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!
As far as mainstream lines go, Prada is one of the very best. Everything about the many fragrances in their collection, which stretches from the likes of Candy, Les Infusions de Prada, L’Homme Prada and La Femme Prada, and Luna Rossa, feels finely curated and created in their inimitable house-style. Where many brands would take a cynical approach to masculine perfumery, Prada seeks to incorporate quality and a distinct signature to create fragrances that stand out from the crowd, but not so much that they don’t appeal to the average consumer. The result is something like Luna Rossa, which is a minty fresh blend of lavender, musk and spices inspired by the brand’s professional sailing boat. It’s an accessible fragrance made with a high degree of excellency.
With their latest launch in the Luna Rossa franchise, Prada seem to be innovating. For Luna Rossa Carbon they are exploring the clash of natural materials and synthetics to represent the olfactory idea of carbon. They call it “a set of intriguing, engineered-contradictions” and describe it as an “iconoclastic fougère”. Well, them some pretty big words you got there, Prada – let’s hope that this fragrance lives up to the hype. What I will say, before we get to the sniff test, is that it’s always refreshing for a mainstream brand to talk about the use of synthetics so openly. In an age where ‘natural’ is valued more and more, it’s encouraging to know that the technology and innovation of the industry can be promoted in such an open manner. Anyway, let’s sniff.
We don’t know each other that well, you and I, but I wish to make amends. Hopefully by the end of this letter we will become better acquainted.
I know this may come out of the blue to you, Bleu, but I am an insufferable snob. I guess I just don’t want to smell like all the other guys, because I’m not like all of the other guys, which has left you in a position of being overlooked, unfairly.
You tell men that they should ‘be extraordinary’, but on the surface I felt that there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about you, in fact ‘ordinary’ would have summed up my feelings about you. I don’t mean to be harsh or cutting, you understand, but my apology would not be meaningful if I didn’t explain, in full, how we got here.
I like to think that I’m not an insufferable perfume snob, but on occasion I do have to check myself and ensure that I’m not biased by brand names, or that I don’t turn my nose up at something just because it’s not the sort of thing I would usually wear. So I’m an occasional snob, which is OK, I guess! The latest from Joop! was one such moment where I had to remind myself that a scent should not be judged by its name and I’m glad that I gave it chance because it’s actually rather decent!
Wow! was created by perfumer Christophe Raynaud (Guerlain My Insolence and Penhaligon’s The Coveted Duchess Rose) and is described by Joop! as being a “fresh woody addiction” of a scent that plays “with excesses and overdoses”. It’s a fragrance that speaks of confidence but does so with depth and complexity – it’s not just a scent of brovadao and no substance, Wow! actually delivers an interesting and masculine fragrant experience that is incredibly modern, not to mention utterly enjoyable.
John Varvatos has followed a singular approach to his perfume line. All of the fragrances are housed within a signature bottle, available in many shapes and colours, and with numerous embellishments, and every single one of his scents has been composed by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. This makes for a collection that feels coherent, despite visiting many olfactory styles along the way, and it proves that in perfumery, true partnership is the key to creating scented magic.
The latest launch in John Varvatos’ fragrance collection is Dark Rebel Rider, a flanker to last year’s Dark Rebel. The fragrance is billed as “provocative” and Flores-Roux even calls its Russian leather note as “ultra-sexy”, which isn’t far off in my book. Dark Rebel Rider feels like the quintessential John Varvatos fragrance because it has the attitude of a rock star, the attention to detail of a studded leather jacket and a level of cool that is as in-tune with the Varvatos fashion brand as is possible.