Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Armani Privé Cuir Améthyste by Giorgio Armani

Total Reviews: 17
Like all of the Cuir De Russie genre of perfumes, Cuir Améthyste is based on ionones, which smell like super-bright artificial violet on top and dry down to an abstract creamy suede in the base. Some, like Chanel's Cuir De Russie, go for a perfumed, pretty realism, like a stack of leather purses and suede jackets sprayed with powdery perfume. On the other end of the spectrum are the surreal sci-fi members of the genre, like Creed's Love In Black, a purple supernova exploding over a pulsating planet of leathery mushrooms.

Cuir Améthyste exists somewhere in the middle. I long ago picked up a bottle extremely cheap and figured I'd grow to like it, but I simply didn't for years. It doesn't try very hard to be beautiful or compelling. It's objectively a fine perfume, perfectly competent, yet somehow lacks the self confidence to assertively declare its brilliance, even though it's very good. And that's eventually what I've grown to love about Cuir Améthyste. It's like a lovely person who doesn't realize how beautiful they are and therefore tends to be overlooked.

So what does it smell like? Well, it's a cuir de russie, so it's got those bright violets on top, toned down and enriched with soapy iris, which gives a perfumey hum to the suede element, which is in turn supported by a powdery amber. There's a fruity, rosy quality to it, and the whole thing is held together by black pepper, which acts as a sort of glue between the brightness of the top and the depth of the base. And that's the the real artistry of Cuir Améthyste, that careful balance between brightness and richness, as well as the way it always broadcasts a fully orchestrated prettiness despite being built of potentially abrasive notes. I'm glad I've taken the time to try to love Cuir Améthyste. It's been worth it.
06th October, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Violet and a touch of bergamot from the beginning, a nice combination and not too sweet. The birch and the patchouli give the drydown and slightly unusual twist, whilst the vanilla in the base comes in earlier in the drydown on my skin - here it becomes sweeter but not too cloying. Quite nice with good silage and projection and an overall longevity of about four hours. Not exceptional but not 100% predictable either. For lovers of violet on a spring day.
14th January, 2014
As an ardent fan of Serge Lutens' Daim Blond, I find it hardly surprising that CUIR AMETHYSTE is more than agreeable. Both fragrances share a similarly soft and creamy suede accord in the heart, with candied fruits or floral nuances invoking the luxurious feel of a pair of fragranced soft leather gloves. In that respect I think they have both succeeded with the Armani Prive being the creamier, less powdery of the two. No marks for originality though.
27th November, 2012
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Morticia Addams wears this fragrance! The turpentine grabs your larynx and sends your sinuses to Arizona. Do not adjust your set!
Eventually it settles into being different and the same. Disconcerting. Who are you? Crack the leather whip and tame it.
Have a jelly bean with your tanned hide. Don't try to understand it. Unconditional love is what it wants. Run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds. Unearthly.
Maybe it's me after all.
Update: Cuir Amethyste has helped me recreate the 'la petite mort' moments that existed in Bal a Versailles prior to reformulations. The birch helps and in Amethyste there lives a oxygen deprived, mountain top, screaming bitter violet that layers well on BaV. It's just one spray of Amethyst as a top layer to BaV. Reinventing the wheel is not my bag but love means never having to say you're sorry
20th November, 2012 (last edited: 15th April, 2013)
Criticism of Cuir Amethyste appears to have taken two routes. 1) It’s luxurious and lush and I love it. 2) It’s synthetic and cheap and I don’t like it. I’ll take one from column A and one from column B. It does have a roughness that suggests that the details weren’t as important as both the distinctiveness and in-your-faceness. And from the flower to the fruit to the leather/vinyl/plastic notes (the “cuir”, I guess) there is chemical twang that most would instinctively call synthetic. The topnotes of CA always give me the same gestalt: grape/violet/ink. A sort of Bois de Violette on meth.

So, yes, from column A I’ll take the chemo-freak factor, but from column B I’ll take the, “I like it!”

