The Surrealist’s Perfume – Salvador Dalí Parfum de Toilette Perfume Review

Dali

Salvador Dalí – Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite of Cnidos in a Landscape

Parfums Salvador Dalí is an odd brand. They aren’t readily available in the UK but I always see them when scouring the discount stores for interesting things. I often find myself tentatively eyeing up their weird, surrealist bottles and wondering whether the juices they contain are as crazy as the vessels that contain them.

On one such recent trip to the discounters I came across the Salvador Dalí perfumes as usual and decided to refer to  Perfumes: The Guide to see what our Perfume Oracles (Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez) thought of them. Only two Dalí fragrances received a high rating of four stars; Dalí and Laguna, the former of which is evaluated by Turin in the following way:

“[…] a big, handsome, strapping floral chypre somewhere between Amouage [Gold] and Bal à Versailles, though lacking the exquisitely rich texture of the former and the bold, striking structure of the latter.” [1]

Well, as you can imagine I was sold by the word “Amouage” and less than five minutes later I had added a 30ml sized bottle of Dalí Parfum de Toilette to my shopping cart (a steal at £10) and had checked out. A blind buy is a risky thing I know, but I figured that if I didn’t like the scent I could at least display the bottle somewhere and ogle it on a regular basis.

Released in 1983 Dalí, created by none other than the great Alberto Morillas, was Salvador Dalí’s first foray into the perfume market. Dalí’s wife and muse Gala was the inspiration behind the fragrance and it contains notes of rose and jasmine which were her favourite flowers. Parfums Salvador Dalí describe Dalí PdT as “a feminine fragrance, with character, created in the purest of tradition of opulent Chypre perfumes” [2] and I would classify it as a big ole 80s floral made with a soft touch.

Dalí Parfum de Toilette

Dalí Parfum de Toilette

The Notes

Frankincense, Bergamot, Clove, Rose, Jasmine, Mimosa, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Oak Moss and Musk

How Does it Smell?

It would be fair to say that Dalí starts out quite loud with a signature 80s splash of aldehydes, however unlike a lot of 80s florals of the same ilk, Dalí’s aldehydes feels more like a mist of shimmer than an intense hit of sparkle. A touch of bergamot adds a lovely dewy feel to the top notes and gives a hint of the lighter hand used by Morillas for Dalí.

The floral structure of Dalí is relatively classic, relying heavily on rose and jasmine to give it somewhat of an old school feel. The overall impression is of rich, musty and slightly powdery flowers that have perhaps sat in the vase for just a little bit too long, or flowers that are seen from behind a sepia veil, making them feel almost blurred and incredibly soft.

Despite being billed as a Floral Chypre, Dalí really is closer to a Floral Oriental. The base, rather than being about mosses and patchouli, is comprised of a cosy blend of vanilla and sandalwood. It feels completely bronze (as opposed to golden) to my nose and is both creamy and dusty all at once. The sandalwood and vanilla find a perfect equilibrium, cancelling the harsher/drier and spicy/sweet notes of each other out to ensure that everything is nicely proportioned.

At first I was slightly unimpressed by Dalí and very much felt that Turin was spot on in his assessment that it doesn’t capture the “exquisitely rich texture” [3] of Amouage’s Gold. But it’s quite unfair to compare the two, Gold is made with the best materials around (hence why it costs £200) and Dalí simply isn’t in the same league.

Having worn Dalí a good few times now, I find it to be a perfectly comfortable, everyday floral with just the right touch of glam to make you feel as if you’re wearing something special. If Gold is an all-out Diva then Dalí is a Diva in Training, and do you know what? Somedays I am quite happy to ‘dial down the Diva’ and I don’t regret spending my £10 one bit! Now all I need to do is bite the bullet on that £10 bottle of Laguna I’ve been eyeing up…

Dalí Flacon

The Dalí Flacon

The Bottle

How can i review Dalí and not mention the bottle?

Inspired by the nose and lips of Salvador Dalí’s famous painting ‘Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite of Cnidos in a Landscape’ the bottle is what I would describe as being ugly/beautiful, meaning that it is so odd and ugly that you can’t help but be fascinated by it.

It’s obscure beauty at its best.

Availability

Dalí is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Parfum de Toilette. It isn’t readily available in the UK but can be found at online discounters with prices starting as low as £10.

