to run it through our Fragrance Formula to see how it fares.

In this review, you will discover Dunhill For Men with a focus on the following topics:

You can use the links above to jump ahead or just scroll down to read it all!

Overview

Before 1934, fragrances were largely seen as a unisex commodity that was usually indiscriminate of gender. Nevertheless, the market for women was overwhelmingly dominant. Although they had their preferences, men would have little choice save for English Lavender or traditional Eau de Cologne such as Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat.

The market would soon evolve with the release of both Pour Un Homme de Caron and Dunhill For Men. This lead on to today’s approach of creating and marketing for men and women separately. We already reviewed Pour Un Homme de Caron some time ago and you can read it via the link in the introduction of this article.

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As you’ll see, the first fragrances for men couldn’t be any more different. Whilst one has a strong accent of herbaceous aromatics, the other is a deep and heady leather fragrance. I’ll let you figure out which is which!

Download the Dunhill For Men Fragrance Formula as a PDF.

dunhill for men fragrance formula

Learn More About The Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula (BUFF)

Voyage d’Hermès Composition

Although there are leathery accords present in the base, the overall composition of this fragrance is prominently woody with some spicy notes. Therefore, this is a men’s cologne that generally perceived as a Woody Spicy fragrance.

Head Notes

  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Nutmeg
  • Lemon

Dunhill For Men Cologne With RosesDespite opening with fresh aromatic and citrus notes such as lavender and lemon, Dunhill For Men begins as a deep yet bracing cologne. This is mostly due to the nutmeg, that carries a spicy and dry presence. There’s also a floral touch thanks to the geranium, which draws us to the heart.

Heart Notes

  • Rose
  • Iris
  • Carnation
  • Jasmine

As the lavender and lemon dry down, the nutmeg persists throughout the heart as we’re revealed a floral bouquet. Rose, iris and carnation work together for blossoming yet soapy tableau whilst the jasmine adds a hint of sweetness. Meanwhile, the nutmeg of the head slowly fades away for the floral accord to really shine through.

Base Notes

  • Vetiver
  • Tonka Bean
  • Sandalwood
  • Cedarwood

As the fresh floral heart subsides, we first detect some earthy vetiver, which has some fresh oak moss character to it. However, this is quickly overshadowed by a sweet, deep and intoxicating tonka bean note that opens to the door to a resinous and woody base.

Both sandalwood and cedar are present, giving an overt vibe that’s reminiscent of old furniture. As the notes begin to intermingle, we begin to notice the development of a leathery accord brought on by the tonka bean and sandalwood.

Dunhill For Men’s Life-Cycle, Wake & Strength

Overall, Dunhill For Men follows the classic three-phased dry-down of a perfume pyramid. However, it does seem to carry some undulating characteristics here too. For instance, the nutmeg carries on throughout the base. Furthermore, some lemon notes were picked out in the base alongside the lathery accord.

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Much in the same ilk as Aramis for Men, Dunhill is a powerful and overwhelming fragrance is abused. A few sprays are enough to provide you impressive performance throughout the day. Both the sillage and projection are strong to the point where the cologne may enter a room before you.

Given that the longevity will easily last a full work day, be sure to spray in moderation to avoid this happening!

What Do People Think Of Dunhill For Men

Dunhill For Men Cologne With Cuban CigarsLike any old-fashioned cologne, feedback is deeply polarising. Whilst it was a fragrance that was most enjoyed by older men and a few younger ones in their thirties too, there were some that found it simply too old-fashioned.

Interestingly, this was particularly prevalent among women who seemed to find it somewhat musty and off-putting in all age groups. However, there were a few who actually really liked it. Meanwhile, younger men in their twenties and under found the fragrance quite intimidating and said they would be reluctant to wear it.

It would seem that Dunhill For Men is a fragrance that’s something of an alpha male that’s worn by men for men. Being a very dominant and deep scent, it would potentially be something worn by an older gentleman in a position of power or who wishes to assert their dominance.

However, it’s unlikely a fragrance that would be worn to attract someone of either gender. Instead, this is largely a fragrance for business.