What’s compelling though is the disjointed narrative it gives you. The stages of CA over time don’t line up. The topnotes shouldn’t logically lead to the heartnotes, and you end up in a drydown that leaves you wondering how you got there. Some of the notes, the flavors, last from start to finish---sweet yet juiceless fruit; powdery, woody floral; plastic-ink.---but the tone is all over the map. The topnotes are high-pitched yet dense, the heart is powdery and resinous-sweet, the base is fairly woody but with some of that inky sweetness remaining. Moving from one phase to the next is less confusing than just nonsensical. Any moment of the fragrance can be likeable, but to the wearer, who’s there for the whole ride, in feels incorrect. Not distressing or off-putting, just objectively incorrect like a misspelling.

But wrong can be more fun than right, so I’m coming down in favor of incorrectness. Is it that the perfumer tried for leather and then got ink? Is it that Armani just had to have “cuir” in the title? Was Almairac looking for that cool inky effect as in Comme des Garcons 2 Woman? (If so, he got it.) Since so many perfumes get it right I take it that leather isn’t a terribly difficult note to achieve in perfumery. So I choose to believe that the perfumer was aiming for a fun, fake, fantasy leather along the lines of Etat Libre’s Vierges et Toreros or Parfumerie Generale’s Psychotrope. This perfume should be presented as a well-executed oddball. Cuir Amethyste is more of a fun perfume than serious one and seems out of place in the Armani world of grim luxury. The name, the packaging, the imagery all suggest numb sparsity, high fashion’s proxy for serenity. Put this stuff in something like Juicy Couture’s spangle bottle, call it, “Violet Vinyl”, charge ¼ the price (you’d make your profit on volume) and it’d sell like mad.
21st May, 2012 (last edited: 08th July, 2012)
A very high quality and long lasting perfume.
Smells clearly of violets, birch and vanilla.

This starts our differently than Patchouli 24 by Le Labo but they are very similar in the dry down. Both are vanilla and birch while the former has a tinge of tar (leather) and the latter has a medley of violets.
04th October, 2011
jrd4t Show all reviews
United States
Gorgeous mix of leather, violets, and a touch of fruit in the top. While it seems that mix isn't working for some folks who have reviewed it here, it does work on me. The base is warmed up a touch with what I'm guessing is the benzoin. It has a synthetic feel to it, but it's a nice thing in this one. It's also quite unique - the only thing I've come across that smells similar is the new Marc Buxton Hot Leather. Great longevity too.
01st May, 2010
Cuir indeed. It’s not the harsh, vintage leather jacket of Cuiron, or that English Leather note of JC’s Old English but the refined and subtle suede note of an expensive pair of gloves. Amethyste of course. No other scent has ever described so accurately the color of this gem. Impressive floral (rose) and spicy (coriander) opening. Warm and sweet heart with purple violets and a soft leather note from the birch, smoky but not offensive. Rich powdery base that stays close to the skin for long. Warm, sensual and mysterious but if you don’t like the violet note , don’t even try this.
30th September, 2009
I found a bottle of this for insanely cheap compared to its retail value. It begins a bit jarring to me, but you instantly notice its leather notes. I can see the comparison to Daim Blond, and Mauboussin's Histoire d'Eau, but Cuir Amethyste is darker, more mysterious with a much more woodier facet. The violet is dangerously seductive, fearful and exciting at the same time. I find this scent more feminine in the beginning moving its way to more masculine nuances. Black is the perfect color for this scent.
03rd June, 2009
I had this as a sample that I got back in Milan at a fashion show a few years ago. I remembered it being very unique and rather well made floral chypre/oriental that lasted forever. I seriously considered buying it several times, but, I was not willing to dish out the cash for it at the time. Now, jump forward a few years and across the pond. A friendly fellow Basenoter had it for sale for nearly nothing (comparatively speaking) and I snapped it up as soon as I noticed it. I don't regret it!! I am absolutely loving it. To my nose, it is very similar to Givenchy's Amarige Mariage (minus the Jasmine) and Dolce Vita by Dior (both of which I consider Unisex as well). However, CA possesses a deeper and darker patchouli note that is tons more distinct than either of the others, Furthermore, the cinnamon note present in the other two is replaced by a lovely birch note (which I think gives it more of a leather like effect, but nothing extreme). The rose in this one really stands out - very, VERY well done throughout the dry down.

