Why was this new men's scent baptised with this weird name? Well, for starters, there was the classic fragrance Fahrenheit by Dior that erupted into the scene in 1988 with all the gusto of an iconoclast along with its female counterpart Dune.
And then, it is exactly 32 degress Fahrenheit that water freezes: equivalent of 0 degrees in the Celsius scale.
This scaling system is quite fascinating if one takes into account another classic of sorts, of a more profound level perhaps: that of the printed word. The dystopian science fiction by Ray Bradbury called "Fahrenheit 451", in which the author describes a future american society that wrapped up in sybaritic living and anti-intellectual tendencies abhors books and goes on to burn them.
The protagonist, Ray Montag, is the very witty antithesis of His Girl Friday of the famous classic era movie, especially since in true german spirit (physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was German) "Mondag" means "Monday". And yes, this novel has also been filmed.
Fahrenheit 451 on the other hand is the point of auto-ignition of paper...Semantics, semantics.
For some dark, pessimistic reason I am quite convinced that the state of affairs in the world currently do not distance us too much from this nightmarish Orwellian vision. But perhaps I am digressing.
To revert to the "frozen" aspect of this quite cooler Fahrenheit, mes amis, as you might have surmissed by now, this new offering is what is affectionately called a "flanker": a perfume that follows up the successful anion bearing a variation of the name; yet usually either having nothing whatsoever in common with the genetic pool of the former or alternatively featuring a very slight variation of it, questioning the purpose of its existence apart from the boost that it would bring to the sales of both.
Fahrenheit 32 places itself in the first category. It bears little similarity to the classic fragrance and is intended as a tribute to the synthesized orange blossom that has been explored in men's scent recently also by the wonderful Fleur dy Mâle by Gaultier, reviewed just a little while ago. (click here for full review)
Designed by now former artistic director Heidi Slimane with the collaboration François Demachy it has been concocted by nose Louise Turner of Quest.
The general direction is one of a fresh oriental-woody that intermingles piquant aldehydic touches with orange blossom, light smooth vanilla, and what smells to my nose as delicate synthetic musks. The earthiness and slighty dirty appeal of vetiver does not come to the fore, despite its graceful way of making fragrances cool in every sense of the word.
The description goes like this: fresh top notes, orange blossom and vetiver for the hear nnotes, vanilla and solar notes for the base.
Indeed the freshness is akin to a cooling spray, which is implied by the white bottle that takes the classic one of original Fahrenheit to a new techno trip under strobo lights. It's opalescence and smooth milky texture reminded me a lot of the woman's Pure Poison, which I think is not coincidental, as that too is also based on the same synthesized orange blossom note and delivers itself with a freshness that pierces the nostrils for a while.
Compared to Fleur du Mâle it is not much further apart, yet in a way that one captured me more and retained my interest more avidly. Fahrenheit 32 is very likeable and on the scent strip lingers nicely making one to sniff and resniff to consolidate the memory, but a classical masculine fragrance it can never pose to be. It's again a little too feminine for its own good, which makes it fodder for either adventurous guys or the girlfriends who I am sure will fall under its charms.
Top pic In search of the unicorn by bigbird3/flickr
Pic of fahrenheit 451 by Wikipedia