Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste : Perfume Review



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

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

Photo from



  • Håkan Nellmar: Not much leather then. Thanks for letting me remove this, for me, hard to find fragrance from my list. March 30, 2006 at 5:19am Reply

  • Judith: I think there should be a law prohibiting the use of the word “Cuir” in the names of fragrances that do not have a strong [STRONG] leather note. They keep disappointing me. Cuir Beluga, and now this. Ah, well. . . March 30, 2006 at 8:21am Reply

  • Christina H.: I was able to sample it and it was nothing like I would have expected.I thought the name of the fragrance was deceptive as I didn’t get lots of anything amethyst or leather.A big let down for me. March 30, 2006 at 9:50am Reply

  • paru: Well, there are days (or even weeks) when I feel like “finishing a bar of chocolate in one go.” But I suppose it’s not the ideal quality for a fragrance. March 30, 2006 at 11:19am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Håkan, it is mostly a gourmand amber. Leather is only a delicate whisper of suede. I am wearing Doblis today for a taste of real leather (which is done in the most elegant manner). March 30, 2006 at 12:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, you are absolutely right! $185 saved is a very good thing indeed. 🙂 March 30, 2006 at 12:06pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, cannot agree more. I was not even expecting much leather here, but the ambery-vanillic genre is just not for me. The blast of sweet violet notes from the beginning was a bit too much. March 30, 2006 at 12:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, if has lots of ambery sweetness, therefore maybe you might like it better than I did. March 30, 2006 at 12:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, I got lots of violet here, therefore it was in line with the name, however amethyst is usually associated for me with something transparent and shimmering, not heavy and dense. March 30, 2006 at 12:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: P, I have those days and weeks too! March 30, 2006 at 12:13pm Reply

  • violetnoir: Hey, I always finish a bar of chocolate in one go! :):)

    Hugs! March 30, 2006 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Tara: Pity about the leather, but it sounds appealing to me anyway. BTW, I called Saks and was told the release date for this would not be until October? Previously I had heard April/May but it appears that may not be true, if you believe the Armani Saks SA in San Diego. March 30, 2006 at 12:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, that is exactly what should happen to a bar of chocolate. 🙂 March 30, 2006 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Robin: Ditto everything you said — this is not the best of the group by any means, and you would never guess the same perfumer did Bois d’Encens. March 30, 2006 at 12:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, if you like Cuir Beluga and Ambre Russe, then I can see you appreciating Cuir Amethyste more than I did. BTW, I am wearing Doblis today and thinking of you! 🙂

    I also heard about the autumn release, but the last time I checked, the SAs (from Saks in NYC) shared with me their press release information and the date was for April. Perhaps, she did not know the latest news. At any rate, I am confused. March 30, 2006 at 12:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, yes, Bois d’Encens still remains my favourite. If you liked incense, I also highly recommend testing Gucci Pour Homme. March 30, 2006 at 12:50pm Reply

  • Laura: Well, darn. But on the other hand, that’s $185+ saved! ;D March 30, 2006 at 7:57am Reply

  • marchlion: Another thank-you for removing this from my list. It sounds … dreadful, although you were very tactful in your criticism. I am curious: do you have a routine you follow when applying fragrances for review? Do you try them a certain number of times? I am wondering if you’ve ever changed your mind about something after a day or two (as opposed to, say, deciding a year later that you really like something!) March 30, 2006 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Marina: Oh no! This sounds like such a disappointment. I’ll second Judith’s suggestion. It should illegal to give scents misleading names. 🙂 March 30, 2006 at 8:33am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, I would love to hear your opinion on it. Since you are not a leather fan and you like sweet fragrances, then may be you migh enjoy Cuir Amethyste. The bottle looks very nice, as other Armani Prive fragrances.

    Adding: it is not chocolatey, only in so far as benzoin has an incense-chocolate facet. March 30, 2006 at 2:00pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I feel that creating perfumes is an art and a very difficult process, and even though I am not a perfumer, I have a tremendous respect for people who are. It does not mean that I like everything I come across, but I do not like to be negative without explaining exactly why. I do have a routine of sorts: at first, I test everything on scent strips. Then I try on my skin, at least 2-3x and compare my impressions (since skin chemistry is an important factor to consider). If I do not like something, I will test it even longer to make sure that I am being fair in my criticism. March 30, 2006 at 2:10pm Reply

  • michel: i wonder if the name of Cuir Amethiste was decided before to create the fragrance or the fragrance before to find the name ? in both of the cases someone made a mistake ! because for me it’s not a bad fragrance at all, not my tast, but not bad with some “caractère” and “identity” but if you are attracted by the name and the composition we can read in the presse so you gone be disapointed, like me, even if the young woman and man from Armani in The Printemps said i have to buy this one,…, i buy a big beotle of ” Eau Sento ” wich are the esprit i’d like to find in ” Cuir Amethist ” March 30, 2006 at 2:35pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Michel, I can’t say that my disappointment was because it was not leather. I did not have many expectations at all, because I am not sure how “leather amethyst” is supposed to smell. The press release I quoted here a few months ago only mentioned vanilla and wood, so I knew that something like that might be coming. It turned out sweet, powdery and heavy (with lots of synthetic violet)–almost like too many good things experienced at once. That combination is not to my taste either.