Disclaimer

Image 1 spartacusartgallery.com. Image 2 parfumssalvadordali.com. Image 3 shop.salvador-dali.org. Notes via osmoz.com. [1] & [3] Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.

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42 thoughts on “The Surrealist’s Perfume – Salvador Dalí Parfum de Toilette Perfume Review

  1. Oh man. Does that take me back to the 80’s! I think I remember this being sold next to Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth.

    I hope that I get that song stuck in your head . . . because now it’s stuck in mine!

    Great review too. I was just a kid, but I definitely remember the bottle.

  2. Hell, you publishing these faster than I can read them. (LOL) 🙂

    I’ve actually never smelled this one before, tho’ I found ‘Laguna’ ok but nothing special. (Basically, also ok for a tenner, tho’ I think you’ll probably find it too unsubstantial for your tastes).
    BUT, ‘Salvador Dali Pour Homme’ was incidentally amongst the very first perfume bottles I ever purchased for myself (& responsible for kickstarting my journey down the ‘fume rabbit-hole’.) The bottles were/are just “so Dali” that I couldn’t resist. – If ever there was a ‘fume that should have the word “intense” in the title, this is it ! (An 80’s powerhouse if ever there was one !) – I couldn’t possibly wear it now (that my nose has been so spoilt !), but I did wear it ‘back then’, one-bottle’s worth. – A truly bizarre fragrance !

    • Just trying to keep myself busy!

      You might surprise yourself if you wear it again, it’s very easy for those days when you don’t fancy being too fancy.

      I’m expect Laguna to be a little off beat, am I wrong there?

      • I wouldn’t say particularly ‘off beat’ – more ‘wishy-washy’, tho’ as ‘Laguna’ perfectly named. Keep in mind that it was a product of the ‘aqueous 90’s’ – so while pleasant enough, just a little too ‘watery’ for my tastes. Lots of watery metallic fruit up top (mostly synthetic pineapple) – not enough coconut – & then the vanilla & patch’ just too feeble for my tastes. Overall sweet and powdery and a touch woody. There’s also a good dose of lily-of-the-valley which I’m not particularly fond of. So you might think differently ?? – (I suspect you’d probably find it, as I did, “not enough”. – Tho’ probably worth a tenner.)

      • You know, just remembered … Since you chose this Morillas Dalí, I’m quite surprised you didn’t rather go for Morillas’ new 2011 enhanced concentrated “Gold” version of this frag instead – the “Dalí – Fabulous 1” as it’s been named. I would imagine with your predilection for the ‘more intense’, I’d have thought you might’ve preferred it (!?) … The ‘gold-plated’ version of the bottle is also kinda cool. (If not also a touch gaudier perhaps ?) Still I kinda like it – makes for a nice collectible.

      • Well I wasn’t aware of the Fabulous version until a few days ago, and I think it was sensible to drop £10 on something I’d never smelled than however much they’re charging for the Fabulous edition.

        BUT now having tried Dalí I am really wanting that gold bottle. But they don’t sell it over here!! 😦

      • True, for a blind buy (no matter how endorsed by the ‘Turins’) a tenner is definitely the way to go. 🙂 … I wasn’t actually aware the ‘Fab1’ hadn’t reached our shores yet. It’s had more than enough time. … I’m kinda coveting that bottle too meself. … & how camp is that name ?? 😀

  3. Salvador Dali perfumes are also quite widely available in Poland. Never tried any, but always had an opinion that these bottles are more weird than artistic to me. This brand somehow reminds me of Masaki Matsushima line. Both seem to be targeted to a certain audience and they appear only in several countries…

  4. I’m glad this turned out to be a good buy for you but don’t “dial down the diva” too often 🙂

    That bottle is nothing less than what you’d expect from Dali. Brilliant.

    P.S. Please let me know your discounters source when I see you. (I promise not to buy up the white florals).

  5. Perhaps unfairly, I always just assumed that the Dali fragrances were dreck, but like you was fascinated by the weirdo bottles. I never see them in the US except in SkyMall when I’m flying. However, this sounds sort of up my alley and a good buy for the price.

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  7. I love Laguna for men, and Agua Verde for men. Both from Salvador Dalí. I bought them for a nice low price, but the fragances were surprisingly awesome, and I’m obscessed with this brand of parfums too… I wish I can have them all but there are so many editions and limited versions and stuff, that it’s just impossible…

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