To encapsulate the Gucci Flora print in a bottle, five scents are concocted to represent the five blooms therein. Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan ventures into the Flora Garden
THERE are two things that are distinctively Gucci. First, the use of bamboo as its handbag handles. This started in 1947 through a technique of heating and molding the otherwise stiff plant.
Second is the Flora, the legendary Gucci scarf with a jovial, bright and uplifting print that was designed by illustrator Vittorio Accornero for Princess Grace of Monaco in the 1960s.
Frida Giannini, the Italian house’s creative director, is obviously enchanted with the print. Upon her appointment to replace Tom Ford, Giannini, in 2005, unleashed a cacophony of floral prints — in bags, shoes, sandals, wallets — that
had Gucci fans, who was so used to Ford’s minimalism that characterised the house in the 1990s, in a shock.
That Giannini still retails her position is a testament that the lady knows what she is doing.
So it comes as no surprise that this year, the house released the fragrance version of the Flora print, called The Flora Garden in several scents. Perhaps it is hard to encapsulate an iconic design in just one bottle.
The collection includes five flowers outlined on the legendary scarf — Glorious Mandarin, Gracious Tuberose, Gorgeous Gardenia, Glamorous Magnolia and Generous Violet.
“It’s a sort of bouquet of scents,” Giannini told WWD.
“Gorgeous Gardenia because I wanted to underline the gorgeously feminine side of this fragrance. Glorious Mandarin because there’s a sort of euphoria in mandarin, since it’s such a sparkly fruit.”
I tried the Glorious Mandarin to find that euphoria Giannini spoke about, but somehow it eluded my nose.
The statement that the print made in the 1960s and the first part of last decade seems lost in the visual to olfactory translation.
There is not enough punch and zest in the bottle. Don’t get me wrong. It smells all right. No one will hate it. And therein lies the problem. It smells too nice and too lame for any woman to have a strong opinion, for or against it.
To me, nothing stands out. It is light and citrusy without a depth to give it character.
If it aims to sell, I think it can. But if it aims to be in the annals of fragrance history, like what the scarf is to 20th Century fashion, I think the concoction seriously lacks vibrance, colours and a brave attitude — which the print has a lot of.
Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin EDT starts from RM213 for 30ml. The 200ml shower gel is priced at RM155.