When Alessandro Michele joined Gucci as creative director, the beauty industry was delighted to learn that he was a fragrance aficionado as well as a fashion innovator. Duly he introduced new fragrance Bloom in 2017, and for 2019 follows it up with a 14-strong fine fragrance collection created in partnership with perfumer Alberto Morillas, The Alchemists Garden.
The apothecary-style collection features seven perfumes, three scented waters and four perfumed oils, each with a different Gucci animal personality. All are designed to be layered to create bespoke scents, with 48 different combinations possible.
“Gucci The Alchemists Garden is about raw materials and each of the stories magnifies a hero ingredient. Oud, amber, violet, iris, mimosa, rose and woods,” says Morillas. “Each fragrance is linked to a memory – a walk in the forest, a tour in the center of Rome when the mimosa are in bloom, the purity of the rose just before its harvest in the field… Just play with the scent to find your favourite, as an alchemist would work to find the gold formula.”
The packaging, of course, is pure Instagram heaven, inspired by the Italian farmacia and adorned with tiny flowers, animal illustrations and gold detailing. The campaign, including a short film, is shot by Colin Dodgson. Perfumes bear evocative names such as Tears Of Iris, The Last Day Of Summer and The Voice Of The Snake, whilst the scented waters, acque profumate, are based upon cypress, lavender and woods. The precious oils, which are applied with a glass pipette-style applicator, range from the ultra-feminine The Violet Kiss to the oud-based A Nocturnal Reverie. A candle, The Virgin Violet, is housed in a porcelain jar decorated with pure gold and is exclusive to Harrods.
“When I started working with Alberto, our reference points were the archaeology of scents and perfumes. We began with the violet and from essences that came from the world of flowers, because the smell of a flower, the smell of something that belongs to nature, evokes something very powerful, which belongs to something that lies far away in our memories,” Michele said of the line. “We imagined returning home from the summer. What is the smell when it starts raining in the city? It was fun to work like old perfumery experts, with scents and essences like alchemy.”
Gucci The Alchemists Garden will be available at Harrods. Eau De Parfum, £240 each. Acque Profumate, £180 each. Oil, £295 each.