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.