Maria Amalia by Morris, Italy 2006


Post by Azar


Hello APJ!

I love to shop the discounters. It is not unusual for me to find a fragrance that I once coveted available online for less than half the original price. There is, of course, the issue of fakes. I rarely encounter one of those but when I do I consider it collectable, not unlike the antique replicas of precious wentletrap shells (Epitonium scalare) that are now worth far more than the real thing. There will be more on my fake fragrance collection in another post.

Maria Amalia by Morris, Italy 2006

Maria-amalia-w Morris perfumeemporiumPhoto Stolen Perfume Emporium

Today I am considering the mass marketing mistakes that result in so many fragrances being relegated to the online and the brick and mortar discount bins. One recent find, Maria Amalia EdP by Morris Italy, has me wondering just what it takes to make a fragrance attractive in today’s mass marketplace.

The packaging and presentation of Maria Amalia EdP are beautifully done. Meticulously pleated cellophane, sealed with the perfume logo, wraps a silk textured box enclosing a heavy urn-shaped pressed glass bottle. Information about the fragrance is presented in a tiny foldout illustrated with the art of Pre-Raphaelite painter John Waterhouse (somewhat anachronous) and with stunning photos of the Maria Amalia product line.

Maria-amalia-w Morris hylas-and-the-nymphs-waterhouse WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

The EdP itself is a bracing, totally unisex brew opening with a cool fruity/citrus accord lasting a moment or two before morphing into a combination of ginger, cardamom and angelica that creates an arresting impression of dusty gunpowder, spice, citrus and sweet herbs. This odd but exhilarating beginning expands to include scents of wet earth, lemon and may rose peppered with nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. Maria Amalia dries into rosewood, myrrh, sandalwood and a residual aura of lemon and green herbs, a perfectly refreshing summertime spritz.

Maria-amalia-w Morris Maria Amalia of Austria by Roslin WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

This fragrance was purportedly created from an original recipe of the favorite perfume of Maria Amalia of Austria (1764 – 1804). She was the daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I (the Holy Roman Emperor) and sister to Marie Antoinette. Maria Amalia was known for her flamboyant, cross-dressing life style and (unlike her sister) for her genuine generosity to the poor. Her life story reads like a novel.

That is all well and good but why did Maria Amalia – the perfume – end up in the discount bin?

I suspect that the historic references did not resonate with today’s consumer. Maybe the packaging and presentation were too old fashioned. Was 2006 too early for a real unisex fragrance or was Morris, Italy too closely identified with its German parent company, the hair-coloring experts, Schartzkopf/Henkel? Perhaps the demise of Maria Amalia had nothing whatsoever to do with marketing but was simply a result of the EU or IRFA fragrance regulations. Whatever the case may be I feel lucky to have stumbled upon Maria Amalia the fragrance. I have stocked up.

Further reading: Fragrance Bouquet and BaseNotes
Perfume Emporium has $15.29/50ml

Azar xx

Giveaway Kesha&CoPhoto Stolen Kesha&Co

Maria Amalia GIVEAWAY


This week we will have 1 USA winner who will receive:
1 x 5ml decant of Maria Amalia by Morris, Italy


Open to USA ONLY who follow AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me (portia underscore turbo @ yahoo dot com dot au) so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Please tell us if you have heard of or have tried the Maria Amalia fragrance or give us your take on marketing perfume in the 21st century.


Entries Close Thursday 25th June 2015 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by
The winners will have till Monday 29th 2015 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.


This review of Maria Amalia EdP first appeared last week on Ellen Covey’s blog. You can win there as well!

21 thoughts on “Maria Amalia by Morris, Italy 2006

  1. I follow via email. It seems to me so many of the Italian perfume houses are under-represented in the U.S. (i Profumi, Santa Maria Novella, and others). I never heard of this fragrance until your blog post. Thanks!


    • Hi Gina,
      I agree with you totally! The Italian houses should be better represented here. I find there are many Italian perfumes and small perfume houses that are not seen at all in the US. I imagine the distribution to the States is a big part of the reason we don’t find more about these fragrances online or in print ads. I have another very little known fragrance that I will be writing about soon, but this one is French.
      Azar xx


    • Hi Patty Pong,
      Thank you for dropping by and entering the draw! Maria Amalia is relatively new to me too. Maybe two months? I was really surprised that I liked it as much as I did.
      Azar xx


  2. Hi Azar, I want to know more about your collection of fakes! I have been fascinated by the business of fakery since I got a bottle of “vintage Opium” on EBay that was clearly a fake but so lovely in its own way that I kept it and used it up. I vaguely remember that it came from somewhere in Asia but can’t remember where. It was a real perfume, wearing the wrong name. So do tell us about your fakery collection.
    I follow by email.


