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)
Vintage Le De = bare, soapy, astringent VIOLETS! I would'nt suspect this one came from Givenchy. Not flowery or sweet, which is strange for such a violet predominant fragrance. Worth a try, even if just for reference!
Thanks to thoughtful Lushsoup, I'm sampling both vintage and re-issued Le De, along with Long Lost Perfume's version. My impressions are: vintage smells like a good Riesling wine, re-issue is predominantly floral with a hint of artificial twang that I associate with almost all department store 'fumes. Long Lost is quite unlike the others and is my least favorite, more of a flat, woody chypre. The vintage is the most original smelling of this group, but didn't have longevity for me. My favorite is the re-issue. Although it does not offer a lot of change over time, it's truly pretty--nearly angelic.
Givenchy loved Audrey Hepburn and that fact is evident in his perfumes of that era. Le De and L'Interdit are a little thin, but very beautiful! Soft, feminine floral scents that speak simply in spite of being very complex...Givenchy III has a slight edge to it, but never looses that soft, almost transparent feeling. This fragrance is great to try if you are a little unsure about wearing a chypre. This trio is a great for the perfume novice. In fact, these are great fragrances to try again.