    However, Michel Almairac’s Bois d’Encens is my favourite fragrance from Prive collection. It made me want to explore more incense fragrances. March 30, 2006 at 2:44pm Reply

  • michel: “of course, i mean which HAVE the esprit”

    i want to add i like the way of your review because you explain the importance of the title of a fragrance and his power.
    In the same way “cuir beluga ” ( even if i’m not a fan of this one) is more evocative for me, and i can understand Olivier Bourdon imagine the smell of the skin of this so strange white cétacé March 30, 2006 at 2:51pm Reply

  • michel: My second post come to late but here in france you can read about the composition : VIOLET, BOULEAU, they forget to mention the very sweet aspect of the fragrance that’s why i thougt it will be something more like Scandal de Lanvin , something more like a cuir-violette March 30, 2006 at 2:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Michel, oh, I only saw the US press release, because I just wanted to know when Cuir Amethyste is going to be available in stores.

    I like your point about fragrance names having something to say about the composition. The one fragrance that I thought was befitting the name really well turned out to be YSL Champagne. The first time I smelled it (without knowing what it was), I imagined a glass full of champagne, and it was very interesting to find out that its creator was charged to compose just that. March 30, 2006 at 3:20pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Scandal de Lanvin is such a beautiful fragrance. I have only a sample of it, but I hope that I will find a full bottle at some point. I also love its leather and violet interplay. March 30, 2006 at 3:22pm Reply

  • biagio: i wasn’t a really fan of the armani regular line ,i actually have to say that the prive collection bottles really attracted me so much but i just cannot understand why they were so expensives if i will ever have any idea of purchasing one i will go for bois d’encens ,could you tell me if this one has more sillage than gucci men ? March 30, 2006 at 4:27pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Biagio, the bottles are lovely, but someone mentioned that after using them for a while, the liquid begins to ruin the finish. Judging on the basis of how the testers look at the counter, I would agree. I find that Gucci Pour Homme has a little bit more sillage than Bois d’Encens, but for me, I prefer Bois d’Encens, because the composition has the kind of simplicity that allows incense to shine. March 30, 2006 at 4:43pm Reply

  • Victoria’s Own: Not much leather, then I’m in! Ha! I hope I like this one, I just might if it’s not too chocolately. Ambery sweetness sounds great to me. I have been saving my Christmas gift certs! March 30, 2006 at 12:51pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: My pleasure! Eau de Jade is another very lovely fragrance, and if it were a little less expensive, I would certainly purchase a bottle. I have gone from liking those bottles to finding them unpleasant to use. March 31, 2006 at 3:47pm Reply

  • N: Hello V! Thank you for the review and I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts. I do appreciate and can wear Bois d’Encens and Eau de Jade. Have a lovely weekend. March 31, 2006 at 11:05am Reply

  • Tara: I have a bottle of this on the way to me, courtesy of the wonderful BF who is in Rome right now. I did not have any trouble with the fragrance leaking and ruining the bottle – but I am careful to wipe the sprayer after each use, so hopefully that will protect the lovely bottle.

    I am glad to hear you are enjoying your Doblis. 🙂 It is my favorite leather scent. April 3, 2006 at 4:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, oh, how wonderful! Your BF is a treasure. 🙂 I would love to hear your impressions once it arrives. April 3, 2006 at 4:51pm Reply

  • Tara: Well, I have tried my Cuir Amethyste, and I got LOTS of leather. It was very strong on me for the first 15-20 min, then dried down to a violet wood, somewhat like Bois de Violette. It was neither powdery nor sweet on me. I like it rather a lot and am very happy to have it. I have heard that they are considering reformulating it, due to poor market response – which makes me doubly happy to have this bottle now. April 12, 2006 at 3:55pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, I am glad that you are enjoying it. I notice leather here, but it is a rather subtle twist of suede, comparable in its intensity to Cuir Beluga. I also heard the reformulations rumours, and now I am wondering what the final outcome might be like. It is great that you managed to get the historical pre-reformulation bottle then. 🙂 April 12, 2006 at 8:28pm Reply

  • Valerie: I loved this, I love oriental smell and CA is this warm smell, that make make you feel so calm and secure.
    I love the first note leather and then it goes violet and powdery. It stay close to the body and stay there… And even in the cold weather the perfume when up a notch in a very subtle note of sweetness. leather, wood, voilet and powdery-sweetness, I have chergui from Serge lutens and in a way are very similar. the top note and dry down in both perfume doesnt change a lot. LOVE! October 28, 2011 at 10:27pm Reply

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