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Top Review 31
Ingeniously tailored cocoa-incense-amber cape enchants spice classics in Cuddly King
With this warmly flattering, elegant fragrance, which invites you to come closer and cuddle up, Azzaro has created a first-class men's fragrance. An ideal perfume for the evening at the opera or theatre and everything that follows. It spreads a lively, seductive aura and a touch of non-animal eroticism. I (almost) put this perfume, which is as serious as it is soft, on a par with Guerlain's 'Heritage' and my beloved 'L'Instant de Guerlain pour homme', with which he shares the unsweet and tart cocoa. Guerlain's 'Instant' frames his dark chocolate with star anise and jasmine a tick sweeter than Azzaro's Amber Fever, which contains clary sage and subtle incense.
Actually I had some difficulties with (the classic) Azzaro: In the late 80s I used a bottle once. But soon more seductive, oriental-influenced charms came: Lagerfeld Classic, YSL Jazz - or enchanting newcomers like Armani's Eau pour homme. All of them looked more modern, friendly and less brown from their cases, both visually and in terms of colour. Thus an aversion to this multi-layered dark fougère was established and a - in retrospect erroneous - judgement was established: Azzaro was old-fashioned, stuffy, somehow yesterday. It took some reading and careful re-testing over the past years to appreciate the classic Azzaro as what it certainly is: one or even THE classic Aromatic Fougère, the epitome of sophisticatedly balanced green-woody spiciness from 20 ingredients.
Amber fever is different in almost everything and yet in some ways comparable or even noticeably related, even if: more contemporary, more pleasing. The flacon is similar (same shape, color variation) and presents the rather independent Amber Fever as a flanker of its oldschool predecessor from 1978. A slightly bevelled, angular 70's box - the cars around 1980 lost all their curves and became angular for some years. What was once progressive is now retrofuturistic.
There is little overlap in the list of ingredients: Clary sage is present in both, though not dominant. Both show similarity in their spiciness. Whereas the spiciness of Amber Fever is largely based on a restrained incense at a moderate temperature without pungency, the classic spiced up more broadly and sharply with caraway, cardamom, juniper, lavender, moss, cedar and aniseed. The old one had more edges as a result; it irritates my nose even in the top and heart notes with a certain juniper-like cumininess and weediness. Whereas Amber Fever appears round and soft from beginning to end without appearing limp or even too pleasing.
The Amber Fever did not need long or detouring introductions to conquer me. It complements its tart spiciness with minimal sweetness and the elegant depth that cocoa notes provide in combination with delicate veils of incense that work their way to the foreground. The slightly greenish Muscat sage is embraced by fresh cocoa notes and gives the whole thing a dark, warm note from the start, which I find to be dark and warm, and prevents it from slipping into contemporary sweetness: only a hint of sweetness accompanies the tart cocoa and the ambered incense.
The classic Azzaro I prefer to imagine a businessman or scientist at work, while the Amber Fever is more likely to perform in the evening and in more intimate settings. Both are more likely to be in the adult programme. I see Amber Fever as a cuddly scent, as a sympathetic and alluring means for going out. It has a pleasantly moderate silage and acceptable durability.
This Azzaro flanker was apparently only distributed in a limited way (why???). Therefore interested people should probably not hesitate too long. Also the estimation of the esteemed colleagues here at Parfumo indicate that the scent (the few who had it under the NAse) is pleasing. Which is why - in view of the feverish water that is hardly ever found in perfume shops and that was probably not even marketed in Germany - an Internet blind purchase could be considered.
I see his areas of application more in the area of social or intimate gatherings than for work. Due to a certain heaviness and density, it probably fits better in autumn and winter than in summer. I just wore it on rainy summer days in my home office and enjoyed its warming comfort. I can imagine Amber Fever on younger people much better than the classic Azzaro. On women who don't like to appear sweet or flowery, I would like it too. In short: a great fragrance!