Perfume Directory

Nobile (1988)
by Gucci

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Nobile information

Year of Launch1988
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 255 votes)

People and companies

HouseGucci
Parent Company at launchMuelhens > Scannon

About Nobile

Nobile is a masculine fragrance by Gucci. The scent was launched in 1988

Nobile fragrance notes

Reviews of Nobile

Smells more like Drakkar Noir than Drakkar Noir. OK if you want to smell like a thousand other functional products for men, since this scent has become so generic.
25th June, 2020
The tale of Gucci's perfume efforts is one of tragedy if you ask vintage colognoisseurs, as the house has been bought and sold over the years and had its perfume catalog wiped and restarted twice, resulting in three distinct periods of style (so far). The initial period which began in the 70's and ran into the 90's saw the house mostly stick to traditional Italian motifs for its perfumes, and Gucci Nobile (1988) falls into that category. Then there was the Tom Ford era where he piloted not just Gucci, but Yves Saint Laurent from his chair at LVMH until his departure in 2005. The decade or so of perfumes made under his watch were certainly more in the retro-romanticism vein, but weren't really as honest as the initial offerings. Then Gucci was sold again and the perfume division landed in the hands of Coty Prestige, who rebooted the house a second time to follow a far more-mainstream and commercialized route which synergized better with the flashy logo-obsessed culture which was buying into the brand by that point. None of this really relates to the smell of Gucci Nobile, but all of it relates to why it is so revered by vintage colognoisseurs, with surviving bottles placed on a pedestal so high as to challenge the retail prices of Creed and Xerjoff in the aftermarket. What's fascinating is Gucci Nobile really was the start of the "Guccicorn" phenomenon of making "unicorns" (vastly over-hyped and over-valued trophy pieces among discontinued scents that can serve as a measure of a collector's legitimacy upon acquisition) out of discontinued Gucci perfumes, that has come to affect all future discontinued Gucci perfumes and retroactively ones that had been axed before Gucci Nobile was, and I'm going to try answering why while also helping you wrap your head around the smell of it. Gucci Nobile is really just another 1980's aromatic fougère that anyone could easily live without, even if it does tiptoe over the line into another genre and has that same unrepentant moss-heavy construction that both dates the stuff for modern noses not raised in the pre-IFRA era, and exalts it in the eyes of hobbyists who could literally snort lines of oakmoss off a tree and be happy. You remove all these very-specific contexts, and it's easy to wonder what all the big deal is about.

On the surface, Gucci Nobile looks and even initially smells like your standard green office fougère, coming across with the expected 80's soapy tones of citrus, florals, orris, and tonka on a bitey oakmoss base, comparable to any number of contemporaries at the time. A deeper inspection after the initial opening reveals something altogether different, more stately, mature, and complex. For starters, Gucci Nobile doesn't directly stay in the fougère lane during its drydown phases, wandering in and out of chypre bitterness throughout. The bergamot, lemon, and lavender opening is certainly fougère enough, but rosemary, tarragon, and spicy mace bring in a piquant sharpness altogether on a level beyond your standard Drakkar Noir (1984), or Houbigant Duc de Vervins (1985). The heart is densely packed with florals of all kinds, including rose, jasmine, cyclamen, and geranium, but alongside the usual orris they are balanced with bitter fir and dry cedar to keep the soap factor to a minimum, and help introduce that chypre-like base. Tonka, musk, and of course oakmoss are here to make the expected fougère foundation, but with sandalwood, vetiver, and patchouli teasing out the sharp green chypre-like aspects of the oakmoss present, we end up with a sort of amalgam hybrid base similar to that of Pascal Morabito Or Black (1982) but minus any leather. The densely mossy-green chypre feeling of R de Capucci by Roberto Capucci (1986) and Gianfranco Ferré for Man (1986) are also recalled, both brutally Italian in their zest I might add, to sit alongside the clean and neat fougère finish. The conclusion of this development implies a construction that was meant to be everything appealing to men who loved aromatic tones in the 1980's, which now means this scent is everything appealing to men who love 80's-style aromatic fragrances in one bottle. In short: this stuff is very classy-smelling catnip for powerhouse lovers, and that alongside the tumultuous history of House Gucci and increasing scarcity has shot this stuff to the moon both in price and prestige among collectors. This still isn't the best fougère from the decade in my opinion, especially not with contenders like Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981), Lapidus Pour Homme (1987), or Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels (1989), but it does something none of the others from this period do, and it's really hard being unique in the fougère realm, so I'm impressed.

