On rare shopping excursions to Copenhagen, I am sure to pass through the magnificent Beauty & Cosmetics Hall at Illum, Copenhagen's equivalent to Saks Fifth Avenue. Not only have they the most opulent shopping environment in the capital, but they also offer many exclusives and niche perfume lines that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. The Armani Privé scents are amongst these rarities, and a trip to the big smoke just isn't the same without a stolen spritz of Cuir Améthyste on my wrist, or the end of my scarf. It is the smell I have come to associate with splendour and magnificence whilst on my satisfying retail junkets.
Beautifully presented in refillable bottles crafted from exotic African kotibe wood, and each crowned with a polished amethyst stone; Cuir Améthyste is a rich, dramatic eau de parfum that evokes an atmospheric aura of glamour and mystique.
There is very little minimalistic about this perfume - it is unashamedly excessive... a possessing blend of vegetal resins, woods, citrus, florals, ambergris, patchouli and composition leather.
The key notes of coriander, violet and rose are apparent from the get-go, but almost instantaneously, one will witness darker aromatic accords (patchouli, labdanum and benzoin) stepping forward. At the heart of this scent, a plum-coloured leather note resides which carries with it a lavish feeling of nobility and assertiveness. It is not at all timid, however it is delicate and refined - a synthetic leather executed with mastery.
Much like Giorgio Armani's Privé couture collections, there is a sense of order, refinement and intuitive editing at work here. The individual accords drift past in successive order, one by one, much like his chic catwalk models. There is an astonishing harmony between the singular components whereby one is not diminished or overwhelmed by the next. In this regard, Cuir Améthyste is rather linear, ordered, calculated. But to my nose, it is calculated lavishness and extravagance.
As a male, I am not fearful of wearing Cuir Améthyste even though its marketing is targeted more towards women. I find its depth, complexity and synthesis of accords rather masculine, despite the pretty florals in the mix. It also has impressive sillage and persistence (7+ hours) which is always a plus.
In Scandinavia the Privé line are profoundly expensive (the 50ml luxury presentation retails for $255 equivalent, and the refills for $149)... prohibitive prices that have rendered a purchase next to impossible for me. Up until now, that is. Somewhere along the line, it would seem Armani have lost a tight grip on their distribution, as the 50ml refills are currently selling in several discount retail chains in the US for under $30. When taking into consideration the quality and exclusivity of this outstanding elixir, this presents a staggering saving and big win for the consumer. As a result, I now own my "Posh Copenhagen Smell", and am seriously considering a second purchase.