Gucci has become one of the most interesting brands because over the last four years the creative director of the brand Alessandro Michele has taken an active hand. This is not the normal way among designer perfumes. It is one reason the brand has drawn my undivided attention. It also does not guarantee a uniform quality. Over the past four years Sig. Michele has had hits and misses. Which makes every new release something to anticipate. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau de Parfum (EdP) is the latest.
Flora Gorgeous Gardenia EdP is the fourth flanker of 2012’s original. Most of them were before Sig. Michele’s tenure at the brand. They were typical fruity florals with nothing to recommend them. Last year Sig. Michele and original perfumer Honorine Blanc-Hattab made an attempt under the new aesthetic. It was better but was still lacking. There has been a lushness to the recent releases that I was hoping for. This year’s version gives me that.
Pear has been a part of the formula from the start. This time it is fuller. The reason is mandarin is used to complement instead of the berries used in past iterations. It makes the pear juicier. There also seems to be a change in the source of gardenia. In the new version it is creamier, but it also retains a more noticeable green along with it. The jasmine creates a floral accord which harmonizes with the pear. This forms the liveliest version of this accord of any of the family.
One of the things which intruded on previous versions was the use of brown sugar to make pseudo-gourmand base accords. It never fit in the previous ones. It remains but it is used as a hint of extra sweetness to the florals instead of a clashing candy crush.
Flora Gorgeous Gardenia EdP has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
This time it feels as if Sig. Michele and Mme Blanc-Hattab are finally on the same page. Which leads to the best of the Flora Gorgeous Gardenias.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Sephora.
One of the things which continues to surprise me is how much small changes can alter my feeling about a fragrance. Where this usually appears to me is when I get a flanker where there have small changes all of which form a more pleasing perfume. It reminds me how just the right amount of the right ingredient can change my judgement. Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle in Bloom is a flanker I like much better than the original.
Aerin Lauder has overseen the creative direction of her line since its inception in 2013. It took a few years to find a more defined aesthetic. Since 2017 Ms. Lauder has found a space in the masstige market for her particular style of floral fragrances. The original Mediterranean Honeysuckle was one of those early releases which hadn’t quite gelled into a fully realized creative direction. Its biggest flaw was an omnipresent base of ambrox and musk which obliterated the florals. The other issue I had with it was there was more gardenia than honeysuckle when the florals weren’t getting stepped on. Honorine Blanc-Hattab was the perfumer back then as well as on this flanker. All the things I didn’t care for have been changed for the better in this new composition.
Both perfumes share the identical top accord. Which works because it is a good one. The brightness of grapefruit is given a fruity green veneer through blackcurrant buds. This is the scent of a sunny day in the Mediterranean. The floral heart is dominated by honeysuckle this time around. Mme Blanc-Hattab uses complementary amounts of tuberose and gardenia to add depth and definition. With the top accord it feels like a trellis covered with the floral vines in the sunlight. This is all because the honeysuckle doesn’t push back as forcefully as the gardenia did in the original. I braced myself for another ambrox onslaught because it was listed as an ingredient. I got something way more interesting. One of the transparent jasmine synthetics is paired with honey. It is a subtly animalic contrast to the florals while this jasmine creates an expansiveness. The ambrox is in a much lesser amount and adds in its dry woody effect pleasurably.
Mediterranean Honeysuckle in Bloom has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is another example of the current style continuing at Aerin. It is one I hope has an appreciative audience at this point because I think they’ve worked to refine it to this. Once again, I find small moves can have big impacts on what I enjoy.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Sephora.