When To Wear Dunhill For Men

Dunhill For Men Cologne French GardenSince it was suggested in the previous section, let’s conclude that Dunhill For Men is an ideal office scent. This is especially the case if you’re in a management position and want something that fulfils that role.

However, as mentioned earlier, just a few sprays should do it. Although you may want people to notice this fragrance, you don’t want to overpower them either. Therefore, just a few sprays will do!

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Similarly, we briefly touched on Dunhill For Men’s ideal demographic, which we’d say is for a man in his forties or above. However, if you’re particularly mature for your years, you could probably wear this in your thirties.

Furthermore, this is an overall daytime fragrance that probably wouldn’t be very effective in the evening. As for the seasonality, it’s a good all-year performer save for the summer months where it would be too heavy. However, it would be fine in spring with an accent on autumn and winter.

Finally, Dunhill For Men is in the same league as Aramis in that it’s what we like to call an “El Macho” fragrance. It’s extraordinarily masculine and somewhat reminiscent of Anchorman’s Black Panther, which works every time 60% of the time.

Presentation and Value For Money

Dunhill For Men Cologne On Oak StumpHaving not seen the original flacon, it’s hard to say how much the bottle has changed over the years. However, it seems that it’s remained pretty consistent in the last few decades. With an understated and overtly retro design, it’s a cylindrical shape with a striped finish.

The bottom of the glass features the brand and product time whilst the atomiser is covered by a large, plastic lid. The cap is quite unusual and I confess that it feels somewhat cheap. It’s a round shape with a rectangular frame featuring “Alfred Dunill” inscribed on the top.

As for the atomiser, it offers excellent performance and gives a thick mist of scent rather than any water-gunning.

Meanwhile, the packaging is also very retro with a bronze colour and overlying black stripes. The colour scheme feels like a throwback from the 1960s and would look out of place in a fragrance shop today.

Finally, the value for money is extraordinary. Prices are very low and you can pick up a 100 ml (3.4 Oz) bottle for as little as $24 on Amazon!

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Closing Thoughts

Exceedingly old-fashioned with deep, boozy notes of wood, leather and aromatics, Dunhill For Men is a homage to another era of colognes. If you’re someone who appreciates retro fragrances like Aramis or Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, it’s a must-have in your collection.

However, even if it’s a little outdated and perhaps not a blind buy, it’s low price makes it an attractive purchase that doesn’t result in any regrets.

Dunhill For Men
Reviewed by Charles-Philippe, on .
"Old-fashioned yet bracing. Whilst some may find Dunhill For Men to be a little outdated, it's a fine specimen of retro and masculine colognes."
Rating: 4.0 ★★★★

About the Author:

Charles-Philippe is a Franco-Briton who in forgetting where he parked his time machine, settled down somewhere between Paris and Champagne during the early 21st Century. A Brie connoisseur and wine enthusiast with a penchant for all things vintage, you can find him loitering on Instagram when he isn’t writing for Bespoke Unit.

6 Comments

  1. John July 5, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Great review.

    It is so easy to overlook classic like this. Shall be picking up a bottle soon!

    • Charles-Philippe July 6, 2018 at 2:44 am - Reply

      Thanks, John. I Completely agree! We’re often chasing after new releases but forget about the rich history of men’s fragrances. There are so many wonderful scents out there and they often offer excellent value today too.

      Best,

      CP

  2. Roy July 10, 2018 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Finally a blog that reviews fragrances for real men. I’m enjoying your reviews of classic colognes, CP!

    • Charles-Philippe July 10, 2018 at 4:13 am - Reply

      Thanks, Roy. Yes, we feel that it’s important to not forget the classics. We try to explore these as much as new releases to give a full perspective of men’s fragrances.

      Best,

      CP

  3. Johnny Horror July 16, 2018 at 4:22 am - Reply

    I’m 25 so would you say this is too mature for me? Thanks!

    • Charles-Philippe July 17, 2018 at 3:26 am - Reply

      Hi Johnny,

      It really depends on how you are as a person. We use age ranges as guidelines but it’s in an effort to better describe what the fragrance says about the wearer.

      It’s quite old-fashioned, mature and dominating. If you think this describes you too, then you’re probably good to wear it. However, I do think that this is an especially hard fragrance to wear when you’re on the younger side.

      Best,

      CP

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