Perfume Review & Musings: Gucci Eau de Parfum by Gucci



Certain perfumes call to imagination the supernatural. These slightly unsettling scents retain an original magical quality about them and subconsciously impart to us the idea that they are the direct descendants of a witche's brew, are secret elixirs whose recipes have been closely guarded for centuries in the muted darkness of a dungeon, or equally, are love potions transmitted through a line of strong females who decided in the course of time to lay at rest their warrior suits to engage instead in the war of seduction. That type of scent, of course, is first handed down from mothers to daughters during a mysterious sylvestrian puberty ritual and marks their symbolic passages into womanhood.

Gucci Eau de Parfum has the irresistible aura of deep seduction. Its color, to me, contributes to its charm. The jus is dark brown, the color of root-beer with shades of greenish black. I personally love dark brown almost black-colored perfumes like Youth-Dew oil or Royal Secret as they seem to have macerated with the most profound secret spices you could imagine. My anticipation when I see those hues is that the perfume will reveal a complex, multi-layered hidden beauty that was captured in rare concentrated form and that the power of the plants was fully harnessed.

The perfume was created in 2002 by nose Daniela Roche based on an idea by designer Tom Ford. Head notes are orris, heliotrope, orange blossom, and vanilla absolute. Heart notes are cistus, cumin, and thym. Base notes are patchouli, vanilla, and deep musk. At the time of its release, Ford declared "I wanted to create a classic fragrance that is very, very Gucci, something that is incredibly feminine and chic". The house of Gucci was confident enough to assert that Gucci Eau de Parfum "has the power to last far beyond the moment, and become a signature scent that is worn for a lifetime". To me it indeed reveals enough substance and character to be contending for a signature scent spot in any  woman's life...

The flacon is "extravagantly" heavy as put by Gucci. Its style is reminiscent of the Mod era of the 1960s-1970s. I know that the subsequent Gucci II, whose bottle is very similar except its juice is pink, was designed by three high-end glassmakers: Saint Gobain, Pochet, and Brosse. It is a beautiful flacon and it looks better in real life than on the picture.

One decorative suggestion: in case the perfume does not agree with you it will very easily be converted into a stylish paper weight and even if it does too.

Gucci Eau de Parfum has the quality of an elixir. It is an extremely seductive perfume, the more so since it is not what I would characterize as a perfume that is easy to love. It takes time to fully appreciate it but then one falls under its spell. When I first experienced it my first impression was that it was an interesting perfume and I intuited that I would love it but that it would take time to get accustomed to it. It took about 2 to 3 months of very episodic trials. Now that fall is upon us the weather calls for exactly that type of perfume and what had seemed a bit too much in the summer feels right just now. I have been reaching for it repeatedly and with great pleasure. Gucci Eau de Parfum has the typical lusciousness of luxury perfumes (in the best sense of the expression) and the character of a niche scent combined. It is potent and very womanly. It is deeply sensual.

On initial approach, a soft powdery trail of heliotrope escapes from the shut perfume bottle. As you lift the very heavy glass cap the smells becomes more medicinal. Upon spraying it, it smells rooty, herbal, and woody with a distinct reference to patchouli. It should also be noted that it then smells slightly rubbery and licoricey. The scent slowly settles into sweeter and more amberey notes all the while retaining a peculiar character. The initial relative harshness is progressively overcome by mellowness. But an uncompromising accord dominated by heliotrope, cumin, cistus, and thyme continues to offer the charm of its controlled dissonance. As the accord winds down further it takes on a fruiter character as it plays with the sweet cherry facet of heliotrope also called the cherry pie plant; but that may just be the vanilla. Here some pondering leads me to see a kinship with People of the Labyrinths but it is not meaningful at all. I am offering this more as a reference point than as a factual connection. A very dirty musk runs throughout the perfume reminding you of what it takes to be in the business of full-fledged womanhood.

I am adding a note about orange blossom as I am more sensitive to this facet today. I see how it contributes to the softening of the juice; it is a very gentle, tender, and round note that adds a delicate touch to the perfume.

Gucci Eau de Parfum is ultimately a harmonious perfume but that deeper sense of harmony and serenity and profound sensuality is reached after you have crossed a precipitous mountain to finally reach a happy valley.  The base notes are very warm and sensuous and even sweet but the strong herbal accord remains 4/5 of the time and adds a lot of character to the brew. Gucci reportedly wanted to inject an androgynous quality to the perfume by resorting to the herbal notes. The scent definitely calls to mind the idea that it could be worn by a man without trespassing too many Western olfactory conventions although its sweetness anchors it for me more in the feminine realm. If you want to think of a masculine scent that is as sweet while being classified as a masculine fragrance, I would suggest the Karl Lagerfeld reference point. The staying power is excellent; after one night the perfume is still deliciously scenting the skin, having turned into the longer dry down, here made of warm vanilla and musk. Simply irresistible. I call it a hidden gem.

