Somewhere between familiar and sexy is Tom Ford’s first men’s fragrance for Gucci, Gucci Envy for Men. This 1998 instant classic featuring opoponax, incense, patchouli, amber, musk, cedar, cardamom, anise, coriander, ginger, nutmeg and pimento is a sweet oriental, quite the opposite of what I had initially expected after testing the very green Envy for Women.
Envy was a big disappointment to me when it launched because I had already sniffed Jivago 7 Elements and Obsession for Men, scents which this fragrance respectfully references, in my humble opinion. Envy opens with a sweet, slightly licorice-tinged ginger note, moving to a sweet musk and amber bouquet. Accents of nutmeg, patchouli, and woods appear now and then and the entire composition melts together into a warm, lingering aroma. The longevity and sillage are excellent, likely due to the amber and musk, though there is little development. Now, nearly 8 years after the first time I purchased Envy, I’m able to test and judge it with a slightly more impartial perspective. The verdict: it’s good stuff.
Envy was to Gucci what Obsession was to Calvin Klein, a powerhouse oriental that put the company on the track to success in the fragrance department. It’s also simple enough to be easy to like, though to my nose, the fragrance is lacking something defining and feels incomplete. But for what it is and the equally sexy bottle the juice is housed in (not to mention the affordable prices on many internet sites), this one is sure to make a great gift for…well, just about anyone you’d like to help smell incredible. Even better, help Dad out and get him away form that bottle of Aqua Velva and put Envy on your Father’s Day gift list.