Nobile by Gucci (1988)

odysseusm

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2007
Notes:
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender, Rosemary, Tarragon, Mace
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Green Notes, Rose, Cyclamen, Carnation, Geranium, Fir
Base notes: Cedar, Patchouli, Sandal, Tonka, Musk, Moss, Vetiver, Amber

Time for a thread on the majestic Gucci Nobile . It has lots of green herbal notes, with wood notes of fir, cedar and sandalwood. Vetiver and moss add to the mix. The patchouli gives it a slight leathery note in the dry-down. The fir note is not pronounced, but it does add a nice bit of freshness. It is a charming, old-school classy scent. I have also got bar soap and aftershave balm in it.

This is discontinued, unfortunately. I've heard that "Nobile Royalty" by Alexander Da Costa is similar. I've seen it in mall discount stores. Has anyone had experience with it?
 

shamu1

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2009
I haven't worn Nobile in years. I remember buying it at the Italy exhibit at Epcot in Disney World about ten years ago. I do remember it smelling very green but also very sweet. It was a great scent, though I did tire of it because the sweetness got to me after a while. My tastes have evolved since then, however, and I'd love to try it again if I can land a bottle. I wouldn't be surprised if Gucci eventually reissues this one because perfume enthusiasts love this, and I can see it becoming a good seller if or when heavier scents come back into vogue.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Your comments are interesting, shamu1. You had problems with Nobile being sweet. I can see that, if applied in generous doses, it could be heavy. I apply it sparingly; and then it is light, refreshing & works well for me. I don't like sweet scents either, but this one is good and comes out dry if applied in that way.
 

shamu1

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Feb 25, 2009
Again, it's been about ten years since I last wore it, but I remember it being sweet not in nasty vanillic way at all, but rather sweet in the way Drakkar Noir is sweet to me. I also remember there being a lot of similarities to DN too. What I loved about Nobile was the greenness of its scent. I also remember there being a subtle note of incense in the heart. Again, this is memory from several years ago. I bet I'd love it if I smelled it again, as my tastes have broadened since then.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Well, you are making me interested in Drakkar Noir! I'll have to give that a try.
Yes, Nobile has some great green notes. And I agree about the incense, that is a good observation.
 

shamu1

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2009
Ody, don't hold me to it on the Drakkar - my recommendation on Krizia Uomo didn't seem to go so well :laugh:. Drakkar isn't one you'd want to get a bottle of without trying first. It's as polarizing as Kouros, and just as strong. I don't consider it a woody fragrance - just a behemoth of an '80s aromatic fougere. You've been warned...:thumbsup:
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Hah-hah! No worries, I know a place where I can sample ol' Drak. And I suspect it is a biggie. But I am curious about it. :D

I thought I'd add an update on the Drakkar Noir question. I did a shop sniff of it a couple of years ago, and found it to be acceptable. As I remember, there was some similarity in style to Gucci Nobile.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Update, here's my latest review.

Gucci Nobile is a lovely, old-school scent. Justifiably praised and hoarded, due to its scarcity. Its notes mingle together throughout its development
The opening is a pleasant chord of citrus and herbs. The mace adds a gentle and very attractive interesting spice note, a bit like nutmeg. The green note appears and mingles with the earlier herbs. Perhaps the green note is slightly synthetic in style, but it is not a significant flaw. The freshness of the green note combines with the carnation, geranium and fir to create a somewhat brisk aspect. The earthy patchouli picks up the spice from earlier. Along with a hint of wood, the scent is now substantial. A salty-mossy dry-down tells us that this is an old-school scent for sure. Clove, vetiver, fir, sharp sandalwood, and cedar are all there, and they make an intriguing, complex scent. The dry-down is spicy and musky.
Those seeking this sort of substantial woody spice scent might look to Geo. F. Trumper's Eucris or Astor.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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I am hankering to revisit this comforting classic -- and will do so tomorrow.
Here are the notes according to the BN directory.

