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Group: Oriental Woody
It's always a dilemma of mine whether to review a discontinued fragrance if not for one's own record or for the sake of perfume history. However, Gloria is such a sorely missed beauty and possibly Cacharel's best ever creation that hopefully this fact alone justifies such a mad intent.
The tall, slim and cherry-pink transparent bottle is wrapped up in a metallic purple packaging with pink lettering of 'Gloria'written across it. Named after the '60s song of the same name, I find the simple but chic packaging young, warm and fun.
Top notes: amber, amaretto, rose, hibiscus
Gloria is immediately a lovely and rich bomb of boozy amber mixed with a deep and dark cherry note reminiscent of Joop Le Bain's cherry pipe tobacco opening. In Gloria too I get a hint of cherry pipe tobacco peeping through though only occasionally. The sweet, vegetal and aromatic amber is right on the money from the start creating an enticing combination of sensual, fun and gourmand fruity - boozy - ambery notes that's quite unique even amongst orientals.
Middle notes: black pepper, vanilla, amber, white flowers
As some 10 or 15 minutes later Gloria settles and softens, I'm starting to pick out a distinct note of nut or cereal that's comforting, smooth and lightly gourmand like the aroma of baked cake. It deepens the accord and tones down the sweetness whilst adding another dimension to the composition. Together with the yummy liqueur touch that survived from the top and a hint of powderiness that appears gradually, the result is a lovely and deep gourmand but not at all cloying foody oriental blend with a powdery and nutty touch. The sillage is quite close to the skin from early on and after 4 - 5 hours it is just a veil of a couple of inches around me. But oh how delicious it is!
Base notes: tonka bean, cherry, almond, cedarwood, styrax
Mid - afternoon after about 7 hours of wear, Gloria starts its drydown as a lovely, smooth ambery vanilla with undertones of cherry, almond and that slightly boozy note thrown in. The scent is rounded and mostly ambery and powdery all the way down. As most oriental scents, the bases notes are designed to be sweet and aromatic with a touch of earthiness, a recipe for sensual fragrances. Gloria is that and more. The subtle foody touch gives the eau de toilette a young and fun feel enhanced by a gourmand sensuality; like swirling a glass of cherry - amaretto and having an almond cake with a lover kind of atmosphere.
I wish the Eau de Toilette was a little bit stronger and had more depth. The EDT on me does not last all day and has no noticeable sillage after about 6 - 7 hours. It stays put on the skin though so it really is a sensual, ambery skin scent. A touch of earthiness compliments the nutty and bittersweet almond and vanilla accord and the deeper, subtler oriental elements make sure of the anchoring and keep the sweetness in check. Gloria is therefore never too sweet, annoying or cloying and is altogether subtle, balanced, full-bodied and unique boozy oriental similar to a well-matured malt that's been carefully aged in a wooden cask.
To sum up, Gloria is nutty -cherry - vanilla - amber gourmand oriental without being foody or cheap. Its boozy - almondy edge with the cosy, powdery vanilla and amber nuance is to die for. If you wish to experience Gloria, I recommend you go for the more affordable bath oil. Used on the body, it is very similar to the eau de toilette with the nutty, cereal like note being more pronounced from the start and the whole impression being warmer, slightly more gourmand and less powdery overall. I use it to layer it with the EDT to give it more depth and longevity.
To be honest I just don't understand how Gloria could have been discontinued. Yet it is a frequently reoccurring thing. Some smashing fragrances do get resurrected later (Chaos, Nilang, Venezia) but most don't (Theorema). Gloria must have been too expensive to produce and due to its unique, gourmand and warm oriental character it must not have been a commercial success. Who needs a 20th samey-samey flanker of Amor Amor begs the question but hey, that's life. Thus Gloria is perfume history. If the same juice was released as part of Serge Lutens or another niche creator's collection, no one would bat an eyelid and it would finally get the accolade this little gem deserves. G - L - O - R - I - A - A - A, Glo - o - o - o - o ria!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Supply is rare but can be found intermittently on various eBay sites (UK, US and France are the most likely sources) starting from around £40 / 30ml Eau de Toilette and £50 / 100ml Body Mist plus shipping. You can get the Bath Oil for £8 - £15 / 100ml if no one else bids on it.
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