Thursday, March 1, 2012


It was only a year or two ago that I couldn't find a bottle of Acteur anywhere online, except on eBay, where it was demanding huge prices.  Now, thankfully, Acteur is an easy find, and can be had for very reasonable prices, leading me to believe that Azzaro has reissued it.  I love it when designer houses reach into their back catalog and bring back old-school fragrances like this.

Acteur doesn’t smell too much like its brother, Azzaro Pour Homme, but the two siblings share one key quality in common: they are both “aura” fragrances.  What I mean is that the cologne, when you’re wearing it, envelops you in a cloud of scent; it is this cloud, or “aura”, which defines the fragrance, as opposed to the way it smells up close to your skin or on a strip of paper.  In other words, these are sillage fragrances, and they need to be judged as such.  Azzaro Pour Homme and Acteur are great because the aura they project is one of iron confidence, masculinity, elegance and just plain good taste, all in one.

Released in 1989, Acteur appeared on the tail end of a decade known for heavy, powerful fragrances.  Like most scents released during the Eighties, Acteur is a powerhouse, with big projection and a long hang time, but that’s where the similarities end.  Whereas most 80s powerscents contain huge, macho levels of leather, moss and patchouli, Acteur features big doses of rose, carnation and leather – basically a floral leather fragrance.

It starts off super spicy with mace (which has a scent resembling a blend of black pepper and clove) and carnation, and it ultimately gives way to a strong accord of dark rose and leather.  Unlike most fragrances that contain a lot of rose, Acteur is not an airy, transparent scent.  It is a heavy, loud fragrance, where the rose is very prominent, even aggressive, and the leather provides a strong, beefy core to the whole scent.  Though it's strong, Acteur isn't brash, unlike a lot of Eighties scents.  The prominent rose gives Acteur an air of sophistication, while the leather provides enough muscle to appeal to the open-shirted stud as well.  It's a scent that would be just as suitable for David Niven as it would Burt Reynolds, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

Fans of old-school Eighties fragrances would do well to buy a bottle of Acteur now, while the prices are still good and before Azzaro decides to discontinue it again.  I'm sure glad I have a bottle!

MY RATING:  8.5/10

Fragrance House:  Azzaro


  1. Great review Shamu - absolutely spot on. I'd never made that connection (the 'aura') with Azzaro & Acteur but you've hit the nail on the head - that is the real connection between them. I love Acteur too and am always taken aback by how great it smells each time I wear it.

  2. I agree it's a great scent, but I hardly ever wear it. It's one of those that I need to specifically be in the mood to wear. Acteur just isn't an every day wearer for me. Azzaro Pour Homme, on the other hand, is.

  3. I love Acteur. I do get this strange crayola smell from it from time to time. Does anyone else get that?

  4. I can't say I smell crayons in Acteur. However, I do think that having rose and leather as the two dominating notes, with patchouli and moss simply taking a back seat to them, is an unusual accord.