Giorgio Armani Mania : Long Lost Favorite Perfume

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If you would like to discuss your favorite discontinued perfume, please email me at editor at boisdejasmin dot com

My “Long Lost Favorite” series has received a couple of requests for Giorgio Armani Mania. I am glad it is one of the fragrances you are curious to replace, because it has been among my favorite perfumes.  Armani has several Manias on the market today–Armani Mania Pour Elle, Armani Mania Pour Homme as well as a numerous summer flankers, but none have the sultry character of the 1999 original Mania. Created by Jacques Cavallier, it included notes of bergamot, orange blossom, green notes, clove, nutmeg, saffron, amber, white musk, incense, and vanilla. After the shimmering citrus and cinnamon notes, Mania revealed a velvety heart of incense and amber. Unlike most fragrances that rely on rich woods and amber, Mania was radiant and easy to wear. It felt like a silk wrap, rather than a fur coat. Why on earth did Armani discontinue it?

Once Mania disappeared, I turned to two other fragrances in the same Woody Oriental family —Alexander McQueen Kingdom and Issey Miyake Le Feu d’Issey. Both were also created by Cavallier and both were subsequently discontinued. It made me wonder if Cavallier had a magic touch for creating challenging and polarizing perfumes–a good thing in my book. His Christian Dior Midnight Poison is heavier on rose and patchouli than Mania, but it has a similar smoldering character. Likewise, Tom Ford Noir de Noir, another Cavallier creation done in collaboration with perfumer Harry Frémont, is worth sampling. It is a dramatic blend of saffron, incense and dark roses. Mania is much lighter and brighter in comparison, but I enjoy Noir de Noir’s richness.

The caramelized woods in Mania also recall the gourmand accord of Sensuous Noir. This Estée Lauder flanker to the original Sensuous tries to go to the dark side, but the sparkling citrus notes keep it balanced and easy to wear. Frédéric Malle Noir Épices and Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café are a stretch from the voluptuous Mania, but they remind me of its elegant woody facet.

Any other ideas? What fragrance smells like Mania to you?

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26 Comments

  • Suzanna: I’ve not smelled it, but it has been on the back burner to sniff for years!

    Wanted to comment on your “New Look.” It’s very chic with its neutral color scheme that reminds me of vintage fashion, easy to navigate/comprehend, and I love the font used in the titles. While I will miss seeing your jasmine picture, this new design is superb. April 13, 2012 at 9:56am Reply

    • Victoria: I find it confusing that they discontinue it and then use the same name for a host of other perfumes.

      Thank you for your nice words and your feedback. Font makes such a big difference. I never realized it until I started blogging. Actually, if you are really into geeky documentaries, I recommend Helvetica about this famous font. It is fascinating. April 13, 2012 at 3:27pm Reply

  • ana: Hello Victoria!
    I apologize for being a bit off topic but I was wondering when will you be continuing your series of 100 perfume gems.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful website! I must say it looks very good, stylish and soothing to tired eyes after work! April 13, 2012 at 3:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ana, I have the rest of it drafted, but the research is very timeconsuming as I try to revisit all fragrances I mention. I will definitely return to it soon. That topic is so enjoyable!

      And thank you for your compliment! So happy to hear this. 🙂 April 13, 2012 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Debbie: Thanks for this, Victoria. I loved the original Mania and repurchased several times. I have half a bottle left but unfortunately it’s starting to degrade a bit.

    I found the naming of the other Mania perfumes very confusing and of course the inexperienced SA just thought I was mad – she had no knowledge of the original.