5 stars.
23rd April, 2009
Armani Prive' Cuir Amethyste

The Armani Prive line was an attempt by Armani to create their version of a niche line. The first two that I have tried of the Prives, Bois D'Encens and Vetiver Babylone have suceeded to my nose in achieving this goal. They were interesting if not terribly original scents which felt more niche than mainstream to me. I looked forward to trying Cuir Amethyste the 2006 release by Michel Almairac who did Bois D'Encens. This was billed as a violet and leather scent and it definitely lives up to it. Right from the top I get a beautiful full-on astringent violet and it is strong on me. If you do not like violet this will be too strong for you. I am a great lover of violet and so it is fine to my nose. A mix of patchouli and birch come into play as this progresses and it makes for a well-balanced and interesting heart. The base is where the leather comes in and this is a soft suede accord which is perfect to finish off the floral beginning. I have seen Cuir Amethyste compared to Serge Lutens Daim Blond and on my skin I don't agree. The violet comes off less sweet and more floral than the apricots in the beginning of Daim Blond. The final notes of suede are probably pretty close but the trip to that final accord is very different. Again I feel that Cuir Amethyste is a not terribly creative well-executed scent and if you like violet and leather it is worth a try.
18th April, 2009
This scent is fantastic! I've never had to try and keep myself from sniffing my arms all day before I started wearing this! It smells very welcoming, very unisex.
28th March, 2009
All the reviews so far are very much on point. Leather? yes. Violets? check. Creaminess? It's there. Candied fruit? That too. This oozes that extra fine quality known to many niche frags. There is no confusing this with something cheap. What is confusing though is the unsex me this is for women only. I got an incredible deal on my bottle but I will be letting it go pronto. I would have expected Armani's entire line to be this exquisite.
22nd December, 2008
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Very lovely! A soft, floral-and-dried-fruit suede, which I like even better as the powdery notes burn off and the "pressed flowers in a leather-bound book," labdanum and light creamy vanilla notes move forward during the drydown. Don't think I need a full bottle (good thing since it's nearly impossible to find!), but am grateful for having the chance to try it and would definitely wish for a decant!
15th June, 2008
candied violet and leather. very seductive indeed.
09th April, 2007
Cuir Amethyste is beautiful. It reminds me quite strongly of Heeley's new Fine Leather, which is not very strange since they share notes of violet, birch and leather (I assume from the name, though it's not listed) In Fine Leather, the distinct scent of birch sap is more prononounced and I can hardly detect the leather. In Cuir Amethyste, the leather is there but a velvety soft and subtle leather. They share cool (verging on soapy) florals, but while Fine Leather is ethereal like a spring dusk Cuir Amethyste is slightly more sultry with the added sweetness of rose and vanilla and earthiness of patchouli and labdanum, more like a chilly summer night in the palace garden. They're both melancholy, wistful, beautiful scents though.
03rd February, 2007
I've sampled Privé Cuir Améthyste by Giorgio Armani and it's like we're not even talking about the same fragrance here; me and the previous reviewer Paschat. Paschat noticed a citrus opening, 'extremely overpowering', while to me Cuir Améthyste opening was a blast of pure creaminess, at once so unforgettable, and so delicious. Huge violets - again imagine Willy Wonka's garden here and the violet blossoms you would possibly find there... smothered in leathery creaminess... some incense and creamy streams of pure vanilla and powederiness... On my skin Cuir Améthyste lasted for hours and hours and as I was falling in love with it, my wallet let out a yelp knowing full well what was to come ;)
02nd January, 2007