• Dan Naughton

Best Men's Designer Release of 2018? Dunhill Century Eau de Parfum Review

Updated: Dec 30, 2018

Carlos Benaim is a perfumer with a remarkable pedigree. The nose who gave us the seminal Polo by Ralph Lauren in 1978 still creates masterful scents today. In 2015 he composed the excellent Icon for Dunhill. This was a fresh citrus fragrance with a peppery woody mid and base that smelled like it could have been a brilliantly well done flanker to Terre d’Hermes (whose vetiver and Iso E Super undertones it shared.)

Released in 2018 and composed by Benaim, Century is a worthy addition to Dunhill’s masculine fragrance stable alongside Icon and its subsequent flankers.


Top: bergamot, grapefruit, mandarin

Mid: neroli, cardamom, olibanum

Base: sandalwood, musk, cypriol oil

Zesty and effervescent in the opening, with a sharp and bright character, Century is certainly a “freshie” but stands out as one of the best men’s designer scents in this overcrowded category. It could be the perfect daytime signature scent for a modern man. It is a little earthy and mineral like with a fresh laundry aura (in a good way) and a pleasing peppery edge combined with a smooth sandalwood dry down that retains the scent’s essentially soapy core.

The individual citrus notes don’t necessarily jump out as being clearly identifiable but the neroli is perhaps the most noticeable of the fresher tones. The scent of freshly washed clothing may not be the most poetic image for a fragrance to evoke, but the idea of wearing this with a crisply ironed white shirt on a spring morning may give you some idea of the olfactory territory in which Century resides.

If you’re looking for a more complex alternative to things like Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford then Century is worth a sniff (and not to be sniffed at!). There is a hint of 4711 cologne here but a little more bite and depth. I'm also reminded of the somewhat pleasant earthy petrichor smell created when rain hits the pavement. Despite being an eau de cologne style fragrance this one has enough different facets to keep things interesting.

Performance is very respectable with nice longevity and moderate sillage. This isn’t a loud aroma and would therefore be ideal for office wear.

The bottle, like those of the Icon series, is a great piece of design. The uncoloured glass and charming paper weight like shape give an indication of the unpretentious, transparent yet stylish scent that lies within.

This release continues the trend of refreshing and charming releases from Dunhill since 2015. It is not challenging, daring or innovative but it is very well put together and extremely enjoyable to wear and experience. It is also a very versatile scent and an easy one to reach for when you need to make a quick choice of fragrance before heading out of the door. In my humble opinion it was one of the best men’s designer fragrances of 2018. I look forward to smelling whatever Dunhill come up with next.

Dunhill Century costs £59 for 75ml or £79 for 135ml at John Lewis in the UK and is widely available elsewhere.

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