Azzaro Wanted – seriously, what were they thinking?

Azzaro Wanted-1Oh deary, deary me. Let’s talk about Azzaro’s new Wanted fragrance for a moment shall we? The one in the bottle that looks like a fully-loaded gun chamber. Now, the six-shooter bottle design for this fragrance, regardless of bad timing in light of the tragic events in Orlando, is a quite spectacular exercise in clichéd, one-dimensional and outdated hyper-mascuine thinking. I used to think that Davidoff’s The Game, with its casino chip flacon, was terminally naff but this takes things to a whole new level – and a subterranean one at that. Presumably the thinking behind it is that a. men absolutely love guns and b. guns are sexy and street and therefore customers will think the fragrance is masculine and, like, really, really cool.

You can just see the design meeting now: “Right guys, we need an eye-catching bottle – something like Paco Rabanne’s Invictus or that Gaultier one with the massive bulge. What screams ‘men’ then? How about a football? Or a motorbike? Or a big, clunking fist? Oh, no, Diesel did the fist. Wait a minute. I know – how about a gun? What’s more masculine than a gun? It’s cowboy; it’s gangsta; it’s Bond; it’s NRA and man-on-a-rampage. But mostly it’s Bond. Especially if we make it sleek, shiny and gold. What better vessel for our killer fragrance than a killer bottle?”

Well, I’m afraid Azzaro have shot themselves in the foot here (sorry) and I suspect they know this too since the bottle description on their website is a masterclass in obscurification. Avoiding the ‘G’ word altogether and with not a passing mention of bullets the bottle is instead “elegant and precious, with a stunning rugged, mechanical look” (it’s a gun folks) and “a  symbol of freedom and virility” (still a gun). Most bizarrely, it’s also “an embodiment of extreme masculinity tinged with the nostalgia of childhood”. Now, unless your dad was the Son of Sam I’m not entirely sure what childhood nostalgia it’s referring to here but no matter, the bottom line is that, in 2016, Azzaro’s  firearm-inspired Wanted is, to put it bluntly, anything but.

Profumo Affair

3614270581670_Code-Profumo-3,7_01Of the raft of new men’s fragrances that have landed on my desk of late (most of which copy each other in what amounts to olfactory cannibalism) one – Armani Code Profumo – has leapt out at me. As well as being housed in one of the most ridiculously sensual bottles you’ll ever come across it happens to pretty decent fragrance too. It takes its cues, of course, from the other Armani Code bottles but feels more premium thanks to heavier, thicker glass and there’s a grained collar at the top of the bottle that’s supposed to resemble a cummerbund. And the fragrance itself? Well, it’s a woody-ambery number that’s intensely balsamic and vanillary, with creamy tonka bean (the signature note of the Code fragrances) supported by hints of leather, tobacco and styrax (included to bolster the tonka since it also has a vanillary vibe). The result is an exceptionally sensual fragrance that’s gourmandy without being sickly or cakey and one that’s perfect for warm summer evenings. Recommended.

Available now priced £62 for 6oml eau de parfum