Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste


We are all thrilled to give you our first impressions of the newest fragrance in the Armani Prive line: Cuir Amethyste, which is showing up right now in various Saks stores.

March Says: I wanted to love the new, improved Cuir Amethyste, which (rumor had it last spring) had been delayed from its original May release in the U.S. while they tinkered with the formula. That’s what the SA at Saks told me, anyway. I never smelled the first round, so I have nothing to compare it to, but this! This went on like a very light Gris Clair — lavender, a little incense, and no detectable leather (cuir), at least to my nose. Drydown — heliotrope and powder — but barely detectable, like Guerlain’s Meteorites or Apres l’Ondee EDT after six hours. I re-sprayed so much that there was an oil-like sheen on my hand and wrist and I still couldn’t smell it. It wasn’t merely “light;” Pierre de Lune is light. Amethyste is like a smell detector test, and I failed it.

I figured, oh, well, I guess I can skip this one, and I went next door to Lauren to return something. The SA there pounced on me as I came through the door — he loved it; he asked me what I was wearing. He could not get enough. He told me it was amazing. At Barneys Co-op next door, same deal — pretty young man at the counter asks me what I’m wearing, says it’s just gorgeous. (At this point I’m thinking, WTH?!?!? I must reek! Why can’t I smell it?!?) Off to NM (should I be ashamed at the empty vapidity of my life?) to smell some other things. Three of three female SAs there said it smelled like mild powder and/or almond/heliotrope. They could barely smell it. Are you noting a pattern here?
Then I went home and waved my arm in the direction of the Big Cheese … and he was blown away. He said it smelled great but “really strong.” (Huh?!?!?) When I told him it seemed like only the men could smell it, he said it could be a Secret Handshake — all the men would love it, and the women would be oblivious. I asked him to describe it. He said (get this): it smells like leather, like the inside of a very expensive leather handbag. It smells a little like incense. I asked him, does it smell sweet? He says, no, it doesn’t smell like a woman’s perfume, a man could wear this.

Am I bitter? I’m getting yesterday’s Guerlain Meteorites, and the man I love, the man who can’t smell paint thinner, who never says jack about my perfume except I wish you’d get those decants out of the office, is carrying on about incense and leather handbags?

You’re damn right, I’m bitter.

Patty Says: Two of the Armani Prive scents I love, Bois D’Encens and Pierre de Lune, so I’ve been anxiously waiting for this latest release of Cuir Amethyste.  March, the intrepid Perfume Warrior, managed to get a sample made up to send me, when I can’t get a sample from anywhere else (she’s a true perfume pal).  Leather and violets, what could there be to hate?  When it first went on, it smelled much more leathery. Then in about a couple of minutes, all the leather stampeded off and left me with a very lovely violet, though there was something around the edges that I could almost smell, but remained elusive.  I like it quite a lot, but I’m not sure it’s interesting enough to spend $180 a bottle for. However, it lasts forever, and I floated it under the husband’s nose several hours after I put it on. He smelled zero violets and all leather and thought it was great.

There are a couple of explanations for this.  That men have trouble picking out violets or that the leather note in this is almost invisible to some women’s noses.  I feel tragically cheated and spurned by this note. i’d almost rather think it was just a lovely violet with a slight leather in it than to know there is much more there that I’m not smelling.

Can anyone point me to any texts out there that talk about this male/female note-smelling difference? I assume it has to do with attraction by smell to the opposite sex, but it fascinates me.

  • Jenny says:

    I am sorry about this very late comment about the above subject on Armani Cuir Amethyst and the interesting fact that we all percept scents different. I tried CA for the first time yesterday and fell head over heals in love. It started of in a similar way as Gucci Pour Homme. Like a lumberjack, woodsy and dry, but only for a couple of seconds. Then it warmed up and turned red and violet. Warm shimmering violets gently plucked with letherglows on a cool day with a dry wood and a touch of musk or amber as a backdrop. Beautifully haunting and like nothing else. It is a truly poetic scent.

    (I am planning to get my husband to try this as well to se how it behaves on his skin)

    Narcissco, SJP and Stella McCartny all sting me like a bee with there rosy ness. My skin doesn’t handle roses very well and they turn overly sweet unfortunately. I still find them beautiful on others though.

    Thank you March and Patty for this incredibly interesting review!

  • Teri Barnett says:

    New to your site. Love all the info you have here…. Also excited about purchasing some of your samples (my favorite size). If it is not too late, I would love to be in your drawing. Thanks

  • Joanne says:

    ~o)I found this site accidentally and am glad i did i thought that i was a crazy loon..with all the perfume i buy. But now i know there are other gals out there just as addicted to scent as i am. My husband never seems to notice any of the scents that i wear either. So i blame him for my addiction, i’m just trying to be noticed. Sounds good right!!

  • Joanne says:

    Hi, I just puchased a bottle of Lovely a few days ago and I am also in the catagory of wondering why. I can not smell it after maybe an hour and even then during that first hour I have to put my nose to my skin to smell it. I thought it was just me. However I did test Narcisco and I could smell this. I was told that these two are similar, Narcissco is not available in my area so tried lovely. I also read on another site that they wear lovely and Stella McCartny together on different areas of body and they get tons of compliments???? Anybody out there mix any other fragrances?

  • marchlion says:

    Chaya — but you’d smelled it ahead of time, right? If it smelled on me like it sounded on you, I’d have bought it, too. BTW it DOES smell a little bit stronger on the Big Cheese — I feel like I’m getting maybe 25% of the fragrance total, instead of 7 – 10%. If I were getting 50% or more, I’d buy it — it’s lovely.

