The opening is a floral blast with the heliotrope thrown in; mainly geranium and hyacinth, with the cassie-sweetness being reigned in a bit by the tarter and slightly bitter bergamot impression. I also get whiffs of muguet a bit after the beginning. This is a nice opening.
The drydown brings out the muguet further and enriches it with other florals, in particular a rose note. Gradually this rose takes on centre stage. It is a rose if medium weight, not quite bright but not dark and brooding either, with a good dash of green rose leaves attached to the flower. Hyacinth and a green jasmine accompany the rose, and a darker orris provides additional depth, with a blackcurrant aroma adding discreet sweetness.
The base still echoes the rose, and a cedar wood impression is added, albeit never very strong. An ambery oakmoss is present, but the moss is quite faint on me. With time the amber becomes stronger; it s a sweet amber that lacks and real harshness - the antithesis to Tom Fords Amber Absolute. A vetiver instills a slightly brighter light.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.
A complex spring scent for cooler days and evenings that has a floral core with a strong fruity component.
Not extraordinary, but crafted very well. 3.25/5
When Amazone launched in 1974 the woody floral was a sensible and well-populated genre. Ranging from heavily aldehydic numbers like lAir du Temps and Fleurs de Rocailles to glowing classics like le Dix and le De, woody florals had always been above reproach. But the times they were a-changin and the perfumes that werent keeping pace were starting to seem perfunctory and stale. Floral aldehydes had been dominant for so long that they had developed coded meanings to those in the know. Chanel 5 was sophisticated, lAir de Temps was naive, Estée was tight-assed. But to the great majority of people who smelled them they were just soapy and antiquated. Woody florals struggled to strike the attitude that would appeal to the young woman of the 1970s. New green perfumes like Chanel 19 and Diorella spoke to a more provocative femininity and found an eager audience. Amazone seems designed to find a middle ground between old and new styles. Whether it was successful is difficult to answer.
Amazone would likely have seemed too blatantly fruity to the woman who wore Calèche, Guy Roberts aldehydic woody floral that was the only other female fragrance Hermès offered in 1974. Traditional woody florals carried the citrus topnotes needed to create a pyramid but Amazone put fruit front and center. It was a starchy green floral built from taut spring flowers and apparently a whopping dose of blackcurrant. It was crisp rather than lush and while it was a new style for Hermès, it had the conservative sensibility of the house.
To the modern nose shaped by florals like Escada Chiffon Sorbet and Alain Delon Samourai Pinkberry (an actual perfume, apparently) Amazone comes off like most other woody florals from previous generations. Pick your favorite word of disdaintheyve all been used. Mumsy, frumpish, dowdy, démodé. Amazone was Hermèss first attempt to find a young female market and the brand wasnt known for nurturing a socially progressive buyer. Amazone didnt tryor didnt try hard enoughto target the boho bougie style that Dior and Chanel nailed with Diorella and Cristalle. The perfumes warrior name implied an audacious femininity that the perfume didnt deliver. Hermès seem to have gotten a foot in the door to the rising feminism of the decade but never quite opened it and marched through. The image of femininity it conjured was conflicted and contradictory, a bit like another oddity of the era, the folk-singing nun.
With Amazone, Hermès mediated the youth movement of the era by effectively ignoring it, a pattern the marque would repeat when it launched the jaunty Eau de Cologne Hermès/Eau dOrange Vert into the heart of the punk era in 1979. Denial or cultural tone-deafness. Pick your choice.
But time heals all blah, blah and vintage Amazone is an excellent wear today for anyone who chooses to reclaim it. (There are plenty of vintage bottles still available.) The florals are dynamic and the woods are rich but understated. The perfume has an acidulated snap that flouts todays ongoing trend for sweetened fruits and florals. Its a wonderful bit of irony that defying trendwhich made Amazone seem out of place in 1974makes it seem novel today.
Maybe its a result of my Catholic schooling by nuns. Maybe its my contemplation of the the self-restraint involved in wearing a full religious habit. Either way, the singing nun routine strikes me as just the right kind of kink and I happily wear Amazone while the refrain of Dominique echoes through my head.
This opens as a bright, sharp, green floral with a prominent hyacinth note. A few minutes in, it turns unpleasantly bitter on my skin, but after an hour the bitterness fades, leaving a softer green floral accord. At this point I get lily of the valley, & later a fresh & pretty rose, with a soft vetiver beneath. Four hours in it's very soft, but lasts around ten hours before fading out.
This isn't my usual type of thing, & I'm giving it a neutral rating because I dislike that bitter phase. But after this it's really a quite lovely floral, evocative of springtime. One that I think all lovers of green florals would appreciate!