Giorgio Armani is very particular about the colour red. “Red as a sign of vitality, red as a signal of passion. Red to wish you good and positiveness,” says the Italian fashion giant. Nearing 84, the designer is still operating at a pace that eludes peers half his age, but his longevity in a fickle industry driven almost excusively by trends has rightfully instilled confidence in his very precise choices, including what is fast becoming known as ‘Armani red': an energetic rouge, two flattering degrees off spicy with a heavy leaning toward tomato – a flattering shade that complements most skin tones.
It is this very shade that formed the genesis of the inspiration for his house’s latest fragrance, Sì Passione. The follow up to Sì, (an elegant Chypre floral scent, which first hit beauty shelves in 2013), adds a new dimension to Giorgio Armani’s feminine fragrance personality. It was launched last week at a very glamorous, star-studded affair at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Ahead of the celebrations, I caught up with French perfumer, Julie Massé to find out how she created the perfect scent to compliment Armani’s perfect red.
Julie Massé, the perfumer behind Armani's Sì Passione
“Although I have created accords around colour before, it is quite rare to have a particular colour be your starting point,” says Massé. “I love the luminosity and intensity of Armani’s red.” Unlike many other leading designers, Armani remains closely involved with every aspect of his beauty line and worked closely with Massé to create this new scent. “Mr Armani wanted a fragrance that was a tribute to modern femininity and one that suggested strength, grace and fragility,” explained Massé. “When I’m creating a fragrance, I like to start with paper and write down words that help me build the DNA of what the fragrance will be, so we started with ‘red’ and then I added all the emotions I associate with it. Passione is about strength and putting everything you have into what you do. I didn’t want it to just be about love and roses.”
The popular floral accord does still feature. “Rose is there, but it’s not the only floral note. I wanted a flower that has multiple elements to represent that femininity, fragility and strength Mr Armani had asked for. Jasmine absolute represents this for me. The flower itself is light in scent and can be very fragile, but in fragrance it’s also very powerful. Jasmine gives the fragrance it’s heart and heliotrope, a small, purple flower that offers an almond, powdery note embraces all the floral elements. Cedarwood and the modern ambery-woody Orcanox™ – a sythentic material, which gives sensuality to the fragrance helps to represent true passion.” The top notess include pink peppercorn, which Massé believes gives the juice a strong, energising opening, while pear offers a luminous, sparkling upgrade to the blackcurrent which worked so well in the original fragrance.
Sì Passione will be available from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Debenhams and select pharmacies nationwide from March 2018, with a RRP €58 (30ml); €87 (50ml) & €120 (100ml).
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