giorgio armani: 11 posts

Lips Like Rose Petals

I blame my current infatuation with color on taking up embroidery after a long hiatus. As I play with fabric and thread and search for the right kind of ivory to sparkle against white linen, I give more thought to the colors around me, sometimes even too much. “Wouldn’t that be a great pairing!” I think as I walk over a chocolate brown grate that my Brussels commune stamps with its lemon yellow seal. When I’m not admiring the exquisite detail of local plumbing, I indulge my color obsession via my makeup kit.

rose-lipstick

Makeup is a natural way to explore color, because face products–lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, powders–allow for an infinite variation of shades and gradations of tones. Depending on the texture and transparency, the same hue can take a different cast, not to mention the effect provided by your own skin. Of course, it’s also an excuse for adding to my makeup wardrobe, because as I delve further into my embroidery and as the summer roses bloom with more abandon, my collection grows steadily. One pink is suddenly not enough. I want all of the roses on my lips.

But alas, roses proved to be a difficult case. While reds and berries suit my pale complexion well, roses and pinks can emphasize the yellowish cast of my skin and make me look as if I haven’t slept for days. The swatching exercise below was done chiefly to organize my stash. The result is a selection of mini-reviews. I prefer my cosmetics unscented, but some of my favorite formulas have a strong scent. I added short fragrance notes, in case you’re picky about this aspect of your lipstick.

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Giorgio Armani Mania : Long Lost Favorite Perfume

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Gam
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?

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Armani Prive Cuir Noir : Perfume Review

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Cuir

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The new Armani Privé Cuir Noir, a fragrance from La Collection des Mille et une Nuits is starting to appear in stores (recently spotted at Harrods.) Cuir Noir was created by perfumer Nathalie Lorson and includes notes of Bulgarian rose, nutmeg, coriander, guaiac wood, leather, oud, Australian sandalwood, ambergris accord, benzoin.

My overall impression–and it can apply to the whole collection–nicely done, but not mind-blowing enough to warranty the price of 180 British pounds. Cuir Noir starts out as a big sweet amber and leather in the style of Tom Ford Amber Absolute or Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche. There is a distinctive rose note that lingers from top to drydown. The medicinal, smoky oud is such a rich accent that it makes the leather play a second fiddle. Fans of oriental blends will enjoy Cuir Noir, but if you are looking for a smoky rich leather, it will not satisfy the craving.

Giorgio Armani Prive La Femme Bleue : Perfume Review

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Femmebleu

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

It has been a while since any fragrance from the Armani Privé collection captured my attention. Although many perfumes in the range are elegant and well-crafted, the inflated price makes them much less attractive to me. The only exception so far has been Bois d’Encens, a striking incense and cedarwood composition that intriguingly managed to convey the serene darkness of incense, while suggesting a glamorous aura. La Femme Bleue has been my latest surprise. Although iris has been a heavily used theme among recent niche launches—from Tom Ford Violet Blonde to Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri, La Femme Bleue presents it in an unusual manner. It pairs the cool vegetal austerity of iris with the gourmand sweetness of chocolate and the somber darkness of incense, all the while retaining an uplifting sensation.

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Armani Prive Rose d’Arabie : Perfume Review

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Armani-prive-rose-darabie

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Rose is the most representative fragrance note of Eastern style fragrances as it carries many rich symbolic connotations as revealed by Persian poetry and Sufi writings. In traditional perfumery rose was prized for its ability to withstand the considerable heat of distillation, unlike most other fragrance flowers like jasmine, violet, hyacinth and lily. Even today, the rose fragrance is likely to form an indelible impression when visiting any of the Middle Eastern countries—rosewater is customarily sprinkled on guests upon arrival and departure, rose flavor is as likely to be found in a dish of lamb pilaf as it is in sweet sherbets and pastries, and the scent of rose attar fills the air as people prepare for Friday prayers. Therefore, it is not surprising that the third chapter of the Arabian Tales from Armani Privé La Collection des Mille et une Nuits, Rose d’Arabie, takes the shape of an oriental rose.

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