The guys at school who 'discovered' cologne in my junior high school years all seemed to discover the same thing: Polo. After Christmas 1978, it seemed everyone got a little green bottle in their stocking--or at least it smelled that way. Polo as a powerhouse in its original formulation and my peers had yet to learn discretion in the use of scents. I quickly came to loathe the stuff.
An aunt who was always up on the current trends had gifted me a bottle of Polo that same Christmas, but I didn't keep it. Instead, I exchanged it at a local department store for the original Gucci Pour Homme. More than 40 years on, I still love Guy Robert's franco-Italian gem. I am still in possession of the last bottle I was ever able to buy (on a clearance rack in a drug store) and I almost never use it for fear that it will prove irreplacable.
I now own Polo Green, a vintage Kourous and many other scents of the era from which this GPH emerged, and I have come to appreciate all of them. But GPH is still my favorite from those days and was undoubtedly the root cause of my current fascination with fragrance in general and the more esoteric of current men's scents, in particular.
As others have noted, the juice is a chypre whose lemon top note is special and whose once relatively ordinary ingredients seem special today because we are generally denied them by regulations and because they are certainly not on trend today.
So in today's world, this stuff is extraordinary and, for me, it carries so many find memories that it is a cherished part of my collection. Does that fact mean that you should pay the extortionate prices asked for one of the remaining NOS bottles? Good heavens no. But the original GPH is certainly worth smelling if you get a chance if only as a reminder of how good some of the less celebrated chypre scents of the late 70's really were.
(I must also note that given the cult following GPH has among those "in the know", it surprises me that no one in the niche/indie world has, so far as I can tell, recreated it. I would think doing so could be something of a sound business proposition for someone with the skills. Particularly in light of Parle Moi Dr Parfum's Papyrus Oud's successful recreation of the follow-up, Gucci Pour Homme I.)
I didn't try it until after I had stocked up on a bunch of masculine vintage oak moss fragrances, and used that as rationale not to get a bottle. When I tried it a couple years later, I felt like I needed a bottle and a backup.
The possible downside is that it's not always a strong projector. It can take deliberately placed overapplication to produce a euphoric scent cloud, for example to the front collar area of a cotton crew-neck t-shirt.
My hat is off to Zealot Crusader for educating me and also saying what I would have liked to but never could have. I recently acquired a pristine, 8 oz. bottle of Gucci Pour Homme 1976, for $300 and that was after having, first, stumbled upon a half-full, 8 oz. flagon for a mere $40 USD. I love it. I was also surprised to see my bottle of Revlon's That Man mentioned.
FYI the used, half-full, 8 oz. bottle of Gucci P. H. 1976 performs every bit as well as the NOS, unopened one does.
class act...top shelf masterpiece...IMHO - in the world of chypres , this one stands out...smooth, elegant and debonair...i get an initial rush of spicy citrus....then...BAM!!!!...seems like within a minute I just get this eruption of pure, real good ole oakmoss rising up from the bottom like some sort of beast...awesome...I love it...as it moves along it's midlife i get more wood and patch flavor...flowers don't stand out for me...they are there, but kinda just blend in without causing a fuss...as it settles i get a nice smooth leather taking over...all in all, if you are a collector or aficionado of classic timeless fragrances, this one is a must...
