Etro Gomma, 1989

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Perfumer Édouard Fléchier

Leather perfumes are often defined by the ‘leather plus’ principle. Leather + citrus (Azurée), leather + green (Bandit), leather + tar (Lonestar Memories), Leather + cumin (Rien.)

Gomma’s leather is defined by florals and amber. But its plus-one is really rubber. I find that the sweet, powdery, slightly burnt rubber that is prominent from the start lasts all the way through. I would categorize Gomma as a leather, but my nose remembers it as a rubber. The amber sweetness is powdery, but it doesn’t dwell on vanilla, and therefore keeps off Bvlgari Black’s turf. Gomma is direct but has a light touch, and so doesn’t enter Knize Ten’s territory.

I appreciate Gomma’s EdC concentration. It allows the fragrance to remain fairly sheer despite its resinous timber. Gomma is not so much linear as a bit of a striptease. Initially the notes are threefold—leather, floral, amber. But the leather is leathery rubber with a bit of tar; the floral is violet with an abstract white floral; the amber is powdery, sweet and full. The accord remains even as components fall away and in the end, you have a sweet, violet rubber.


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