Armani Code Bottle On Sky BackgroundArmani Code is one of the fashion industry’s most iconic contemporary perfumes for men. First released as Black Code in 2004, Armani Code was renamed just a year later in 2005.

In the following article, you will read Bespoke Unit’s review of Armani Code. Using the Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula, we will analyse its composition, maturation, seasonality and when to wear the fragrance.


  • Brand: Giorgio Armani
  • Fragrance: Armani Code
  • Concentration: Eau de Toilette
  • Introduction: 2004
  • Olfactive Fragrance Family: Spicy Oriental Amber

Armani Code was developed by Antoine Lie, Antoine Maisondieu and Clement Gavarry. In 2006, Armani Code was awarded the Fragrance Of The Year Men’s Luxe FiFi Award.

Since then, Code has become something of a staple in many men’s collections. Recent years have seen releases of women’s and signature versions of Armani Code.

Download the Armani Code Fragrance Formula as a PDF

fragrance formula armani code edt review

Learn More About The Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula (BUFF)

Armani Code’s Composition

Armani Code Bottle In Front Of Cigar HumidorArmani Code consists of a number of oriental and spicy notes as well as woods and a citrus head. Therefore, the accords formed sit the fragrance squarely in the Oriental’s Spicy Amber subfamily.

Head Notes

  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Black Pepper

Firstly, Armani Code opens with a deep citrus burst consisting of sweet bergamot and tangy lemon. Unlike many citrus top notes, Code’s is remarkably oily, heady and more mellow than fresh. Mild notes of pepper create substance and add depth to the fragrance’s head.

Heart Notes

  • Star Anise
  • Olive Blossom
  • Vanilla

As the pepper notes subside, Armani Code reveals gourmand and spicy notes. Olive blossom ensures a tangy floral balance, which prevents the heart from becoming too bitter. Meanwhile, the star anise creates a spicy freshness whilst the creamy vanilla adds a tasty finish.

Base Notes

  • Tonka Bean
  • Guaiacwood
  • Labdanum
  • Amber

Powdery notes guaiacwood and amber notes first emerge, creating a tantalising tobacco accord. Their earthly honey notes are complemented by a deep leather accord, which is the result of labdanum and tonka bean notes. The leather accord is not overly dry but vivid and immersive.

The overall musky base has a plethora of sweet and bitter notes, which entice the senses and draw out exotic and vintage imagery.

Armani Code’s Life-Cycle

Armani Code Bottle & Package On DeskOverall, Code features an intriguing dry-down. Notes slideshow in a structured fashion yet overlap with some interaction.

For instance, several notes persist after their peers such as the oily citrus head, which endures until the base.

In a similar fashion, the heart’s gourmand vanilla notes can still be detected well into the base. However, they begin to cook away as the leather and tobacco accords sufficiently establish themselves.

The resulting interplay between notes from different phases creates a dynamic life-cycle. Nevertheless, it still remains anchored in conventional fragrance structure.

Wake & Strength Of Armani Code

However, the overall experience is slightly briefer than you may hope. For a high-end fragrance, the longevity is somewhat lacklustre. Similarly, the sillage and projection is weaker than some contemporaries.

Consequently, Armani Code requires several applications to ensure a long-lasting fragrance throughout the day. That said, being an ideal winter evening fragrance, not all is lost.

Colder temperatures mean that although the fragrance is weaker, it’ll last longer. In addition, evening wear tends to be a shorter time period rather than the daytime.

When Should You Wear Armani Code?

Feedback towards Armani Code is generally very positive. Although some may feel that it’s too synthetic, they appear to be in an overwhelming minority. Furthermore, it seems to be particularly appreciated by women in most age ranges. On the other hand, men who enjoy wearing Armani Code tend to be on the younger side.

Therefore, this fragrance is undoubtedly best suited for younger men in their twenties. However, it can easily be worn by young adults in their teens or older men in their thirties. Young men can benefit from its mysterious and mature bouquet whilst giving off energy and panache.

