Amazone by Hermes
Amazone, originally created in 1974, is said to have been reformulated in the late 80s. Since I have only "discovered" the scent this year, it would be realistic of me to assume that I am only familiar with the later version, and, for my own piece of mind, I choose not too look for the original. I like to imagine that the older version would have been stinkier, skankier just like a "real" amazone, whereas the new one is the urban amazone, as striking and forceful as its mythical counterpart but, shall we say, cleaner.
I love it. Love the classic severity of its structure, the traditional transition from (dry) citrus top to (dry) floral heart, to (softer but still not remotely cuddly) woody, earthy drydown. I find it hard to classify this scent, the citrus characteristic is certainly quite strong, but so is the green floral and the austere chypre vibe. It's sharp, verdant, woody elegance puts it for me in the same category as the original Private Collection, Futur and Anais Anais. Of the four mentioned, Amazone might be the most unsmiling. I wouldn't call it a "bitchy" scent or combatant in feeling, but the somber green of its narcissus, the stringency of its vetiver, the leathery nuance of labdanum lend it a definite noli me tangere quality. One would be hesitant to attempt to get too close to Amazone, but if she allows somebody to get close, they might sense a certain warmth and even a hint of sweetness...something peachy in the heart, a delicate caress of orris in the base...Not that she lets anyone to get close often.
I wear this fragrance as armour, when I need armour, and I imagine that no one and nothing can touch me. With Amazone, "I am intact and I don't give a damn".
Available at Hermes and at various online retailers, for a variety of prices.
Image by Helmut Newton.