Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Armani Prive Ambre Soie conjures a sensation of bittersweet chocolate melting on the skin, as the composition warms up after the initial scattering of sweet and earthy anise notes. It alternates between hot velvety and dry powdery aspects, underscored by cinnamony sweetness.
Created by Christine Nagel in 2004 for Giorgio Armani’s exclusive collection Armani Prive, the composition presents several facets at once. Its sheer darkness is juxtaposed with spice dusted flower petals, without being evident whether one is feeling a sweet bite of clove or peppery warmth of carnation. Creamy, almost lactonic note smoothes sharp spicy edges into a soft mélange. However, there is an element of candy-like sweetness that strikes me as somewhat stilted, lending an opaque quality to the middle notes. It lightens as time goes on, losing the candy-like simplicity and revealing a chocolate touched by incense aspect of benzoin.
Golden effervescence of patchouli and dryness of cedar provide a wooded element to the ambery drydown, however as the fragrance begins to fade, distant echoes of balsamic vanilla resonate through the translucent darkness. It does not have a strong sillage, yet the sensual effect of amber is undeniable. Whereas earlier the composition swirled like melted chocolate, it soon turns into a soft veil, clinging to the skin like wet silk.
Armani Prive Ambre Soie, along with Bois d’Encens, Eau de Jade, and Pierre de Lune, is available at Giorgio Armani boutiques, Saks 5th Avenue, and Harrods in the UK as well as directly from Giorgio Armani website. The presentation is minimalist, yet striking. All four fragrances are intended to be worn by both men and women.
Karl Brulloff. Fountain in Bakhchi-Sarai. Detail. 1849. Oil on canvas. The Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia. from abcgallery.com