Monday, September 21, 2009

Etro Gomma

I belong to the school of thought that believes there can never be too many leather perfumes. Sweet leather, smoky leather, black leather, dirty leather, boozy leather... You get the picture. Gomma from Italian fashion house Etro is a clean, sheer and soapy leather that works very well on warm days or when you don't want to feel too self conscious about your fragrance but still wear something interesting. The lightness of the composition is probably not what you'd expect from a brand known for rich colors and complex patterns, but it makes more sense if you consider their exquisite cuts and classic silhouettes.

Gomma starts with a slightly rubbery leather, the kind you find in Bandit or Bulgari Black, though there's no similarity other than this opening note. It's a bit scary and makes one wonder if the perfume is going the fetish way, but it doesn't. I've heard that for some unfortunate souls, Gomma stays rubbery and turns very sour, but I've never experienced this, not even when wearing it in NYC mid-August (bloggers are brave folk). What I get from this Etro creation is a very dry leather with a slight hint of spice (clove on the hottest days, allspice occasionally) and a soapy, clean quality. There's supposed to be jasmine somewhere in the heart, but other than a very abstract floral impression, I can't say I'm smelling anything even remotely related. It's all leather, all the time, but without even a hint of kinkiness.

Gomma is very well-behaved. It can be worn on trains and in elevators everywhere without raising an eyebrow. It's exactly what I wanted Kelly Caleche to be and never got it. I don't know if it's a masculine, a feminine or a unisex scent. In our home the bottle is shared and equally enjoyed (by the humans. I don't think the cats care too much).

I've read complaints about the staying power, which is to be expected considering Gomma is an eau de cologne. I've found that on a summer day Gomma is actually noticeable for 5-6 hours easily, but on cooler days it stops projecting within 3-4 hours (with very liberal spraying). I don't know why Etro has chosen such a diluted concentration. Gomma would have made a magnificent eau de parfum (and just think how amazing an extrait could be!).

A 3.4 oz bottle officially retails for $165 which is beyond outrageous for an eau de cologne. However, it can be easily found online for well under $50. Etro outlet stores are also a good place to look for it.

Photo: Etro fall/winter 2009-2010 ad campaign by photographer Michaelangelo DiBattista, featuring Anja Rubik.


  1. Etro outlet stores? Gotta find some of those..

  2. Tom, I know very little about SoCal retail, but the Etro outlet store we have here is part of a premium outlet mall, where they have many LVMH brands and other places of awesome.


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