“ Brand: Azzaro / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Parfum „
Launched : 1984, discontinued
Group : Floral
I stumbled across this Eau de Parfum miniature I have from Azzaro in my collection and was immediately intrigued by its yellow box and vintage-looking glass bottle with a yellow liquid in it. Azzaro is now mainly known for their fresh and everyday colognes and eau de toilettes, I was surprised to find such a feminine-looking creation amongst their offerings.
A quick search online confirmed, the fragrance was launched in 1984 and is now indeed vintage. The perfume is housed in an embossed, round bottle that's somewhat flattened on the top so it nestles nicely in the hand. This classic French perfume bottle shape was used a lot in previous decades but hard to find nowadays. The bottle sits in an emblematic square, bright yellow box, again, vintage-looking by today's standards but something I treasure and find endearing.
Top notes : aldehydes, pineapple, mandarin, bergamot
Azzaro 9 starts up with a lovely, bright mimosa note mixed with a warm debut of tuberose. A few minutes later a citrusy green and slightly soapy aroma joins in that adds a fresh and clean tone to the opening. The result is a not particularly sweet or fruity but a rather green and slightly sharp floral accord that sets the scene for the more opulent and exotic florals that begin to emerge after about half an hour.
Heart notes : mimose, carnation, tuberose, lily, jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth, iris
After a powerful, slightly rough and relatively sharp opening, Azzaro 9 warms up considerably with the apparition of the nine (Loris Azzaro's lucky number) floral absolutes used in the composition: spicy, clove-like carnation, bright, soapy mimosa and powdery hyacinth - just to mention a few influences my nose is able to discern. A slightly colder frame (the aldehydes) responsible for a steady projection envelops the aforementioned multitude of notes bouncing about wonderfully in a bright and sunny haze.
All that aside, Azzaro 9 would be incomplete without tuberose, the note the perfumes tries to showcase with a relative abstraction of course. The sweet and intoxicating tuberose accord is definitely recognisable and is somehow even magnified and brightened than the reference I have on my other arm (Organic tuberose absolute from Grasse 2011 harvest). Azzaro's tuberose is just as sweet, honey-like, incredibly smooth and creamy with a dark and spicy core that resembles warmed skin or animal fur lending tuberose its characteristic musky and ambery odour pushing it into the realm of orientals.
The mossy and aldehydic elements present in the heart take the edge off the rich and slightly dirty aroma tuberose is so famous for and anchor it to the lighter, brighter florals. It stays just as intoxicating and deep however - unlike the absolute that's gone in a few hours without support - is now maintained and projects beautifully for a good 5 - 6 hours for those close around me.
Base notes : sandalwood, musk, oakmoss, vanilla, incense, cedarwood
An impressive 8 - 10 hours later Azzaro 9 consists of a mixture of slightly detergent-like aldehydes that make me think of white linen offset by a lovely woody vanillic base that lasts and lasts. Although with less sillage it is still detectable especially on clothes where it has been sprayed in the morning.
From time to time, a characteristic, slightly bitter green and mossy note makes its presence felt softened by powdery woods reminiscent of a floral base in classic perfumery where the woods are often dusty and dry. Having said that the accord is surprisingly light and brightened by the aldehydes with a green, floral tinge. Despite having a rich, consistency compared to modern florals the accord melts onto the skin until it becomes indistinguishable.
Released in the eighties when real perfumery still existed, it didn't take long before the use of synthetics in the nineties exploded and Azzaro 9 fell into neglect. In the fifties up to the seventies the fragrance would have probably become a classic, spicy floral following the footsteps of Chanel No. 5, l L'air du temps or even Champs d'Aromes. What I like about Azzaro 9 is its natural balance; it's not too 'damish' nor too 'young and fresh' but somewhere in between.
It's warm, sexy and romantic to the bone. Most importanly, it avoids the usuals traps of classic French perfumery where florals are often either too soapy (Houbigant Quelques Fleurs), too detergent-like (Chanel No. 5), too heavy (Poison) or too animalic (Joy). If they are none of these but pure tuberose perfection then they are too expensive (Fracas).
Almost as beautiful as Fracas but a lot more accessible, Azzaro 9 manages to capture the quintessence of tuberose using other elements as a backup and not as means on their own. Amongst tuberoses, Azzaro 9 is fresher and lighter and feels just a little bit sharper and made-up like the absolute itself. It doesn't lose itself on the way and retains its heady and sensual quality that isn't provocative but tender and inviting with a breath of freshness along with the right amount of mossy depth.
It can be worn with parcimony all year round as it adapts well to different temperatures by taking advantage of its fresh and heady dual facet. Mossy and green enough to withstand the heat and warm enough in the cold which cannot be said from the majority of modern thin-structured florals. Azzaro 9 has quickly become my automn favourite and has gained many a compliment.
In conclusion, Azzaro's unique take on a tuberose-injected floral is a very feminine, somewhat rough but always sweet and intoxicating juice that's assertive without being agressive, rounded but fresh, sexy but mature. This rare and rich floral bouquet was made in an era where real absolutes were still being used before being replaced by approximative and bleeched synthetics drowned by quantities of all engulfing synthetic musks (see Fragile). What a loss to perfumery.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Having been discontinued, Azzaro 9 Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette are increasingly hard to find or prices have greatly increased too. At the moment Perfume Emporium stocks a 8ml and 30ml pure perfume version for £56.92 and £94.33 respectively.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk