Gucci Flora ~ perfume review

Gucci Flora fragrance advert

Flora is lighter, the floral scent of course evokes a younger consumer, and she has a hedonistic, daring side. I don’t want to say that Flora is the daughter of Gucci by Gucci but maybe the younger sister.*

That's Frida Giannini, Gucci's creative director, explaining how Gucci's new Flora fragrance fits into the larger scheme of things. I'm guessing she didn't want to call Flora the daughter of Gucci by Gucci because she didn't want to position Gucci by Gucci as so very old as all that, but in fact the two are light years apart — as near as I can tell, the "woods for women" / "masculine notes for women" (or whatever you want to call it) trend that Gucci by Gucci rode in on is over almost before we had time to adjust to it. Flora smells very of-the-moment: it's light, clean, fresh and pretty, which I hope is what perfume consumers were after this spring because there's plenty of it on the counters at the moment.

The notes for Flora are listed as citrus, peony, rose, osmanthus, pink pepper, sandalwood and patchouli, but they don't matter too much: this is a sheer, almost-sparkling floral, very pale and clean, in which nothing stands out other than the peony, and even that only for a short while. It smells like it's been through a rigorous series of focus groups designed to ensure that it would not ruffle feathers on anybody anywhere: there's nothing sharp in the citrus-y opening, it's floral but not too floral (don't let the rose and osmanthus scare you, they're mostly MIA), it's vaguely peach-y but not too fruity, it's sweet-ish but not too sweet. The "sandalwood" and "patchouli" in the base need not worry anybody who doesn't like sandalwood or patchouli: the base is a fairly bland woody musk. The consumer who loves Flora might well have a hedonistic, daring side, but she apparently prefers to not to express it through her fragrance.

It has an ageless quality: it's obviously geared towards someone young — mid-20s, perhaps? — but it would not feel out of place on a 5 year old or a 95 year old. If I had to explain how Gucci Flora fits into the larger scheme of things, I'd call it the still-cheerful older sister of Marc Jacobs Daisy. It's massively pleasant, the bottle is nice, and the commercial is wonderful — I should think that's enough, right? As March said at Perfume Posse, you could do worse.

Gucci Flora is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette, and can be found most anywhere.

* Quote via Women's Wear Daily, 12/5/2008.

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88 Comments

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  1. Occhineri says:

    When I sprayed this on a card, I could detect the osmanthus, but on skin, it smells like table sugar to me. Nothing else. I like the bottle, though.

    • Robin says:

      I get a smidgen of something vaguely osmanthus-like, nothing more. Beats table sugar though!

    • mel says:

      I SPRAYED THIS ON MY HAND AND I THINK IT SMELLS GREAT. I WANT TO PURCHASE IT- BUT AM HOLDING OUT FOR WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE IN A GIFT SET. I HAVE DAISY- BUT THIS DOES NOT REMIND ME OF IT. THIS SEEMS A LITTLE BIT MORE SOPHISTICATED.

      • Robin says:

        I’d think they’d have gifts sets already for Mother’s Day, but haven’t seen one yet.

    • eminere says:

      Agreed – I found it very sweet.

  2. “The consumer who loves Flora might well have a hedonistic, daring side, but she apparently prefers to not to express it through her fragrance.” LOL!!

    Sounds like it’s Gucci for the Clean ladies.

    I love the way you use the phrase “massively pleasant,” Robin. So much more diplomatic than “massively boring.”

    • Robin says:

      It isn’t just being diplomatic, LOL…although I suppose it is that too. But there are lots of massively boring fragrances are not massively pleasant, in fact, some of them are downright annoying. I’d rather wear this (or Marc Jacobs Daisy, for that matter) than lots of other things…

    • Juniper says:

      I asked to smell this at Macy’s last week and when the SA handed me the card I immediately said ‘oh, citrus’. She gave me THAT LOOK and said ‘it’s a FLORAL’. Well I smelled citrus, so she asked to spray it on me–because it’ll smell different on you ;-). I still smelled citrus so she tried to sell me on Vera Wang’s The Look. As the evening wore on I was never impressed with Flora…I unfortunately did find it ‘massively boring’.

