The angry woman fragrance to rule them all. Discontinued masterpiece. Sell some plasma, buy a bottle, take it to a bespoke perfumer, make them copy it for you, strike fear in the hearts of men, reign supreme. I rue the day Gucci discontinued this.
Envy is a sour green floral made of three simple parts : a bitter brown base, a green accord and a sour floral.
The floral is a magnolia bouquet, made sour by sharp lilac, fugitive hyacinth and fake citrus. There's also cold iris and a green accord based on the shiny smell of muguet leaf.
But Envy is not just sour and green, it must be one of the driest florals on record. It uses a bitter black note found in the magnolia petal - which adds a gritty edge in the same way as the indole in jasmin - and this is worked into a kind of burnt-sugary mossy base which is anything but sweet. In fact, what sweetness there is, is only there to stop the tamarisk note from getting out of hand, nothing more.
Even though it's bold and striking, Envy is not as original as it may seem. It's like a green l'Eau d'Issey on a base of scorched earth - which clearly derives from Sinan.
On the other hand, what is different about Envy is it doesn't even try to smell nice. By flouting the old idea that 'a perfume should always smell good' Envy places itself firmly in the difficult, or expressionist camp along with some of the Roudnitska's, Sécrétions, Poison etc.
And of course it was a big commercial success, which just goes to show that a safe perfume isn't always the most lucrative one. Back in 1997, it seems the public had an unhealthy appetite for the mean and nasty as well as pink fluff and candyfloss, and we can see the same thing happening today with the spiky woods. The spirit may not be there but the orientation is the same, just the materials have changed - for the worse.
Aggressive and mean smelling, Envy was a success because of its faults - rather than despite them - and it's these qualities that make it so distinctive and memorable.
I was given a big bottle of this for Christmas several years ago, and initially I really liked it, but after a while, for some reason, it started to irritate me. So I shoved it to the back of my perfume collection and haven't touched it for a couple of years. I hauled it out yesterday and dusted it off. It's still pretty, but it's very white-flowery on me I don't get any pineapple or rose or sandalwood or pretty much any of the other notes. And I think I've figured out why it irritated me a) the white flowers take over after half an hour or so, b) it barely lasted four hours and c) what was left took on a rather sharp, almost-but-not-quite sour green edge. I'm going to try layering it with something else to see what happens, as the first half hour of this is rather lovely. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd be happy to try them.
This sweet, soft green floral is from 1997 but if you changed the '97 to '79, it would totally make sense. This throwback to the 70s, that Tom Ford does so well, should be evident from the first glimpse of his spare, chrome-capped bottle. The big floral notes--Hyacinth and Muguet--could easily take the bit between their teeth and make a run for it, but in Roucel's hands they are so well blended and harmonious that they are real team players. Does it smell a bit like expensive shampoo? Absolutely. Imagine a woman who has just stepped out of the shower at a first class hotel, say, the George V. In 1979. She wraps herself in a luxurious white robe while she ponders what to wear that night (does she wear the Castelbajac or the Sonia Rykiel? Her Maud Frizon snakeskin sandals or the gold leather Charles Jourdan pumps?). Before the makeup, before she lights her first cigarette of the evening, before she pours herself a Dubonnet and before she douses herself with Calandre, she smells like this--fresh, floral, clean.....
I like Envy. I like it because it is unambitious yet different from the modern climes. It is an almost entirely floral composition, in a throwback way which somehow casts an unassailable aura around the wearer, like a vampiric woman whose creation and heart are rooted in the 40's, and who walks the Earth unchanged, unmoved. I also like that it is like an echo, growing smaller and more distant, as hour by hour the bittersweet petals are stripped away, layer after layer, until all that is left is a cool and pleasant iris, like the core of an old Guerlain.
I Was Absolutely Delighted with the ENVY For Men Because It was a Great Classic with a Distinctive Scent However Female Version is not as Great as Male Version for me But I Love Everything that comes out of GUCCI So This one is Not Exception Too. Floral, Urban,Refreshing,Interesting,Graceful, Modern,Subtle and Elegant.
It is a Nice Soft Fragrance with a touch Young.The Top notes Encompass a Fruity Melody of Pineapple,Peach and Bergamot as I found it quite Green and Inspiring.The Floral Aspects of ENVY are a whispered compliment to the Elegant Femininity.The base notes is Soft and Clean.
ENVY is for a Tender and Refined Femininity.The bottle is not very Artistic Like many other perfumes by GUCCI.It is Nice for SPRINGTIME and for a Modern Character.Great for EVERYDAY Use and In my opinion It is Romance Enough to Wear INTIMATE Occasion.
This is a nice sweet green floral that to my nose combines an apple note with a muguet note, though oddly apple is not listed as an ingredient.
