Yes, this is a review, but — first — who’s going to Sniffa? Believe it or not, it looks like I’m going at the quasi-last-minute (Sniffa is Oct 17-18). Yay! My friend Sarah is going, and she wants some company. Are you going? I have some goals this time. Goal one is not to die of exhaustion at 8 pm. Goal two is not to strain my vocal chords and lose my voice for almost two weeks afterward. I know, I talk too much and too loud. This shocks you, yes?
Second — thanks everyone for all your fabulous comments last Wednesday on my Taking My Sweet Time post. I read them all, and responded to a bunch of them. They were so much fun to read! Now, on to my review:
I divide the Giorgio Armani fragrance line into three parts. There’s the Armani Prives, some of which I like more than others, but all of which I think are at least adequate. They smell like good taste and new money to me, and I want to line all those lovely stone-topped bottles up on my dresser in my (nonexistent) child-free, urban-hip, Zen-streamlined, fashion-forward Pacific-coastal house before getting back to perusing the latest images on The Sartorialist.
Next group has those Onde things, which I liked well enough but can’t remember any of the names of (great bottles, though) which – okay, I’ll take a set of those too, because they looked so good together, although I think I only craved one of them. I could keep those in the guest bedroom of my fantasy home.
The last group is All That Other Armani Stuff; here, let’s play a game … how many Armani fragrances can I name off the top of my head? I find them really unmemorable. Here we go: Code, Sensei, She/He, White… ? White Diamonds. Wait, or is that Elizabeth Taylor? City something. Okay, that’s it. I’m tapped out. They have several on the shelves of Sephora, and I don’t think I could pick them out of a lineup in terms of their smell. They’re all fine, as far as I can recall.
Comes along the new Armani Idole d’Armani, with notes of clementine, pear, ginger, davana, saffron, Egyptian jasmine, loukoum rose, patchouli, vetiver. I remember Angela doing a review recently at Now Smell This in which she was not thrilled (the pear was bothering her), but I often like pear notes, and I thought her description of the base as an “intriguing mix of snuffed-out beeswax taper with saffron, the barest breath of patchouli, and the hot smell of burnt wick” sounded pretty awesome.
And I am doing this review today because I found Idole awful, but interestingly awful. The kind of bad I don’t run across too often. Lola? Just another slutty mall frag. Michael Kors Hollywood? Eh. Another too-sweet hot mess of a gourmand, notable mainly for its ubiquity. But this. Giorgio, amico mio. I don’t know how much you paid those folks at IFF to come up with this, but I can honestly say: you definitely don’t smell something like this every day.
I put on a single squirt of Idole d’Armani in Ulta after taking the kids to a movie (and thank God it was on the way home, not beforehand.) In the best scrubber tradition, its sillage is astonishing. Both girls begged and screamed until I hung my hand out the window on the way home. No, really. And it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with being trapped in a car with me wearing something vicious, like freshly applied Poison. Or Bal a Versailles. I am not sure what’s in that innocuous looking bottle, but you better fall to your knees and pray right now that this thing doesn’t catch on big as an office scent. Just sayin.’ I just reread Angela’s review preparing this one, and I ran across the line, “I´ve been wearing Idole off and on for two weeks now…” GIRL. STOP THE MADNESS. THAT STUFF WILL KILL YOU. GO PUT ON A NICE ALDEHYDE AND PURGE YOUR SOUL OF EVIL.
Ah — dove e il Signore Yuck? It’s hard to find the right words to describe Idole d’Armani, but I’m going to try. It is very, very sweet, but big. Molto something. So, think structure. Like an enormous bouffant. Or scaffolding. Maybe with a noose dangling from the top of it. Go ahead, hang yourself. You know you want to. There is pear, but not just pear. There’s also the Clementine and a whiff of something so wildly rank that at first I thought it was the fact that we were walking past the dumpsters. Kind of a combo of indole and rotting garbage, in the underground garage — you know that smell. Again, interesting, but hence the hanging of the hand out the window.
And no, I don’t mean this as some heinous, witchy rag. I actually want you to smell this, preferably on your own skin, and let me know whether this takes you to a new, strange, disturbing place you’re not sure you want to go, like that feeling I get sometimes watching a creepier part of a Fellini movie, maybe a scene with clowns and midgets and insane laughter. I am having trouble thinking what person might find this attractive. I didn’t scrub it because I was curious whether it would evolve into anything less offputting. Even the drydown six hours later, with a base that (yes) is pretty and reminds me a little of CdG 88 8, has that sugary-sweet overlay of goo still clinging to it like Swamp Thing.
Go on. I dare you. Anyone else tried this yet?