Gucci Guilty’s New Fragrance “Elixirs” Put A Modern Spin On A Cult Classic

And not just because the campaign stars Elliot Page, A$AP Rocky, and Julia Garner.

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Picture this: The year is 2010, low-rise jeans are all the rage, and Gucci Guilty for Her just launched, immediately shooting to cult status and becoming synonymous with the style of that period. This was a pivotal time because it marked a paradoxical shift in not only fashion, but fragrances. “While clothes became arguably more brash, fragrances such as Gucci Guilty offered a deep juxtaposition to such styles, boasting a delicate, refined scent [profile],” explains professional fragrance reviewer, Olivia VanDerMillen (known as Olivia Olfactory), of the iconic perfume.

Adding to the buzz, Hollywood heartthrobs Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood appeared in the smoldering campaign, which, fittingly, debuted at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. The original scent was dreamt up by Frida Giannini, the visionary creative director at Gucci at the time, when Barbara Streisand’s hit song "Guilty" began playing on her car radio. By 2014, reigning Y2K queen, Lindsay Lohan, declared she wore Gucci Guilty in an interview for Into The Gloss. It was the ultimate praise. At the time, Lohan represented the quintessential It girl that every UGG-loving, bandage dress-wearing, club-hopping young woman aspired to be. With a provocative ad campaign, endearing back story, and the seal of approval from young Hollywood, the romantic and seductive new scent jumped to cult status quite quickly.

Over the years, the OG scent has been cemented as a mainstay in fragrance counters across the world. And now, 13 years later, Gucci has expanded the collection with two new elixirs: Gucci Guilty Elixir Pour Femme and Pour Homme.They serve as an extension of the original line, continuing the narrative of breaking boundaries and embracing self-expression,” explains Natalie Gracia-Cetto, the French perfumer who developed the new Pour Femme. In that same vein, the new Gucci Guilty campaign starring Elliot Page, A$AP Rocky, and Julia Garner is all about defying conformity and not submitting to labels or gender rules.

Courtesy of Gucci Beauty

Gucci Guilty Elixir: The Notes

When it comes to similarities, all four of the Gucci Guilty scents (including the original Gucci Guilty Pour Homme) contain the fragrance notes of orange flower and patchouli — two notes that aren’t usually paired together. “To me, the Gucci Guilty franchise is really fresh, which makes it a sensual and sexy perfume,” says Quentin Bisch, the perfumer behind the just debuted Elixir Pour Homme. While each of the new Elixirs is technically labeled by gender, (Pour Femme and Pour Homme) they’re indeed unisex and meant to be worn alone or layered together thanks to complementary ingredients, reveals Bische.

“The updated elixirs offer a more provocative, intensified version of the Guilty experience,” says Gracia-Cetto. Whereas the original Gucci Guilty For Women had notes of mandarin, pink pepper, peach, lilac, and geranium, the Pour Femme Elixir updates the original olfactory profile with amber florals, wisteria accord, and citrusy mandora. Those elements are laced with notes of tonka bean, vanilla absolute, rose, and violet accord to “offer the same powdery, floral charm with a fruity twist,” describes VanDerMillen.

With this fragrance iteration, Gracia-Cetto wanted to transport people into an opulent boudoir. “A haven of warmth and sophistication, much like the essence of Gucci Guilty Elixir itself,” she says.

On the other hand, “Gucci Guilty Pour Homme bolsters the same easy-going freshness as the feminine version,” says VanDerMillen. While, again, orange flower and patchouli are the core DNA of the Gucci Guilty line, Bisch wanted the new men’s elixir to be cozier and more vibrant. This time with an uplifting mix of refreshing Amalfi lemon, herbaceous lavender, and dry cedarwood. “We twisted the orange flower in a very warm way with notes of leather and amber, which is a very caramelized sweet resin that’s super warm and sensual,” he adds. It also evokes an alluring air, thanks to the inclusion of the powdery and smooth iris note. “A guaranteed compliment-getter,” adds VanDerMillen.

Elixir vs. EDP

Another reason the elixirs come off with more intensity is their concentration. “The difference between an eau de parfum versus an elixir refers to the concentration of perfume oil in a fragrance,” explains VanDerMillen. With eau de parfums typically being 15 to 20%, elixirs are usually at a higher concentration at 20 to 40%. “Because of the higher oil concentration, elixirs tend to be longer lasting, and often more expensive than EDPs,” she adds.

Regardless of which scent you gravitate towards, the Gucci Guilty franchise stands out for its ability to challenge traditional conventions. The entire collection flawlessly blurs the line between the masculine and feminine, precious and provocative. And after all, who doesn’t love an update on a cult classic?

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