      • Robin says:

        Did you like the Vera Wang better?

        • Juniper says:

          I had smelled the bottle once in passing and thought ‘oh another boring Vera Wang’ but wanted to try it again. When she handed me the card I was like ‘oh earthy, I like this’. I got THAT LOOK again and she said it was a FLORAL…and I said ‘yes, it smells like someone working in the dirt of their flower garden’ :-). I left leaving her with that look of ‘crazy customers don’t know anything’. I did like it and it might be the first peppy floral that I would actually reach for…
          (The whole reason she mentioned that fragrance was because of the patchouli so I found it funny she wrinkled her nose when I smelled an earthiness…)

          • Robin says:

            That’s so silly! Oh well.

  3. Jill says:

    Funny, I just saw the ad for this in Allure while waiting to get my hair cut yesterday and wondered about it. It doesn’t sound like anything I’m dying to get my hands on! If it’s comparable overall to MJ Daisy, I do enjoy Daisy, but it doesn’t excite me.

    • Robin says:

      This is perhaps a step up from Daisy, but I doubt it is going to excite many perfumistas.

  4. monstabunny says:

    Nice to see some peony in play. Guess I’ll try this. Hope it’s more distinctive than Daisy, though.

    • Robin says:

      I think it is, but still, I wouldn’t call it “distinctive” in and of itself. It’s more like something that is trying to avoid being distinctive. I can see it doing very well in the Asian market, where distinctive is not considered a plus.

  5. Licia says:

    I sniffed this the other day at Nordstrom’s & frankly, yes, its pleasant but its also incredibly bland & safe & that’s something I don’t usually associate with Gucci, nor will I spend dollars on. I’ll stick to Gucci Envy for a floral from them, but if I want safe, I think there are plenty of other options out there that aren’t as nondescript.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, it’s very safe. Perhaps Gucci by Gucci did not sell to expectations.

  6. dea says:

    I brought this home from NYC for my 17 y/o daughter (who wears Daisy) and she loves it.

    She asked about it after seeing the ad in a magazine before I left for my trip. So I guess their targeting is spot on. (she’s a somewhat sophisticated 17y/o).

    Not my cup of tea, though.

    • dea says:

      just wanted to add- i think she is into perfumes that make her smell pretty without feeling like she is trying to wear a “glamouous” or “dramatic” perfume that is for someone older (than high school).

      Whereas, I doused myself with Coco, Diva or Fendi when I was 15, thinking it would make my braces, Guess jeans and ESPIRIT sweatshirt that much more glamourous.
      She’s a bit more practical than I ever was.

      • Robin says:

        I was doused in something myself, I’m sure!

  7. abirae says:

    I liked this one too when I tried it at the Duty Free shops. Gucci is a leather goods maker, not an avant garde brand, and I think their fragrances and commercials are some of their best work. Flora is dryer and more complex than it needs to be, and the packaging is very well done. Three cheers for another pop hit.

  8. RusticDove says:

    I received the cutest lil mini bottle of this [I adore minis] with my latest Sephora order. I’ve only smelled it in the bottle so far, not on skin, but my reaction was, ‘meh’. I really like Gucci by Gucci – but it’s one of my typical more intense sort of scents that I gravitate toward. I’m dying to find a lighter floral to love! It’s weird, being that I’m an avid gardener and fresh flower fancier, that I’m having a difficult time finding a Summery floral that’s ‘me’. At least the pursuit is a blast.

    • Robin says:

      I love minis too! There are so many pretty florals this spring, even from niche lines…I’m sure you’ll find one you love eventually.

    • Emma says:

      Here is an other opportunity for me to whine about how Givenchy Fleur d’Interdit, a lovely light floral which is classy without being too matronly, and fresh without being too juvenile, is discontinued. (There’s a new Perry Ellis that is an ‘Americanized’ version of Fd’I, but of course what’s the point.)