    • Hi FJ,
      There is an interesting connection between Maria Amalia and the fake wentletraps that I found after I had already written this post. It seems that Maria Amalia’s father, Francis the I, was one of the first to purchase a wentletrap for a collection. I wonder if his was the real thing or one of the chinese rice paste wentletraps? Like your fake Opium these early asian dupes were beautiful, exquisitely crafted pieces of fakery.
      Yes, I will post something about my fake collection 😉 one of these days! I have been snookered more than a few times.
      Azar xxx


  3. AZAR!! I am lemming this LIKE CRAZY! You saucy temptress you. DNEM but one day I’m going to come to your home a sniff it.
    Portia xx


    • Hi Portia,
      This one is definitely worth a sniff! You are SO welcome here ANYTIME! You might also like sniffing another “unknown” that I mentioned to Feral Jasmine in the comment above 🙂
      Azar xx


  4. What a wonderful find, Azar! It will most definately be on my radar now as I have never even heard a WHISPER about the line!! Follow by email, and thanks for the lovely draw!!
    Robert H.- Lopez Island
    (Hope your June is as amazing down there as it is up here…I actually find myself wishing for 1 day of rain! LOL!)


    • Hi Robert,
      Yes! It is amazing here too – but just a little bit of rain would be nice (I can’ believe I am saying that). We actually had a few drops about three days ago, a refreshing change from the sun ;)! Thank you for commenting and for joining today’s draw.
      Azar xx


  5. I’ve never heard of this line but I have heard of its parent company. Isn’t it great when you stumble on something fabulous in the clearance bins? DNEM. I have more than enough things to sniff st the moment.


    • Hi Poodle,
      I consider Maria Amalia a pretty good score! A couple of years ago Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia was in a clearance bin for an low, low price. I did not buy it immediately but waited a week. Needless to say, that was the big one that got away ;)…forever.
      Azar xx


  6. I have never heard of Marlia Amalia perfume before. While I understand marketing is important in perfumery, I miss the marketing creativity of last century, especially from 70s-90s…now marketing taglines have become too creativity, nothing original…every tagline is, this perfume makes you sexy, unique, confident, self-assured..this perfume is for those stand out and not afraid to take risks…blah blah blah…..

    thanks for the draw. I follow APJ through email


    • Hi Fazal Cheema,
      You are so right about the last century marketing. Just take a look at Anne-Marie’s Obsession post here on APJ a couple of days ago. What fabulous, over the top and yes, disturbing ads for Obsession so many years ago! It seems like the recent perfume campaigns are just watered down versions of the mid 20th century. Thank you so much for your comment and for joining today’s draw.
      Azar xx


  7. I follow by email, and I heard about Maria Amalia from Ellen Covey’s blog recently! The dry gunpowder note sounds fascinating, I can’t even imagine.


    • Hi Nemo,
      Yes, that gun powder note is odd but very interesting. I think it might be one of my very subjective “obvious but not present” perfume notes. Wherever it comes from it is rather addictive. By the way, I am doing the draw on both APJ and Ellen Covey’s blog. If you comment over at PerfumeNW you have a chance of winning there too.
      Azar xx


  8. I thought I commented here earlier but I don’t see my post so please don’t think I’m enteting twice. Anyway, i follow via email. Being a 60’s and 70’s kid, the perfume marketing is woefully lacking any good campaigns. They can’t seem to grasp the feeling of fragrances. With a few exceptions of the big commercial houses most advertising is done in print. So sad.
    I have never even heard of Maria Amalia but the way you describe it makes me feel I truly missed out.


    • Hi Lillian,
      One of the big problems with today’s print marketing is the lift here/scratch and sniff strip! All of these smell very similar to me. Perhaps it is the glue or whatever medium is used to “affix” the scent to the paper. There has to be a better way to do this. At one point I would cut out every perfume ad and save every scent strip I could find in hopes that these would actually help me make an informed decision. HA! I had a pile of these ads still laying around and just got rid of them recently. Almost every strip smelled like screechy green tea. The photos and the art work were “meh” or “bleh” and most of the time just plain boring. I miss those 60s/70s ads…Thanks for commenting here and on PerfumeNW too 😉 You are so IN!
      Azar xx


  9. Hi Mom – I follow APJ on Twitter. I just heard of this one – I think… who knows what samples I have at home! About the perfume marketing… did you ever see Brad Pitt’s Channel commercials and the SNL spoofs? Taran Killam did a really great job in the SNL versions. The Perfect example of perfume commercials being too abstract.


    • Hi Dear Lauren,
      I’ve seen the BP Chanel commercials but not the SNL spoofs. I will check those out! I am so ready for a good laugh. – and you are so IN!
      Mommy Azar xx and X


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