• Dan Naughton

Masculinity Reclaimed - Gucci Guilty Absolute

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

Some of the best fragrances I've discovered over the years have provoked an initial reaction of "I'm not sure I like this at all" when I first sniffed them. Gucci Guilty Absolute is one such scent. Released in 2017 and created by perfumer Alberto Morillas, Guilty Absolute is an Eau de Parfum which pays homage to the masculine powerhouse scents of the late 20th Century without being hackneyed or dated in any way.

Morillas has an enviable list of great releases to his name. From the aquatic crispness of Armani's Acqua di Gio (1996) and Versace's Pour Homme (2008) to the gourmand sweetness of Givenchy's Pi (1998), Morillas has delivered numerous winning scents for the big designer names.

With the fragrance in question today he has produced something decidedly more daring and assertive in its scent profile than the aforementioned compliment getters and exposed the average casual customer to an aroma more challenging than anything they may expect from a modern designer release.

The notes are as follows:

Top Note: Leather

Middle Notes: Patchouli, Cypress

Base Notes: Woody Notes, Vetiver

Guilty Absolute opens with a harsh, almost medicinal, phenolic blast that has been compared by some to the scent of a Band Aid or TCP antiseptic liquid. Once things calm down we are left with a combination of leather, patchouli and vetiver that is spicy, smoky and woody all at once. This one is rather linear and the smell that emerges after a few minutes is largely what you get for the duration of your wearing of Guilty Absolute. Fans of Terre d’Hermes will find a good deal of similarity and those who lament the discontinuation of Gucci Pour Homme some years ago may feel that we now have a viable heir to that early 2000s creation. Without dropping too many names it might also be appropriate to say that Dior’s Fahrenheit is another masculine classic that may have influenced Morillas in this work.

Guilty Absolute eschews the modern embrace of ambroxan heavy fresh out of the shower scents such as Bleu de Chanel and Dior Sauvage and thumbs its nose at the bubble gum laden juvenility of Paco Rabanne’s One Million. Here we have a smell that evokes nostalgia whilst remaining modern and somewhat unique.

Performance is very good indeed with noticeable but not obnoxious sillage and admirable tenacity. Moderation should be used in application for daytime settings whilst a less cautious approach will give one an added level of masculine presence at any night time event.

For fans of leathery woody fragrances and for those who had given up on modern designer masculines in favour of the world of niche perfumery, Gucci Guilty Absolute is well worth trying. You might not love it at first sniff but if you give it a chance you may, like me, be won over by its considerable charm and uniqueness.

The fragrance is available in sizes of 50 ml, 90 ml and 150 ml.

I bought mine for £35.00 at Superdrug in the UK.

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