      Two days ago I bought Guerlain Champs Elysees for summer. It’s on the sweeter side but I like the lilac-y note. No matter what I do I can’t avoid picking perfumes with rose in them, so I guess I should just quit denying that I like rose :)

      • Emma says:

        I didn’t even get to my point. Silly me. Anyway, my experience has been, although I have not been doing a LOT of smelling, that this spring’s florals are either really generic or just weird (as in why would anyone want to smell like that).

        Then again I’ve worn scents like the aforementioned Fleur d’Interdit, D&G Light Blue, Dior J’Adore and Forever and Ever, Alfred Sung Shi, Clarins Par Amour. Mostly straight-ahead florals, Shi is the sweetest of the above but otherwise not too much fruit, and I really do not like the exotic florals (I am made nauseous by jasmine and gardenia and can only tolerate a little bit of ylang-ylang).

        If this resonates with your taste at all I would try the J’Adore (they have a summer version also) or maybe Mont Blanc Femme Individuelle, which I haven’t purchased but like. Or try out Champs Elysees, while you are at the Guerlain counter, maybe you will like one of the Aqua Allegorias better than I did. I also tried L’Instant; while the EdT is a ‘quiet’ soft sweeter fragrance, to me it whispers ‘I might seduce you’, whereas the Champs Elysees is a fresher ‘come play with me!” I went with the playfulness. :)

        Also maybe try L’Occitane Cherry Blossom.

      • daintypink says:

        hi, ive been searching for fleur d’ interdit for so long. u said it smells like a perry ellis perfume? what is that perfume.?

  9. ScentRed says:

    I tried this on the weekend and found it to be pretty, pleasant and polite. Like a well-mannered, properly ironed, but not terribly exciting or interesting young woman. I agree that it is older than MJ Daisy – which I find to be perfect on my budding perfumista three year-old.

    • Robin says:

      Yep, that’s a good description.

  10. jekkah says:

    Don’t know if anyone else got this effect, but when I tried Flora it reminded me of a lighter version of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One.

    • Robin says:

      It’s sort of amazing how many fragrance this spring are in the “Light Blue” mold…wonder if it’s the recession? People wanting cheerful, non-demanding scents?

      • shoppingdiva says:

        Actually, it reminded me of Realities by Liz Claiborne and Realities always smelled like bug spray to me. Not regular bug spray, of course. I mean the kind that they try to add some pleasant floral scent so it doesn’t kill you and the bugs. Think Fresh Scent Raid here.

        I adore what Frida Giannini has done with Gucci’s ready to wear, bags and shoes but I really can’t stand the frags she’s introduced. Give me Envy parfum, Envy Me, or Rush Summer over these any day.

  11. alotofscents says:

    I am confused. More grown up than daisy? You could do worse? I guess it’s pretty..I wonder if it is distinctive in any way? I love peony. I still consider myself a woody-floral girl at heart. I really need some depth at the end of a fragrance, not Coco depth, but depth.
    I think I am just so eager for a floral that takes a small risk, not huge…I am more Coco Mademoiselle. I love Envy for a feel good burst of freshness, but it doesn’t really have a bottom. Oh sigh.
    I don’t know if this would interest me or not. How is it’s lasting power Robin?
    -Becca

    • perfumesecrets says:

      To “alotofscents”,

      For an EDT, the lasting power is great on me but never cloying. It does have depth and just enough for my personal taste. I dislike that Daisy just smells too light and basic. (I don’t understand that perfume’s popularity at all). I’d say test it on skin or get a sample. :)My SA said the samples were coming soon. I don’t smell anything similar to Daisy or The One, and I have samples of those.

    • Robin says:

      You will have to try it and see what you think…I thought the lasting power was good for an EdT, but not fabulous, but wouldn’t call it even a “small risk”.

  12. perfumesecrets says:

    I bought it and wore it yesterday, and I smelled my arm many times to see if it changes on me. It does, but nothing dramatic. The pretty, cheerful notes stay true. It’s very wearable for many occasions. And that commercial is brilliant. This is my first Gucci perfume, I don’t love their past perfumes. I cannot wear Envy at all. I will be wearing it and possibly mixing it with another.

