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.