There has been a revival at the house of Gucci. For the first time in a long time (since Tom Ford was at the helm, in fact) the olfactory style of the house is in tune its visual aesthetic. Of course, the fashion has evolved tremendously since then and the bohemian, vintage chic that Creative Director Alesandro Michele has brought to the house has made Gucci THE fashion brand everybody wants. Michele clearly gets perfume, having worked with Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas to create intriguing, on-brand creations such as Gucci Bloom, Gucci Guilty Absolute and now, Memoire d’une Odeur, completely overhauling the way Gucci presents perfume. I for one, am here for it.
Memoire d’une Odeur explores the intrinsic link between memory and scent. For Michele, the scent memory he wished to recreate was that of Roman Chamomile, which takes centre stage in what Gucci are positioning as a “mineral aromatic”. This fragrance, they say, is universal – it’s for everyone regardless of gender or age – and that, my friends, is exactly how every fragrance should be. Memoire d’une Odeur is an unusual, unfamiliar fragrance that conjurs a specific memory for Michele and creates a new one for those who experience it.
Top: Roman Chamomile
Heart: Indian Coral Jasmine Nature Print® and Musks
Base: Vanilla, Sandalwood and Cedarwood
How Does it Smell?
Memoire d’une Odeur may not be a loud fragrance but it certainly makes an impression. At first, it smells green and bitter, with the distinct scent of Roman Chamomile that is the core pillar of Memoire. There are many offshoots at this stage – something cold and flinty, a touch of stem-like greenery, and a white floral effect that reads to me as being in the direction of muguet, but not a snapshot of lily-of-the-valley. Things do definitely become more floral in the heart thanks to a chilly jasmine accord (a headspace recreation of Indian coral jasmine) that is awash with greenery and icy, glassy petals. It’s compelling.
I’d say that Memoire d’une Odeur is fairly linear. It does not, like many fragrances, shed the skin of its top notes to reveal a striking new olfactory pattern underneath, instead it simply strips away some of its adornments to reveal a skeleton of smooth woods and musk. The mineral accord sits at the very heart of this, running through the fragrance like a vein and connecting the green, airy, bitterness of the Roman chamomile with the pale musk-woods in the base. Like a memory that appears so vivid, Memoire d’une Odeur fades out slowly into a distant shadow of itself.
I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since something novel and so new has found its way into the mainstream and for that reason Memoire d’une Odeur is an exciting fragrance. It’s also a divisive one too (as are all the best fragrances) – everyone I’ve shown it to has either loved it and found it compelling or they’ve hated it. For me, this is the fragrance’s strength – it is distinct and unique, and offers something entirely new. Memoire d’une Odeur caught my attention immediately but more importantly, it has kept it and if I don’t drain my bottle by the end of the summer (it wears wonderfully in the heat – it’s fresh, cold, slightly bitter and crystalline) I’ll be very surprised.
Memoire d’une Odeur is available in 60ml (£66) and 100ml (£92) Eau de Parfum
Images are my own. Product shown was purchased by me.