Monday, 21 October 2013

Tobacco perfumes - Versace Dreamer

Continuing with my tobacco theme, today I thought I would move onto a tobacco perfume with a twist. A serious twist.

At one point when thinking about this series of posts, I wanted to leave Versace Dreamer until last, but I couldn't resist throwing a curveball early on!

I want to start by saying that if you've never tried this one, don't be put off by the dreck that Versace, in my opinion, has put out since 1996 (when Dreamer was released). I own a bottle of Dreamer, which I bought blind about six years ago, and even today, I sometimes wonder if it was a mistake. I should have sampled first, because Dreamer is possibly the weirdest tobacco perfume I know of, and at times I love it and the rest of the time recoil. One thing I can say though, is that there is nothing else like it on the market and it is the most original perfume from Versace, by a long way.

Searching the internet can reveal some varied note lists for Dreamer. The one I think comes closest to what I smell is from Now Smell This, who list juniper, artemisia, tarragon, mugwort,  linen (?) seed flowers, tobacco, amber, lily and iris. Fragrantica has a shorter list that mentions clary sage and geranium, and a base note of tonka bean. Whichever one you prefer, I can say that the opening is very herbal, and could well include all the above mentioned herbs, and certainly a good few of them. Mingled with the herbal notes is a very strong tobacco note which is also very sweet. Tonka is very much a star player here, and it is the tonka which I think can leave me feeling slightly sickened on occasion, and at other times entranced. The weirdest note of all however, must be the lily. I'd love to know which other perfumes pair tobacco and lily. It is a striking combination, but again, in warmer weather in particular the lily can come across as cloying and slightly repulsive. On a cold day, it blends well with the tobacco and tonka.

If you care to search out reviews of Dreamer, I think it is safe to say that views are somewhat polarising. I love that, because in my opinion that is very often an indication of a perfume that is a true original, a 'classic' even. The fact that Dreamer can be had for under £20 is even better, because it equates to a cheap failure if it doesn't work for you! If I recall correctly, I got my bottle for well under £20 six years ago. At one point I thought Dreamer was discontinued, but I have seen bottles of it over the years, but it is by no means that prominent these days.

Dreamer is not a gender polarising fragrance. Whilst the tobacco and herbal notes could have leaned towards masculine, the floral lily and sweet tonka make it easily worn by a woman, and in fact I am not even sure that Dreamer was meant for a man. Either way, I would strongly recommend trying Dreamer, even if only to experience its weird wonderfulness. 

One thing I want to end on - when Dreamer works, it really works. I wore it about two weeks ago on a cold, windy and rainy evening and it was beautifully warm and comforting. I could smell it on my jumper for days afterwards and therein also lies a warning - beware its lasting power, because if you don't like it, it isn't going to fade or wash off in a hurry.

Image credit - (Fragrantica)


  1. The Dreamer is one of those perfumes I really need to smell and never find-this seems to be my theme lately! I smell lots of niche stuff but sometimes just want to go back to a good designer release and- there aren't any.

    Speaking of tobacco, you're a Tabac Blond fan no? Do you prefer old or new?

  2. Blacknall, I'd be happy to send you a sample if you like. I have a lot of it. I do like Tabac Blond, but have only ever tried one version, a sample I obtained about four years ago, give or take, so don't know what the old smelt like (I'm assuming my sample was new, but don't know for sure). It is a brilliant fragrance.



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