You can find the perfume in discount stores, on eBay, Nordstrom, and at Neiman Marcus

Sources: Women's Wear Daily and Cosmetics International. Photo is from Neiman Marcus.

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16 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Heh -- you and I will have to agree to disagree about this one. That controlled dissonance of the cistus, thyme and heliotrope are a bar I can't quite clear... but it's an interesting fragrance, and very well done.

  2. IS a bar. My English, she is a little silly there.

  3. March,

    We can agree it's an interesting fragrance, to the point where I wondered how they let this one pass and enter the wider market. Now that I think of it, the scent makes me think of another fragrance yet, 10 Corso Como.

  4. A beautiful scent, 'twas love at first sniff for me. I'd love to smell it on my better half, but alas, she does not like it.

  5. Hi Dusan,

    It works especially well with a cooler temperature I find. It was too antithetical with summer time for me at first. Now I am able to appreciate its full beauty. It might smell even better in the winter:)

  6. It definitely smells better in winter, I agree. The scent is a beautiful amalgam of cool spices wrapped in a veil of vanilla and heliotrope, which I find truly intoxicating in a woman who passes me by in the street, leaving an almost sultry, sexy, yet elegant sillage in her wake.

  7. WOOF !
    You've got me salivating here...

    Helene, ma belle, should you decide to write highly erotic prose, I say- have at it, woman!

    MUST sniff soon...

  8. Hi Chaya, know, that's an idea.

  9. Hi Dusan,

    I note that you think Gucci edp is an "almost sultry" scent. You have to tell us what you think are truly sultry scents. I am sometimes surprised by the differences of perception between men and women.

  10. Helene, I would love to explain it to you! Sultry in perfume usually means that it makes me go weak in the knees :) Now, I said Gucci is "almost sultry" because I find it sensual rather that sexual. Sexy, yes, but not overtly so like, say, Musc Ravageur. And although I am all for gender indistinction in perfumery, I can't wear Gucci b/c I find it quintessentially feminine. Strangely enough, I (think I) can pull off MR. Another sultry scent that comes to mind is Kingdom, yet I've noticed on Basenotes that a lot of men like wearing it, which just goes to prove that perceptions even between men themselves are quite different.

  11. Well I guess "sultry" is a category that's applicable to all genders:)

    I'll have to try Kingdom. One scent that I find particularly sultry on men is Ambre Sultan.

    I am going to apply some Musc Ravageur on my hubby to see if it makes me change my perception of it from, I guess, sensual (on me) to sultry (on him);)

  12. I guess you're right! :)
    Do try Kingdom and let me know what you think. I'm also curious to hear what your hubby makes of Musc Ravageur. My girlfriend couldn't wait to scrub it off, calling it 'cat piss' :-D
    And yes, Ambre Sultan is an absolutely gorgeous fragrance with a to-die-for drydown.

  13. Well, Dusan, your girlfriend has a good nose; it does honestly smell like cat pee, at some point, but musk smells like pee in its natural state so you just have to appreciate that note, that's all:)

    I haven't been able to lasso my DH yet to apply the smelly concoction onto his skin but I will report when that happens... all that in the interest of the social sciences of course.

  14. LOL at "all that in the interest of the social sciences, of course"! Yes, I know my girlfriend has a point, it does smell animalic, but it's like you said - I can appreciate it, and love it, whereas she prefers to stick to her non-offensive perfumes. Btw, have you tried Gaultier2? I love it, but I expected musk in it to be more natural-smelling.
    Keep trying with DH, it's for a Good Cause. :)

  15. Marie-Helene, I completely agree with you on this one. Gucci is a divine scent.

    I bought it the first time at a duty free shop coming back from Ireland. Every time I wore it, I got raving reviews from everyone around me.

    And I too love dark-colored scents. They suggest something mysterious, intense, sultry, exclusive, secretive, and even a bit dangerous. Exactly what perfumes were meant to be in the first place. ;)

    Oh, and men love it. Most of the compliments I got on this were made by men.

    Yes, this one is definitely a keeper. :)

  16. Re-agree on all points. My hubby had the typical masculine reaction you describe:) It's a great one for fall too now that you have reminded me of it.


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