Hello Friends, here is another chapter of my "Fragrance Story". In this chapter, I will explore the World of Giorgio Armani's Sì fragrances and give you my thoughts on "Sì Passione".
[All photographs with my watermark were photographed and edited by me. Other stock images are linked back to their source.]
The Sì Passione eau de parfum and special press box were gifted to me by L'oreal Luxe. Thank you so much.
You might have caught videos of my first impressions of Sì Passione on my Instastories @teacupofmakeup. . If you aren't following me, please do (just click here (I film most of what I do each day on my Instastories). In Australia, there are many stockist for Giorgio Armani. You can purchase Giorgio Armani Fragrances by clicking here and/or find your nearest physical store.
A Brief History of Giorgio Armani Fragrances
Giorgio Armani ("GA") began his foray into Fragrances (and beauty) in partnership with L'Oreal in the early 1980s. This successful partnership is still going strong. In the course of my research for my Fragrance Story, it has become so obvious to me that fashion and fragrances are very much linked. I did not think much about it until I began this endeavor. It makes perfect sense. Though some prominent perfume critics might disagree, Fragrances do, through their composition, packaging and marketing campaigns serve as a natural extension to the artistic expression of the fashion designer, because they seek to convey a sense of mood/style/period. I will have a separate chapter on that.
The first GA Fragrance was introduced in 1982. It was simply titled "Armani" (for women). A masculine version was released in 1984 ("Armani for Men").
GA has partnered with several prominent perfumers over the years, starting with Ron Winnegrad in 1982. One perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian, has gone on to create his own, now cult status, range of perfumes under "Maison Francis Kurkdjian".
Thus far, GA has approximately 150+ Fragrances (please note, I use the word "Fragrance" to be an umbrella term for perfumes, EDPs, EDTs, colognes, hair mist, body mist etc). For the longest time, Acqua di Gio for women was my go-to scent (unfortunately, it seems that this Fragrance has been discontinued). Aside from Acqua di Gio and the Sì range, other notable Fragrance collections from GA include: Armani Code; Armani Mania and the "OMG! Total Goals" range of Armani Prive.
"Perfumes. The A-Z Guide" by Luca Turin and Tania Snachez, revised and updated version in 2009, first published in 2008, Profile Books Ltd
A little bit about the Sì range
The Original (released 2013)
In total, including the original, there have been 14 versions of Sì (as far as I am aware). You can purchase most of these from GA's website (click here). The same website will also help you locate your nearest physical stockist.
When I mention the Sì range to people, their first response is always: "Oh, I've seen the ads with Cate Blanchett!" Yes, Cate Blanchett is a very famous and acclaimed actress and I do love her work very much, but there is SO much more to the Sì range than just her (side note, a quick google search showed that Cate Blanchett does not seem to have any Italian ancestry - curious I know).
The first Sì Eau de Parfum for women was an instant hit (I'm sure you know this, the word "sì" in Italian, means "yes" in English). Released in 2013 and seemingly on trend at the time, Sì for women is recognised as a "Chypre Fruit" Fragrance. The perfumer behind this popular Fragrance is Christine Nagel (her portfolio includes Fragrances for Guerlain and Jo Malone). In the Fragrance world, the word "Chypre" is used to classify fragrances characterised by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic basenote derived from oakmoss. These Fragrances are then modified by the addition of other notes, most commonly sweet ones like vanilla. [FYI, I am drafting a chapter on commonly used Fragrance terminology.]
Sì Eau de Parfum has notes of (click here for GA's website):
modern chypre, blond wood musk;
with touches of freesia and May rose scent.
To me, the heart of this Fragrance is very much the berry, rose and vanilla with a touch of spice from patchouli. This Fragrance "looks" very baby pink to me. Each time I smell it, my mind is filled with images of pink edged clouds. This is not a heavy scent. It "feels" like my hands running over grass. It has a a fair amount of longevity applied, roughly 3-5 hours on me. Some critics have described it in such brutal terms, I hesitate to include their reviews. I quite like this one. I also love the cleverness of the simple bottle design. The black cap is a reflection of the accent on the "i" in the word "Sì". It is simple, elegant, understated and in my view quite beautiful.
These photos were sourced from https://www.fragrancenet.com/perfume/giorgio-armani/armani-si
From left to right: Sì Intense (2014); Sì Eau de Toilette (2015); Sì Rose Signature II (2017)
Leveraging off the success of Sì for women, GA then released various variations each following year, the latest being Sì Passione. The basic bottle and cap shape were retained but accentuated in various delightful ways. See above photographs for an idea of what they look like (for more click here).
I find the basic sculptural design very appealing. To me it is a a bit Picasso and a bit Modigliani. If I could, I would collect them all.
