On my skin the original version's top notes are jasmine and muguet, light, and the jasmine is of discrete elegance. In the drydown a discrete ylang ylang is added, which is unusually light and lacks a sweet richness this note often entails, but is endowed with hints of a white pepper note.
The base adds hints of a very restrained amber and a woodsy undertone, yet the floral core retains a presence until the end.
The major issue with this scent is the abysmal performance, with very soft sillage, atrocious projection and five hours of longevity; straight from the first moments it is hardly present - so close to my skin it is. Light, very discrete, great for the office and around people who do not tolerate fragrances....euphemisms aside it is simply too diluted. Definitely worth a try as it might be less disappointing in its performance on someone else. 2.75/5.
I have never (with one exception) disliked a Givenchy scent. Indeed three of them (Ysatis, Vetyver and III) are at the center of my scent tray.
Le De is a new one for me. I am sampling the original formula. At first I detected iris and then the heart of jasmine and ylang settled in. It is very very light, but quite sophisticated and dry. I would imagine it would be a perfect summer scent and since it is so close to the skin, an appropriate choice for professional wear.
An odd note. A number of the eight reviews here refer to the violet center. However, Le De has no violet in it. I believe these reviewers are (understandably) confusing it with the 1947 Balenciaga Le Dix, which is one of the greatest violets ever created.
Very nice and recommended.
Another grand revival from Givenchy! Le De shares a superb green herbaceous accord with Givenchy III, but where Givenchy III is moist and loamy, Le De is elegantly floral. Jasmine and ylang-ylang are the star players at Le De’s floral heart. These notes can become garish or bombastic in the wrong hands, but here both are presented in such balance and moderation as to squelch any concern. Le De is one of those scents where everything seems to fall perfectly in place. The floral notes are just indolic enough to tantalize, the incense is just dry enough to ground them, and the woody basenotes are just dense enough to lend the whole thing substance without weighing it down.
As a cool, indolic floral fragrance Le De has points in common with Dominique Ropion’s Une Fleur de Cassie for Frederic Malle, but where the Malle goes gloriously over the top with the fetid indoles, Le De maintains delicately classical proportions. If Une Fleur de Cassie is the breath of a seductively beautiful animal, Le De is the breeze off of a sunlit garden terrace. Like so much else about Le De, the power and sillage seem perfectly judged to please without intruding, and while at four to six hours endurance it’s not the longest-lasting fragrance of its type, its longevity is more than adequate. Lovely, really, just lovely.
One of my treasures is a samll vintage bottle of Le De parfum. Although I am not much of a violet fan, this one is lovely!
For someone who bragged about using the Rothschild's bathroom, Luca Turin's snobbery failed him when he reviewed Le De, which is a reference to the particle of nobility in Hubert de Givenchy's name. He might not like classic florals, but the astronomical sums fetched by vintage Couer Joie on eBay means many women do! For the record, Bette Davis didn't wear butch leather fragrances, but this gorgeous romantic masterpiece. Turin was right that there are "scads of raspy indole," so the critic's instincts aren't so off here. But rather than a very soft mattress, the effect here is more like the sparkling bubbles in a luxurious bath. Another comment pointed out the astringency of violets, and that is correct. Every ingredient here is perfectly in place and effected in aquarelle touches, like an Impressionist painting or the way set designers construct backdrops with several sheer panels and colored gels over the lights behind them. The reissue, like many Givenchy perfumes, is perfect.
19th January, 2011 (last edited: 04th February, 2011)