I don’t talk about perfumes and fragrances a whole lot on here – partly because I’m terrible at describing scents, but also because I’m not that obsessed, and I only ever get perfume as a gift. I tend to have just one luxury fragrance on the go, and maybe a body spray or a Lush solid perfume in my bag. Some people love to collect perfumes, but as long as I like the scent and it isn’t too offensive, I’m happy to wear anything. That being said, there are a few fragrances I’d love to get my hands on – namely Glossier You and Nirvana Black from Elizabeth and James, both of which I’ve tried samples of.
My favourite perfume that I’ve tried so far is Si by Giorgio Armani – it’s quite sweet and floral, but always smelled much more mature and sensual than so many other feminine fragrances. Like I said, bad at describing scents. It’s floral, but a warm and sexy floral, not one that screams spring and freshness, or musty old-fashioned ones. Definitely makes you feel glamorous – but it also has a fancy price tag (about £146 per 100ml).
I was browsing (read: being dragged around) Next with my mum recently, looking for a baby gift. Of course, I wandered off to the beauty/fragrance section and ended up spritzing all the perfumes out of boredom. I was instantly struck by how much one of the scents resembled Armani’s classic Si perfume (and how much cheaper it was!) – Rouge Absolue is considered a bit of a dupe online, so having run out of Si I decided to grab the large bottle of this EDP to try out.
According to Armani’s website, Si is made up of various top, heart and base notes:
- Top notes – Sicilian Bergamot, Mandarin Oil, Liquer de Cassis
- Heart notes – Rose de Mai Absolute, Neroli Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute
- Base notes – Patchouli Oil, Blond Woods, Amber, Orcanox, Vanille Absolute
Next only list three notes for their Rouge Absolue fragrance – red fruits, white flowers and warm amber. Here’s where you can see the overlap between the two, and why they smell so similar:
- Liquer de Cassis – red fruits
- Neroli Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute – white flowers
- Amber, Vanille Absolute – warm amber
I quite like the bottle of this fragrance – it’s a little old-fashioned and reminiscent of art-deco, I think, but still quite chic and decadent. It’s not as nice as the Armani (I love those chic and minimal bottles), but the strikingly simple red glass looks good on my dressing table. The colour scheme of the packaging is completed with gold lettering and a rectangular gold cap, and a little black tassel which looks nice, but gets a bit annoying when you want to use the perfume, Luckily, it’s detachable. Oddly, this red/gold/black theme is similar to the new Si Intense bottle. I picked up the 100ml bottle, which is hefty and not really handbag-friendly (that’s what solid perfumes and rollerballs are for!). It’s not the most ergonomic bottle either, but I do prefer the look of this to bottles such as Britney Fantasy or Viktor + Rolf Flowerbomb.
The red also ties in with the scent itself – red fruits!
As I’d very much expected, this scent didn’t really stick around all day. I don’t think these more affordably-priced fragrances (generally) are that long lasting on the skin. It didn’t feel quite as luxurious to use as Si, either, and my Mum commented that she could tell it wasn’t a high-end perfume (I don’t quite believe her, but she has been wearing perfume for 40+ years longer than I have). There are fewer fragrance notes listed on the website, and maybe that makes the scent not quite as rich and complex – I’m not 100% sure what I’m talking about here, but I might be onto something…
Anyway, if you’re a fan of Armani Si, this won’t replace it, but smells so much like the original. If you’re not mega-picky, give this a sniff whenever you’re in Next again – the similarity is so obvious. Pick up the 100ml bottle of Next Rouge Absolue EDP online here for £14.