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I discovered "Cerruti 1881 Amber," many years ago after a small EDT bottle of their aftershave had been given to me as a Christmas gift. I wasn't sure at the time if the fragrance was something I was into. However, the Cerruti company product a few ranges under very similar names under the name of "Cerruti 1881", but as I found lately when shopping for it, the company Cerruti, make another variant of men's aftershave called "Image," and "Cerruti 1881 Homme." This scent is called "Cerruti 1881 Amber," by its full title and must not be confused with "Cerruti Pour Homme" which is a completely different scent and derivative from the Cerruti company.
The Price, The Product & The Promise
"Semi Chem" were selling the 50 ml EDT version at an unbelievable slashed cost of £9-00 until the end of March 31st 2006, so you can bet your bottom pound I was first in line for this price busting version! I had never considered Cerruti in the past, primarily because I have never really seen this bottle on display before! Semi Chem's price before hand was £26-00 whereas Boots were cheaper at one pound less for the 50ml version. Now, however six years on, Semi-Chem no longer stock this product but it can be purchased online and I bought the bottle at full whack off Amazon.co.uk at Christmas as a reminiscing treat to myself and cost me £35. The price has certainly increased, and this isn't a cheap aftershave like a lot of the more popular ones and remains a classic. Although at one time there were many versions like a shower gel or deodorant stick available, these products are far rarer to get and of the more popular available now in the UK the products are as follow:
Cerruti 1881 Amber Eau de Toilette (EDT) Spray 50m £33-54.
The Design of Cerruti 1881 Amber
My first impressions of the bottle is that it looks like a small trinket bottle of whisky or a special edition alcohol spirit, like a tall squarish bottle miniature of Vodka. The bottle is oblong like in its general shape, with the numbers 1881 pressed as an impression deep onto tortured "wrinkled" glass front of the bottle whilst at the sides; Cerruti gives its Amber proper name in black capital letters and on the other side, the type of EDT, which in this case is the Natural spray version.
Although the water is clear, the bottle has been coloured in a light goldish brown which even looks closer to the miniature bottle of whisky as opposed to other rivals on the market who use clear coloured glass.
Travel around the back and you'll find an impression of what may look like a cloud, or dimples within the glass which have not been pre-arranged. Whatever it may be, just holding this bottle and it's squarish sides gives off an exquisite and luxurious feeling because whilst it is entirely constructed of glass, the sides have been smoothened out so as not to appear rough.
It is important to note that whichever version you buy of the "Amber" derivative, that Cerruti distinguish their products by the colour of the spray bottle top or in the case of the splash on, a similar coloured top in a dark bronze like ribbed pull off top on the 1881 Amber bottle as opposed to a bright chrome metal spray top lid which belongs to the "Homme" version.
Thus it is possible to miss the two of them together because both the Homme and Amber version come in identical boxes before the bottle; "Amber" however comes in a beige gold like box, whereas "Homme" is supplied in a green box, but at times you can also buy different packaging where plastic see through boxes have been used in lieu of the normal classy thick card box packaging.
What Does It Smell Of?
Cerruti 1881 Amber reminds me of Paco Rabanne's Paco scent; a scent which I bought the first year it appeared. Now whilst Paco has several glinting touches of CK One, and then becomes stale, Cerruti 1881 Amber has a dark and light appeal in contrast to the lightness of Paco Rabanne's Paco aftershave.
It seems to have a rich mix of contrasting flavours such as lemon, lime and definitely grapefruit but not as heavy. The bass notes are difficult for me to define though, almost of a sandalwood base, a little pine here and there, even some deep wood and earthy accents but certainly the balance is quite equal on all sides of additives used. Sometimes I'm almost reminded here of Acqui Gio de Armani but it has a stronger scent compared to Acqui Gio and less of that alcohol smell that taints many a good aftershave.
However the more you add, say within the mist directly after coming out of a shower, and being allowed to envelope yourself whilst using the aftershave, it feels and smells a lot longer lasting when it used in the open damp air, as opposed to just spraying it on in the car or in a room for added freshness to your daily scent. If you don't rush Cerruti when it is applied, it will settle a lot quicker and easier allowing its fuller and rounder yield to set down.
Strength & Delivery
On my skin however, as soon as it is applied, there is an all round citrus flavour going on until it settles down into a rich mix headiness which doesn't appear as over powering.
Even at times I can detect strawberries without appearing too freshly sweet. But as soon as the aftershave rests on my skin after five minutes or so, that citrus boost has calmed down, and along with it, the sandalwood and shades of a deep earthy root starts to come through. For £9 I'd say that this is a fabulous bargain even though the general price of the same sized quantity is a lot more.
When Amber starts to dry out, there is almost a base of freshness still detectable. Having the spray version for example allows a greater mass area of mist to be applied rather than a splash on type. Whilst there are some aftershaves out there which deserve to be used traditionally as a splash on type, Cerruti 1881 Amber appeals to me more because of its spray button as opposed to the latter.
In terms of when it can be worn, there is some versatility to this product in terms of its recipe. At times it smells as if it would only be suitable for evening wear but I have felt quite confident wearing it during the day and people have picked up on the scent (if I have been sitting next to them) generally although it doesn't come across as overpowering when I walk past people or friends. It is of course a fresh scent which is wonderful on its own if you use other facial products which carry a similar bass root in scent, but contrast it with a fruity or sport shower gel and Cerruti still makes no attempt whatsoever to lie down and become submissive to other skin creams and gels. Cerruti 1881 Amber is a very positive scent and one which has already attracted a few members of the opposite sex asking me what it is!
At times the fragrance is deeply sensual and it's a scent I could get accustomed easily if it wasn't so ripe with fruit the moment the scent latches onto my skin. So for romantic occassions, I'd say that Cerruti's Amber is certainly sticking to it's title here. It works well in one to one situations although it could be a smidge stronger for that total universal appeal.
I have found that this scent doesn't have a long lasting appeal by my own nose. If for example putting some on during the morning and hoping it will last all day long, be prepared for a slight disappointment! The scent lasts for a good few hours but not enough for half of a day without adding more if you want extra power to see you through the whole day.
But! Some of my friends have told me they can still smell the aftershave at the end of the day on me when I've only applied one application at the start of the day. So although it is long lasting, I'd still say it's not particularly strong from my own experience where I can reliably smell it on myself.
Another downside is that due to popularity, there are very few selected high street stockists who now sell Cerruti 1881 Amber. A call to House of Fraser's and Debenhams this morning, reveals that the product is no longer carried by them. A pity really because they do sell a lot of rubbish from time to time and I'd have thought Cerruti 1881 Amber was classic enough.