Givenchy Amarige: Jasmine via Megaphone

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Twenty years ago, I bought my first bottle of Givenchy Amarige and didn’t bother using it sparingly. Loud, proud, and distinctive, Amarige is instantly recognisable.

It claims that “  It is so opulent and floral that it seems like its composition includes all the beautiful flowers that exist in the world.”

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Launched in 1991 by our old friend Dominique Ropion, I was 21 when I bought my first, second and third bottles. There followed a hiatus in my love affair with Amarige, possibly because I met and fell in love with another fragrance, the quieter, greener Chanel Cristalle, to whom I was faithful for many years.

Recently, on my holiday sojourn (or staycation since I stayed in the UK and holidayed on the coast), I found Amarige in a sale for only 22GBP and Oops I bought it. The memories came rushing back. However, the 21 year old me, is very different to the me of today (although naturally we look the same age *cough*).

And it is.

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With more notes than an opera, Amarige has everything you could imagine:  Neroli, Mimosa, Jasmine, Gardenia, Yellow Flowers, Oranges, Peaches (thankfully light), Roses, Tuberose, Carnation, Woods, Amber, Vanilla, Cedar, Violet…you name it, it’s in there.  In the wrong hands, this could be a generic mess, but Dominique Ropion has fiddled with the dials until everything is just at the right volume. My youthful self  was right on one point, it certainly does smell more expensive than it is. Luca Turin nearly gave it four stars, despite disliking it.  In fact, in Perfumes The Guide he states “ If you are reading this because it is your darling fragrance, please wear it at home exclusively, and tape the windows shut.”

He calls this a “soapy-green tobacco-tuberose”. I really don’t know where to categorize it on my dressing table (my bottles stand in groups).  Despite the valid criticisms of it, I can’t help liking it, and can’t stop sniffing my wrists today as it whooshes me back to the early Nineties.

Divisive ain’t the word. There is an Amarige review on Fragrantica that makes me chuckle every time, It is written by a man whose ex girlfriend practically marinated herself in it to the maximum degree, despite his pleas to stop.  Dear crazykoffee you did give me a laugh as well as giving us all a sobering lesson on how NOT to use perfume! It is a brilliantly expressed review  and is a good balance to my gushing.

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Amarige is a distinct classic, with Tuberose and Jasmine rooted in a deep and redolent base. The Yellow flower notes remind me a little of Chloe Narcisse, a fragrance only suitable for bees.  At the same time it’s playful and sweet, without being candy-sugary. It beds down into a floral woodiness, and lasts for ages, even as an EDT. I can’t help liking it, but I promise never to wear it over breakfast.

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11 thoughts on “Givenchy Amarige: Jasmine via Megaphone”

  1. Strip out the tuberose and I think I would really like this. Givenchy Ysatis is one of my all time favorites and I have the feeling this runs along the same vein even though I have never tried it. I think now I’m going to have to hit the department store to give it a chance 🙂

    1. Dear Mr Hound,

      Thank you for dropping by. I tried Ysatis the same day I bought Amarige and I can safely tell you that Ysatis is much drier and less sweet. Amarige is like an extravagant bouquet next to elegant Ysatis!

    1. Hi lanier, lovely to hear from you. Let’s stick two fingers up at Mr Turin, he’s always slagging off my favourites! I’m glad I’m not alone. Let’s open those windows!

  2. Dearest Iscent
    Welcome home!
    Now Amarige… I adore it.
    To me it is the Dolly Parton of floral perfumes, larger than life with a little of something for everyone but with an undeniable genius running through it.
    As to exercising caution, staying home or taping up windows.
    *Pshaw* says I.
    Wear it loud and proud as my neighbour, a *Lady* in the peerage sense, does with considerable elan!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Dear Mr Dandy,

    What a wonderful description- it is indeed the Dolly Parton of fragrances: too much, too loud, and very wonderful. Your Lady neighbour has good taste. I’d love to know what she thinks of your open window!

    Your friend
    IScent

  4. i was pretty broke and not buying perfume when Amarige came out, so i was only recently exposed to it. i have a big, memorable personality, so i tend to feel best in big, memorable scents. I was testing a few perfumes, all of which were nice. but one spray of this and it was love at first breath. the messages from my nose hit my brain and it was flooded with an immediate sense of “yes, this is the one.”

    1. Oh I love this! I think people with big memorable personalities are the best sort, aren’t they? I have a big soft spot for Amarige. It seems to smell different each time I wear it. Sometimes its huge jasmine and other times its soapy tobacco. I never get bored of it and I wish more people wore it. Sam xx

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