    • alotofscents says:

      Thank you so much. I have Daisy but it is just too light. I think the appeal is a *little* fruit, non-offensive, adorable bottle, Marc Jacobs, and “I’m so cute!”
      I do wish Robin will find a gem in the plethora of fragrances she reviews.

  13. Mediterana says:

    Nice but boring, I personally prefer Daisy. Nice bottle though.

    • Robin says:

      I think I prefer this to Daisy, but only marginally, and like the Daisy bottle better…

  14. TheLorax says:

    Agree with Mediterana and a lot of others. Pretty, but it’s a real snore to me.

    • Robin says:

      Plenty more fish in the sea ;-)

  15. Haunani says:

    Fun review, Robin! And I’m realizing that I’ve never tried any Gucci fragrances. Am I missing any great ones???

    • Robin says:

      The only Gucci scent I really love is the original Gucci Pour Homme, but on the women’s side, Gucci Envy & Gucci Rush are both very much worth trying.

  16. APassionateJourney says:

    I really liked this, but it reminded me of “Dolce and Gabbana’s The One” so I’ll just stick to that one

  17. Racine says:

    Agree 100% on Flora is meant not to annoy anyone. Rather to D&G the One,it reminds me to latest Escada Incredible me. by the way the 3 of them are produce by Procter & Gamble…maybe the got an offer on certains notes!

    • Robin says:

      LOL — perhaps they did! I did not get to try the Escada.

  18. Erin says:

    I haven’t read the comments, so I don’t know if anyone has pointed this out yet, but an SA I like pointed out to me yesterday that this smells very similar to Burberry Brit. I smelled them both and she’s right – a little less pear-y, but otherwise almost identical!

    • Robin says:

      Interesting — will have to try them together!

  19. meagannn says:

    this sounds like its right up my alley.. i love the way it was described. :D i’m a sucker for ad print haha

    • Robin says:

      Hope you’ll love it then!

  20. March says:

    Hey, Robin — I’m behind on my blog reading this week, thanks for the link! I think “massively pleasant” is a great description. And I feel kind of reverse-snob about this — if it’s been focus-grouped into existence, at least the focus was on something not overly sweet or tweeny. Your mental association w/Marc Jacobs Daisy is right on. I could see winding up with a bottle of this for days when I want a background scent.

    • Robin says:

      Hey M, hope everything is well. Agree w/ all of that, except don’t need a bottle…feel like I’ve got “background scent” already covered. Or more than covered.

  21. nostalgia says:

    Yet to smell Flora. But thanks for the nice review. I would like to try it soon!

  22. smokeycouture says:

    Im so picky when it comes to buying perfume! i want one which is noticed but romantic, strong but not too strong and this one really did it for me, at the moment that is lol.
    i simply sprayed once onto my neck and i was actually stopped 3 times that day and asked what perfume i was wearing! which has only ever happened with dior, which i have to say i amazing! :)
    so basically that was my test and now im going to buy it :)
    hope everyones having a great day xx

    • Robin says:

      Congrats on finding something you love!

  23. chocolatte says:

    I like the smell !
    but the scent should last longer :(

    • Robin says:

      I thought it had reasonable lasting power for an EdT — did you find it very short-lived?

  24. mel says:

    Alot of people think this smells like “light blue”. Personally, on me it does not. I hate light blue, my sister wears it and also a Doctor that I work with. I try to avoid anything that remotely mimics light blue. It is probably just my body chemistry.

    • Robin says:

      Stylistically, yes, but they’re not smell-alikes to me.

  25. janna says:

    I tried Flora, today. It’s wunderful, different from other Gucci eau de toilettes. I like it!

