Armani Mania 
Giorgio Armani (2002)

Average Rating:  89 User Reviews

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About Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani

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Giorgio Armani
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A fresh fragrance from Giorgio, packaged in a distinctive smoked glass bottle. Contains notes of saffron, mandarin, cedar, vetiver and amber.
The bottle is topped with a distinct gun-metal cap.

Fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani

There are 89 reviews of Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani.

Armani Mania by Giorgio Armani (2002) is a decent and discrete men's woody-amber musk that touched upon a template growing in popularity throughout the designer realm into the 2000's, a first-generation of the now-overpowered woody-amber genre with a then-youthful twist of musk. Gucci Rush for Men (2000) really helped propel this style as a stepping-stone off of forerunners like the mint and vanilla-powered Jacques Bogart Force Majeure (1998), itself eventually parroted by Cartier Roadster (2008) a decade later. Then you got a softer round two with stuff like Armani Mania and Versace Jeans Couture Man (2002), both which lean more into clean citrus, fresh musks, amber, and rounded subtle spices like saffron and cardamom than heavy woods or pepper. Versace would lean even harder into rounded spices and toss in tobacco to boot for Versace Man (2003), Yves Saint Laurent would dress these aromachems up in "oud" for M7 (2002), while Gucci would focus on the interplay between the "wood" and the "amber" facets of its woody-amber with Gucci Pour Homme (2003), effectively being an M7 Pt. II because both were under Tom Ford's control back then. Azzaro made the ignored but brilliant Visit (2004), and then Armani would spike its own punch bowl by hiring Olivier Cresp and Alberto Morillas to make the much more aggressive Armani Attitude (2007), seemingly based on the work done here on Mania by a young Francis Kurkdjian. About that; ol Kurkdjian said in an interview once that this was his favorite designer he'd ever done at the time, which really didn't hurt its legacy now that he's celebrated himself.

The smell of Armani Mania is amusingly nothing like you'd think a fragrance named "Mania" would be; this isn't pungent, bizarre, or even remotely challenging at all. In fact, many of the contemporary reviews of the day in those early internet times of the still-small online fragrance community found Mania dull, boring, and low-powered. As you might suspect, this was the designer doldrums whipping boy of its era much like whichever Bleu de Chanel (2010) clone or Dior Sauvage (2015) smell-alike would be to anyone in the late 2010's. The opening is all about soft citruses rounded by saffron, with mandarin and tangerine coming to the fore. This is really an "oriental" fragrance made incredibly light and "occidental" in execution, something Kurkdjian would in time become well-known for doing with his own range of ambers and musks. Kurkdjian also seems to prefer transparent citrus and musk accords that weave through a perfume and come across chic rather than obvious or heavy, as he would do for MFK Amyris Homme (2012). The saffron here isn't MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 (2014) levels of smooth, but it helps segue into cedar and vetiver notes in the heart, neither of which themselves are very natural. At this point you'll notice the puffy white laundry musks with a pinch of dirt that Kurkdjian also likes to use in his own lines, suffused over skin with a slightly gummy amber that is held in check by the clean sparkle of the fragrance overall. The woods come and go, while sillage is close but long-lasting. This seems to have been advertised as an office scent for the Armani jet set, and that's exactly what it is. Best use would be for spring and fall if you had access to a stash, and although unerringly pleasant, this is the kind of fragrance you could actually forget you're wearing, just like some of the MFK Aqua range.

So of course, you may be wondering, why all the incredible hype after discontinuation? Why all the insanely-priced surviving examples on eBay? This stuff is up there with smaller sizes of the discontinued Tom Ford-era Gucci-PPR stuff, and yet is nowhere near the same level of interesting. Honestly, I think it really is just the fact that so many people wrote this off for years as being unworthy of their collector's zeal due to how common and unexciting it was, then immediately slapped themselves into a zeitgeist over its discontinuation once they realized that its actually a good fragrance and made by one of their niche perfume heroes (Kurkdjian). While I don't agree with the statements of it being a masterpiece or lady-killing compliment bomb, because Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L'Homme (2009) was exactly that within the same genre as this stuff, I can get behind the subtly and seemingly innocuous nature of Armani Mania being a hidden strength rather than a weakness. The overlooked Lanvin L'Homme (1997) from the previous decade was this stuff's secret inspiration too, just taken to Kurkdjian levels of finesse here, but this is a genre that overall isn't nor never was worthy of histrionics. Armani Mania is the epitome of functionality however elegant it may seem in retrospect, and the difference in tone of reviews before and after discontinuation make it clear folks who buy into the "Armani Mania" made by its disappearance don't understand that. Avoid the clown show and get a decant if you must know why this is or was Kurkdjian's one-time favorite, before making a really expensive mistake on a full bottle. Thumbs up.
Aug 15, 2021

Clean and powdery with notes of cedar and soft musk. Very inoffensive but not completely boring as it has a vegetal-herb note that keeps it interesting. I don't see anything listed in the notes that would suggest that other than tangerine leaves but someone else mentioned basil and that seems closer to what I'm smelling.

It comes off as simple and cheap, maybe something I would expect from a bargain brand.

Projects nicely into the 3rd hour on my skin and clothes. Hangs around as a skin scent after that for most of the day.
Sep 14, 2018

A pleasant neutral....

