Unfinished business: First, I got equal requests for June and July for the next Swapmania, so let’s split the difference and annoy everyone equally – Wednesday, June 22 – that’s the weekend BEFORE the July 4 weekend – I’ll put the post up on Wednesday and let it run through the weekend, okay? That way everyone should have time to play.
Second, next week I’m going to do a “Regrets, I’ve Had a Few” revisit of stuff in my collection. Your assignment is to pick one or two scents you own (samples/decants are fine) that you can’t even remember what they smelled like, but you loved them at some point. Next week you’ll be telling us, how do you feel about them now? Are you glad you rediscovered this neglected gem of yours, or is it just taking up valuable shelf-space?
Okay, perfume review. It’s fun to be five years into this and still have something “new” to run across –a fragrance that has a huge perfumista fan-base. So today I’m nattering about Gucci L’Arte di Gucci. Here’s a plausible list of notes via Fragrantica: aldehydes, coriander, fruity notes, green notes, bergamot, mimosa, tuberose, orris root, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, geranium, narcissus, leather, amber, patchouli, musk, oakmoss and vetiver.
I smiled when I saw Donna’s extensive review on Perfume-Smellin’ Things last week, because I’d been playing with my sample, and I enjoyed reading about it while smelling it. (Here’s a link to Angela’s recent review on Now Smell This, and an informative review on Perfume Shrine as well.)
For a fragrance released in 1991 and allegedly discontinued some time ago, L’Arte di Gucci still turns up on the blogs periodically in rhapsodic reviews, as evidenced above. L’Arte di Gucci is a big ol’ rose chypre, with giant shoulder-pads and long red nails and heavy, Robert Palmer-video-level eyeshadow. It’s about as subtle as vintage Chloe, and it must have hit right before we went all clean with 1994’s CK One, etc., so maybe that’s why it didn’t fare too well. In fact it has more in common with the 1980s — say, Paloma Picasso (1984), another spicy-mossy-aldehydic chypre.
It’s bubbly and bergamot-y at the top, and a ribbon of green green green runs all the way through it – the crushed leaves of geranium, cut grass, muguet, with a rich, dark, leathery base (the leather-hay of narcissus and all those funky, mossy notes.) There’s also a surprising honeyed note (Donna mentions this too) that gives the fragrance a softer, more languorous feel – less shoulder-pads in the boardroom and more silk stockings in the bedroom.
Is it my style? Well, no, not really – there’s a lot of rose in there, and you wouldn’t want to break a bottle of this in your car. It is definitely the sort of fragrance that would get dissed by the words “old lady” in reviews on Sephora; also, it’s got a half-life of plutonium on my skin, and a few sprays of this causes my family to frown at me. But I’m not such a dope that I can’t recognize how incredibly beautiful it is, and, frankly, how much more interesting and full of character it is than much of the new niche stuff I smell.
My review is for the EDP, and good luck finding it; the EDT, which I have not smelled, still seems relatively easy to find online. Update: hey, look what I found. I have no idea if it works, since I didn’t try to buy it, but Overstockperfume.com lists the 30ml EDP splash for$55. Anyone who wants to compare the EDT to EDP, please feel free to do so in comments.
Sample source: private sample, atomizer