What's the point of hiring Maurice Roucel, one of the biggest talents in perfumery, and either giving him nothing with which he could work or taking his composition and diluting it to the point of a cheap body spray (most likely both)? I doubt anyone at Giorgio Armani Perfumes is going to answer, but seriously, I would really like to know.
Mystere was part part of the Armani Onde trilogy (together with Onde Extase and Onde Vertige) released for fall 2008. It seems that a significant amount of money went into the pretty and original bottle design, to the top notes that last for about a minute, to paying the genius Roucel (or at least I hope so) and probably for marketing, though the leading ad for the campaign looks as cheap as this thing smells.
Obviously, not much was left for the perfume itself. Armani Onde Mystere was supposed to be an incense rose perfume, which sounds great. The first thing I smell upon spraying is a vibrant and peppery rose and what I could swear was a sheer vetiver note (no mention of that anywhere official). It's fun and colorful. I would have loved a perfume that takes this opening and runs with it. However, things disintegrate within minutes. The rose turns chemical, sour and cheap, the peppery attitude disappears, leaving behind a vague spiciness. If there is any incense or oriental elements they're hiding their faces in shame. Twenty minutes into Mystere, all that's left is a sweet hint of rosewater and even that fades soon. Maybe the lack of longevity is not that a bad idea, because spending the entire day smelling boring and cheap is not my idea of fun.
Giorgio Armani Onde Mystere ($85, 1.7 oz EDP) seems to be out of stock at all the official distributing channels (department stores and Armani website), but readily available from online retailers, though sometimes at inflated prices.
Armani Onde ad from giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com