Gucci Guilty Absolute
November 16, 2017
What can you find in a bottle:
- On a blotter it opens with a civet-like note which is almost shocking. Something rather to expect within a niche range of perfumes than in a mainstream scent. Camels, horses and cowsheds may come into the mind, though oud is not mentioned here. But on the skin it becomes less zoo-like and brings warm and sensual depth into the fragrance.
- An intimate close to skin scent what you might smell under a worn out leather jacket on a bare male skin. The jacket seems to keep the history of its wearer. Just a few nuances like mineral notes of oil and gasoline or residues of modern fougère perfumes and woody scents ingrained into leather.
- A very comforting warm and dry woody base.
- A slightly metallic aromatic vibe recognizable from many modern masculine fougère fragrances.
Fragrant notes: Woodleather®, Goldenwood®, Nootka cypress, Patchouli, Vetiver
Perfumer: Alberto Morillas
Creative Director: Alessandro Michele
Year of creation: 2017
Face of the advertising campaign: Jared Leto (photographer – Glen Luchford).
Alberto Mirullas on his creation: “Absolute speaks to a new generation of men, his wants, needs, passions and his modernity.”
Woodleather® is a new Firmenich captive with an oud scent profile. Also used in “Original Oud” by Mizensir, the fragrance project by Alberto Morillas.
Goldenwood® is another Firmenich captive. As long as it’s under patent protection (as well as Woodleather®), not much information will be revealed.
Nootka cypress (also known as Alaskan Cedarwood) is a conifer growing in the Northwest Rainforest area. Firmenich describes the smell of Cedarwood Alaska essential oil as “sparkling with a fresh and breezy grapefruit crisp due to its Nootkatene and Nootkatone content (grapefruit odorants)”and “less camhoraceous and smoky, but stronger, longer lasting and more linear than the regular Cedarwood oil”. Also used in Penhaligon’s Blasted Heath Бертрана and Mizensir Perfect Oud (Parfumo.net gives the following list of fragrances using this note – https://www.parfumo.net/Fragrance_Note/Nootka_cypress).
The smell of snowdrops and early spring
March 6, 2015
Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès
Eau de Gentiane Blanche caught my attention when I was looking for an early spring cologne. Something cool and fresh, but without obvious summer infused citrus notes. Something within white and bluish grey color spectrum rather than yellow and juicy green. An alternative for Grey Flannel. According to some Fragrantica users the smell of Eau de Gentiane Blanche is similar to Grey Flannel, so I decided to give it a try.
Name: Eau de Gentiane Blanche
Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
Year of creation: 2009
Pyramid according to Osmoz:
Top notes: Fresh Notes, Green Notes
Heart notes: Oliban, Gentian
Base notes: Iris, Oakmoss, White Musk, Woody Notes
Classification according to Osmoz: Woody – floral musk
Classifications according to Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards: Woods (Boisé), Crisp (Pétillant) subgroup, Green (Vert)
Verdict by Luca Turin: 2 of 5 stars called “orange blossom” (by Tania Sanchez)
Although I wouldn’t say that Eau de Gentiane Blanche do smell like Grey Flannel, I have to admit, that both fragrances share the similar character and are the good choice for the early spring season. The time of snowdrops blossoming above the snow covered ground. When the thin rays of low staying sun are not yet bring enough warmth, but can still leave long blue shadows on the snow.
In Eau de Gentiane Blanche the citrus character of fresh top notes is ingeniously hidden and transformed into the peppery green freshness of the first grasses and leaves combined with the tonifying bitterness of white gentian blossoms. The main theme is extended by floral white musk with light woody accents. Fortunately this musk is much more pleasing to my nose than the one used in Grey Flannel.
Being honest, I don’t know what white gentian smells like. And whether it smells at all. But I have to say that Jean-Claude Ellena is succeeded to convince me, so I can easily associate this perfume with white gentian blossoms. But if he told me it was a smell of snowdrops, I’d believe him as well – same bitter freshness I’d expect from those gentle little flowers. In fact I prefer to associate the smell of Eau de Gentiane Blanche with a something familiar like snowdrops than something distant and unknown like Alpine gentian.
The fragrance is linear and doesn’t change with time. The sillage is restricted to the intimate zone and sometimes I can only smell it directly from the skin. But it stays the whole day and on my clothes even longer. A soft sillage in combination with musky freshness makes it quite suitable for in the office. And to me personally Eau de Gentiane Blanche keeps to be the early spring cologne. Its bitterness reminds me of the bitter character of capricious spring weather and its musky floral tones make me think of the first snowdrops.
