Alessandro Michele lends his Midas touch to fragrance with Gucci Bloom.
Since his colour-courageous, lady-like silhouettes exploded at Gucci, Alessandro Michele has held the fashion world in the palm of his hand. Now he lends his Midas touch to fragrance, which he describes not as a love, but an ‘obsession’. On the release of Gucci Bloom, Michele muses on pinching flacons from his grandmother’s dresser and why fragrance might just be the ultimate collectable. As told to Remy Rippon.
Igrew up stealing the perfume of my mother and grandmother. They had the most beautiful bottles everywhere and they didn’t throw them away. They were obsessed with perfume. I had a lot of different perfumes. Now, I have big shelves – full, full, full of perfume. It’s like therapy. There is something very magical inside a perfume. It’s really like every single bottle belongs for a reason. One is full of flowers. In one you can feel a rainy day. One is winter. One is summer. One is spring. One for when I’m sad. One for when I’m happy. I mean, every single perfume has a meaning for me, even if I’m not wearing it. The relation between me and perfume is kind of an obsession – like every single object I collect.
“The design of the bottle came about before we decided to put this perfume inside. I was in love with the shade of pink and the idea of ceramic. I was looking for something beautiful that you can keep in your bedroom. It’s the idea that you can keep a beautiful perfume like an object. I love objects, so I try always to put a bit of soul inside of the object, like a collector. So the object means something.
“The most important thing also was to really feel the green inside, the garden. I didn’t want to smell something that is just a perfume. We needed to feel the garden. I tried, with Alberto [Morillas, the perfumer], to put something that is not just beautiful inside the scent. I think that’s the contradiction between the idea of the perfume that is really chic and really traditional, in the way of a beautiful flower, and green. And the contradiction is that it’s Gucci.
“It could be risky in this market, because for a big brand like Gucci this is the kind of scent that is a little bit more niche. But I think that is the right time to show something that is very versatile. I think that the idea I have of fashion is very personal – it’s strange that it is belonging to a lot of people.
“When it comes to my work, I don’t feel the pressure. I think that authenticity is key, because I don’t try to do something that is not my culture, not my way to live. I think that being a creative person is something that reflects what you are every day. You can’t invent something that is not you, not your environment, not your way to be. It’s about a dream that belongs to you. Perfume and scents are one of the most relevant expressions of the things that don’t exist … It’s the memory of things that you can’t really touch or see, but you can really feel it.”
“I didn’t want to smell something that is just a perfume. We needed to feel the garden. I tried to put something that is not just beautiful inside the scent”