Post by Willa Zheng
It’s no great secret that I love feminine florals and my fragrance wardrobe at home is lined with them. However, every once in a while, a fragrance comes along that is such a departure from everything you already own and thought you liked, and yet you fall in love with it regardless. A love at first sniff. That’s the case with this dearly discontinued fragrance from the House of Gucci.
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, coriander, green leaves, bergamot
Heart: Tuberose, orris root, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, narcissus
Base: Leather, amber, patchouli, musk, oakmoss, vetiver
Gucci No 3 opens aldehydic, green and citric. Then, a melange of powder (orris root), white flowers (so heavy, so many that you can’t really tell apart the tuberose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, and narcissus) and rose push through; and before you know it, you’re smelling like an expensive piece of soap, the kind you’d buy in department stores to give as gifts in yesteryear. Think vintage Arpege.
But whereas Lavin Arpege has a sweet sandalwood, ambery base thus classifying it as a floriental, there is no denying that Gucci No 3 is of the chypre family. Chypre fragrances are all about the balanced contrast between their fresh, sparkling opening notes and their bitter, dark, woody heart. Gucci No 3 is no exception.
The heart merges about thirty minutes in when the fragrance pivots. It becomes darker, more bitter, as the heavy oakmoss base pushes through. On the skin, it’s warm (amber), deep (patchouli), slightly smoky (leather), dry (vetiver) and woody.
Gucci No 3 is the smell of a modern day Marlene Dietrich. She is a woman who is sure of herself and yet is a little bit mysterious. She is sophisticated, worldly and well-groomed. Who wouldn’t mind being a woman like that?
As mentioned earlier, this fragrance has been discontinued for about 15 years and full bottles, alas, are selling for a small fortune online. My bottle is a bit flat in the drydown due to its age. Depending on the condition of your bottle, you’ll get about 6 hours of strong wear and moderate to heavy sillage from the EDT.
Gucci No 3 is truly the chypre for the woman who doesn’t normally ‘do’ chypre. It’s another reason, really, for us to toss Michael Edwards’ fragrance wheel to the wind and just smell everything.
Have you got a favourite Chypre fragrance?