Gucci Bamboo is the first effort of a new person in charge of fragrances at the house of Gucci. It is a combination of bergamot and musk, supposedly both powerful and feminine.
The packaging is nice. No, more than that--to an amateur fashion historian like me, the name and packaging are genius, evoking Gucci's iconic use of bamboo handles on their bags.
It's available as Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, shower gel, lotion, and spray deodorant, which is nice for people who like it.
But let's discuss the contents of the bottle, or in the phraseology of perfume heads, the juice.
I don't like it. It's both boring and strangely pungent. I spritzed on four spritzes, wrists, neck, and décolletage, and therefore had to live with it for a while. While I didn't run into the shower screaming and scrubbing at it to get it off, I didn't enjoy it.
Now when I'm sampling creams or makeup, I feel a duty to try them more than once, because sometimes the initial circumstances aren't really right, and don't give the product a fair shake. (For example: woe betide anyone who tries to get me to sample a matte liquid lipstick in Chicago in January. That won't go well, she said as she reached for the lip balm. Again.)
So anyway, I usually try to make a product work, at least a little bit. But I'm really picky about fragrances. I don't want to wear inoffensive fragrances; I want to wear fragrances that would make me want to ask myself out on a date. And this Gucci crap had that bland, millennial, unisex, inoffensive air-freshener-cum-Juicy-Fruit aroma that had me pitching it into the wastebasket within minutes of applying it.
Also, while I'm the last person to be able to pinpoint the various notes in a fragrance, there seems to be some confusion as to what we're actually smelling when we sniff Gucci Bamboo. OK, fine, I'm the idiot doesn't know anything about art, but knows what she likes. However, I found it interesting that nobody seems to be able to identify the individual notes in this perfume. Surely somewhere out there there will be a found a Snape to figure out this potion. Meanwhile, accounts differ.
Ulta and Basenotes.com says it's
casablanca lily, orange blossom, ylang ylang, sandalwood, vanilla, and grey amber
whereas Sephora claims it's made of
Italian bergamot, casablanca lily, ylang ylang, and sandalwood.
individual reviewers on Basenotes and Makeupalley describe it as an "aquatic floral" or a musk, and Poppy Buxom describes it as a mixture of
air freshener, plastic trash bag, tongue depressor, and Juicy Fruit gum
The best review I found was this, on Fragrantica.com:
What Chance Eau Tendre is to Chanel.
What Daisy is to Marc Jacobs.
What Light Blue is to Dolce and Gabbana.
That's what Bamboo is to Gucci.
It's perfume for someone who doesn't really like perfume, but WANTS to put perfume on the dresser.
A la Angel of Fragrantica.com, I salute you. You nailed it, totally and completely.
So this week, instead of Gucci Bamboo, I'm wearing Yves St. Laurent Rive Gauche parfum, from a vintage bottle Mr. Buxom bought me in the 1990s, well before Rive Gauche's 2003 reformulation.
Like Gucci Bamboo, it's supposed to contain bergamot and musk, but what I smell is yum. With maybe some sandalwood? And I love it.