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A lesson in magic and alchemy with Gucci’s new fragrance collection


TextTish Weinstock

Enter The Alchemist’s Garden

Following on from Gucci Bloom, the first fragrance created for the house under Alessandro Michele’s tenure, Gucci’s latest offering is a spectacular range of seven eaux de parfum, four scented oils, and three perfumed waters, all created in collaboration with legendary nose Alberto Morillas. Drawing on the magic of alchemy and harking back to old Italian apothecaries and traditional perfume making methods, each fragrance is based around a central aroma -  Oud, Amber, Violet, Iris, Mimosa, Rose and Woods. Coming in their own glass bottle with a signature botanical design based on antique perfume bottles sourced by Michele, the perfumes are designed to be mixed and worn together. Irrespective of gender or sexuality, each fragrance is based around a feeling, a memory or an emotion.

“It’s medicine for the soul,” says Morillas, “if you’re feeling a bit down, change your smell. Each oil or floral water of the collection can be layered with each eau de parfum. Just play with the scent to find your favourite, as an alchemist would work to find the gold formula.”

“Perfume in an alchemical way can through a scent bring you back to a different place, through a sense so strong and so important for every human being,” adds Michele. This is particularly poignant in the case of The Last Summer’s Day, a fragrance built around the aroma of Woods, which for Michele recalls the feeling on walking through a forest with his father, the smell of trees of leaves drying out, of chestnut and the strength of nature. Then there’s The Virgin Violet, a violet based fragrance that is reminiscent of childhood innocence, of sweets, and a sense of romantic nostalgia. It also recalls the traditional violet-scented water that men would use after shaving. Or A Song For a Rose, which comes in an exquisite blue bottle that’s based on a bottle he found in his mother’s vanity cupboard, that used to contain dried rose petals.

But while each fragrance is rooted in the past and entrenched in Michele’s personal memories, the smells are incredibly fresh and modern. Yes, Tears of Iris: of is based around that all too familiar smell of iris, but Morillas’s interpretation of it is not necessarily something you would have smelt before. And of course, by combining the different fragrances you are essentially creating your own personalised smell, one that you can adapt to suit your mood or environment, which is where collection’s real magic lies.

The Alchemist’s Garden is available at Selfridges.

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