Eau d’Arômes is the third composition in Giorgio Armani’s Eau pour Homme collection. Perfumer Olivier Polge talks to us about this latest addition and more
From the house of Giorgio Armani has come a new men’s fragrance, the Eau d’Arômes. After their popular Eau pour Homme and Eau de Nuit in the Eau pour Homme collection, Eau d’Arômes completes the trilogy. Its masterful combination of the spicy-woody and citrus accords creates a timeless yet endlessly modern classic.
Perfumer Olivier Polge has composed this woody fragrance based on a spicy accord. He reveals his thoughts on the perfume and more in this interview…
1. How did you ensure that this new creation follows in the footsteps of the iconic fragrance, Eau pour Homme, by Giorgio Armani?
First of all, I was very much inspired by the personal impression that I had of the original Eau pour Homme scent. A very chic – and also very Italian – fragrance, which I like a lot. I noted three dimensions that I found interesting and that I’ve tried to develop in this interpretation: the very woody dimension, particularly focused on vetiver in this case. It is combined with a powerful spicy accord, which plays a major part here. I like to imagine that these notes are the guiding thread of the fragrance. Because the spices bring an intensity to the woody note and give it another role than a base note as such. They also provide sensuality and warmth. The third dimension is the immediacy, freshness and sparkling side of the top notes suggested by traditional ‘Italian Cologne’.
2. Eau d’Arômes combines fresh notes with warmer notes. Was this duality deliberate?
Yes, it’s true, Eau d’Arômes is a very elegant fragrance with a real richness and depth. One of the fragrance’s key points of interest is the contrast between the very fresh citrus notes, such as lemon, and the warmth and sensual texture of the woody and spicy notes. It’s a sort of clash between two worlds. Moreover, perfumery today is showing a particular interest in these woody, textured accords. The creation of scents for men has long been focused on fragrances that weren’t really fragrances at all, because they didn’t have a very strong scent and were very discreet, such as Eaux de Cologne. They expressed more of a sense of well-being, a freshness. In short, it wasn’t exactly a perfumer’s dream! Today, especially when it comes to men, I think that people are looking for more present, textured fragrances with character.
3. Giorgio Armani stated that with Eau pour Homme he wanted to create ‘an olfactory signature that matched his idea of masculine elegance: strong, serene and luminous’. In what way does Eau d’Arômes express this idea of elegance?
Eau d’Arômes keeps the same character thanks to the luminosity of its top notes, the strength of the spices and the elegant yet timeless aspect of its woody notes. It retains “Eau pour Homme”’s general structure, like an invisible link that connects them to each other, but in a different expression. It is another strong and luminous version of this masculine elegance. A facet that is at once powerful and calm, refreshing and warm. The same distinguished man with a discreet yet incredibly compelling seduction.
4. What do the name and the copper colour of this fragrance evoke for you?
It is true that the substance and the colour of the fragrance are highly evocative here in terms of scent: the copper colour immediately made me think of a patina and led me to work on the amber woody notes that are very much present in this composition. It is what tinges the opening citrus notes. It is also a warm element. As for the name, it evokes the pleasure of a fragrance, a bouquet; it is sensual, gentle and strong at the same time. In short, very Armani.
5. In your opinion, what is the style of an Armani fragrance?
I would say that Armani’s most iconic fragrances are perfumes that are not “caricatures”, whether for men or women. Without being unisex or androgynous, I think that Armani fragrance expresses more a state of mind, a way of being, rather than a desire to accentuate a sense of virility or the opposite.
6. How are you inspired by the Giorgio Armani style?
For me, Armani style is that of an elegant man with a fluid look. Suits in lightweight fabrics… Extremely streamlined tailoring, impeccable cuts and highly refined materials. An elegance that is unique to the Armani man! When it comes to fragrance, the style is also very distinctive, with importance again being given to the materials… There are often rather woody, amber notes, a dry amber. If you think of a floral note, that could be a rather rosy note, an orange blossom that isn’t too opulent… With always this seeming simplicity drawn from the heart of exacting standards of quality. Because no one is fooled: simplicity as expressed by Armani is extremely complicated to create; it’s the product of an incredible talent!
7. Just like a fashion designer, a perfumer must know how to reinvent themselves. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The interesting thing about perfumery is that it is really very intangible and in many ways very ephemeral. I really like the idea that the perfumer draws on everyday life, but at the same time they find inspiration in their dreams, most likely in who they are, with their sensibilities. Unlike a fashion designer perhaps, the perfumer always creates a fragrance for someone… Or for a brand, you can easily imagine a profile, a character, a look… Especially when there is a strong House style, as with Armani, it’s an inexhaustible source of inspiration…
8. What is your history with Giorgio Armani fragrances?
My adventure with Giorgio Armani is very meaningful for me, because “Emporio White” for men – jointly created with Carlos Benaïm at International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. – was one of the first fragrances that I really composed for a fashion designer. I also toured Europe to present “Armani Code” for women at the time…
9. Eau d’Arômes will be available from early 2014. Is it one of your final creations before leaving IFF for new endeavours?
Yes, this fragrance is one of the last ones that I have created for IFF. I am happy to be leaving on this Eau d’Arômes note. My first fashion designer at IFF and my last… Before new adventures.