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender, Rosemary, Tarragon, Mace
Heart: Jasmin, Green Notes, Rose, Cyclamen, Carnation, Geranium, Fir
Base: Cedar, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tonka, Musk, Moss, Vetiver, Amber
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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My last review (page 1) pretty much nails it. Thoughts today --
Citrus-herbal opening is green, aromatic and dusky. The scent has an admirable balance between cool notes (rosemary, fir) and warm spices. In this respect, it is similar to Geo. F. Trumper's Eucris. The scent is slightly sweet but not problematic. It is rich, substantial yet balanced and classy. I continue to feel that restraint in application pays dividends. Just a little will go a long way.
 

awayalonealong

Well-known member
Mar 7, 2009
Thanks, Ody. I realize I bought a mini a while back. And while I love the opening, it's the drydown that does me in. Perhaps it's the tonka/musk--a combination that has always pushed me away. Perhaps it's the tarragon, mace, and rosemary--wending their way through the fragrance--that are unsettling. I shall know more tomorrow. I'm going to put some on right now.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Sounds interesting, tim. I continue to enjoy this, it is still ticking away at 12+ hours. But again -- restraint is key! In my opinion.
Less is more, and more is less. :)
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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I continue to find this to be a genteel, and yes, "noble" scent. And, I do feel that (as is the case with many scents, especially those from the '80's) the key to my enjoyment lies in a light application.
Starts with a plummy-crisp bergamot note, typical of so many masculine scents. The tarragon is evident and lends a dusky, hay-like quality. The florals soften but don't dominate and are not too sweet. A hint of freshness from the green notes (a bit soapy) and the conifer. Everything is elegant and restrained. Today this reminds me of the style of Chevalier D'Orsay. No leather, but a hint of patchouli's earthy twang. Hints of everything: grassy vetiver, light musk, good wood.
Finally, to answer MonkeyBar's question -- is there birch tar? I find the merest, merest hint of a smoky note. Some have called this incense. I know birch tar and it is very difficult to modulate or make subtle. So whatever the smoky note is here, it is subtle and very enjoyable for me.
 

MonkeyBars

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May 18, 2011
Thanks O. I'm very sensitive to isoquinoline (smoky) notes and find the wintergreen-smoky birch tar very apparent even at low doses – which is why I didn't enjoy Nobile.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Here are today's thoughts on this classic.
Herbal, with a hint of conifer. Quite green in its opening. Dark florals and spices, but not sweet. Patchouli, amber and moss give it an old-school, dark, powdery dry-down. I apply in small doses, it is a bit of a powerhouse. In small doses, it is noble.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Here is a charming old-school scent. Spicy notes so reminiscent of the 80's dominate, along with moss and leather. Hints of fir and herbal notes make a pleasing package. A tiny bit sweet perhaps, but if applied carefully it still fits today's tastes.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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This scent attracts a lot of interest -- a discontinued and somewhat legendary classic. Time to revisit tomorrow.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Truly a majestic scent. Fresh and lively at first. Nice conifers along with citrus and rose notes. The herbal notes increase, along with the dry lavender. Lovely combinations of elements. The heavier base notes enrich the proceedings. A bit of salty moss, an echo of earlier scent styles. Moss and herbals (along with a bit of patchouli) feature in the dry-down.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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This is a delightful, old-school scent. Bright and refreshing at first, then it deepens with spice and green herbal notes. It retains a fresh, zesty quality. Perhaps I detect a hint of geranium and rose here, which give a soapy-rose note. Conifers are not prominent, but the scent is so well blended that the overall package is most pleasing. Woods and light musk finish it off, along with a very intriguing smoky note! Earlier comments by other Coneheads raised the issue of whether there was birch tar here, and I now think there may be. Whatever it is, the smoky note is quite distinct. The secret for success, as with many 1980's scents, is a minimal application to keep things in line with current tastes.
Interesting to compare this with Esencia Loewe (also released in 1988), which I recently reviewed here. EL is much heavier and more assertive. GN is genteel, although it makes its presence known.
 

Durtal

Member
May 20, 2016
Hi Ody,

I never had the chance to try this apparently marvelous gem. Is there another scent still in production which comes close to Nobile?

Thank you.

D.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Lots of old-school charm here. Citrus, herbs, spice, hints of conifer. The typically substantial, slightly heavy base of the 80's of patchouli and something like leather-spice. Don't over-apply and it is very enjoyable in a retro way. The pamphlet in the box with the bottle shows a truly dazzling array of grooming products. I have the soap and aftershave balm, but once upon a time there was also shaving foam, spray or stick deodorant, aftershave spray, and some things that may be moisturizing cream and shower gel. What a world! I need Mr. Peabody's way-back machine. ;)
About an hour later, the dry-down is absolute perfection. <3
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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  • #28
In the cool weather and for a holiday long weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving) I am enjoying Gucci Nobile. It is an iconic scent. Rich and yet sprightly. Fresh green notes and good conifers. Hints of leather and soap give a slight barbershop vibe. A perennial favourite!
 

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