Thursday, January 23, 2014

Loris Azzaro- Azzaro 9 (Vintage Perfume)

Many years have passed from the last time I smelled Azzaro 9 until I acquired a couple of mini bottles of this 1984 Loris Azzaro feminine perfume. Azzaro 9 was a pretty popular fragrance for a hot minute in the mid-80s. But my mother who received a bottle or two as a thank you gift from some well-meaning neighbors whom she helped on occasion (with their newborn baby, I think) hated it with a vengeance (she wasn't all that crazy about the neighbors, actually). Long-time readers may remember my mother's method of putting unwanted perfumes to good use: as a household disinfectant. Thus, for nearly a year the phone in our house permanently smelled of Azzaro 9.

I remembered  Azzaro 9 as a predominantly green perfume (which explained my mom's dislike), but nearly 30 years later when I started playing with it I realized that this is actually a very round floral. As a matter of fact, Azzaro 9 seems like an ancestor of the modern fruity-floral, only nicer and far more intricate. It's the kind of rich floral perfume you'd imagine paired with a beautiful special occasion dress, serving as its final touch for exuding the confidence of the well-heeled and exquisitely coiffed.

Below you can see the most common version of the note list you'll find online and in several books, but according to Nigel Groom (The New Perfume Handbook, second edition 1997):
"It is founded on a bouquet of nine flowers- jasmine, mimosa, violet, broom, wild iris, orange blossom, tuberose, ylang-ylang and water hyacinth- together with sandalwood and vanilla in the base".
 Azzaro 9 feels golden. Some of it can be attributed to the jasmine-mimosa-ylang in its core. The floral notes are blended into one lush bouquet and sweetened with a very light fruity nectar (I can't say that pineapple or mandarin truly stand out to me, just again- a golden juice in a sparkling pitcher that reflects the sun). The base is very smooth and warm. It's woody more than oriental, and incredibly well-behaved and balanced. There's nothing over-the-top and no 1980s vulgarity. Just a very pretty (and rather long-lasting) piece of nostalgia.

Notes: Pineapple, Mandarin, Bergamot, Aldehydes, Muguet, Ylang-Ylang, Carnation, Muguet, Rose, Tuberose, Cedarwood, Musk, Vanilla, Cistus, Moss.

Top image: 1984 Loris Azzaro fashion spread via Sighs & Whispers.


  1. I share your love of some 70's fragrances, including Mystere by Rochas. i bought 2 from Patou recently-Mille, and Eau de Patou. i bought Mille because i am reading Anjelica Huston's autobigraphy, and she says it's her favorite. THe perfume store had the Eau so i bought that too. Have you tried the Eau? i wonder if you have any thoughts on it. My bottles will arrive this week-in time for my 41 st birthday.


  2. You must have grown up in a very interestingly scented home!

    I remember Azzaro 9 too and mostly for its big old pineapple note. These days I'd say it reminds me of some of the more generously sized Amouage florals. Well, it WAS the 80's.

  3. I don't recall smelling this when it first came out, but I bought a bottle a few years ago online after reading a review of it in one of my perfume books. I remember that my very first impression of it was that it reminded me a bit of Bill Blass (his 1978 perfume), which I wore back in the 80s - both are warm, fruity florals with pineapple as a top note, although I think Azarro 9 has a more elegant vibe. OK, just went and tried on the Azarro again to see if my memory was correct about it and I'm not getting much of the pineapple this time, but my nose is wonky right now. It's been going in and out of total anosmia from a killer cold - driving me *nuts*.

    Have to say that it took me a while to get down to reading your review because I was transfixed by that first photo and the second dress from the left with those humongous puffy sleeves. Left me sort of frozen with nightmarish memories of a bridesmaid's dress I had to wear in the 80s - an unbelievably awful pastel floral with similar sleeves and neckline and a huge skirt. What really left me with a lasting impression of that day was the fact that the bride chose a similar style for her own dress and everything about her styling for her wedding was astoundingly out of sync with her normal style, which was very urban minimalist with an edge and a heavy emphasis on black. Her wedding wasn't even in the same universe as her normal style - and still isn't.

    I love the fact that your mom cleaned the phone with perfume!

  4. I adore Azzaro 9 - I just picked up another mini bottle and I am always on the lookout for more. It is so lush and and yes, rounded. Of course I never tried to stock up on it until it was discontinued; it's the best feminine perfume Azzaro ever made, if you ask me.


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