Armand Basi: A Family Standard
The company named Armand Basi actually started with his mother’s Barcelona store, established in the 1940s. Her specialty was knitwear, made from the best Scottish yarn. Her success allowed her to pass the store along to her sons, Armand and Josep, in 1958. It was Armand who decided to eventually open his own boutiques, and from that a new label was truly born.
From Small Shop to Major Brand
The Basi family got Armand off to a good start. In the early 1940’s, his mother, Mercedes Basi, opened a shop to make her original knitwear in Barcelona, using the best quality Scottish yarn she could get. Clothing buyers from the best stores in Barcelona would come to get the Basi fashions.
In the late 1950s, Mercedes Basi was ready to pass the business along to her two sons, Josep and Armand. The young men took the store a bit further, and opened a factory to create the knitwear garments that had made their family so successful. In the decades to come, Armand would take the name even further, until his name was a national brand.
In 1986, he first presented a collection of ladies’ wear that was a lot more than just knit. From the success of that, he went on to create men’s fashions, accessories, handbags, shoes, eyewear, watches, and much more. Armand Basi became a hit with young professionals, the perfect way to show a little style in a modern way, while living an urban life.
A part of that style extends to fragrance. Armand Basi wanted to create fragrances for both men and women that would encapsulate just what the brand stood for. As with the lines of clothing and accessories, the perfumes and colognes produced under this brand were perfect for the young professional on his or her way up in the world.
Fragrances for Him and for Her
The signature fragrances for Armand Basi could be considered a pair, though one came out in 1999 and the other in 2000. This original pair was called simply Armand Basi Homme and Armand Basi Femme.
Armand Basi Homme is a warm scent, touched with wood and spice. It carries notes of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, incense, and lavender, for a certain spicy exotic composition. There a certain refreshing aspect when it is first sensed, leading into the comforting warm and woody center. It is undeniably masculine, especially in light of the shape of the bottle – a hard plastic block, similar to a stone.
In contrast, there is Armand Basi Femme, which is much more peaceful and gentle. This perfume for daily wear is a little fruity and a little floral, with a touch of woody scents. Plum, white musk, violet leaves, rose, pink pepper, peony, black current, and other ingredients blend to make this perfume a beautiful experience. It clings close to the skin, giving it a certain delightful subtlety.
Another paired set of fragrances from Armand Basi is Armand Basi in Blue and Armand Basi in Red. The male fragrance, Blue, is intense and vibrant. The female fragrance, Red, has a woody, floral, and natural scent.
In Blue is blue in color and one can immediately sense its fresh spiciness. There is just a touch of sourness in its opening notes of coriander, bergamot, grapefruit, and mandarin, and it quickly deepens into neroli, lotus, and a definite dash of strong pepper, muted only slightly be black currant. At the base, however, it has the woody, mossy notes that are often found in men’s perfumes, making it traditional and unconventional all at once.
In Red is for the confident woman in today’s world, both passionate and strong, tender yet powerful. Even the bottle’s floral shape is made bolder with its red color, stressing the gentle power of the scent within. It opens with bergamot, ginger, mandarin, and cinnamon, moving into lily, rose, violet leaves, and jasmine at its heart. Musk and tones of wood comprise the base of this unique experience.
Armand Basi Today
The fashions and fragrances of the Armand Basi label still remain in the family today, now under Juste de Nin, who is related to the Basi family, as well as descended from the famed writer Anais Nin. Style matched with the highest quality still remains a hallmark of the brand, and it still focuses on the active, modern urban man or woman who knows how to express him or herself with style, while retaining an individual identity.