Parfums de Marley’s Delina and Delina Exclusif are fragrances that became as hyped up as MFK’s BK540 and the 540 extrait version. 540 is still a deep love of mine, but Delina never oozed enough charm to get me to pull out the credit card. She’s not as pricy as BK540, but she is not exactly a steal.
Delina is gorgeous, though. The fresh rose in it is simply not sappy enough for my tastes – it makes the scent a little too mainstream for me to want to fork out the big bucks. But the vanilla-laced lychee? That’s to die for.
So, you can bet that when Armaf came out with a dupe for it, called Club de Nuit White Imperiale, I raced to find it on eBay, and now I only have the empty bottle to show for it. I’ve already squeezed out all the delectable juice. Actually, this scent was released in 2022, but I only caught wind of it last spring.
My bottle has become rather decrepit in that short time, so let’s begin with the negatives of this fragrance, starting with the tangibles, like this nasty container. This bottle is part of the Club de Nuit line, which all have the same base bottle shape and pendant thingy which is glued when you get it, but quickly comes loose. My last bottle from this line was Club de Nuit Intense (for women, which is a great dupe for Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir). The bottle is annoyingly heavy, gaudy, and far from well-sealed. It leaked the whole time I used it, and even though I tried to keep it clean after random drips and spills, the juice still penetrated its casing and melted the synthetic coatings and paint on this vessel. The juice itself is also rather slippery with a high oil content, but thankfully it’s not dark in color. I usually sprayed it on my pants and the inside of my clothes, because after seeing how the liquid attacked my bottle, I did not want it anywhere near the jewelry around my neck. Putting it on my clothes and not my person helped the scent last longer, anyway. This fragrance performs very well, regardless of where you spray.
Now, the juice inside really does smell like Delina, perhaps a mix of Delina and Delina Exclusif. But, it is harsher and more cloying. You have to give it room to breathe right after spraying or you could give yourself a headache. I also found that although it is strong for the first part of its life, for me it does morph into a skin scent. That probably won’t be true for others, though… unless you too experience a modicum of anosmia when it comes to artificial musks. I find that this stuff smells best in the air, in the form of sillage when you move around.
- litchi, nutmeg, bergamot,
- Turkish rose, vanilla, musk, peony,
- cashmeran, incense, cedar
Yes, a similar vibe to that of Delina indeed, but there is no rhubarb. Funny, I would not have guessed that this lack of vegetation is the key difference, but there you are! Impériale is a strong tropical blast of flowers, vanilla, citrussy lychee, and other fruits that are as bright as a nuclear bomb. It’s got a fluffy, yet unassuming and refreshing rose with a tasty and creamy dry-down. My guess is you will earn compliments when wearing this. I did!
Now aside from the bottle and the oily texture, if you don’t like sweet, powdery, and fruity florals, you’ll probably want to pass on this fragrance. You might also find it screechy and sharp for your tastes. However, if you are a raving Delina fan, I would like to suggest you try this one out. It’s certainly gentler on your wallet.
Armaf fragrances don’t tend to disclose their perfumers; they are not the pop stars of many mainstream brands, but that doesn’t mean they are not talented. The fragrances do tend to be harsh and oily, but they are often performance queens and are more affordable than the mass-produced, poor-performing, cash-grabbing, so-called luxury fragrance house offerings, and they also offer an alternative to those who crave niche fragrances but simply can’t afford them. And let’s face it, these days, that is more and more of us!