Barbara Herman finds this a tart green rose with a powdery anise dry down. My nose does not relate to any of those impressions. On me it is a pleasant green fruity floral, no better or worse than any of the dozens of other perfumes I have experienced in that category. It is definitely a young smell - I can see it working perfectly on a young, vibrant woman in her twenties.
Herman also comes up with lots more notes than on this Basenotes page: galbanum, coriander, anise, celery, violet leaf, rose, cumin.
Turin describes it simply as a "green floral" but gives it 5 stars. A bit overboard in my estimation.
Ultimately, a nice fruity floral, tart and joyful - the scent arising from an apple or pear one has just crunched into.
Envy is a massive sweet green floral scent with abundant sillage and powerful projection. It's quick to fill a room, but the essential bitterness of its green notes keeps it from becoming crude or cloying. In other words, it's a fine example of Maurice Roucel in his expansive mood the same one in which he composed Insolence and Musc Ravageur.
Envy's floral notes include bold jasmine and orange blossom which bear a hefty load of fleshy indoles. These give Envy a decadent, lascivious undertone that balances out it's clean, green attributes. The tension between Envy's green and animalic faces makes wearing it an enthralling experience. I find myself waiting expectantly for one of the two sides to take over and throw the balance, but the suspense does not subside until the entire composition retreats into its relatively simple, pastel green, coumarin-tinged drydown. An altogether pleasant scent, and one I'm comfortable wearing (in small doses) as a man.
Probably the greatest green floral ever made, except for maybe Chamade by Guerlain. This one isn't harsh at all, and it's not too powdery or heavy on galbanum like many of its ilk. It's simply a smooth, grassy-green lily fragrance that pumps out decent enough longevity and still smells pretty natural. While Envy is a pretty "safe" fragrance, it doesn't really need to be obtrusive or make a huge statement. It takes some talent to be able to create a green floral so pleasant yet natural and soft-spoken. If you can find it, then get it, at least for reference. Even if you're a dude.
Henry Matisse used to say: "Don't try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out".
Envy is a simple masterpiece. It opens with a sour, sort of unripe, pear/apple accord that is quickly joined by bitter green notes, jasmine and other florals. For a few moments it immediately reminded me of Chanel No.19 but where the Chanel strikes as incredibly serious, the Gucci introduces a light-hearted vibe that gives this composition more versatility. At the same time Roucel is is able to avoid the youthful allure of many compositions of the same genre by balancing the overall freshness with an indolic element that adds a solid consitency to the whole composition.
Overall Envy is potent, long lasting and distinctive...Just perfect. Does great also on a man.
Serge Lutens saw fit to flatter Gucci's Envy with his L'Eau Serge Lutens (2010), yet despite this and what appears to be widespread veneration, Maurice Roucel's commission for Gucci feels to me like a cheapened synthetic variant of the terrific green floral austerity of Chanel's No.19 (1971).
Envy's dominant notes of magnolia, jasmine, orange blossom, and Cox apple, smell like they were sourced from an Excel spreadsheet rather than from a garden, more artificial than truly abstract, and the total effect is that of hair styling mousse.
But it is also of its time and probably a fair snapshot of mainstream perfumery in the 1990s, acquired and exhibited in shopping malls, our new cathedrals, with fragrances just like Gucci's Envy standing in as their incense.
I don't usually like fresh, green scents, however in this situation I really enjoyed wearing Envy.
Upon first application, Envy is very green and quite refreshing. The fruits balance themselves out nicely along with the magnolia and freesia. Thankfully pineapple is a subtle note here, because with most perfumes pineapple likes to rear its ugly head and cause me to dislike a scent.
As the fragrance settles on the skin it becomes increasingly grassy, but not sharp like Chanel No.19. Envy is tame and polite, it doesn't like to make a loud, obtrusive statement.
Envy feels very modern for its time. Its slight metallic-like quality captivates me. Although Envy is something that I probably wouldn't wear, I am very intrigued by it. Envy fascinated me from the very beginning to the very end.
The lasting strength is average, if not a little better than average. Like I mentioned before this isn't a particularly strong scent, so I'd say it is fairly intimate. A green floral that I do surprisingly recommend.
I tested this the other day and didn't expect to lie it at all. I've never been a huge fan of Gucci fragrances, and I've never been a huge fan of floral greens in general. They almost always smell unpleasant to me.
That being said, I LOVE IT! The opening was as green as it could be without burning my nose hairs, and I actually liked it. I don't know what makes this one different, but it made me feel very confident...bold...in a no-nonsense kind of way. It was sharp and bitter but incredibly sexy and feminine at the same time.
The floral dry-down was very pleasant as well and it lasted all day on me. I see this as being a great summer fragrance to add to my collection!
This is another one of those fragrances that seems to be different every time I wear it. Is it the weather or just the mood I'm in? I can't say. I don't think this will ever be my No.1 can't-live-without-it fragrance but I like it a lot and was delighted to pick up a bottle at TK Max.
