I mentioned I was awaiting some samples from this Gucci line and they arrived. I had thought I’d wait with them till after the first dental appointment, but no. Too impatient, and usually I’m good at being patient.
These are eaux de parfum within Gucci’s haute perfumery segment. The line has a fair number of fragrances, they come in (mostly) beautiful horticultural-ish/ apothecary bottles (I am less partial to the red and white and other colours vs the black and green ones). Currently, it looks like there are 15 edp in the line plus a few perfumed oils and some acqua profumata which appear to be eau de toilette.
Alberto Morillas is the nose – apparently on everything. The man gets serious kudos for high quality consistency. And being ‘haute’ these are not cheap. Because I ended up on the US website first I’ll quote in dollars (and you get the idea).
I got three samples from Surrender to Chance and they popped through my mail slot mid last week. I love watching the shipping progression provided, especially how many different places in the US Midwest the parcel stopped at.
Anyway, perfume. The website provides short ‘idea’ list of notes and Fragrantica just offers those as well. So, much of this is conjecture. Oh, and I love the names. Like someone in marketing has a bit of imagination for once.
The first out of the little box was Tears of Iris (2019, white bottle, $380 for 100ml). Iris, sandalwood, angelica seeds and musks. Sadly, white bottle with gold. As above, not my fave look from the line. Iris doesn’t tend to work well on me (low body temp seems to make the rooty aspect even colder and more carroty) – the only iris I own is a quarter of an inch left in my LE Tauer Orris. So, where to start? This is gorgeous. An iris I can wear. It starts out like candied something. Maybe that sounds weird – and lord knows what other notes are in this vs the scanty list – but seriously candied something. Caramelly without being at all sickly. That doesn’t last that long in the foreground, giving on to a rooty aspect modified by some of the nicest high end soap I’ve ever smelled. The drydown is gently musky and powdery with a slightly rooty undercurrent, and under all that is a tiny bit of that caramel. Sadly, this is not long-lived on me. A couple of hours max for the main show. But, I can still smell a whisper of it after five hours.
Next up was A Gloaming Night (2021, red bottle, also $380). Cinnamon, vetiver, patchouli. The top of this is, as far as I’m concerned, the best part. Thought was clearly put into its composition … but this is really not my kettle of fish. The opening is loamy and bitter – interesting and a bit unsettling. Dirt, spice, something weirdly unexpected – grassy, green, minty, menthol-ish – which comes and goes but never comes to the fore. As it moves along, we’re into the vetiver but this with that undercurrent of mint-ness. Then, the mint recedes and we’re talking a sort of pine-y aspect which is not really pleasant. I’ve never thought that much about vetiver in perfumery but I’m now thinking it really isn’t my note. As noted in the iris entry above, I have a low-ish body temp and I think that nixes some notes ever really working well. I guess vetiver is one of them. And mint in perfume … seems to require careful handling. Has better lasting power than Tears of Iris but I guess given the type of fragrance that’s unsurprising. In any case, this isn’t for me. There doesn’t feel like there’s an anchor to the fragrance, with the vetiver-mint thing too cold to offer a proper drydown and on me no real hint of the patchouli, which might otherwise give the perfume a proper finish.
Finally, The Voice of the Snake (2019, black bottle, ditto on price). Oud, patchouli, saffron. This was the one to hook me on a blotter. Just freakin’ gorgeous. Rough, dark, weird. I had such high hopes. Like, maybe I’d found something that grabbed me in the same way Dark Lord does. Alas, no. Maybe because my skin doesn’t love patchouli like it did years ago? In any case, when I first spray it on I get a waft of band-aid (plasters) which is utterly gorgeous. But … it doesn’t smell like that on me. Instead – and I’m deeply grumpy about this – the opening is sour wood, with that slightly weird green/mint undercurrent I got with the Gloaming above. Both the sour and the green/mint mostly lift as this warms up – and I do get a little bit of band-aid, but it’s not like that first airy waft. And then, it just gets soft – soft wood, soft spice, soft, soft, soft. It’s really nice. It’s not what I expected and not what the paper promised. Oh, well.
So, where does that leave things? The bottle design is very nice. Some of the colours are good. I wasn’t expecting the iris to be the winner of the samples but it is. However, it’s not enough of a winner to explore further. I’ll happily use my sample rather than look for a decant.
I find the whole idea of these haute lines interesting. The noses get to explore more and perfume lovers get some truly beautiful/interesting/unusual fragrances. But these are all so pricey.
So, where did this lead? It reminded me I really do need to smell some more of the Cartier Heures, given I’ve only done a few, and given I like Love Don’t Be Shy and love Dark Lord, I need to explore the Kilians more.
And, finally, as ever, I really really wish more houses offered travel sizes, which might make even ‘haute’ lines a bit more accessible.
Pic is Pexels