Armani Mania suffers two main problems, in my opinion. The first is its performance: It simply doesn't project or last all that well. And while it's not the kind of scent that calls for beastly projection, it's probably too dialed-in here. I have a friend who used to invite my wife and I over to watch movies. He had a nice TV and a surround sound system. But he insisted on keeping the volume so low that we had to strain our ears just to hear it. It's like squinting your eyes when you're barely able to see something. We were squinting with our ears. It drove me crazy, every spoken word falling right between the threshold of audible and inaudible, every explosion a staticky tinkle that sounded more like someone shushing me than a bomb going off... "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? WHY CAN'T YOU TURN THE VOLUME UP?!" I wanted to shout into the tense, imposed silence. And that's what I want to shout at Armani Mania when I'm wearing it, "Turn the volume up!" It's too quiet, and not in a good way, just an unsatisfying, itch-you-can't-scratch, incomplete sort of way. You crave more but you never get it. The second problem involves its development, or lack thereof. The first third of Mania is great, a beautiful fresh blend of woods and light citrus notes, some white musk giving it a pleasant ozonic fuzz. But then it doesn't really develop at all or even stay solidly linear long enough to be satisfying. If Mania's first 45 minutes persisted for 3 or 4 hours I'd be fine. But it doesn't. Instead, around the one hour mark it becomes a pretty bland, uninspiring cedar smell. The fresh spritely goodness from the opening is gone but there's really nothing that emerges in the base to take its place and keep this one fun. So then you get boring, been-there-done-that cedar for another measly hour or so before Mania completely craps out into a thin veil of woods and white musk, nothing more than a skin scent if that. Ugh. Mania had so much promise. The beginning is really wonderful, but it neither holds nor develops and instead peters out like a dying car on its last lap. Putt putt putt putt putt......that's the sound of Mania, petering out at 2 1/2 hours.

While I give this a neutral I have to be honest and say that it's a positive neutral. I like Mania. I even love it for a little while, it just suffers from a couple serious issues. But when it's first applied, it really smells nice, maybe the nicest "fresh woods" scent I've smelled. And that's really what it is, fresh woods. Think of a much better version of Mr. Burberry or something, Kumkat Wood minus Mancera's perfumey nonsense to ruin it. Also, it holds up on fabric so if you spray Mania liberally onto your clothes you'll have a better ride. But that's kind of like me pushing my closer to the TV so I can hear it while watching movies at my friend's house--it kinda works but shouldn't be necessary. Therefore I give Mania a 6.5/10 in the end--still neutral--but on its positive side at least.
Jan 18, 2018

Although I do like the wisps of saffron that appear, overall I find Armani Mania to be a bit of a generic, woody-musk EdT with little depth and longevity. Basil appears to come out to me, although it's not officially in the fragrance triangle.

Armani Mania seems crafted for laid-back, casual occasions for anyone young at heart. It's not offensive to me, but it just doesn't connect with me as it might someone else.
Feb 22, 2017

The saffron in this scent turned a lot of Iranian heads while I was living in the UAE. North Indians find the saffron in this scent appealing too.

I'd probably buy it again if I can find it in India and if it has a matching deodorant.
Nov 29, 2016

Reviewing Armani Mania is tough for me, as I want to approach it somewhat objectively.

Let me start by disclaiming that I absolutely adore Mania. It's such an elegant, understated scent. It clicked with me, right from the very first moment I smelled it.

However, I'll attempt to be objective - even though I am at heart a completely subjective reviewer. I always try to approach all fragrances with the goal of giving an impression of what the scent is like, but the verdict is always subjective - my personal take on the scent.

To give some background, Mania falls in to that woody style that was quite popular in the late 90's and early 2000's. Gucci Rush for men was one of the first that set the template. Versace Man turned it upside down with sweet amber, tobacco and saffron. Gucci Pour Homme I made it dark and austere with incense and a woodsy overload.

Mania however, takes the playful route.

It opens with a peppery mandarin orange and a boatload of saffron. The saffron is right there from start to finish, and it's beautifully done. It's not the most complex saffron rendition, but it captures the essence of the scent of fresh saffron flowers.

The mandarin and saffron notes are joined in the mid by the 2000's mainstay - cedar. It's an obviously synthetic rendition, but it works perfectly here. I also get a hint of smoky vetiver, giving it some depth in the middle.

The base is a fairly uneventful musky amber. It's very subdued and is in the background. I get the impression that it's really only there to make sure that the cedar and saffron persist, and it joins those two in a great unison.

However, I must approach this fairly. It isn't all rose-y red and spectacular. Mania certainly has it's flaws.

1. It's synthetic. Much like Versace's The Dreamer, they are both created in a hyper-synthetic mold. In The Dreamer it works perfectly, as the scent comes across as being quite futuristic. However in Mania, it seems cheaper. That's not to say that the scent smells cheap, but the ingredient quality is surely lacking a bit. The mandarin and saffron aren't especially distinctive, and I do get the idea that Mania was made to a budget.

2. Mania can come across as too reserved. Compared to Code, Mania is more grown up and understated. But it's almost too understated. I don't want it to cut through the room, but Mania is very close to the skin. Some may like this, I don't mind it, but it'd be interesting to see what Armani could do with a intense version of this.

All in all, I consider Mania to be a phenomal scent. The longevity is quite good too - 7-8 hours.

Rating: 8.5/10
Jan 18, 2016

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