Like Giorgio Armani’s clothing, the designer’s fragrances have an effortless appeal that makes them easy to wear, with an imbued Italian style. In the collection, the Armani Prive perfumes are dark and textured like a Collezione tuxedo jacket. The GA fragrances have a crispness mimicking the razor-sharp tailoring of an Armani business suit and Emporio Armani is a line for the active-sporty man. Recently the brand has focused its energies on producing perfumes for an affluent clientele. The Armani Prive line continues to grow with its most recent addition, La Femme Nacre packaged in bottles made with mother of pearl and an asking price of around 500 euros. Before this, at the turn of the century the brand had its sight fixed on its younger audience. Acqua di Gio had established itself as one of the best selling men’s fragrances to date and Emporio Armani, the brand’s youthful diffusion line was ready to launch a new perfume. The Loreal Group was behind the project with the help of senior perfumer at IFF, Carlos Benaim and in 2001 Emporio Armani White for Him & Her was created. At the time I was in my mid-20s and this was without a doubt the type of fragrance I aspired to wear. Six years after the fragrance was launched its white and blue packaging was given a facelift to become part of (PRODUCT) RED, a line of Armani products that donated a percentage from each sale to help women and children with HIV/Aids in Africa. In 2009, the fragrance began disappearing into obscurity and is now fully discontinued.
Armani White for Him is a unique fragrance for its time. The year before Jacques Cavalier and Alberto Morillas pioneered the use of oud in Yves Saint Laurent’s M7, Carlos Benaim could be described as a pioneer for this ozonic white musk fragrance for men. In 2001, ozonic notes were not revolutionary, but they were commonly paired with calone and fruit to create watery accords such as Clinique’s Happy for Men and Kenzo’s L’Eau par Kenzo Homme. Emporio Armani’s White for Him steers clear of the water and instead heads for the sky; a blue sky filled with a breeze of citrus peel, rosemary, chamomile and cardamom. The dry down is a spacious white musk accord that helps to create a fragrance that is as light as a feather.
White for Him is a clean sporty fragrance, quite the opposite to many of today’s trendy incense/amber smells. If you don’t already know it, you should be forgiven for feeling like you are not missing out on anything. For me it is purely a nostalgic smell of times past. It is the smell of a 2001 nightclub cue with men, freshly showered, about to embark on another weekend of music and vice. A night that will all be forgotten in the haze of the ensuing morning hangover. Today I am wearing it to the gym and occasionally to work. My days of nightclub cues and all night parties are long gone!
Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche, Serge Lutens L’Eau, Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume, Narciso Rodriguez Essence
Perfumer: Carlos Benaim, Clement Gavarry, Olivier Polge, Pierre Wargnye (IFF)
Bottle designer: Fabien Baron
Release date: 2007 (first edition 2001)
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Crisp citrus