    I didn’t realise Cavallier created Kingdom and Le Feu; two scents I really enjoyed. I still have a bottle of Le Feu which I treasure 🙂

    It doesn’t smell the same but I find that Lutens’ Jeux de Peau fills the gap that the loss of these scents left. April 13, 2012 at 4:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree on Jeux de Peau! I was thinking about Le Feu d’Issey when I was first testing it, and now each time I wear it, I see more resemblance. And whenever I wear Le Feu, I think of Mania. 🙂 That caramelized woody accord is so delicious. April 13, 2012 at 5:53pm Reply

  • Cybele: I have never smelled Mania but my favorite disconinued fragrances are Gucci Envy, Moschino (the original one) and Dry Clean Comme des Garcons April 13, 2012 at 4:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: I was wearing Envy the other day. Gucci left Envy II, which smells like every other fruity floral and discontinued the one that was actually memorable.

      I will add those fragrance to the list. April 13, 2012 at 6:13pm Reply

  • Nicola: I am so happy you have written about this regrettably discontinued gem! I bought a bottle when it came out in the UK and wore it until I had pretty much drained the bottle then moved on (coincidentally one of the successors was McQueen’s Kingdom though I think Herve Leger came inbetween). Mania felt fresh and balsamic/incensey with a clear, light floral note in the middle and I loved it. Then (to my shame) I had a clear out and threw the remains out………….when I came to my senses Mania had been discontinued, at least what I thought of as Mania and I had all sorts of funny looks from SAs when I asked for it. Serendipitously I was able to swap for a replacement bottle a year or so ago via the Posse. I am still very grateful. Nicola April 14, 2012 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Nicola: and just adding – really nice bottle! April 14, 2012 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: I can relate to this. In one of my manic (pardon the pun) spring cleaning sessions, I threw away my bottle of Mania. I think that it had very little remaining. But then I realized that it was axed, and I regretted my overzealous cleaning. I was able to find a bottle again, but it took some time.

      And I agree, the bottle is very elegant. The photo above doesn’t do it justice. April 14, 2012 at 2:54pm Reply

  • Ida: Thank you so much for your suggestions! Let the sniffing begin!

    I am one of the few very fortunate ones. I have 200 ml juice left. Whenever I’m feeling down or need some confidence I spray a few times, and it really does feel like
    being wrapped in silk. I actually find it just as great for summer as for winter even though most people find it too heavy. I actually don’t think this is a heavy fragrance
    at all. And the funny thing is that it has been my favourite perfume since I was 14. I should have liked some of the boring floral fruity perfumes, but my nose just isn’t cut ot that way.

    And the bottle is of course insanely beautiful. It’s very me – I happen to be a very minimalistic dresser as well. April 15, 2012 at 2:37am Reply

    • Ida: I must add that there are no amber notes in this fragrance. I think it’s what makes it feel so light yet creamy at the same time – because of the woods, I think.
      Another favorite of mine is Chanel Allure Sensuelle. It is very well done and, well, creamy. I don’t enjoy all the aspects of it, but the drydown is a true joy. Frankincense, French vanilla and what they call a “sensous note”. It doesn’t remind me per se of Mania, but they have the creaminess in common. I obviously love all things creamy 😉 April 15, 2012 at 2:50am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Ida. I haven’t smelled Allure. Sensuelle in a while, but it sounds like a good contender. I remember thinking that it was very polished and well..seductive. April 15, 2012 at 10:09am Reply

    • Ida: Yes, it’s certainly popular among the guys! I always get compliments when I wear it. It really makes me feel like a grown-up (I’m 25…I should feel like a grown-up by now ;-)) April 15, 2012 at 4:08pm Reply

      • Victoria: Nah, don’t rush it! You’ll feel grown up in time. 🙂 But I know what you mean, some fragrances really make one feel glamorous and sophisticated, like a lady. 🙂 April 15, 2012 at 7:41pm Reply

