Negative Reviews of Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani

    Find out more about Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Johannes's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Synthetic sweets

    Citrus, powder, and...I swear I get cocoa as well. Am I hallucinating? Nobody else mentioned that.

    Well, the bottom line is that I find Code completely synthetic and boring. Flat. Too sweet, in fact, a little cloying.

    At first I was thinking that a gourmand is supposed too have an aspect of deliciousness about it. Then I realised Code is not supposed to be a gourmand fragrance, rather a more straight up oriental. What part of the Orient are we talking about then? Kuala Lumpur? Candy store?

    17 July, 2013

    blackers_92's avatar



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    Without sounding like a pretentious hipster, I had this before it was cool!

    Code seems to really have taken off over the past 2-3 years. Regularly stocked and discounted at major stores where I live it seems to have become extremely popular. Personally I don't think the smell is anything special, it is quite masculine and last a good 10-12 hours. I soon grew tired of colleagues coming into work wearing the same scent. Without exaggeration I had about 6 people purchase it within a year of working in a small team of about 15 people. Very distinguishable and kind of unoriginal. The guy who works in the perfume department wears it, the guy who works in the dock wears it etc. It has become a scent that a lot of young try hard men abuse by drowning themselves in rather than spraying on making it unpleasant for everyone else. I know it is extremely unfair to give a fragrance a negative review based on its users rather than its scent but it needs to die.

    13 April, 2012

    wardamoose's avatar



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    This is a very distinct scent in my opinion. I can pick it out of a room of people--it really makes a scent memory. I really don't like this fragrance, it is robust and overly offensive to my senses. The only way i can describe it is as thick. When I first smelled it, it felt like i was drinking it-- i could feel it in my throat as it lingered. It reminds me of a sweet Schnapps mixed with eggnog. not my kind of scent.

    22 August, 2011

    Mr-Scratch-N-Sniff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Starts of with a little citrus then quickly turns into a tonka (baby powder) scent. I did see a study that said baby powder was one of the smells women respond to the most so maybe they were goin for that. Powdery scents arent always a turnoff for me as I love Le Male but this does not smell anything like the powdery vanilla scent of Le Male. Longevity is average at about 4-5 hours and it projects decently too. Certainly overpriced for the quality IMO. Just not my cup of tea.

    04 May, 2011

    Actionmac's avatar



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    This stuff reminds me of Curve... and curve smells like the guy that is wearing two day old under arm sweaty gym shirt. Really foul stuff, sickening foul. I can't even be near this stuff...

    07 April, 2011

    sniffer64's avatar



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    I got a sample of this from The Perfumed Court. I wore it for 8 days straight. My primary comment is that AC is extremely weak. Even when I applied it heavily, I could barely smell it, and within an hour or two it was undetectable, even with my nose pressed to my skin. What fragrance there WAS was okay, but even a great fragrance that fades this fast would be unsatisfactory. A real shame, because I wanted to like this.

    09 March, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Tiresomely sweet and monolithic.
    Vaguely aromatic, somewhat metallic, noisily synthetic and verging on the garish.
    No wood notes that I can detect.
    Nope. Can't find anything to commend here.

    12 January, 2011

    's avatar



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    horrible. just gave my father my nearly full bottle, and feel somewhat bad passing it off. code smells like rancid baby powder. i tried it again today for the 20th time. . . it still doesn't work. thankfully, it doesn't last real long either. for me, a total dud.

    07 August, 2010

    Percy1's avatar



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    I don't smell any of the notes listed in the pyramid in Armani Code - I just smell vanilla and anise, as another reviewer said. It strikes me as trying to be all things to all people. Too loud for a day-time fragrance, too one-note for a night-time fragrance, too floral for a summer fragrance, too laid-back for a winter fragrance. It's like a guy wearing an expensive polo with the collar turned up - he's just trying too hard to be like everyone else and yet different. If you were only going to buy one fragrance in your life, Code might even work OK, but as it is, whenever I think about putting it on, there's another fragrance that just seems to work better. I haven't even made it through a small sample decant.

    10th July, 2010

    smelling something's avatar



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    At first, it doesn't smells bad...
    But later, the lasting smell... something like vanilla, too intense... it's not for me.

    My rating would be between thumbs down and neutral, but as it is not possible... sorry, thumbs down.

    WARNING: never, i mean NEVER buy a fragance based exclusively on reviews: EVERYONE HAS A PERSONAL TASTE. YOU HAVE TO SMELL IT BY YOURSELF!!!

    03 April, 2010

    tabbakh's avatar

    United States United States

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    All I get is pencil shavings and B.O. No thank you.

