New Perfume Review Gucci Flora Emerald Gardenia- Back on Track?


When I feel like a brand has taken a wrong turn, I find it difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt. After being so impressed with the fragrance side of Gucci since creative director Alessandro Michele had played a hand; the last six months gave the opposite reaction. Gucci went from a brand of new vision to a brand of cynical marketing with the 13-release The Alchemist’s Garden which I think was meant to draw you in with a pretty bottle so you’d forget the banal juice inside. Then this spring’s release of Gucci Bloom Gocce di Fiore which still ranks as one of the worst perfumes of 2019 for me. It felt like Gucci had not only made a wrong turn but driven off a cliff. You can bet there wasn’t a lot of anticipation when I received my sample of Gucci Flora Emerald Gardenia. I had every reason to expect little.

Alessandro Michele

The Gucci Flora line is the latest to have Sig. Michele re-examine it. The Gucci Flora line has been around since 2009 when the brand released a yearly version most of the time. This was emblematic of the drift at Gucci prior to Sig. Michele becoming involved. All the Gucci Flora releases were nice and safe seemingly meant to put seasonal product on the shelf. What had me excited about the tenure of Sig. Michele is he has been giving each of the older collections new life. If it hadn’t been for the last six months, I would have been very excited. Instead I worried the days of playing it nice and safe had returned.

Alberto Morillas

For Emerald Gardenia Sig. Michele continues to work exclusively with perfumer Alberto Morillas. It seems like there is good understanding between the two at what they want to achieve. The most recent Gucci Flora annual releases had been versions of Gorgeous Gardenia in 2017 and 2018. Done by the previous creative team they were not stand-outs in any way. Thankfully Emerald Gardnia does seem to signify a change for the better.

My first memory of gardenia is at my grandmother’s home in South Florida. The house was filled with bowls of water with a gardenia floating on top. Those were the Glade Plug-Ins of the day. What Emerald Gardenia does is to bring back that scent of gardenia on water.

Emerald Gardenia opens with a beautiful lemon bracketed by two other fruits; watermelon and pear. The watermelon sets up this watery undercurrent that will carry into the heart while the pear finds a crispness which explodes the lemon into a sparkling firework. This leads to the heart where gardenia is balanced with lotus and frangipani. The lotus again provides a unique wateriness while the frangipani adds fullness to the gardenia. It finishes on a woody accord of sandalwood and cedar.

Emerald Gardenia has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Emerald Gardenia is what was happening at Gucci prior to the previous six months. Smart mainstream perfume making with clever twists. I can only hope that the rest of 2019, and beyond, has more like Emerald Gardenia on the way.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Gucci.

Mark Behnke

One thought on “New Perfume Review Gucci Flora Emerald Gardenia- Back on Track?

  1. I love it, Mark! And was curious myself, to see what you thought.  Wow, I remember the clear pirex pie plates my mother would set out with 4-5 gardenias floating.  That really was an incredible smell. 

    The pear is what knocked my socks off in this one.  I've loved pear in fragrance before, but they were always fall-ish gourmands…lemon-pear-watermelon is such a divine combination in this opening, that I don't even care if I ever even get to the gardeina.  LOL!  It is truely good to be able to wear something so sweet, but NOT opressive, down here in the swamp! (aka TampaBay for anyone reading this who did not grow up in S. Florida.)  I was disheartend to read that you did not like Gocce di Fiore, to me, it was the bronze.  Acqua and Nettare, being Gold and Silver respectively…on the Anastasia Scale!  Ironicallty, Gocce shifted the original Bloom to the "sorry, you don't get a medal" ranking of 4th. As for the Alchemist's Garden, $65.00 in samples later, I have everything save for two of the "Oils"… well…"pretty bottles, pretty bottles, pretty bottles"…(nah, that still dosen't work no matter how many times you repeat that out loud.)   I can guarantee you there will be only 2 fragrances this summer for me.  Emerald Gardenia and a great little scent that comes with Physicians Formula makeup kits called "Butter in Paradise".  I've got 75mls of that one as well,  Thank You for your Awsome Review Mark!!! 

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