In a break from tradition, I’m going to start this review by revealing my thoughts on the scent in question right at the very start, instead of making you wait until the end. So without further ado I must inform you that Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme is absolutely terrific and you need to drag your butts to the nearest department store to sniff it pronto. It is just the type of masculine fragrance the mainstream needs and with so much dreck out there, it really stands out. So yes, Gucci Guilty Absolute is superb and you owe it to yourself to give it a go.
Gucci Guilty Absolute was created by Perfumer Alberto Morillas (CK One, Mugler Cologne and the Mizensir collection ) in conjunction with Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele. It was created to have a special structure that does not change with develop and instead stays the same throughout. So is what you sniff what you get with Gucci Guilty Absolute or is it something else altogether? Whatever it is, it’s bloody fantastic and the mainstream masculine arena will have a tough job knocking this one from the top spot this year. Bring it on!
Woodleather™, Golden Wood™, Trio of Patchouli Oils and Vetiver.
How Does it Smell?
Gucci Guilty Absolute opens peaty and punchy with a phenolic cloud of sexiness. At first the smell is somewhere between hospital corridor and peated whisky. That may sound like a bit of a horrendous conception, after all ‘drunken NHS realness’ isn’t at the top of everyone’s olfactory adventure list (unsurprisingly I’m down), but it actually works and it’s this almost antiseptic smokiness that gives Gucci Guilty Absolute such a bold character – a character that is incredibly pleasing to wear, if not a unique one.
Leather plays a massive role in building the signature of Gucci Guilty Absolute but not in the way that one would expect. Leather is a tricky accord that can easily dominate a fragrance with too much heft (sometimes it feels fatty) or by being too dry. The leather at the core of this fragrance feels perfectly balanced with a lovely transparent feel that lends the depth of leather without the weight. Usually leather accords are built using materials such as birch tar and quinoline, and in Gucci Guilty Absolute the birch tar is used with a generous hand creating the creosote vibe that is so ingrained in the DNA of the fragrance. It’s masterfully done.
The fragrance is fairly linear, which is fine by me because; a) that was Gucci’s intention; and b) it smells so good there’s little need for shape shifting. That said, the dry down reveals more of a vetiver characteristic – one that is salty and smoky, intensifying the chemical vibe of the phenolic pyrotechnics in addition to projecting an element of warm greenery, giving relief from the harshness. As it dries down Gucci Guilty Absolute doesn’t change, instead it just clarifies, becoming more and more transparent until all that is left is a shadow of peat smoke.
Honestly, I’m surprised as anyone that Gucci have launched something so awesome, let alone under the Gucci Guilty franchise. I’ve had to check the bottle three times to make sure that it is actually says Gucci and yes it does. My eyes do not deceive me. They have launched what essentially seems to be a brilliant niche-style fragrance for men. Gucci! Now, I don’t say this to be a shady lady, it’s just that of late, Gucci haven’t been known to push the envelope when it comes to scent – at least not since Tom Ford was at the helm that is. Now their under new creative direction and with the fragrance license now sitting with COTY it seems that the brand really wants to get serious about scent again. If Gucci Guilty Absolute is anything to go by, we’re in for some exciting things in the future. I for one, cannot wait.
And yes, it really is Gucci…
Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme is available in 50ml (£54), 90ml (£70) and 150ml (£85) Eau de Parfum.
Sample notes and quotes via Gucci. Images are my own.