In terms of perfume, I've always looked at the Nineties being as the era of the wimp. Fresh, weak-ass fragrances were considered hip, whereas real fragrances like Kouros and Drakkar Noir were considered passé and crude. It was an era that catered to people who don't like perfume - how else can you explain the popularity of fragrances that "smell" like water? I ignored most of the new colognes being released for men back then, including this one, Cerruti Image, which was released in 1998. I remember having a sample vial back then and not liking it at all.
As I've said before, however, my tastes have expanded since then, and sometimes it helps to be away from something for a long period of time. That certainly proved to be the case with me and this particular fragrance. Cerruti Image is soft and gentle like a lot of Nineties fragrances, but don't let that dissuade you from trying it. This is a stunning fragrance.
Basically it takes the woody/spicy style of scents like Escape For Men and New West For Him, turns the volume way down and softens everything with a masterful use of pear, plum and white musk. Unfortunately my writing can't do this fragrance justice - if I read that description, I wouldn't be compelled to try it. You're going to have to take my word for it with this one.
Cerruti Image has both warmth and a snowy white cooling effect. The overall effect is one of very light, transparent sweetness that smells totally natural, almost like a fruit tree. Underneath the pillow-like sweetness are lovely green and spicy notes like geranium, banana leaf and black pepper. Subtle aromatic woody notes like cedar, guiac wood and patchouli are off in the background, but keep the scent in masculine territory. Everything comes together perfectly, and the fragrance projects a quiet, icy coolness that's also velvety and soft. The sharp spicy, green and wood notes never scream at you, but rather glimmer in the background and provide sparkling complexity and color. This is a truly magical fragrance.
Do yourself a favor and try Cerruti Image, even if you're not a fan of light perfumes. I tend to prefer fragrances that are heavy and loud, but this is a hidden jewel that adds variety to my collection, and is one I treasure. It is a work of great beauty, and is the Nineties' crowning acheivement in men's fragrances.
MY RATING: 10/10
Fragrance House: Cerruti