I've smelled so much fabulous perfume lately. I've already bought a bottle of Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté, plan on springing for some L'Artisan Parfumeur Havana Vanille, love my decant of Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Chyprée, am enjoying Natori, and am tantalized by Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood. I practically can't sleep waiting to try Amouage Epic. Thinking of my pocketbook, I apprehensively dabbed a few drops of Giorgio Armani Idole d'Armani Eau de Parfum on my wrist. I needn't have worried. Thank you, perfume gods, for a fragrance I'm not even tempted to buy.
Idole d'Armani launched this month. Perfumer Bruno Jovanovic created Idole, using — and here I lift directly from the Armani cosmetics website: top notes of "dazzling bitter orange, juicy pear, ginger and davana"; middle notes of "audacious rose loukoum and mythical jasmine blended boldly with saffron absolute, creating a honey-coloured subtle spicy note"; and base notes of "unexpected styrax, patchouli and vetiver". (Let's just hope the Armani marketing people don't enter the Prix Eau Faux, or the rest of us don't stand a chance).
Despite the Armani website's cheesy description, Idole is built on a foundation that smells Armani perfect: smooth but not boring; elegant but not featureless; comforting but not foody. It's an intriguing mix of snuffed-out beeswax taper with saffron, the barest breath of patchouli, and the hot smell of burnt wick. But, smeared all over this lovely base is cheap smelling, loud, sticky pear.
I've been wearing Idole off and on for two weeks now trying to figure out what the pear smell reminds me of, and I haven't put my finger on it yet. It isn't as soapy as pear-scented body wash, or as pure as a pear tart, or as sweet as a Bonne Bell pear Lip Smacker (if there is such a thing). It smells industrial. Maybe pear-scented floor cleaner for use in schools and prisons? Whatever it is, it doesn't belong on my body.
To me, Idole is like so many starlets, smoky-eyed, draped in shiny fabric, who self-consciously walk the red carpet. They are such pretty women with such regular features, trim bodies, and glossy hair. So much potential. But they lack soul and individuality — at least, in appearance. Maybe any one of them could inspire grand passion if you had a conversation with her.
Unfortunately, with a perfume the surface is all you get. There's no ability to speak five languages or unexpected love of Petrarch or even facility with a ukulele to draw you in. I'd love to smell Idole with more jasmine and none of the fruity dressing, but I guess I'm not the target market.
I hope that if you've tried Idole d'Armani and liked it that you'll leave a comment so that readers get a more balanced perspective.
Giorgio Armani Idole d'Armani is available in Eau de Parfum in 30 ml ($39.50), 50 ml ($62), and 75 ml bottles ($137 $75).