Meet the Alchemist’s Garden, Gucci’s Extensive Fragrance Collection

With seven perfumes, four oils, three scented waters and one candle, Gucci did not hold back with their newest luxury fragrance collection. Called The Alchemist’s Garden, which shares the same name of the fashion house’s Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear Collection, Creative Director Alessandro Michele has taken the magic of that runway show and, with the help of master perfumer Alberto Morillas, created a highly evocative collection of fragrances which are meant to be layered to create unique signature scents.

For Michele and Morillas, emotion was at the heart of the entire project. They wanted to explore the power of scent, its link toward feelings and how certain smells have the ability to transport us. “It was just Alessandro and me,” says Morillas of the creative process. “We didn’t have a lot of marketing around this. Alessandro knew what he wanted from the start. He asked me to build him emotions and every week I’d send him something, and every week he’d let me know what he thought.”

Each of the seven scents has a hero ingredient at its forefront: oud, amber, violet, iris, mimosa, rose or woods. One of Morillas’ favourite scents is the rose. “You can mix it with anything and it’s kind of the signature of this whole collection.”


Morillas, whose impressive resumé includes the likes of Calvin Klein’s CK One and Giorgio Armani’s Aqua di Giò, has worked closely with Gucci in the past, but explains that this collection is different from anything else on the market. “It’s unique,” he says. “We’re mixing the old incense with the new molecules and there’s this modernity to the creations.” While perfumes are often trying to sell something–he brings up the sex appeal of the Gucci Guilty campaign–this collection relies on pure human emotion. “You smell the rose, you mix it with the violet and the woods and suddenly you smell the last day of summer.”

Though layering and mixing can sound intimidating, Morillas insists the scents—which are packaged in lacquered glass bottles that seem plucked from the shelves of some vintage apothecary—are not just for a more confident and experienced fragrance user. “It’s very easy to understand,” he says. “We want people to enjoy discovering the collection and to create something that represents their own personality.”

In terms of the formulas, the perfumes are great on their own but Morillas suggests layering a separate oil underneath for a long-lasting and unique fragrance. The scented waters are best for when you want something more refreshing. “For example, in the morning when you don’t want to wear something too strong.” Lastly, he recommends the oils for touch-ups. “If you’re out at a party or a dinner, just add a little behind the ears,” he says.

Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden is now available online exclusively at Holt Renfrew and will be available in stores this February. 

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