Gucci Nobile is clearly well-behaved despite having a literal forest worth of aromatics in its note pyramid, because with a name like that, it almost has to be polite. What I find most interesting about the smell of Nobile is how it pretty much goes against everything Gucci has stood for as a fashion brand, as it isn't brash, overly sweet, or pulsing with virility and machismo like one might expect from a Gucci masculine from the 80's. You get a bucket of herbs and spices over barbershop florals and a mega-dense aromatic base that wants to be both a fougère and a chypre, with sillage for miles and longevity until the end of time. This stuff was made in an age of smoking inside public buildings, so there is no real way to lightly wear Nobile, especially since it never survived long enough to see reformulation into softer-spoken versions like most of its 80's kin, but that doesn't mean it isn't a lovely wear for fans of the style. Wear this anywhere you'd use a fougère or chypre, but keep it in moderate weather because there isn't anything refreshing about it, and it might be a tad over the top in summer. I can't recommend Nobile with prices higher than Willie Nelson after a performance in Amsterdam, but I understand the "holy grail" aspect of its desirability because you could own bottles of R de Capucci, Duc de Vervins, Drakkar Noir, Or Black, and everything else I've named to cover all the bases handled by just a single bottle of Gucci Nobile, which really does make it a one-stop-shop of aromatic 80's goodness. When you factor in the mythos created by a house that just keeps killing off anything anyone seems to like (to the point of fans suspecting it when they stop seeing a favorite Gucci scent in stores), and you can see why the reverence is through the roof on Gucci Nobile. This really is great stuff, and although I don't think it's blood of the Gods, I can truly respect why this one is loved and sorely missed so much. If you want to ignore all the animalic and musky floral dandy masculines of the 1980's, Gucci Nobile is practically your reference scent for fans of this decade in men's perfumery, which makes it all the more tragic that it is unobtainable to the vast majority of us anymore. Thumbs up.
12th May, 2019
Gucci Nobile is a scent I first became familiar with in the early 2000's when I saw it at discount retailer TJ Maxx. You could easily find 60ml bottles for under $20 at that time. The same 60ml bottle is selling for 20 times that price on eBay in 2019!

Nobile is a familiar soapy green scent that opens with citrus (bergamot and lemon) a medley of herbal notes, and a base of lots of oakmoss and vetiver and a lovely sandalwood/musk/tobacco dry-down. There are some light floral accords - jasmine, rose, carnation - that I can somewhat pick apart in the mid notes. The complexity of this fragrance is stunning, and impressive that no single note jumps out and dominates the composition. Ingredients are high quality. I enjoy the many natural essences of Nobile.

Performance in terms of projection and longevity are above average. The last few times I've worn it I've noticed my bottle might not be quite as potent as I remember older bottles of Nobile. It's been off the market for a fairly long time now.

One style of Nobile has a grey bottle with the sprayer built into the cap and another has a removable grey cap with a silver spray. I much prefer the latter, as it puts out a better stream and is, frankly, less tacky.

There's a bit of an 80's vibe to Nobile (1988), for sure. Some of the comparisons have been quite accurate, though Nobile is its own character. For someone who is looking to approach the 80's powerhouse genre, Nobile might be one of the more approachable, less challenging scents to start with. It's brighter in its theme to many of the 80's beasts, and I don't think Nobile is a fragrance that would easily offend those around you.

Nobile is such a pleasant "fresh" fragrance, though I would prefer to say it evokes "clean", and certainly masculine. I find it to be comforting and casual and something I would wear in the spring.

I don't do Nobile as a SOTD too often, but it's nice to have a bottle in my wardrobe. This is - by far - my favorite Gucci fragrance. It might also be my favorite in its genre of "green" 80's powerhouses because it's soft-spoken and approachable. 5 stars out of 5 for me!
25th March, 2019
Tbis is what a man should smell like! Not too much oakmoss, blended perfectly with my skin chemistry, and lasted dawn till dusk!

Way better than Polo Green of any vintage, with a freshness to boot. Man I sure miss this frag, too much for summer, or even a Texas Spring, but absolutely Perfect for Fall and Winter.

Nothing made today can compare, this is pure classly manliness!
27th January, 2019
Stonking great 80's fougère with the kind of sillage you can cut with a knife.

***
24th September, 2018
I have a mini, it's often compared to vtg Drakkar Noir and Duc de Vervin and it can be. But as is often the case for me in perfumery the devil is is the details, it's perfectly balanced, the oakmoss is superlative. It feels very simple and straightforward and you may feel you smelled it a hundred times if like me you were an 80's kid, yet in the genre nothing comes close when you put your nose to it.
Un grand parfum without a doubt
30th April, 2018

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