    02 September, 2009

    jbr's avatar

    United States United States

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    Anise. Urgh. This note and I just do not agree, and it's pretty much all I get from this fragrance until the drydown sets in. And I do actually find the drydown to be quite pleasant, with some smoky coffee and subtle chocolate notes lending it a slightly gourmand-ish feel. The anise overload in the beginning is just way too much for me to bear. Not for me.

    18 August, 2009

    wilddoc's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    There is no sophistication and no subtlety at all in this scent. It smells far too ordinary and it's just too strong. If you are passing someone its OK. You wouldnt wear this into an office. After 2 hours you colleagues would want a break from you. I was presented with one, and I tried to like it, but just didn't succeed. In the end I gave it to a younger person who was very pleased with it. The person who presented me with it must have thought Armani is a more mature brand. Yes, maybe but this fragrance is not.

    10th May, 2009

    lex's avatar

    United States United States

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    olive flower must be what i smell that stands out and makes this slightly different. not much excitement though

    15 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 12 June, 2009)

    yankeeh8er847's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I agree with BIGNO. i really wanted to like this scent and i tried. but i don't understand why any girls would be so turned on by this. it reminds me of Angel Men which i also tried to like. what i can say is that it smells like a weird take on chocolate. it's not grotesque or anything, but it's not appealing to me at all. it's sweet and the chocolate smells powdery with something that i can't put my finger on. maybe bad lemons. the initial top notes were nice, but i absolutely resent the drydown, which came in about 10 minutes for me. Guess i'm just not a sweet chocolate guy. it's interesting, but not worth anything more than a sample to me

    24 January, 2009

    's avatar



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    I wanted so badly to like this fragrance. It got such incredible feedback that I couldn't wait to try it. I went to the store and sprayed it on my wrist and my girlfriends to compare the chemistry and the ending result was the same. It was a complete disaster! I couldn't wear it for any longer than 2 hours. It made me sick.

    To me this smells extremely similar to Burberry Touch and 212SexyMen. Both fragrances which I despise with a un-describable passion. They smell like fecal matter to me (honestly). When I smell this fragrance, it grosses me out and I just wanna dive in a pool of soapy water, pronto and begin scrubbing.

    If you like the smell of burnt chocolate with a hint of baby diaper, I recommend this. If you like gourmand overload, this is for you.

    20th January, 2009

    gmm150's avatar

    United States United States

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    I like lemon, tonka bean, and bergamot but something in this fragrance is smells weird and bad. I believe this is a real popular and top seller at the stores. I don't know why. I had to wash it off it was so bad.

    06 November, 2008

    Slick101's avatar

    United States United States

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    AT FIRST.. FELL IN LOVE WITH IT THE DAY IT CAME OUT... I SPENT ALL MY MONEY ON IT....

    AFTER A WHILE WITH COMPLIMENTS... IT BECAME BORING AFTER EVERYBODY STARTED BUYING IT

    ONE WORD TO PUT THIS COLOGNE IN

    'KILLED'

    14 July, 2008

    chocolateguy's avatar

    Vietnam Vietnam

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    Any special about this one? I feel nothing. As well as Armani Attitude, I just fine them boring.

    08 April, 2008

    ToadKings's avatar

    United States United States

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    It reminds me of Uomo? Moschino mixed with Polo Black. It is a very dark scent with an ok mix of woods and fruits. The middle notes of olive flower turn me off because I just hate the way olives smells. I would have like to seen more of a dominance in the note of guiac wood and it might have been better. Overall it did not impress me and their are better frags out there.

    04 November, 2006

    RugbyPete's avatar



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    *yawn* Another girly fragrance, that’s watery, for guys with blonde spikey hair, who wear fragrances soley to pull cos the girls like it. There’s a reason, it should be for girls. Un imaginative, smells like every other armarni. If you like their others, you already have it.

    17 October, 2006

    JohnnyH's avatar



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    It's so plain and so normal to me. I've never liked armani fragrances. This 1, uummm...

    09 October, 2005

    docjason's avatar

    Philippine Philippine

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    brit is better than this one

    14 September, 2005

    richie23's avatar



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    I was totally disappointed with this fragrance. Smells like Burberry Brit mixed with Emporio. I think they were going for something special here but failed totally. It's a wood scent with lemon and a touch of powder. This one sold like crazy when it first came out, but I think it will lose its appeal in this "use it a bit and find something else" fragrance market. Very big on hype- short on delivery.

    03 August, 2005

    Ryuuga_13's avatar



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    The worst perfume I've ever smelled in my life. Smells just like baby powder.

    07 February, 2005

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