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Feeling Guilty? Gucci certainly hopes so


Academy Award winning actor Jared Leto oozes sensual sophistication staring out from the new Gucci Guilty Absolute campaign. The poster boy for Gucci’s Alessandro Michele era, Leto represents the modern masculinity and emancipated sexuality that designer Michele is channelling so successfully for the Italian super brand.

The fashion house has a long and happy relationship with sexiness (see the Tom Ford era for starters) and this latest development from the Guilty fragrance line plays with the idea of how we define guilt in today’s liberated world.

And so to the fragrance itself. Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele and Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas collaborated together on a reinvention of a traditional woody eau de parfum for men. There is a wonderful story behind one of the key notes of the fragrance which delivers both a touch of romance and an antidote to the image of big name fragrances being conjured up by technicians in beauty labs.

Perfumer Alberto Morillas discovered goldenwood, a rare type of a common perfumery note, under an old bell jar in the Royal Botanical Gardens. Goldenwood is described as a “new natural extract” of the Nootka Cypress and forms the heart of the fragrance together with wood leather accord. Combined with the earthiness of three types of patchouli and the freshness of vetiver, Gucci Guilty Absolute is a deep and complex take on ultra-dry woody notes.

The juice, bottle and box of the fragrance channel the textures and colours of cigars and Cognac in a nod to traditional masculine rituals.

Gucci fashion is the other star of the campaign. Signature details of the work of Alessandro Michele including a piped edged jacket, a shirt with a folded neck-tie and fingers full of decorative rings remind us that Gucci is currently gilded by the other type of gilt: that of a brand enjoying a golden renaissance.

Clare Austin
written by: Clare Austin
With a background in fashion and beauty journalism for magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar Clare is a beauty enthusiast whose pulse quickens whenever a new product hits the shelves.