This week I visited a Gucci store with a friend. They had a small display of the brand’s latest perfume, the unisex Gucci Museo Forever Now, a fragrance that was authored by a Florentine perfumer I interviewed in 2011, Lorenzo Villoresi. Naturally I was eager to sample the collaboration as I am a fan of Villoresi’s work and this was the first time I had seen the artisan perfumer commissioned by a large commercial brand like Gucci. My friend asked me when was the last time I purchased a Gucci fragrance for myself. I thought for a moment and replied, “actually, I haven’t bought anything since Tom Ford left the brand.” Although I admire the work of Gucci’s current creative director, Frida Giannini, Tom Ford brought a magical sense of freethinking to Gucci. At a time when most brands were following the pendulum away from the rich, ultra masculine style that had dominated men’s perfumery in the 1970s and ‘80s, Ford reinforced the necessity of this style with the fragrances he was directing. The result was ahead of its time and a substantial risk when a majority of other brands were mimicking Giorgio Armani’s highly successful Acqua di Gio. Tom Ford’s first men’s fragrance for Gucci was Envy for Men. This overtly confident fragrance defined the masculine image that Ford had directed Gucci towards. The Gucci man was quintessentially Italian; meticulously groomed, confident and sexual. Rush for Men came next. It was a milky sandalwood fragrance laced with dry spices. Rush for Men was modern and unusual; like Envy for Men there was less reliance on an association with nature. In this respect, both fragrances were abstract. Of Ford’s masculine trio, Gucci Pour Homme stands out as being the closest to nature. The ingredients perfumer, Michel Almairac used in his composition gave it a sense of nostalgia, where as Envy felt contemporary and Rush, futuristic.
Gucci Pour Homme opens with notes of citrus rind, effervescent ginger and pink pepper. There is humidity to this spicy beginning that works marvellously well, balancing out what is to become a dry fragrance once the heavier notes fully develop. The heart is a powdery iris paired with papyrus wood. I assume a healthy dosage of Iso E Super is present, allowing the fragrance to have wings with what would otherwise be some very heavy cargo. Leather, amber, frankincense and vetiver are at the base of Gucci Pour Homme. One of Tom Ford’s signatures has always been sex appeal yet there is a priestly aspect to this burning wood. Although traces of animalic notes may have been used to construct the leather accord, Gucci Pour Homme does not have the same animalic growl as M7, a fragrance Ford designed for Yves Saint Laurent a year earlier. After Gucci Pour Homme has settled, the wearer is left with a dry amber sillage giving off smoke signals of frankincense. It wouldn’t be Tom Ford without some sex appeal so I imagine this being worn by a part-time Catholic, who leaves Sunday Mass early to hang out in the Piazza looking for company. Ciao bella!
Gucci Pour Homme is looking great considering it is 10 years old. Gucci have gradually discontinued most of the fragrances from its Tom Ford era so finding a bottle is becoming a challenge. Men who enjoy spices and wood will generally be affectionate towards Gucci Pour Homme. It is a sociable scent that carries an aura of confidence. I see it working well in social settings such as bars, parties and events. It is a good choice for the late 20s and above, single man. Like most Tom Ford fragrances, his present range included, an overdose of Gucci Pour Homme will gain you more enemies than followers, so the less is more rule should apply.
Pure Distance M, Miller Harris La Fumee, Hermes Bel Ami, Guerlain Habit Rouge Extrait, Tom Ford for Men, Comme des Garcons 2 Man, Juicy Couture Dirty English
Perfumer: Michel Almairac (Robertet)
Bottle Designer: Doug Lloyd (Lloyd & Co) Tom Ford
Release Date: 2003
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Woody Oriental