Gucci’s Envy for Woman (1997)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

Some time ago I mentioned the difficulty of getting a new bottle of Gucci Envy for Men. However, I have never felt the pressure of getting a bottle of Gucci Envy for Women because I can see them in every discounted perfume shop in Toronto. (Not in great abundance, but at least one or two bottles.) But, all discontinued perfumes will someday get sold out, I think it’s better be safe than sorry, so I bought a bottle a few days ago.

While appreciating Envy for Woman for the first time, I suddenly realized that I had smelled it before, at least a few times. I don’t remember when, who wore it, or the location, but the smell was so distinct and pretty that I somehow recognized it. It is like watching Disney’s Dumbo when I was a kid, I don’t remember a thing about it now, but I knew I had watched it in a cinema.

I would compare Envy for Women to Prescriptives’ Calyx (both are 5-star perfumes in Luca Turin’s book); they share similar structure – fruity tops, rosy/lily-of-the-valley middle notes, but Envy is lighter, fresher, more distinct, and has a surprisingly strong longevity.

I wonder why there are more bottles of Envy for Women than for Men. May be it was so good and had sold so well that Gucci had over-produced Envy for Women. Or may be men tend to buy the same perfume when a bottle is finished and hence the remaining stock gets depleted faster? Either way, I am glad that I have all the Envy – and can see how brilliant the two minimalistic bottle designs can suggest the envy of men and women.

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Gucci’s Gucci Pour Homme (2003)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

[This post was originally posted on Facebook Fragrance Friends group and got me in hot water. In the post I wrote, “The things that he designs and his style, is so manly that makes me wonder why he is gay.” which is in very poor taste. I am a gay man, and I thought it was a casual tongue-in-cheek joke, but in fact, very politically incorrect. My apology.]

As someone who is overweight for decades, I cherish finding a clothing brand that has sizes that fit me. I never pay attention to designer clothing; their awesomeness stops at size L. May be that’s the reason I never realized how legendary Tom Ford was until I’ve started paying attention to perfumes. When I looked up information on Gucci Pour Homme, the perfume that made me stop looking for another incense perfume, I discovered that it was created when Tom Ford was the creative director of Gucci. Look at that bottle – it’s still marvellous to hold and look at. The things that he designs and his style, is so manly that makes me wonder why he is gay. Luca Turin says that after Tom Ford has left Gucci, Gucci perfume bottles all return to their kitschy looking belt and buckle design.

Gucci’s Envy for Men (1998)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

This is my second bottle of Gucci Envy for Men. The first bottle, only half-used, is now probably buried in some landfill, glass-broken and heart-broken. Yes, I threw it away a few years ago because I hadn’t used it for more than 10 years, and as I was preparing to move to a new home, I thought I could “de-clutter” my life.

Since I have caught the perfume bug, I wanted it back badly. I feel very puzzled by myself – from throwing away perfumes to collecting perfumes that would take me ten lifetimes to finish. It’s like a kid who hates ketchup and as he grows older suddenly he wants ketchup on everything.

Out of all the five or fewer perfumes that I threw away, I only missed Envy for Men. (Clinque Happy for Men, I am glad that you are gone.) Although I still don’t think I am the right man to wear this perfume, the ginger/spice/floral/leather combo is boozy and unforgettable. Now I have this perfume back, somehow I miss my old self.