After years of searching for a bottle of AdR, I was initially quite disappointed with the product. I was expecting some apple-based variant of Minotaure, like a Minotaure-Nicole Miller Hybrid. Instead, the opening was reminiscent of Perry Man without the musk; A slightly fruity and anisic woody scent with a hint of caraway and spice. On top of that let down, the top notes barely last ten minutes on skin, and the heart of it is also comparatively fleeting. But, after spending several days with this scent, I think I understand its purpose better - It is definitely an oud-centric creation, with all of the top notes collapsing into the neutron star of a soft and undeniably pleasant oud to create a close scent which carefully balances sweet, powdery, woody, herbal, spicy, and medicinal tones with the precision of a sought-after surgeon. If you are looking for the boozy swagger and lilt of Miller or the Mediterranean breeze of Minotaure you will find neither here. If you want a quiet and confident caraway-oud the likes of which you will literally never otherwise encounter, Tabac has something for you. Do not expect much (if any) sillage from this one, but know that it is enchanting up close.
Easily one of the most pleasant mass market fragrances I have ever smelled. Very good, well made and even fairly unique. Very long lasting, not overly strong.
It does smell little bit like Roma Uomo or Minotaure, like MMM pointed out, but it isn’t nearly as ambery as those two. Not that floral/herbaceous nor fruity either. All in all it is actually very different eventually comparing to those two orange coloured juices.
In my opinion Arena di Roma resemblances more anisic orientals like Casual Friday and Au Masculin. Le Male comes to mind too for sure, but this is more smooth and subtle (plus anis), and it doesn’t have that (wonderful) plasticine vibe of Le Male to it at all.
Oud wood is mentioned as one of the basenotes. To be honest, if I didn’t know I would most likely never thought of it - no.
But it DOES make sense after all, it really does! Especially after initial spray for one it is quite easy to detect a small but perceptible tinge of this wonderful wood. And, ever after many hours, now that I know, I swear there is oud in there to create quite special distinguished woody tone to it. And to put it into this kind of contemporary oriental-fougere scent ; that’s what makes this very special.
The bottom line : Think of Lolita Lempicka`s Au Masculin as more polished, more toned down version. Now add a dash of very slightly medicinal oud and couple of apples to the mix, and stir it gently.
Wonderful, isn’t it?
This is no longer in production, but it can still be found if you get lucky.
Arena di Roma is a pretty straightforward copy of two other famous fragrances: Biagiotti's Roma and Paloma Picasso's Minotaure. Therefore it isn't a big surprise that the packaging and juice are orange, just as the bottles/liquid of the other two. It is however a competent ripoff and personally I like it more than Roma, since there is an added licorice dimension here. Like many Tabacs, a steal for the price.