It is always a conundrum that the perfume world puts me into spring while there is still snow on the ground. During the month of February I get swamped by the releases of all the new spring florals. Which means my desk smells like April, but it is the weeks away from that. Which is why when I get a sample of a new floral which has no interest in being a harbinger of greener days to come it breaks through as Armani Prive Ikat Bleu has.
Armani Prive as the up-scale luxury fragrance offerings of Giorgio Armani has had a checkered run ever since its first release in 2004. I own many of them but there is an equal amount that are too easily forgettable. It always is an element of uncertainty when I receive a new sample. Ikat Bleu is part of a pair, with Ikat Rouge, in the Fashion Collection sub-group within the brand. That indicates a more haute couture sensibility with the perfume. I don’t detect that level of envelope pushing that portends. What does come through is a use of some higher quality materials. For Ikat Bleu perfumer Juliette Karagueuzolglu carries out that part of the line with aplomb.
Ikat is an Indonesian dyeing technique where different yarns are dyed in tied-up bundles to form a pattern which is then used as part of a greater whole. Ikat roughly translates as “to bind”. Mme Karagueuzolglu employs a fragrance equivalent as she ties together orris and patchouli in the center of Ikat Bleu.
This is a pretty simply constructed perfume. It begins with orris and baie rose. For a few moments, the powdery nature of the orris is coaxed to the foreground. A bit of incense keeps it from getting too out of control. A deep dark patchouli comes next as its earthiness calls forth the similarly styled rooty quality of the orris. Spring may be coming but this is reminiscent of the damp soil just after the snow has melted. A smoky vanilla layers in a sweetness underneath the fertile earth to finish this.
Ikat Bleu has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
There are weeks until the world catches up to the pile of perfume on my desk. Ikat Bleu is a reminder the scent of those days is just as enjoyable.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Giorgio Armani.