    • Henrique Brito: Victoria, if i can recommend you a version of Allure Sensuelle, i’d say you to try the parfum one. It’s the most rounder, sensual, with a buttery texture from the patchouli that it’s gorgeous to smell throught the day. It’s really sample worthy May 6, 2012 at 12:21pm Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you so much, Henrique! I’ll definitely try the parfum. I like the EDP, but it sounds like the parfum is even better and richer. May 6, 2012 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Ines: Oh, I forgot how much I loved this! 🙂 It was before my perfumista days so I went through the bottle rather fast. April 18, 2012 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: You were a perfumista from day one! 🙂 April 18, 2012 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Henrique Brito: You are always surprising me with your reviews Victoria, time after time i see you review my obscure favorites and it’s almost like you knew me, because what you say about those fragrances it’s exactly the reason that made them fascinating for me.
    In my case, i discovered Mania accidentaly. A friend who sold some fragrances ordered the version that followed Mania and received by mistake this one. She asked me if i was interested, and i was intrigued with the notes and the bottle.
    Once Mania arrived, what i saw on it was a velvet version of Donna Karan Black Cashmere, another of my favorites fragrances among Kingdom, Nu EDP, M7 and Le Feu d’Issey. I guess that maybe all those fragrances were discontinued due to their connoisseurship aspect. They don’t seem to be mass market fragrances, created to appeal to huge audiences. They have a strong identity, complex textures, challenging scents.
    For me, this like Armani had me a Black Silk. It has the same misterious and gothic incense and spice structure of Black Cashmere, but with a moch more smooth texture, slightly sweet and, as you said, velvety. It’s misterious, but not necessarily mistic, and it seems to have a more austere aura than you would expect from an Armani Fragrance. It would made much more sense today in their upscale luxury line.
    Again, congratulations for your excellent reviews, you’re one of my references and a role model (although i don’t always agree with you. I think you were a little bit mean with Cartier Les Heures Du Parfum lol) May 6, 2012 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Henrique Brito: Btw, do you know that there is a parfum version of it? I was always intrigued to try it, but never found any ebay seller shipping it to Brazil 🙁 May 6, 2012 at 12:18pm Reply

  • ken: i think this is one of the strongest contenders for being the most tenacious perfume ever!! it just LASTS and LASTS and LASTS.. until u really wish it wouldn’t last so long… so, advice is to spray sparingly and preferably below the waist (so it does not attack your nose so much). May 28, 2012 at 3:04am Reply

  • Gentiana: This topic bruoght up some memories… I received a bottle of Mania as a present in 2001, at first sniff(s) thought as being some sort of sweet, overpowering, “perfumey” … But that time I was the kind of girl using her boyfriend’s after shave and colognes (because he used NO cologne, only deodorant) and avoiding lush, creamy, powdery, feminine scents. A few months before I was given Fendi (another Long Lost…) and Extravagance D’ Amarige. These perfumes re-opened me the road to grown-up female scents , after some years of androginous scent-, clothing and hairstyling. Mania was droadvout quickly and that time I didn’ t afford to buy another. Later on, when I looked for it, it simply was vanished from the shelves. Yes, as I read in more reviews, I know THAT puzzled, dull or suspecting LOOK in the SAs’ eyes when asking for the ORIGINAL Mania and not for this… whatever sur-called version. Four years ago a salesman convinced me to buy Black Code, for being very similar. The bottle is the same shape as Mania plus some cobalt colour and extra lace-pattern. Great dissapointment! Bought unsniffef, cried of frustration, gave to mother. Mother douses in it. OK this was a loooong post, but, in a few words:LOVED Mania, still keeping the bottle, sniffing it, trying to remember the lush, warm smell, and THOSE days….
    Please, bring it back!
    And bring back Fendi Donna, Theorema, Alchimie, Envy, Gucci I EDP, Jaipur, Rochas Aqua Woman, Must de Cartier. March 23, 2013 at 2:47pm Reply

  • mariana: I have recently been introduced to Jimmy Choo’s Flash, and in the first couple of days I could not rest my mind till I discovered what it smelled like. I decided it has to be ArmaniMania, although my first encounter with flash – on somebody else – totally felt like Eternity. March 29, 2013 at 4:36pm Reply

  • Zoina: I recently smelled Armani attitude extreme and it is more or less mania in a pour homme bottle >_< which surprise surprise it is also discontinued…….armani…please whatever it is, just stop this madness!!! January 27, 2014 at 5:30am Reply

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