FRAGRANCE | Areté Perfume by Gritti: A multi-faceted leather-based fragrance
I wouldn't have guessed the bottle's actual shape from this presentation.
Gritti is yet another house I would have never heard of it weren't for fellow fragheads letting go of their bottles. Judging by the scant reviews of their fragrances on Fragrantica, I'd say it's a little known niche house. But I'm glad I took a leap of faith and blind-bought Areté, which the Venice-based brand released in 2015.
Presentation is good on this one, which for me is part of the joy of owning full bottles. And the sturdy black box alone already made for a promising experience. It's also interesting how the pitch-black bottle is presented sideways, which perfectly explains the box's depth. Although stylistically different, the label's placement calls to mind Jovoy Paris.
Curious label placement. Let's do it sideways, says Gritti!
Scent-wise, Areté gives off a wonderful first impression with a strong and sweet boozy accord predicated by an equally strong leather note. Both the sweetness and booze render the leather smooth and possibly more likable to most noses. In spite of this glossing over—in the same vein as how leather is treated in Tom Ford's bestselling Tuscan Leather or in Memo Paris's French Leather—the leather's power is never diminished.
The opening also carries some hints of spiciness although they never are really able to break through. The fagrance later takes on a slight woody turn, lending it just a bit of sharpess. But the leather never lets up and eventually the wood retreats, blending into the background that provides the main star its layered character.
Around two hours later, a musky facet takes a stab at the leather's dominance. The two duke it out. One moment I get musk and then it's barely detectable in the next. This game of hide-and-seek carries on for a little while before the musk finally disappears.
In my opinion Areté isn't the most unique of leather-based fragrances. Yes, I feel like I've smelled similar scents before—not exactly the same, just similar. However, it's beautifully executed and it does have depth. And coupled with its mostly heavy projection and long life, this to me makes it worth owning. Still, try before you buy.