For the first time I’ll have to break the one-perfume-one-review rule, but it would have been impossible to describe Gucci Guilty Pour Homme (2011) and the PH Black version (2013) with a decent number of words, if I had done it separately.
They both put together a little bit of this and a little bit of that, creating a dark and hazy cloud of aromatic, spicy and clean notes, which never gets to get a shape. Perhaps, if you’re lucky enough, you can mistake the haziness for mystery, and prefer either perfume to Bleu de Chanel.
And yet, the worst crime of these two fragrances is not that they are commercial, nor that they are just two missed chances, but that they don’t have a clear direction. In perfumes, lack of clarity of intentions is good when it’s intentional (I’m thinking of the Un Jardin series created by Ellena for Hermes), but not good at all when it shows poor creativity and low quality. Which – I’m afraid – is the case here.
Finding a clear difference between Gucci Guilty Pour Homme and Pour Homme Black is a hard task. After a long and thoughtful sniffing, I think I can say that the original is more aromatic, whereas Black is spicier. But in the end, as the song goes, it doesn’t even matter.
More interesting than the perfumes are the commercials.
In the one for the original Pour Homme, our Gucci man rides a bike in a deserted, post-apocalyptic city under the pale-red sun of the sunset. He enters a bar and spots her. A look is enough, and the sex that takes place immediately afterwards is less than suggested.
And if Black is the sequel of Pour Homme, its ad follows (the feminine version of Guilty Black is also advertised here). Our womanizing hero is again riding his bike. Same city, just darker, this time under the rain. He’s chased and stopped by a car: it’s her again, with a more prominent black eye make-up, and more provocative dress.
She lost the look of amazement she had before. Since their first encounter, she seems to have learnt a thing or two about the world, although experience came with a territory of decadence. He doesn’t seem to be affected by any of that, while he drops his helmet and follows her in the car. Her sedulous driver (who looks a bit like Freddy Kruger but I’m sure that was not intentional) drives around and brings them back when the encounter is over.
The connection between wearing the right perfume and getting laid in no time is still alive and kicking in fragrance marketing, it just got a more sophisticated photography.