Monday, December 19, 2011
Amorvero: Back to My Roots
For months now, I've felt there's something wrong with me. I was kept pretty thrilled by fragrances for a good four years, consistently surprised, enthused, and engaged. It's been a real passion for me. Every day I packed a perfume bag the way some would pack a lunch. I'd sit at work sniffing one bottle after another. I'd have four to five different things on, making comparisons. I made my co-worker sneeze.
Suddenly, I wasn't so interested. I went from buying samples and bottles on a regular basis, sniffing religiously, to a dry state of affairs where maybe every month or so I might make a single purchase, and I started visiting my perfume cabinet so infrequently it might have been a lost wing in a massive house. It's been weird.
I couldn't imagine that the fragrance industry turned overwhelmingly boring overnight, so I thought it must be me. Maybe I'd gone fickle. Maybe I'm prone to boredom. I know now that it isn't really me, because the fragrances that always surprised, enthused, and delighted me are still doing so. And I guess I don't care too much to parse all the vagaries of the industry to determine what's happening on that end, when really the bottom line is that most of what comes out now feels uninspired or insulting. Otherwise I think I'd be writing more - about my dissatisfaction, if nothing else. The fact that I can't even be bothered to write about that is the biggest surprise, and disappointment, of all to me. I feel the industry has finally turned a corner, where restrictions and cost-cutting have crystallized into banality and bottom line as standard practice.
I thought about doing posts during all this. I thought, okay, so if I still love the same fragrances, what are they? What would be my 25 desert island scents. Granted, 25 makes for a pretty cushy island, but narrowing down to ten, while it makes for good type, has always been a struggle for me. Even 25 seemed like a waste of time. How often had I written about these fragrances, anyway? How much more could I have to say?
I say all this mainly to give you some context for how even a simple, well made scent can seem like a revelation these days for me. Back in October, for instance, I was in LA, and someone who didn't think much of it handed me a bottle of Amorvero. I'm not sure what I might have thought about it two years ago, but in October I liked it instantly. How much my liking it had to do with this dry spell I can't say, and I resisted writing about Amorvero until now because I didn't trust the pleasure it gave me.
After all, Amorvero isn't exactly anything new. It's a throwback to the big picture vanillic florientals of the eighties, really - recalling things like Poison and Giorgio, among others. But while many perfumistas look back to the pre-fifties fragrances as the benchmark for quality fragrances, the eighties are really my decade of choice in many ways. Many of my top 25 scents came out of that era, and I would gladly trade some of the things I've bought from recent years for eighties fragrances I want but don't own.
Amorvero reminds me most of 24, Faubourg, a fragrance released in 1995 which feels more like an eighties scent itself. Like Faubourg, Amorvero buttresses tuberose and jasmine with vanilla and amber on one end and citrus notes on the other. Like Faubourg, it lasts all day. A simple story, Amorvero, but the pleasures are pretty complex. Each time I return to the scent I find new things to like in it. The thing is an immediate mood lifter, and adds a level of drama to the dreariest frame of mind.
Amorvero was created for a hotel I've never heard of in Rome, the Hassler. I believe it was in 2000. The perfumer is Lorenzo Dante Ferro. I can't see where one finds the stuff, other than a website I googled online. It would be hard to track down and try. I'm sorry. But I was glad to find it, and in comparison to most of the dreck currently being released, it's something of a Godsend for me.
There isn't much about it on perfume blogs, though I was happy to see, in the middle of writing this, that Cafeleurebon just wrote about it several days ago. I like that it goes against current trends in perfumery, because those trends are really bringing me down. And while I'm not yet sure it would enter my top 25, it has a lot in common with another fragrance favorite on that list, Miss Balmain.