Thursday, May 10, 2007

Attitude by Armani: fragrance review

What's in a name? As it is obvious from the following links (here, here and here), plenty! Names can be poetic, pedestrian, plebian, pleading or pleasant, but they always leave a significant imprint on the ear and the mind.
Not less so when it comes to perfume names.

Hence my slight dissent with the name of the new male fragrance by Giorgio Armani, called Attitude. With a name like that one would expect something of a bombastic olfactory grenade hurled into the air regardless of who catches fire and acting with an air of assumed impunity.
It is perhaps my onerous duty to report that neither of those things is happening.
Although no one could accuse Attitude of smelling badly, a memorable fragrance it ain't. In the plethora of department store offerings it doesn't make a bleep on the screen of consiousness, but melts into the background like the brushstrokes of an experienced painter who caters for the salons of the rich producing pretty prortraits and still lives that have not much to say to the viewer apart from their uniform pleasantness and the signature of someone well-known.

The perceived target group of the new offering would be the man who "affirms himself, cultivates the art of being just, absolutely himself. Without provocation, demands, embarassment, nor complexes." Indeed all the elements of an "attitude", although exactly which avenue that latter might traipse on is not indicated.

"Being himself" or "herself": is there a more confusing way of putting things I wonder. What exactly is a sense of self? Who are we? Are we the sum of our experiences and memories? The product of our respective environments? The predestined momentum that came into being through a higher power? Or are we the sole oeuvre of our own deeper understanding and affirming it proudly to the world?
It's a very perplexing matter and one which demands everyone of us looks deep down into themselves to try and analyse. The search for a personal identity is a life-long journey: constantly evolving upon firmly grown tendencies, if I am allowed to use the paradoxical justaposition of two opposites.

But reverting to the scent, the "attitude" doesn't materialise beyond the pleasant and innofensive. Conceived by esteemed noses such as Annick Menardo, Olivier Cresp, and Alberto Morillas of Firmenich, it includes interesting notes that materialise in different proportions accounting for the ending result.
The official notes according to Osmoz are: sicilian lemon, coffee absolute, cardamom, lavender, smoky accord, chinese cedar, patchouli, opoponax, and amber.
Of those I am tentatively admiting to you that only the hesperide along with the woods traspire clearly and loudly on the paper strip. The rest need much more coaxing to appear if at all.
The coffee absolute accord promise was actually the one I had been dreaming of most of all, as it is one of my favourite notes in fragrances of either persuasion and I was a little disappointed in not getting it to "sing" its magical song on my skin. Lavender has never been a note that I am crazy about (with the exception of a few notable exceptions, one of which is Tauer's Reverie au jardin) so I didn't put too much emphasis on it anyway. It is also quite a traditional element in so many masculine colognes, that it's par for the course. The inclusion of patchouli is of course one of the major trends of the last decade,ever since Angel picked up and showed that the potential of a hippy oil can be greater than imagined and indeed it has softly embraced many fragrances in its cuddly and warm bosom.
What remains poised on skin is a warmish, nice amalgam of smoky woods and light amber that would never distance anyone with its aura, yet would never get you noticed for your wild personality either. You'd have to provide the attitude yourself!

Available from major department stores from May at the following prices:
42euros for 30ml,59euros for 50ml and 71euros for 75ml.

Art photography by Chris Borgman courtesy of his site.

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