With regards to Armani Code’s seasonality, the combination of oriental and gourmand notes ensure that this is an ideal winter fragrance. Its effectiveness begins during the late autumn and is a perfect companion throughout the Christmas and new year period.

Taking into account the fact that it is particularly ideal during cold months, the leather and tobacco accords are perfect for the evening. Indeed, the shorter lifespan makes it a great choice as it will last just long enough.

Armani Code Bottle On Old Desk With Humidor

Taking all of the above into account, Armani Code is an excellent choice for dating. Younger men can easily wear Armani Code for a date on a cold winter evening. It’s easy to imagine this fragrance in a candlelit setting and strolling hand-in-hand down incandescent streets at night.

In addition, by the time a date draws to a close, you’ll hopefully be getting more intimate. The short lifespan can be used to your advantage in that it won’t bear an overpowering presence at this point.

Finally, Armani Code is surprisingly only moderately masculine. However, it is by no means faint. Its presence its decisive yet not overly macho.

Presentation and Value For Money

Armani Code Bottle & Box OutsideOverall, Armani Code is delivered in an eye-catching a stylish bottle. Its shape is said to be inspired by the satin lapels of an Armani tuxedo and the curved body fits comfortably in your hand. The atomiser performs well at most distances, providing a thick cloud of essence, which doesn’t squirt but isn’t too misty.

The packaging is a long, understated black box with a modest serif typeface in the centre. Its presentation is stylish yet avoids being garish by any means.

Finally, the value for money is somewhat in the middle of the road. Armani Code is still quite costly after nearly 13 years of circulation. Given its shorter lifespan, you may end up using large quantities for it to perform as well as its peers at the same price point.

A $106 RRP for 125 ml (4.2 Oz) can be quite off-putting. However, you can actually find it for $85 on Therefore, you’ll find it among our best men’s fragrances under $100.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re a younger man looking for the perfect date fragrance, Armani Code is a serious option that’s worth your consideration. The mellow citrus head followed by a gourmand heart is tantalising to say the least. The resulting base of Guaiacwood and Labdanum create an seductive experience of leather and tobacco, which melts hearts and builds confidence.

Recent formulations of Armani Code may be on the milder and creamier side compared to the original. However, it’s still a strong contender for one of the best winter fragrances available.

Finally, you can watch our video review to learn more about Armani Code:

Armani Code
Reviewed by Charles-Philippe Bowles, on .
"A deeply seductive date fragrance. Armani Code is a moderately masculine yet enticing fragrance with notes of citrus, leather and tobacco ideal for those cold winter romantic encounters."
Rating: 4.0 ★★★★

About the Author:

Charles-Philippe is a Franco-Briton who, in forgetting where he parked his time machine, settled down somewhere between Paris and Champagne during the early 21st Century. A cheese, wine, spirits and cigar enthusiast with a penchant for all things vintage, you can find him loitering on Instagram when he isn’t writing for Bespoke Unit.


  1. Dan Tucker July 3, 2018 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Excellent report. No histrionics. Very helpful.


    • Charles-Philippe July 4, 2018 at 3:15 am - Reply

      Hi Dan,

      Great to see you on the site after all your great comments on our YouTube channel!

      Thanks for the kind words and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future!



  2. Joshua September 22, 2018 at 12:58 am - Reply

    I’ve just recently started to become an enthusiast of acquiring different scents for different seasons and occasions. Being a 37 year old man, I would like to become more knowledgeable of this fascinating science. I bought a bottle just this evening based on your review, despite not quite being a young man. Can you recommend any resources that would help me gain a better understanding? I loved the article and your writing style. Thank you.

  3. Bartek April 20, 2019 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Absolutely fantastic review, love the fragrance formula! Very compelling. I feel like for the first time I’ve listened to somebody who knows what he’s talking about. Thanks a ton!

    • Charles-Philippe April 22, 2019 at 2:48 am - Reply

      Hi Bartek,

      Thanks for the kind and encouraging comments! It’s great to get feedback like this every now and then as it encourages us to keep at it! We worked hard on the formula to develop a way to easily understand a fragrance so I’m delighted to hear that it works for you.

      All the best,


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