Gomma EDC by Etro (1989)

Undoubtedly, the opening makes quite clear the close similarity to Knize Ten several other reviewers picked up. That is what I thought too almost instantly. But for me, call me heretic, and speaking as a fan of both Etro and Knize, Gomma (vintage eau de cologne in paisley box) is better. Actually much better. It carries that irresistible charme of several early Etro’s, a nondescript yet totally recognizable feel of smoky, rich, mystic exoticism, here played with a somber, powdery and sumptuously soapy mood perfectly rendered by a fantastic jasmine note, powerful and gloomy, a soapy feel which seems exuding from a baroque macabre still life. All perfectly blended with sour-green notes and this gigantic central leather accord which is much “rubbery” in fact, but not artificial: it’s dry, sour, pungent but also soft, smoky, warm, rounded by a mellow amber accord, and carrying quite a natural feel of organic rubber. One of the nicest leather accords I’ve ever experienced, which reveals its quality on the drydown – a heavenly, sinful, subtle harmony of amber and leather. Gomma is overall austere and quite classic, yet deceptively simple or “conventional”: to me it’s like if it had a sort of fractal structure, with the two main characters – leather and green-floral soapy notes – which can be “dissected” into further nuances and notes – amber, smoke, rubber, earthy notes. Knize is to me quite more “monolithic”, more powerful and in a way, more simple and reassuringly solid: still great, just different. Gomma instead has just something exotic and creepy, that I can’t describe better but it’s something other vintage Etro’s have (take Palais Jamais, for instance) and that is what makes them so special to me. Elegant and shady, a bit light if you want, I’d call it “discreet”.



  1. Hello Colin,

    I am very impressed by your blog all the more because I was born with a poor sense of smell. It always amazes me when people can put words to what they smell; it makes me smile. Could you please tell me where one can buy samples for all these wonderful perfumes (Europe)? I do not want to give up on my poor nose.

    Thank you in advance :)


  2. Hi,
    thanks for your nice words! If you want to buy samples, for a start I think USA sites like PerfumedCourt, Perfumeshoppe and Decantshop are the best, they're unexpensive and offer a nice range of choice. And most important, they all ship to Europe for cheap, without customs troubles (I've personally bought samples there several times in the past). Now I prefer to swap samples so I don't buy them anymore, that could be an option too - I mean swapping - once you have something to offer. Or, you can ask on websites like Fragrantica or Basenotes, they both have swap/sell "marketplaces" for bottles and samples (especially Fragrantica for the samples). Or finally, several brands offer samples on their websites, like Heeley, Histoires de Parfums, Kurkdjian, Oriza Legrand and many others... they're mostly overpriced for their value, but if you're curious, that's a good option too (I did it too sometimes).
    Hope this helps!

  3. Hello Colin,

    Thank you so much for your reply, it's very kind of you. I took note of all this useful information and tips. Please stay the way you are, curious, passionate and earthy and keep on putting olfactory images in our heads :)

    Thanks a lot :)