    • Robin says:

      Glad it works for you :-)

  26. kaos.geo says:

    Hi, yesterday I went perfume sniffing, as it seems that a container full of new releases has arrived in Buenos Aires: I already commented on the Eau de sisley (1,2,and3) and I also got to smell Flora and The new eau de Hermes (I’ll comment on those later)

    I like Flora, it is in my opinion a VERY rounded fragrance, with no sharp edges whatsoever. But still it has some weight, and it is very “giftable” :-)

    This perfume reminded me of a 1994 perfume by Nina Ricci, Deci Dela, not totally a doppleganger, but probable its “younger sister” hehehehe! (Deci Dela is much much more sweeter than this, and probably much much more fruitier, but it reminded me of it in a good way.)

    • Robin says:

      Very giftable — exactly!

  27. jrmetmoi says:

    Flora is the only perfume with rose and/or patchouli that I have ever liked, I love Flora and it’s long lasting on me for many hours.

    I can’t stand patchouli and I don’t like obvious rose smelling perfumes such as Fracas by Robert Piguet in the black beautiful bottle.

  28. jrmetmoi says:

    Flora doesn’t smell fruity to me at all not in that obvious melon or ‘super summery’ way. I can’t stand the Gucci by Gucci it smells like dirt and like an old lady wearing too much perfume simultaneously.

  29. katerina says:

    Flora reminds me of something between the One by D&G and a lighter version of Rush. I do prefer the last one.

  30. alltheprettythings says:

    I’m late on testing Flora, but had a chance to try it today and it reminds me of our new Tide detergent!

    I know that sounds awful, but it smells good coming from our laundry room…

    • Robin says:

      LOL…not what Gucci was after though!

  31. sabaedra says:

    after dry-down it reminds me of rush which is my all time favourite frag. it is lighter and a bit citrusy. i wear it during daytime when i go out in the park with my 7 month old. i like flora because i can smell like me, just lighter, so my baby’s fine nose won’t be overwhelmed by mommy’s frag

  32. Robin says:

    Glad it’s working for you :-)

  33. Owen says:

    I have tried flora edt and Gucci by Gucci edp many times
    the first few times lasted ages but after that dissappeared quickly I think GuccibyGucci harmonises with my natural scent and blends in with it.

    it always annoyed me that you can’t smell your own natural smell, but now I know mine can’t be that bad ;)

    • Owen says:

      I also love Flora’s advertising

      and young audience? I contemplated getting my Grandma this for Christmas. but since my mum bought her 30ml or Hugo Boss femme when we went on holiday. with her still having 35ml of Cacharel Scarlett, and I think 2x30ml of Anais Anais she won’t want any until next year :/

    • Robin says:

      Sounds like maybe it started to create olfactory fatigue…that is, your nose got used to it and couldn’t smell it as well anymore. It really is very long lasting.

      • Owen says:

        yes true, but now I can’t smell Gucci by Gucci at ALL
        and one my friends at college got 30mledp of it for her birthday and I can’t ever smell it, even when she showed everybody and they all wanted a bit on their arm and it was wafting round the room :(

        though I might get Flora for spring next yr, either that or Acqua di Gio.
        I can still smell Flora :)

  34. Chrissy48 says:

    I went through a whole bottle of this ( very unlike me to use up any bottle) and just got my 2nd one of it. Love it !!

  35. sygrid29 says:

    this fragrance is good for daily used… or going to the church in sunday’s…

  36. jonr951 says:

    Ulta.com has the new Gucci Flora Eau Fraîche. I look forward to trying it. : ) http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3190187

  37. zubi says:

    How interesting…. you’ve made me realise that my gigantic need to please people (pushed on me as an important value by my mum), has trickled into my perfume choice. I actually love this scent BECAUSE it is so soft and non-invasive. I never pick anything that might “offend” others. As much as it’s nice not to drown oneself in very strong fragrances, I realise now I’ve been very mild in my perfume choices… Thanks for helping me realise this! :)

    • zubi says:

      Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine to pick mild scents, but not for the wrong reasons. :)

  38. jazzyarizona says:

    I love, love, love Gucci Flora!!! I have also received, as a gift, a bottle of Gucci Flora Pink. I don’t want to open the cellophane and box until I know what this smells like….might have to return it. Can anyone out there enlighten me

  39. jazzyarizona says:

    Thanks anyway, Robin. Maybe someone else on your site has.

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