If you're familiar with the Armani Prive line, you know that a bottle usually costs about $185. They do sell refills that you can find for about $100 less, but that's still $85 or so plus shipping. So you can imagine my surprise and delight at rooting through the fragrance offerings at my local TJ Maxx and finding a small brown box with Armani Prive printed on the outside. And a price of $29.99. Now, I've not sampled any of this line before. And I normally have a very strict rule about not purchasing anything unsniffed because it almost never pans out. But an Armani Prive at TJ Maxx was a tempting, tempting item. With some trepidation, I found the label: Cuir Amethyste. I hate leather. Safe! But then I found another little brown box. Amber Soie. I hate amber. Woohoo! I escape once more. I rooted through more boxes of Liz Claiborne Realities and various Paris Hilton creations than I care to name, and then I saw a third little brown box. Eclat de Jasmin. Damn.
The thing is…if there were an Armani Prive that I would lay odds on liking, it'd be this one. So I bought it. I let it stay in its box for a whole day, giving myself time to decide to return it if I had regrets. But today I couldn't stand it any longer and in a fit of recklessness, ripped the plastic off the box and spritzed some on my wrist.

The verdict? Oh my. I'm going to have to work very hard to ensure this does not compromise my no buying unsniffed rule any further, because I adore this perfume. It's a brilliant marriage of jasmine, a thankfully subdued, sophisticated patchouli, and bright, sunny lemon. The combination of jasmine and wood lends it a racy, spicy air-it's rather what I'd hoped The Different Company's Jasmine de Nuit would be, but that one turned out horribly on me. But the lemon calms it down a bit, ensuring that it has a happy feel too. It's fairly linear-there was a burst of lemon and jasmine in the top notes before the patchouli made itself known, but thereafter it remained pretty much the same. I'm not complaining because I find it delicious. And so far one spritz has lasted all day.

So if I were you, I'd run out to TJ Maxx and see what you find. And if you buy unsniffed and don't like it, well…feel free to send any unwanted Armani Prives to me.

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