The season of green florals with Grey Flannel
January 27, 2015
Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene or Spring is in the Air
It’s always the same around this time of the year. The winter feels like it has been gone (even there is a big chance it comes back with snow and frost) and my inner calendar starts to notice the first signs of spring (even the smallest ones). Fortunately it’s easy to find something blossoming any time of the year in Amsterdam. Like different sorts of Viburnum shrubs reminding me of the first blossoming fruit trees. Or the yellow flowers of winter jasmine. And once it’s really cold and rainy outside, there is always place for hyacinths and tulips inside the house. The pungent smell of hyacinths that combines the cool green freshness with white floral elements fits perfectly this season.
At the first glance there seem to be not much hyacinth soliflores. Michael Edward’s guide mentions only Jardin Clos by Diptyque. But the cool green note of hyacinth can be found in many fragrant families – green, green chypre, fresh florals, white florals, fresh woody, etc. Like today I am wearing Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene where I defenitely sense hyacinth impression while is not even mentioned in the pyramid.
Name: Grey Flannel
Brand: Geoffrey Beene
Perfumer: André Fromentin (quite an unknown name for a perfumista)
Year of creation: 1975/76 (re-orchestration in 1996 is mentioned)
Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide:
Top notes: Green
Main: Green note
Supported by: Galbanum, Lemon, Petitgrain, Bergamot
Heart notes: Green
Supported by: Rose, Clary Sage, Fern, Geranium
Base notes: Powdery
Supported by: Cedarwood, Moss, Tonka
Other notes mentioned in different pyramids: green lemon, orange, neroli, labdanum, violet leaves, mimosa, orris, cinnamon, amber, vetiver, oakmoss, sandalwood.
Classification according to H&R Genealogy: Chypre, green
Classification according to SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B6m, Floral (Fleuri) group, Woody (Boisé) subgroup, masculine
Classifications according to Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards: Woods (Boisé), Fresh (Frais) subgroup
Verdict by Luca Turin: 5 stars of 5 called “sweet green“
Grey Flannel seems to be a controversial fragrance getting a lot “love it or hate it” response. People call it either a “timeless masterpiece” or “synthetic crap”. Even Luca Turin who gives it 5 stars calls it a “masterpiece”, but at the same time mentions that the fragrance “occasionally feel a little crude”. Sounds like a perfume with a daring character. But there is one more thing i discovered reading the reviews from the experienced perfumista. I understand the scent is affected by reformulations. The version of 80’s seems to be richer and more refined than the current one. Well, both facts can explain the ambivalent feelings about Grey Flannel.
When I put Grey Flannel on, I get the same controversial feelings. I do love the start and I almost hate the base. Love the citrus freshness of the scent made almost non-recognizable behind the green fumes of galbanum and violet leaves. That pungent cool green freshness reminding me of a hyacinth flower. Cold and clean like the snow, but with a floral touch of fragile early blossoms. I smell the slightly bitter sweetness of violet leaves rubbed between the fingers. And that dusty powdery mossy base that gives the scratchy feeling reminding me the sense of raw woolen clothe on the skin. The general mood of Grey Flannel translated into colors feels like muted whitish, greenish and bluish tints turned out just to be the shades of grey.
The base tells me the different story. There seems to be a mixture of musk molecules that I can’t stand. I found them in the base of many other perfumes. And I hear more complains about the certain musk molecules from other perfumista. A lot of people are anosmic to one or several musk molecules and can’t smell them. Others seem to experience some musks as being quite unpleasant. Altogether it makes perfumes to be a lottery. A lot of them are very pleasing at the start, but you never know what is hidden in the end.
There are several possibilities to deal with the unpleasant bases. First it’s good to try different launches. Perfumes are undergoing slight reformulations quite often and there is a chance you find a version that is free from unpleasant side effects. Another possibility is to spray more every hour or two to refresh the top and keep down the base notes. At the end of the day you will probably need a shower, but you can enjoy the favorite parts of the scent the whole day. There is a chance you get used to the unpleasant notes and stop noticing them. And the last remedy is to find an alternative that has a similar smell or character, but is free from the side effects. And Fragrantica gives me some hints about Grey Flannel look alike perfumes: Eau de Narcisse Bleu by Hermes, Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermes, Green by Byredo, Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford and Background by Jil Sanders. Well, sounds like an exciting adventure of discovering the new fragrances!