I feel like I may have been a little hasty in my judgment. Yes, the new formulation of Armani Code for Women ($45-82, Ulta) is slightly different from the original, but I think I got a little too caught up in “old Code” the first time I tried the current version, and gave up on it when it didn’t smell like my magic juice from seven years ago. I didn’t give it a fair chance, until today.
The scent opens up with bitter African orange, sweet Italian orange, and jasmine. This is the part where I was kind of iffy the first time I tried the new version, because the top notes linger on me a bit longer than they did in the original formula, and I wasn’t expecting quite as much citrus. It’s actually very pretty at this phase, just different from what I’d expected. Approaching it with the attitude of experiencing a new fragrance, rather than “but it’s just not the same,” I really enjoy the change. The heart is made up of orange blossom, jasmine sambac, and ginger, giving it a heady sweetness that is a little much for outdoor stuff during the summer, but I work indoors in the air conditioning, so it worked great for me. The very best part of Code, though, which hasn’t changed at all and is every bit as beautiful as I remembered, is the honey-vanilla-sandalwood base.
Code is a fairly close-to-the-skin scent, but the lasting power on it is pretty good. It stuck around today for about seven hours, which isn’t spectacular for an EDP, but it’s above average. I love this scent, and I shouldn’t have been so quick to write it off just because the top notes don’t give way as quickly anymore. I’m going to give it 8.5/10, and will definitely be getting a full bottle of this at some point. (Also, as a side note: if you wear fragrances marketed to men, Armani Code For Men is one of the sexiest of the bunch. Too much for the heat this time of year, but it’s FANTASTIC.)