It starts off fresh and light, then after a few moments a deeper powdery note comes through and the two seem to oscillate - some days the freshness and fruit seem to predominate, sometimes the powdery note. I don't know whether this is a typical Gucci fragrance, it's the only Gucci I've got so I've got nothing to compare it to, but for me it makes that 'fresh out of the shower' feeling last all day.
It's a fresh daytime scent, unlikely to offend anyone sitting near you at the theatre or dining at the next table. For evening I prefer something a bit richer and more feminine but I'm very happy with my bargain buy for daytime wear and (if I come across another cheap, whether at TK Max or on the Net) I may indulge myself again.
What a beautiful floral! It is green and translucent. It emphasizes white florals but is balanced by iris. It reminds me of Ivoire but it does not turn soapy or powdery or sour. Envy somehow walks the fine line between old fashioned and modern. She manages to walk that line with unusual grace & charm. The pure parfum is soft & beautiful. The edt is bright & cheerful. My only regret is the modest longevity for the edt. The edp is STRONG with incredible longevity. Gucci no longer carries Envy on their website, so get it while you can.
Very, very nice–Envy is an excellent green / fresh fragrance. The fruits of the opening are kept at a tasteful minimum, signifying that this will not be one of the many sweet fruity floral fragrances that can be found almost everywhere. This fragrance takes its own path. The florals, too, are restrained and subtle, and they, along with the iris from the base form a wonderfully neutral accord that I don't know how to describe. It reminds me of the papyrus notes of some fragrances–or a premium bond paper or perhaps a dryer sheet that's very high-end, if you can imagine such a thing. This deluxe neutral note serves as a platform for displaying the richness and depth of the muted fruit in the top and the discreet woods and musk in the base. This carries the inventive transparent floral accord of L'Eau d'Issey one step further by further neutralizing individual notes in order to gain these beautifully compelling translucent combination accords. The whole neutral floral / paper thing is very successfully accomplished in Envy, because it results in a progression that is both elegant and casual at the same time. Sophistication and ease in one and the same traditionally structured progression. Possible synthetics aside, I believe Envy was ground breaking when it was introduced, and it has remained a wonderful and special feminine fragrance.
Originally submitted 24 May 2007
Why is this called Envy? Should it inspire envy? Symbolize envy? Should I value envy? Sounds much more like a Calvin Klein fragrance wanna-be name, but I bought it, so who's to say the marketing didn't work? No. 19 is a sharp green floral, PR Metal is a flinty green floral, Alliage is a cool green floral. Envy is a sour green floral. Bitter works wonderfully in perfume, hence all the great leathers and chypres. Sour is another story entirely. Sour, as in acidic, can add balance to food, but doesn't really have a comparable place in fragrance. It's sort of like coffee in that respect. Bitter coffee is an ideal, sour coffee is a shame.
But the sourness here adds a bit of fruit that ties together the green and white florals and makes the whole thing soapy, if a bit cold. I wear it occasionally, and, interestingly, this is one of the few fragrances that people smell on me (a man) and comment positively on. I think sour reads to some people as a sibling tone to the popular fresh and sport.
I come back to this one occasionally, but I've never really grown fond of it. It is an insecticide-like floral, with references to floral notes but not the feel of bloom to it. I think it is the soapiness that makes me not write it off, but I can't say it is an enjoyable fragrance.
I can never decide about Envy. It is seductive. Something you want to resist but can't. It seems like a sophisticated worldly scent to me. It seems like something I can't get my head around. I don't know if I like it but I think I love it. Like some guy you use for sex but on the other hand like some guy you want to always be there and you can't resist even though you know he's bad.
I was put off Envy for a long time because I saw it as heavily commercial and ubiquitous... as others have written it was the sickeningly distinctive smell of glossy department stores in my late teens and early 20s. But I had always been surprised by how much I liked it - and when a friend offered me some half-used bottles ("cats' piss" she declared) I was keen. It's gorgeous... Cristalle overlaid with some ripe fruit (melon? apples?) and underlaid with sweet woods and musk. I've pondered the name - I think it works with the obvious association with green, but doesn't conjure the fragrance's warmer, sunnier, fat character. (The chiselled models faking the throes of passion in the ads don't really fit the smell either.) It also reminds me of another fruity chypre - Parfum de Nicolai's Vie de Chateau - which combines ripe fruit, hay, and greenery. I take the point of reviewers like Chandler Burr and Bois de Jasmin that Envy redefines what we think of 'florals' - the heady, edible warmth of hyacinth that is not at all sentimental weak pastels...
I apply Envy when i wear leather. Strong and willful scent,not really for everyone,cause it can outdo person wearing it. It has some of that new-age style when it comes to perfume designing,light( it doesnt summon clouds,sea and wind,but unique sense of confidence,that makes anything at ease in this world ) and full of attitude. Well executed and blended. Beautiful suillage,fair longevity.