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March 30, 2006

Fragrance Review: Cuir Amethyste by Armani Prive


The fifth Armani Privé fragrance, Cuir Améthyste, does not engage in any subtle interplays. In fact, subtle is probably the least appropriate adjective to use in describing this fragrance. From the dense tangle of powdery violet notes to the opaque vanillic-ambery base, Cuir Améthyste moves with a heavy step.

It might be surprising to discover that Cuir Améthyste is composed by Michel Almairac, the same perfumer who created the serene minimalism of Bois d'Encens and its more ornamental sibling, Gucci Pour Homme (2003). ...

While Bois d'Encens has a harmonious quality that allows the composition to unfold as a roll of smooth silk, Cuir Améthyste does not seem to sustain a balancing act. Just as one expects a transparent note to dispel the cloud of confectioners' sugar in its top accord, the woody violet sweetness grows more pronounced. When one wishes for the sharpness of leather to appear as a backdrop to the layers of velvety vanilla, the milk chocolate density of benzoin amplifies the heft of the composition. Indeed, the leather in Cuir Améthyste is merely a tame twist on the vanilla-amber theme.

An interesting comparison can be made between Cuir Améthyste and Gucci Pour Homme, in which the iris-amber accord provides the lavish setting for the resinous incense. Yet, while the marriage of velvety richness and piney dryness result in a fascinating juxtaposition, experiencing the sweet and powdery accord on its own produces the feeling of overindulgence comparable to finishing a bar of chocolate in one go.

Armani Privé Cuir Améthyste is slated to be a spring release for Armani and will appear in the US stores around April-May.  Cuir Améthyste has already debuted in Europe.

For other reviews of Armani Privé fragrances, please see:
Ambre Soie
Bois d'Encens

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