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This Gucci scent is somewhere between red carpet and Real Housewives

The scent

Gucci Première

The backstory

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Inspired by classic Hollywood glamour, the newest women's scent from Gucci is named after a collection of gowns it unveiled during the 2010 Cannes International Film Festival. The fragrance, as Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini, explainedby e-mail, is meant to conjure a "highly luxurious and inspirational universe."

What it smells like

The layering of orange blossom and white flowers is feminine yet quite sweet. While Giannini compares the "Champagne-like opening effect" to "a red-carpet entrance," it also has the potential to wade into Real Housewives territory. Musk anchors the floral headiness, but the wood and leather notes aren't fully expressed – odd, given that Gucci is a leather-goods house.

The nose

Also strange is the fact that no perfumer is officially linked to the scent – akin in the fragrance world to a director taking his or her name off a movie.

The look

The squat art deco bottle is designed to appear as if dipped in liquid gold, bearing subtle Gucci signage atop the cap and on a charm that dangles from the bottle's neck alongside a plastic gold piece resembling the brand's iconic horse bit.

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The face

Blond bombshell Blake Lively ( GossipGirl 's Serena van der Woodsen) was shot by fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for the campaign. Of her fragrance persona, Lively says by e-mail, "[She's] a timeless woman in her strongest, most powerful form."

Who it's for

A woman more enticed by the image and pedigree of a scent than the scent itself. If Gucci Première makes her feel like a star, however, who's to say it's not a success?

Cachet factor

The fragrance had its official debut in the fall, but this is awards season, when red-carpet glamour is top of mind. Still, it's more commercial crowd-pleaser than offbeat darling. Consider it the fragrance equivalent of an airplane movie.

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Where to buy it

Holt Renfrew, The Bay, Ogilvy, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques and Murale.


$78 for 30 ml, $130 for 75 ml.

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