The variations I have tried are the ones pictured above:
Sì Intense (2014) - this very noir piece of art is very sexy. It is generally accepted as belonging to the "Chypre Fruity" group. As described by GA, it has "blackcurrant neo jungle essence, with just a hint of silky freesia, and a timeless chic intense chypre accord". I honestly do not know what "blackcurrant neo jungle essence". To me it feels heavier than the original. It is definitely more fruity and more spicy. The citrus notes that so characterise "chypres", was very subtle. TBH, I would just get it for the bottle;
Sì Eau de Toilette (2015) - described by GA as a lighter version of the Original, this is generally accepted to be in the "Chypre Floral'. Again the common citrus notes in "chypre" Fragrances was not as evident. It is definitely fruity and floral. It is described by GA as "a brilliant, floral chypre composed of contrasts.". To me I could detect some type of pear, definitely roses, some wood and some berries. Being an EDT, its dry down time is faster, however, I do love the scent you get when this dries down;
Sì Rose Signature II (2017) - this one has a very strong rose scent. There is a bit of powdery-ness about it. I felt there was some spices, possibly vanilla and cinnamon. I felt that there were also some berries in them, possibly blackcurrants (which appears in the original and most variations). Generally accepted to belong to the "Chypre Floral" group. For some reason, I can't find this on the GA website. Its predecessor, Sì Rose, is available.
This version is #totalgoals for me. I rarely have a Parfum (highest concentration of essential compounds - generally accepted to be around 15% - 40%). I've yet to smell this. I've only included it here to remind me to try this one day.
Si Passione (2017)
This was launched in Australia in early March 2018. Cate Blanchette was at the launch and it was all very luxe. The press box that you see in the photos in this section, near blew my head off. Ultimate LUXE and very clever. I adore it when brands come up with such creative ideas.
The press box had two tiers to it and I think it would serves as a very lovely storage box. The question posed is:" What's your passion?". The box included several white cards, 4 pens and a gorgeous 50ml bottle of Sì Passione eau de parfum.
I so adore the colour combination of red and black. Very classy.
The bottle is enameled on the inside in red. The cap is pretty much identical to all other versions of Sì. It feels heavy and hence very luxe. I love the gold accents.
Sì Passione is described by GA as (click any where in the paragraphs below to go to GA's website):
"Sì Passione, the fragrance for women by Giorgio Armani, unleashes the passion of the Sì woman - empowered, feminine, and free. Sì Passione is an intense, uncompromising scent for a confident woman willing to make extreme choices - a woman who dares to say yes. This fragrance is a powerful reinvention of this signature Armani fragrance, Sì Passione adds a new dimension to Giorgio Armani’s feminine fragrance personality - in his own words, “an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independence of spirit". Sì Passione reiterates the keynote signature of Sì - blackcurrant Jungle Essence™ nectar, combined with a sparkling, joyful pear. The new Sì Passione fragrance combines intense vanilla with the blooms of rose, heliotrope and jasmine to create a sensual, fruity floral scent, reflective of the simultaneous delicacy and strength of femininity. At the very heart of Sì Passione is cedarwood and the modern ambery-woody Orcanox™, giving a maturity and character, mirroring a boldness of emotion, evoking true passion. The colour red is emblematic of Sì Passione’s attitude and essence. “Red as a sign of vitality, red as a signal of passion. Red to wish you good and positiveness” says Giorgio Armani. Red is also the colour of passion and of love - passion that makes your heart beat faster. A new emotion, a new femininity, a new personality. A new passion."
I shall begin my review of Sì Passione by stating that I have not watched a single video ad on this Fragrance. I am quite a visual person and so I did that on purpose so as not to be influenced by those ads. In doing my research on the Si range, these videos did pop up, but I just saw the thumbnail and nothing more. I really like the Inner red lacquer part of the bottle. It’s very “nippon-style”. I associate lacquered things with Japan. Think red and black lacquered Japanese cups, bowls and trays. Touted as a reinterpretation of the Original Si, this Fragrance is meant to convey a sense of greater intensity, strength and vitality. I love how this bottle is a very stark contrast to the Original. The “red” is what I’ve come to associate with GA’s makeup products. Especially the packaging of latest range of liquid lipsticks. That iconic GA red you just can’t forget. Oddly, the black and red bottle also reminds me of Olive Oyl from the sold Popeye comics. Don’t get me wrong. I say this in a good way. It’s probably because the cap has a very faint similarity to Olive Oyl’s hairstyle. I don’t know why, but most of the Fragrances I’ve tried, introduced from late 2016 onwards all seem to have Pink Pepper. I still have not been able to source pink pepper to smell it, in its natural unmixed state, but I’ve become somewhat familiar with it. It has a distinctive sweet spicy scent, a bit like “five spice powder” used in Asian cooking. Si Passione does not feel heavy to me. It feels like a more rounder version of the Original. Regrettably, I’ve become so influenced by the marketing campaign, that I have come to associate that particular shade of red with it. When I smell Sì Passione, I just "see" that red. It is sweet, spicy, juicy and definitely more robust. Would I wear it during the day? Yes, absolutely. Why not? It is a sophisticated “Floral Fruity”. I feel like I can almost bite into this Fragrance. Like biting into a sweet juicy nashi pear. I’m glad that they steered away from chypre notes. As such, it makes it a lovely addition to your collection if you already have the Original. To me, it is very different from the Original. It does not have that powdery finish. I like that very much. I like the “dry down”. Still roses and pears.
I hope you found this very review helpful! Drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me on my Instagram (@teacupofmakeup) and let me know what Fragrances you might want me to review. Yours Truly with Lots of Love, TeacupOfMakeup. 待会见! 可爱的小茶杯!