Jared Leto’s Venetian Escape

“I wouldn’t say I’m interested in fashion,” explains actor and musician Jared Leto. “I’m interested in art and creativity and people that make things and pour their life and passion into it. Whether it’s photography or film or fashion or fine art, it really doesn’t make a difference to me,” he continues. “There are all kinds of examples of people who contribute to the world in a beautiful way, and that’s always really inspiring to me.”

Leto is the face of Gucci’s latest fragrance, Gucci Guilty Absolute, and stars in a new campaign shot by Glen Luchford in Venice, Italy. “It was an incredible week that we spent in Venice in the winter,” the Oscar-winner recalls of the experience. “There was this empty, kind of haunted feeling to wandering the canals of that impossible-looking city. It’s incredible there.”

Created by Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele in collaboration with Alberto Morillas, Gucci Guilty Absolute features features custom leading notes drawn from leather and cypress, with three different patchouli oils and vetivier rounding out the scent. Leto, a friend of Michele’s, was keen to collaborate with the brand: “Alessandro is a really kind person and I really think very highly of him,” he says. “With Alessandro, you know there is going to be a certain level of care and quality and creativity involved.”

Though he says he has not historically worn fragrances, Leto agrees with the old adage that scent is the strongest memory trigger. “The smell of a fireplace, or a walk through a forest, are very evocative,” he tells us. A fireplace, in particular, reminds Leto of his childhood and of being in nature. “There’s something primal about it as well,” he adds.