Perfume Directory

Amazone (original) (1974)
by Hermès


Amazone (original) information

Year of Launch1974
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 70 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerMaurice Maurin

About Amazone (original)

Amazone (original) is a feminine perfume by Hermès. The scent was launched in 1974 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Maurice Maurin

Amazone (original) fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Amazone (original)

When Amazone launched in 1974 the woody floral was a sensible and well-populated genre. Ranging from heavily aldehydic numbers like l’Air du Temps and Fleurs de Rocailles to glowing classics like le Dix and le De, woody florals had always been above reproach. But the times they were a-changin’ and the perfumes that weren’t keeping pace were starting to seem perfunctory and stale. Floral aldehydes had been dominant for so long that they had developed coded meanings to those in the know. Chanel 5 was sophisticated, l’Air de Temps was naive, Estée was tight-assed. But to the great majority of people who smelled them they were just soapy and antiquated. Woody florals struggled to strike the attitude that would appeal to the young woman of the 1970s. New green perfumes like Chanel 19 and Diorella spoke to a more provocative femininity and found an eager audience. Amazone seems designed to find a middle ground between old and new styles. Whether it was successful is difficult to answer.

Amazone would likely have seemed too blatantly fruity to the woman who wore Calèche, Guy Robert’s aldehydic woody floral that was the only other female fragrance Hermès offered in 1974. Traditional woody florals carried the citrus topnotes needed to create a pyramid but Amazone put fruit front and center. It was a starchy green floral built from taut spring flowers and apparently a whopping dose of blackcurrant. It was crisp rather than lush and while it was a new style for Hermès, it had the conservative sensibility of the house.

To the modern nose shaped by florals like Escada Chiffon Sorbet and Alain Delon Samourai Pinkberry (an actual perfume, apparently) Amazone comes off like most other woody florals from previous generations. Pick your favorite word of disdain–they’ve all been used. Mumsy, frumpish, dowdy, démodé. Amazone was Hermès’s first attempt to find a young female market and the brand wasn’t known for nurturing a socially progressive buyer. Amazone didn’t try—or didn’t try hard enough—to target the boho bougie style that Dior and Chanel nailed with Diorella and Cristalle. The perfume’s warrior name implied an audacious femininity that the perfume didn’t deliver. Hermès seem to have gotten a foot in the door to the rising feminism of the decade but never quite opened it and marched through. The image of femininity it conjured was conflicted and contradictory, a bit like another oddity of the era, the folk-singing nun.

With Amazone, Hermès mediated the youth movement of the era by effectively ignoring it, a pattern the marque would repeat when it launched the jaunty Eau de Cologne Hermès/Eau d’Orange Vert into the heart of the punk era in 1979. Denial or cultural tone-deafness. Pick your choice.

But time heals all blah, blah and vintage Amazone is an excellent wear today for anyone who chooses to reclaim it. (There are plenty of vintage bottles still available.) The florals are dynamic and the woods are rich but understated. The perfume has an acidulated snap that flouts today’s ongoing trend for sweetened fruits and florals. It’s a wonderful bit of irony that defying trend–which made Amazone seem out of place in 1974–makes it seem novel today.

Maybe it’s a result of my Catholic schooling by nuns. Maybe it’s my contemplation of the the self-restraint involved in wearing a full religious habit. Either way, the singing nun routine strikes me as just the right kind of kink and I happily wear Amazone while the refrain of “Dominique” echoes through my head.

27th June, 2018
This opens as a bright, sharp, green floral with a prominent hyacinth note. A few minutes in, it turns unpleasantly bitter on my skin, but after an hour the bitterness fades, leaving a softer green floral accord. At this point I get lily of the valley, & later a fresh & pretty rose, with a soft vetiver beneath. Four hours in it's very soft, but lasts around ten hours before fading out.
This isn't my usual type of thing, & I'm giving it a neutral rating because I dislike that bitter phase. But after this it's really a quite lovely floral, evocative of springtime. One that I think all lovers of green florals would appreciate!
02nd December, 2016
Turin gave this three stars and called it a "woody floral." He found it well done, but ultimately uninteresting.

I find it to begin fruity in a dry sharp cassis note, surrounded by pine woods green, although there are no notes in the make-up to suggest that scent, with a dry down to vetiver and amber.

Barbara Herman liked its "earthy, grassy vetiver with light florals and a warm berry sweetness."

Its longevity is not great, so the interesting match of the cassis with the pine note disappears pretty quickly.

Nice as a splash but not memorable.
07th August, 2014
A fresh, sharp chypre

A very interesting fragrance that is sharp, herbal, dry, and woody. I own the EDP, age unknown; the liquid is greenish-yellow rather than the golden yellow in the above image.

Bergamot and black current, no sweet notes at all, leaped out at me from the first spray. It's sharp, green, and sour. Some might dislike this sharpness, but if you're patient, this develops into a unique and refreshing fragrance that is unlike any others. In some ways, Amazone reminds me of Ma Griffe and Coriandre; they all share a sharp greenness, but Amazone has a wholly different drydown.

When the heart notes begins to appear, the bitterness is tempered by a touch of sweetness from the floral notes. Iris and jasmine are most prominent on my skin. They never really take over the green notes--they simply add depth. The light touch with the florals makes this an especially nice fragrance for very hot weather when strong florals seem cloyingly sweet.

The drydown retains some of the herbal notes of the opening but mellows into a warm, mossy, and woody fragrance over time. "Amazone" is the perfect name for this assertive, non-girly-girl fragrance. One of a kind. Easily unisex. (Ya gotta love those 70s frags!)

The sillage is strong, longevity good, over 7 hours.

Pros: Refreshing, complex
Cons: Longevity could be better

18th May, 2013
Nice, casual, unimpeachable. In my opinion more of a fruity green than a green chypre, despite the alleged oakmoss in the bass. Sparkling pear at the top fades down into a faint, undefinable warm/cool bottom. Reminds me a little of Galanos. Totally pleasant, but to me unnecessary in a world that already contains Chamade and Chanel no. 19.
03rd May, 2010
AnnS Show all reviews
United States
Amazone is really classy stuff! It smells like Givenchy III, Chanel No 19, Chanel Pour Monsieur, Lancome's Climat, Guerlain's Chamade and PdN's Temps d'Une Fete all got together, decided to combine the best of all their parts, and this is the fantastic result: Green, smooth, utterly impeccable, classy floral/green-chypre. Amazone is absolutely unisex and one of those anytime, anyplace go-to "white shirt" fragrances. I especially like the earthy, almost smokey oakmoss and vetiver that grounds it more than its more ethereal & floral cousins. It has a late summer "meadow & dried leaves" accord that is fantastic. A must-try for green chypre lovers.
07th August, 2009

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