Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum's great sin is just being a late entry in an exhausted style, but this is actually quite nice. This salty freshie is considerably more interesting and better-composed than the likes of Acqua di Gio Profumo.
This one doesn't deserve a philosophical essay, so I'll summarize my thoughts in stating that the opening is for sure interesting and creative, but lasts less than 10min. Afterwards, it shifts into a green freshie seen many time before, and performance is below average.
Faithful to the original Gucci Guilty DNA that signed the start of a 10-years of creative desert for Gucci.
Too bad Gucci did not keep up with the creativity recently expressed in Guilty Absolute, Oud and Cologne.
Not bad, but absolutely forgettable. Hard pass!
I gotta give Alessandro Michele props for trying to be different with the Gucci Guilty range. Ever since the release of Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme (2017) it has been weirdo after weirdo hitting the shelves, from Gucci Guilty Oud (2018) and Gucci Guilty Cologne (2019), to Gucci Guilty Love Edition pour Homme (2019) and now Gucci Guilty pour Homme Eau de Parfum (2020), with hits and misses playing leap frog over each other. This fragrance has some things common with the original Gucci Guilty pour Homme (2011), namely the heart notes, and seems to replace the original Gucci Guilty Intense pour Homme (2011) as the "step up" from the EdT. The bizarro factor comes in with the top notes mostly, and how the base under that familiar heart is handled, but we'll get to that later. The big important thing to remember here is this is meant to be an eau de parfum version of the original pillar entry to this line, so no matter how weird this tries to be, it is ultimately still beholden to the smell of the namesake. What this means is unlike Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme or Gucci Guilty Oud, this is meant to build on the original DNA, not contrast it, so if you don't like that DNA, move along without wasting your time, unless you're able to sample for free at a brick and mortar store. I like Gucci Guilty pour Homme Eau de Parfum, but I can't help feeling like I should be getting more than what I ultimately got here.
The opening is supposedly containing rose, chili pepper, salt, and vinegar. Yeah, that's a stretch of the imagination for me too, but apparently Alessandro Michele thought people might enjoy a fragrance that reminds them of potato chips. In practice, this means a dry piquant rose with a bit of salt to it that makes the rose almost undetectable, not that anything in the top (including that rose) is real anyway. After this strange rose-but-not-really opening comes the familiar orange blossom, lavender, and cedar notes of the original Gucci Guilty pour Homme. Gone is the ethyl maltol and galaxolide sweet shower gel musk display that would go on to inspire mainstream darlings like Paco Rabanne Invictus (2013) and its many clones, meaning that lavender and neroli hang out there naked with the cedar, making a drier and more mature, but vaguely familiar take on the classic Gucci Guilty DNA. In a way, this is like removing all artificial flavorings from your favorite snack food and seeing if it still holds up, which is fascinating. The base is the type of patchouli brought over from Gucci Guilty Love Edition pour Homme, but the rest of the Fougère elements that one borrows are left behind. In the end, you get mostly dry woody aromachemicals and ambroxan with the familiar Gucci Guilty heart, and none of the sweet shampoo vibes, which is unexpected, like the Gucci Guilty take on Dior Sauvage (2015) or something like that. I also think the black bottle looks too much like Gucci Guilty Oud, but now I'm just nitpicking.
Suggested use is pretty much where you'd use the original, as outside the sweetness, this is still mainly a fresh and clean scent with hints of aromatics to make it smell "masculine" according to conventional wisdom. Sillage is good and projection is alright, while longevity is also about average too, so the only thing "eau de parfum" about this is the marketing. Speaking of that, I need to address the elephant in the room: Jared Ledo at a laundromat. Once again, Alessandro Michele was not to be outdone in the quirky designer department, stuffing a bearded long-haired Jared Leto in a magenta sport coat with a huge artificial corsage looking like a pink rose, sitting on a laundry table with a pink plastic laundry basket nearby. He's presumably doing a load at what looks like the local ghetto laundromat, decked out in bespoke Gucci couture that probably costs more than everyone else in there doing clothes makes in a year. It's another "hey look at me I'm an everyman just like you" sort of detached gesture that makes me think some fashion industry moguls like Alessandro Michele never go outside to see how the rest of us live. Anyways, you're getting a drier and more mature Gucci Guilty pour Homme here, which amounts to more versatility for fans of the pleasant but oft-copied workhorse range. I'd still rather have a reissue of Gucci Nobile (1988) though, but this passes muster all the same, and could very well be someone's signature, which is something the ultra ubiquitous-smelling original EdT could never pull off anymore. Thumbs up.