A Sensorial Delight: Alberto Morillas’s Gucci Bloom Transports You To A Magical Garden
The brief that master perfumer Alberto Morillas received from the house’s creative head Alessandro Michele for the latter’s first fragrance for the brand was clear, ambitious and different — it involved creating a perfume as addictive as Michele’s fashion, a fragrance with the ability to provoke a crush as a piece of his collections could. And when two stalwarts flex their creative muscles and share a vision, the result is bound to be impressive. This certainly applies to Gucci Bloom, an olfactory debut from the duo that comes packed with personality in addition to the right notes. Morillas opens up about how they developed the scent: “I flew to Rome and we began exploring Alessandro’s vision. He wanted a fragrance that would take one to a vast garden filled with many flowers and vegetables, a bouquet of abundance…. it contains qualitative and innovative ingredients, and state-of-the-art extractions of the most feminine and sophisticated white flowers, as I really wanted to encapsulate his modern vision of a Gucci woman. Gucci Bloom is tender and recognisable.” The challenge here was to translate all the emotion and the flamboyant free-spiritedness that Michele infuses into the Gucci identity into the scent.
To do this, Morillas found that a trip to India proved to be inspiring. Here, he encountered the Rangoon Creeper, a mysterious flower that he says embodies the new scent. “This flower changes colour from white, slowly darkening to pink, and then finally to red when it blooms, and has been used in perfume-making for the first time. It is so special that it cannot be extracted. It displays the ability to change its appearance when opening up to the sun. We included its scent as a key ingredient in the final fragrance. This trip to India was also the occasion to develop a new extraction method for jasmine. We used jasmine bud extract for the first time in Bloom,” he says. The notes combine beautifully to give this scent an alluring, appeal that is at once intoxicating yet subtle, sexy yet breezy, more nuanced than one would expect from the bottle it is housed in — millennial pink made from lacquered porcelain. And they found no need to test drive the scent either. “We crafted the fragrance without testing it,. The idea was to remain faithful to Alessandro’s unique emotion and only follow our intuition. I guess this is the reason of its success. Its character remains very high as we didn’t try to polish the original idea,” he vouches.
Innovations in the field of fragrances excite him more than anything today. “Today, perfumery cannot exist without innovation. In our daily work, we combine the ingredients offered by nature using innovative extraction methods. While natural ingredients bring a specific quality, synthetic ingredients allow for greater creativity, by multiplying the possibilities and the olfactory facets of a fragrance,” he enthuses. Ask him what ingredients he is drawn to, and he says that he likes “anything that evokes the Mediterranean Sea, with its deep blue water and the sun. I am very attached to citrus and sea notes and flowers including jasmine, tuberose, neroli and orange blossom. They are the expression of a certain kind of freshness — a sophisticated one, and at the same time, are full of joy.” What does he dislike? “The smell of onion is really unpleasant and overwhelming. I can’t smell anything when there’s onion in the room. And it makes you cry!” But if he had to pick just one great scent, it would be musk. This, he claims, is his talisman. The fact that — although it sounds paradoxical for a perfumer — he is a visually-oriented person allows him to conjure up the smell of an ingredient by simply visualising it. “Along with this, aesthetics from various universes inspire me such as fashion and different forms of arts like music, sculptures or painting. And of course, beautiful women!” Gardens are his second passion. So fitting for a perfumer who blended a scent that transports us to a magical one.