Hi there APJ,
Ermenegildo Zegna (pronounced Er-Men-Jill-Doe) makes great shoes. Comfort out of the ballpark and usually pretty fun to look at too. I have a pair that I really love. When I wear them it feels like, in the words of Mary Horowitz, “Because it makes my toes feel like 10 friends on a camping trip, that’s why” but I have hardly even dipped my toe in the Zegna fragrances.
It does seem that most mainstream brands are releasing a niche inspired highbrow line, inspired by the CHANEL & DIOR prive lines. I have fallen for, and own FB of, quite a few from these including Armani, VC&A, Donna Karan, Cartier etc. Zegna has had fragrance for years and his 1983 Zegna Pour Homme is still cited as a benchmark.
Peruvian Ambrette by Ermenegildo Zegna 2014
Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Collection
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Ambrette (musk mallow), orris, cashmere woods, guaiac wood
Spicy iris? Is there such a thing? Ginger? Pepper? Woods and some vegetative, humus rich damp healthy soil. Maybe some melon and some wet cardboard? GOSH! I don’t know. Any or all of these
What I smell is the kind of masculine oriented scent that the suit boys love to wear in cooler months. I can almost smell them arriving fresh for work and smelling very crisp and manly, no nonsense woods for us please. We like to smell good but in a pack of forest/woodsy fragrances that are almost synonymous with upper middle management. This fragrance is like code for earning well, on the stepladder of corporate success.
Am I selling it short? I don’t know. Maybe I was over expecting but for $250 I would like to be wowed.
Photo Stolen Flickr
Don’t get me wrong, if you own or buy Peruvian Ambrette by Ermenegildo Zegna you will smell good. You will not be a standout fragrant showpony and maybe the culture you would like to be a part of will feel that you smell like you fit the bill. There is nothing shameful about wearing a uniform and if Ermenegildo Zegna was aiming for the handsome, gym before work, power lunches, expensive customised off the rack designer suit crew then bravo because this is how my nose tells me they smell.
Photo Stolen PixGood
Dry down is a woodsy leather scent still with a clean musk and the lasting power is excellent for a working day. As an aside, I think the bottles look nice and they fit beautifully with the man in suit’s minimalist apartment.
Peruvian Ambrette by Ermenegildo Zegna is available in Department Stores and Zegna boutiques (US$195:£140:AUS$250/125ml)
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4.50/ml
Do you ever fall for the mainstream prive lines? Favourites?
Have you tried any of the Zegna’s?