  • marchlion says:

    Victoria O — let me know what you discover. I would like to know whether the scent has been reformulated, or just a packaging delay.

  • marchlion says:

    Amy — A prune! I love violet, but even I have to admit it’s the least interesting of the bottles. The others are stunning.

  • marchlion says:

    VeronicaV — I am still adjusting mentally to the list of fragrances here that people can’t smell. I had no idea! You’d think mainstream perfumers, at least, would try to make sure everyone could smell it — I find Lovely and Narciso very strong.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Mea culpa !

    I’m so sorry that so many are disappointed…

    If anything, I’ve learned [until the NEXT time,she says ruefully] not to buy unsniffed…

    That is what makes this olfactory business so damn fascinating, though impoverishing-

    It’s powerful stuff, everyone has an opinion, and we become inflamed…


  • I have a new (old) bottle on the way to me from Germany as we speak. I tried the old and loved it, so I have been frantically searching ever since, in hopes of getting an “old” bottle before the change. If there is a change. I also heard a rumor, or the rumor they want to you believe, that the delay was a packaging snafu. I’m more inclined to believe it’s a scent tweak. To me the first one smelled like soft suede and ambery violets combined to form a wine-like note, fermented violets. Very captivating. I’m anxious to compare my import goods to the new Saks stock.

  • Amy K. says:

    I’m one of those people who can barely smell Lovely (it’s a faint, sharp annoying note and then POOF!) or NR, so maybe I’d have better luck with Cuir Amethyste. It sounds great! Although someone on MUA referred to the lid as a prune, and now it makes me giggle.

  • VeronicaV says:

    This is very interesting. I think Lovely is pretty strong stuff too. I wish I could smell the Narcisco Rodriguez. Was so ready to love it, and I can barely make it out. Will be interesting to hear if you can smell it on the Cheese.

  • March says:

    Chaya — see, but you’re the one who got us started on this wild goose chase, with your comment (somewhere) on how much you loved it — based on what you’ve written, and the reactions I’ve gotten, it’s clear to me that I’m just unable to smell 90% of what’s there. But thank you for your description, it’s nice to have an idea what I’m missing! I very much wish I could smell it, I think it sounds lovely.8-|

  • March says:

    Vi — if you try this one, let me know — Robin says it has not been reformulated. Based on Chaya’s comment below, and what happened to me, it seems clear that this is a fragrance with invisibility issues. BTW I am surprised at the number of commenters who say they can’t smell SJP Lovely — there ya go — I find it very strong.

  • BBliss says:

    Just another thought about the mostly male/female nose difference…is that why we can smell sour milk, sour baby spit-up and souring (mildewing) laundry about a mile away??? All the men in our family seem to be oblivious, and just don’t get how bothersome these smells are to us…(and I’m not bashing or complaining, just stating the facts!)

    I need to brush up on some biochemistry – this is really, really fascinating – what is the mysterious element in this one that’s causing this?

  • chayaruchama says:

    :(( Don’t hit me! PLEASE!

    I LOVE this, and bought it, and it smells great on men [tried it on Hormone Boy and DH].

    I turn everything sweet, ok, but I get suede, violet, violet leaf, musk, sandalwood, maybe santalol; the drydown [damn that word, it’ll be on my tombstone yet]is soft but full and round, lasts about 5 hours on me.

    Anyone within sniffing distance ruts…

    I suspect that the nose probably fatigues, and that it definitely turns into a skin scent[more or less]over time.

    Probably not woody enough, or leathery enough for some.

    More for me, I guess [shrugs shoulders dolefully]…

  • violetnoir says:

    Very interesting…very interesting indeed. 😕

    I only tested one at Nordstrom last year, Jade I think is the name. It was lovely but fleetingly to the point of imperceptible. But then again, my husband was not with me at the time. Maybe he should have been…


  • marchlion says:

    Robin — same juice, huh? How much could you smell it? I mean, I understand uninteresting, but was it very faint?

  • marchlion says:

    Mimi — please, please try this. We need some more input. Patty and I had this great conversation with Christopher Brosius about anosmia and he says it can be gender-related, he did this great demo for us with scents we could not smell. I have never felt quite this unable to smell something before, would love to hear what happens for you. That is interesting about Lovely — probably the musk? CB says there is a lot of anosmia to many of the musks.

  • marchlion says:

    BBliss — I will dribble some on the Cheese and see if anything happens:d

  • marchlion says:

    Ina — but what does it SMELL like? This is the question./:)

  • Robin says:

    Had a sample of the CA from last year, and am told it was not changed in any way — in which case, I don’t need it. Didn’t find it nearly interesting enough for the price. Didn’t wave it in front of the husband, though…

  • Hi there,

    Congrats on your new domain. Wow, what a mystery…or maybe not. 1) Need to test 2) Need to ask DH’s opinion 3)If the gender discrepancy is confirmed in our case I’ll need to so some research.

    It could also be that it’s a perfect match w/ your body chemistries. It happens sometimes that way: the less you smell it on yourself, the better it smells for others. I tested Tonka by Esteban recently (and btw need to review the trio); It seemed to literally disappear in my skin and I went anosmic but fortunately in this case I was able to detect it after 20 mn or so — it was an amazing skin scent. You are inspiring me to re-test Lovely. I also go anosmic on this one but have never really had the time to concentrate on it.

  • BBliss says:

    Wonder what this would smell like *on* a man? Would you be able to smell it (differently) then? 😕

  • Ina says:

    WANT. :(( :-w 😮

  • marchlion says:

    testing, testing…:d comments on