Oh how the mighty have fallen. Gucci Made to Measure (2013) is in no uncertain terms made to be anything but trite and ineffectual as a fragrance sold only on the basis of its top notes, which aren’t even really all that good. Coming from a house that has been bought, sold, and bought again, with the perfume lines rebooted twice in their entirety save maybe 2 or 3 fragrances, I should have expected this much. Good thing the ship is being steered by Alessandro Michelle away from this by-the-numbers corporate autobot composition style, or else Gucci might end up like Dolce & Gabbana: unable to truly move forward beyond their most-recent modern successes. All histrionics aside, Made to Measure is no abomination, but it is just so dialed-in boring and plain as to be almost offensive to the nose. I’d really rather somebody go wear Y Eau de Toilette by Yves Saint Laurent (2017) in my presence than this, and I hate that one with a passion, but at least it elicits some form of passion from me! In essence, we have a “fresh sweet spicy leathery soft warm clean sexy something or other” masculine that tries its hardest to be the dead-center of a masculine perfume Venn Diagram. Well guess what? It succeeds and the results are narcolepsy-inducing. I wonder how much James Franco was paid to play in the ads for this, since I’d be embarrassed from the association knowing how this smells. The mega-successful Dior Sauvage (2015) might get a lot of flack for having Johnny Depp in its ads, but at least that scent has some gumption, however controversial among the perfume community outside the mainstream lanes it may be.
I don’t really know who is on board with this one, but I can’t blame the perfumer remaining anonymous considering the results of their work. We have something with citrus and anise in the beginning, rolling through neroli and lavender into a blah that then fades further into a juniper berry middle flanked by plum, spices, and the aquatic note. There is so much “sweet and fresh har har” going on in this top and middle that anyone valuing oakmoss (real or fake) or even a simple fougère accord would be sent screaming in the other direction, clawing at their own eyes and asking why God has forsaken them, so maybe as colognoisseur repellent this might be effective. The base is just a huge sigh of bleached lifeless patchouli roundness, ambroxan, the modern “dry suede” accord that fills in for leather in the 2010’s, plus a heavily-processed labdanum vibe. The total finish is a mishmash of that citrus, juniper, lavender, spice, and ambroxan in a cloying ball of modern pleasantness that grants olfactory fatique at any application. I had to seriously sit out a few minutes and smell some coffee beans after reviewing my sample. I can’t imagine having this on skin longer than an hour tops, but I feel it will last a work day for the brave or tortured souls talked into buying it. Ever encounter something so staid, bland, and boring, yet resolute in it’s intensity that it makes you angry? Smell Gucci Made to Measure if you want to know what that is like.
I guess this is suitable as a generalist, as Gucci Made to Measure feels just so “general” that I can’t find a good context for it. Once again, there is no hate found here, but this is the masculine perfume equivalent of a child in the backseat during a road trip screaming “are we there yet? are we there yet?” ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Gucci Made to Measure is literally olfactive torture to my nose because I can’t process it as good or bad, since it is just so perfectly dialed-in to pleasant, overbearingly present, and overwhelmingly devoid of character, like a giant android following you wherever you go just to let you know you’ve got mail, despite nobody even using AOL anymore. This stuff is just madness, and maddeningly bad. The absolute lowest point of Gucci’s perfume career on the men’s side, and not recommendable to anyone by me no matter what your taste or budget is. In fact, if you tell me you like this, I’ll give you a recommendation of something more focused that does what this tries to do better, and maybe even for less, because Gucci still carries a premium price tag in many shops. As they have since proven, Gucci can only go up from here in Men’s fragrance, and it astounds me that something like Gucci Pour Homme (2003) has been discontinued, to become such an over-hyped unicorn of a fragrance commanding Creed prices, yet something this completely lifeless is allowed to fill the lineup in its stead. Tagged as “tailor-made like an expensive suit; inspired by the look and feel of a handmade suit”, I couldn’t possibly disagree more. I just don’t know, I really don’t. Hard thumbs down.