Gucci has been a house fraught with rise and decline, bloating out to 20,000 accessory lines at it's peak, working with automakers and more, to shedding back down to 5,000 lines and teetering on bankruptcy. Gucci has changed hands multiple times and been a member of several partnerships, with hostile buyouts a common sight, seeing it's entire image and sense of worth rebooted repeatedly until it was embraced as a gateway brand for urban youth in the 90's, currently being the Hip-Hop fashion darling counter to the rock star-oriented house of Versace. The flagship fragrances for the house of Guccio Gucci, first launched in the 70's, have been completely re-orchestrated and re-launched a total of three times since then, with this debut masculine scent being the first of three times "Gucci Pour Homme" would appear on a perfume from the designer, originally released in 1976 and composed by the legendary Guy Robert. Mr. Robert seemed to favor traditional aromatic citrus and/or leather chypres for men, as evidenced by his work in Monsieur Rochas (1969), and Hermès Equipage (1970), with Gucci Pour Homme (1976) being no exception to this rule. The 2003 version created under Tom Ford's creative direction was an ambery affair and one of two twins (with the second one in production longer but also discontinued), while the 2008 version originally being named "Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme" until the previous iteration was discontinued. That current version is a modern synthetic proxy of a chypre infused with "freshness" from boutique aromachemicals that pissed off fans of either older version upon arrival, and is the current flagship male line. Gucci Pour Homme '76 is one of the fabled masculine "Guccicorns" alongside Gucci Nobile (1988), Gucci Envy for Men (1998), Gucci Rush for Men (2000) and Gucci Pour Homme (2003), all being scents that have an almost religious following and frequently push past Creed's retail prices in the aftermarket, plus really cannot be recommended as a blind buys, although samples and minis can be had up to 30ml for barely acceptable prices. Regardless of how good it is, there are simply too many alternatives even among also-discontinued fragrances which offer better value and availability 10-to-1 over Gucci Pour Homme '76, meaning it is a collector's piece at this point, but regardless of all that, here are my thoughts on it:
Gucci Pour Homme '76 opens like a right proper aromatic chypre of the ilk made from the late 40's through to the mid-80's. The opening shares a lot of DNA with the tart lemon/bergamot and dry lavender/basil combination found in older creations like Arden for Men Sandalwood (1957), Revlon That Man (1958) or Monsieur de Givenchy (1959), but is stronger and more pressing like the Revlon, just without the linearity. From this familiar "forthright masculine" citrus opening comes a woodsy carnation and patchouli heart that is sour and equally stiff, likely because it is trampled on so intently by the top. Rich sandalwood and cedar which too remind me greatly of the Arden and Givenchy come to mind as well, but also an order of magnitude stronger than them, once again sharing potency with the aforementioned Revlon. The only thing missing from Gucci Pour Homme '76 at this point is a civet note, and the lack thereof is what sets it apart from much of the crowd, with a synthetic musk note in it's place making it something of a missing link between these mid-century oldies and the later Italian examples like Gianfranco Ferré for Man (1987). The base is pure oakmoss, leather, labdanum, and that aforementioned musk, making me think of Penhaligon's Douro Eau de Portugal (1985) particularly with the labdanum/yellowish musk tandem. We have 1950's style mixed with 1970's potency and a subtle leather forward-thinking twist underneath the aromatics and oakmoss, which gives Gucci Pour Homme '76 it's character, but doesn't really set it apart too much from it's rivals. This is a similar problem, but to a lesser extent, that faced Capucci Pour Homme (1967), and hence the Gucci is also buried in chypre heap somewhat, despite notable sandalwood performance the others lack. Sillage is above-average for this kind of chypre, and longevity is around 8 hours, but it's easy to get anosmic to heavy oakmoss just as it with modern white musk, so guys wearing this as a signature probably reaped diminishing returns over time, meaning Gucci Pour Homme '76 still likely needed to be part of a rotation back in the day. I'd say this chypre is actually best used in fall because of the creamy sandalwood and labdanum-dipped leather and moss, since I feel this more with a cool breeze than inside a warm room.
Gucci Pour Homme '76 isn't very Italian by design, but I guess that's what happens when you let renowned French Guy Robert do his thing when crafting your fragrance, and the French finesse mixed with American loudness on display gives this a rather distinct trail which feels like a rounder Moustache by Rochas (1949) plucked of it's animalic. By 1976, this kind of sour lemon and dry lavender on top of sandalwood and oakmoss would feel conservative in the wake of Disco darlings like the Halston line or any number of loud and sweet aromatic musks stinking up the clubs, meaning Gucci Pour Homme's decidedly more-mature audience would literally die off in the subsequent years since the youth in the 70's weren't wearing it, and thus wouldn't necessarily arrive on it later in the 80's either after they matured, leaving this as the dominion of vintage fans as early on as the 90's. By the time Gucci was re-invented as a house the first time by Tom Ford, few seemed to care about this scent's fate, which is why it still somewhat lives in the shadows of other "Guccicorns". If it were possible to economically daily-drive this, I'd say it's a good "Mad Men" office scent, but as it stands, this Maltese Falcon of a historical anecdote is only getting more precious as time goes on, meaning it will be an object for the Osmothequé at some point and looked upon in rememberance only, but not worn. I really like Gucci Pour Homme '76 a lot, and fans of these old aromatic chypres won't find much better lemon/sandalwood/oakmoss accords in modern times outside of the one-man operations in the niche realm, and even they don't have access to the ingredients found in this, which were once commonplace but now rarefied. If you stumble upon a bottle of Gucci Pour Homme '76, it's actually a remarkably good introduction to the genre as it sits so squarely in the middle of many others of the style, but I wouldn't seek it out unless you're fatally bitten by the vintage bug. Thumbs up!
Find this as a fantastic scent, representing elegance and good taste. The lemon is very natural, but the oakmoss and the leather are the notable players. In the same team of Eau Sauvage and the great Capucci pour homme. Fantastic!