I've been into fragrances for barely two years now, and, indeed, since then I've been watching and reading lots of reviews online, and there are "marquee" fragrances out there that garner a lot of attention from the online community, whether it be because they're amazingly popular, divisive or simply special. Dior Sauvage is one of these marquee scents, for all the aforementioned reasons.
Oddly enough, I had never smelled it until recently. Or, at least, I had never knowingly smelled it, but when I first sprayed this on me, it felt somewhat familiar. Lots of people online call this generic, synthetic, a "guido" scent...meanwhile others praise it tremendously. Full disclaimer here, I kind of wanted to dislike it, but I can't.
Is this mass appealing? Of course it is. Is this ground-breaking? Hell no. I'm actually surprised to see so many notes in that pyramid, because this really comes out as a straightforward scent without much depth, but with a powerful and incredibly pleasant formula. It is very linear too, and remains the same throughout the drydown and hours later. So what you first spray on is what you'll get throughout the entire experience.
To my nose, this is a fresh, soapy, peppery ambroxan bomb with a bit of cedar and bucketloads of masculinity. As I said, I wanted to dislike this, but as I'm wearing it, I find myself smelling my wrist every 20 seconds or so, and enjoying this tremendously.
A friend of mine compared this to Swiss Army EDT, and it's not a comparison that you'll read anywhere online. But it is incredibly accurate in so many ways: Swiss Army, back in the day, was a crowd-pleasing fragrance that reached about the same level of popularity as Sauvage, it was a super linear power scent, and it was literally a heavier version of this, albeit fit for colder weather and much less modern, if that makes any sense. But if you compare the note pyramids of these two fragrances, you'll be surprised to see how many notes they have in common. Obviously, the ambroxan is a major differentiator in this one, and turns this into a fresh, clean scent that has a clear shower gel feel to it.
This may or may not be your thing, and of course the level of sophistication of Sauvage is not its main quality, but all things considered, including its reasonable price, its strong performance (it will last 7+ hours, easily) and its versatility, this is a dumb reach. While it is clear that this is made to appeal to a "douchy" audience of nightclub aficionados, I could rock this wearing a white button-up shirt and a suit, so as I said, it is versatile, and won't be daring enough to be character-defining, unlike other niche fragrances. So this may come off as a douchy smell on some greasy night club bartender wearing a tight V-neck muscle tee, but this may also come off as a sexy clean scent on a man in his mid-thirties who works in a corporate environment.
Anyhow, I love Dior Sauvage for what it is: a true freshie that is linear, powerful, and that has "mass appeal" tattooed on its heart. You should clearly pass on this one if you're looking to stand out, puzzle the folks around you with ground-breaking scents, or if you like to use a fragrance to add a mesmerizing aspect to your character. Otherwise, this is about as safe a blind buy as you'll ever smell if you're looking for a reliable and crowd-pleasing freshie.
One piece of advice that I would give, though, is to not exceed two sprays with this one. It's very strong and becomes a tad overwhelming to the nose if you overspray.
Very strong on the opening... fresh yet very peppery, I do really like this smell, however the thing I dont like about this is the popularity of this. In every super market you will smell this unmistakeable scent, infact you can smell this everywhere. So I dont really get all the negative that this gets.
I have the EDT version which has really good performance and lasts a good 8hours with no problems.
Sauvage by Dior opens with bergamot and pepper. These notes hang somewhere between sweetness, general freshness and freshly laundered sheets. By using well-known materials combined with the effect of cleanliness, you get the impression that Sauvage was designed for a modern man, whether he is savage or not.
The heart notes are filled with vetiver and rough notes of sichuan and pink pepper, however dry lavender and ambroxan, which introduces characteristic balsamic accords, dominate here. This stage makes the composition more austere.
When Sauvage is approaching its end, it softens to a state that is far from its radically fresh opening. Patchouli becomes subtly smoothed and the scent of woody notes stays close to skin.