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For the new Gucci Guilty Absolute fragrance, the nose Alberto Morillas expands on the #GuiltyNotGuilty narrative with an entirely new molecule
Is that anything to feel guilty about? Maybe. But that was then. And now there’s a new fragrance in the #GuiltyNotGuilty narrative that leaves no question about it: Gucci Guilty Absolute.
When a brand creates an iconic scent, it always appears hard to top one version and make another. But, that’s the beauty of the Guilty concept; its alchemy is boundless, and each new variety is an elixir of grace, style and elegance. Absolute is no exception.
“Guilty Absolute is a very sophisticated and sexy scent, an emotion that spreads when it is worn,” master perfumer Alberto Morillas tells Debonair during a visit to Dubai. “I wanted to create the emotion of Gucci and of Alessandro Michele, the inspiration for this fragrance.”
Absolute does not follow the usual composition of top, heart and base notes. Rather, it is a linear scent with a singular structure that allows the ingredients to synthesise seamlessly as one. In a nod to Gucci’s fine leather roots, Morillas crafted the woodleather note, featuring an isolated molecule of the high-end oud oil, derived from agarwood. This pure particle has led to the creation of a smoky, earthy and modern essence, extremely powerful and elegant in contrast to marketplace leathery notes.
“When you smell the fragrance, you can smell the leather but there is also the emotion of the oud,” explains Morillas, one of the most famous noses of our time.
“Alessandro’s vision was for the fragrance to have the spirit of Gucci and the history of the brand from where it all started: one of leather, wood and patchouli. Alessandro lives in the emotion of this fragrance. When creating the perfume, he spoke of his mother, father and brother and told me lots of stories of how they influenced his love of perfumes from a very young age.”
The other major ingredient is goldenwood, a natural extract from the Nootka Cypress, one of the finest timber trees in the world. This new ingredient is exclusive to Guilty Absolute, and its unique ultra-dry woody note resonates with smoothness, depth and complexity. In combination with traditional woody notes, a contemporary interpretation of the element is created, one that’s incredibly masculine in a modern way.
“The perfume reminds one of warm Oriental oud but it’s not sweet, like vanilla. It is very Arabian. When you smell it, you immediately think of Arabia.
“I didn’t add any flower scents, but I added elements to make it fresh, like a new molecule called paradisole, which smells like petals. It’s great on the skin and you would never believe that the perfume is just a mix of three different elements.”
“Making a particular module that nobody can duplicate and one that is new is very important when creating a perfume,” says Morillas.
Then there’s a third class of ingredients — patchouli and vetiver. The patchouli plant’s essence was distilled to create three types of oils, each of which lends a very different character to the fragrance: sweetness, darkness and earthiness. This, in combination with clearwood, allows for clean, woody notes with warmth and radiance, and imbues the fragrance with a certain sensuality. Vetiver adds to the green headiness subtly ingrained in the final product, which builds a bridge, so to speak, between the woody and the leathery elements that are Absolute’s pillars.
“The molecule we created for Guilty is very different, a wood-leather blend that nobody can buy anywhere else.
“There are so many perfumes that come into the market every year, so when launching a new fragrance, you need to be different and memorable.
“We created a nice mix of 30 different fragrances, which, in the end, were quite simple mixes. The most important part of Absolute is the substance and the quality of the emotion we were creating.”
The fragrance is cognac coloured, and its bottle reinforces that idea of sophisticated masculinity. The scent appears to envelop the wearer over time, and the structure of the perfume remains unchanged on skin.
Guilty has always been of the long-lasting variety, but with Absolute, this phenomenon is enhanced even more. Ultimately, Gucci Guilty Absolute is a statement in liberation — from the body, the mind and society. It’ll appeal to the man who finds comfort and strength in his own brand of sexuality, which the perfume exalts to a place of elegance and warmth.
“I feel very happy when people understand a fragrance like I do and experience the same feeling wearing it as I had when I created it,” says Morillas. “Both men and women love the perfume because of its mystery.”
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