Perfume Directory

L'Interdit (original) (1957)
by Givenchy


L'Interdit (original) information

Year of Launch1957
Average Rating
(based on 64 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerFrancis Fabron
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About L'Interdit (original)

L'Interdit (original) is a feminine perfume by Givenchy. The scent was launched in 1957 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Francis Fabron

L'Interdit (original) fragrance notes

Reviews of L'Interdit (original)

In 1953 Audrey Hepburn asked her close friend and couturier Hubert de Givenchy to help her commission a scent for her exclusive personal use. He was by this time au fait with the world of perfumery and he passed the job over to the author of L'Air du Temps. The perfume was duly composed for Hepburn and when it was done L'Interdit, the Forbidden One was hers and hers alone. However, four years later Givenchy wanted to launch his own perfume collection and when his first juice Le De was ready he put L'Interdit on the market at same time. As he explained, 'with two horses in the stable there is more chance of coming in first'. Like many other couturiers his dresses were not selling anymore.

The original formula is an aldehydic floral bouquet, with a flourish of juniper and herbal notes in the head, fruity and spicy notes folded into the floral heart, and a biscuit undercurrent which later comes through supported by an oily-feeling vetiver sandal and amber base.

Its a simple construction that settles into a light, uplifting creamy yellow floral decorated with subtle ornamental flourishes. Although L'Interdit is an aldehydic in the hard and smooth eggshell manner of Blue Grass (1934) or Je Reviens (1932), it has a softer and more sympathetic floral theme than those other two. Where their lesser ornamentation and more straightforward articulation gives them a more functional and domestic feel - with metal polish notes for example, L'Interdit's sweet florals express more of a feminine feel than the 1930's iterations.

L'Interdit also has a certain amount in common with that comparatively ebullient floral aldehydic at the other end of the spectrum - Chanel No.5. With more clearly expressed ornamental themes and much more discrete florals the Givenchy is far less abstract, and outgoing, than the 1921 Chanel classic. When these two are put head to head its possible to see just how quiet L'Interdit is, just like Hepburn herself was in real life.

Somewhere between these two floral aldehydic tropes of homely domesticity and modernist abstraction, L'Interdit feels like an uncertain negotiation between private and public spheres, a bit like the sitation an introvert film star might find herself in when she walks onto the set.

16th February, 2017
A timeless represents confidence and sophisication.the aldehydes are crisp,the sandalwood smooth,the floral elegant and the dry down are excellent.the scent absolutely breathtaking reminds me of a delectable glass of champagne subtle but the compliments your own natural skin beautifully and it a natural way.the smell is clean and reminds me of baths and talcum powder.Classic,Chic,Ladylike,Powdery Subtle,Exciting and Passionate.

It's a beautifully aldehyde beginning with a brightness that can be attributed to citrus.the middle notes bring in a skin powdery that's so dries down to the most exquisite,comforting muskiness scent that makes a woman who has stamina,grace,power and self assured under the veil of a delicate,young,clean body as if enhancing your presence and making you beautiful and confident at the same time's a natural woman smell,it's who a man imagines a woman to smell.warm enough to be comforting in winter but light enough to be wearable in summer.


Longevity?Acceptable on my skin.

05th May, 2016
L' Interdit -- Forbidden. This review is for L'Interdit II EdT.

I recently purchased a bottle of this in what I believe is the newer formulation, a 3 2/3 oz EdT in the tall bottle with a metal cap that is quite similar to the bottles used for Ysatis and Organza. I could not stop myself from spritzing it right away as I am so enamoured with Givenchy's Ysatis and Organza, and overall I am quite impressed with L' Interdict as well, although it is vastly different from both Ystatis and Organza. I have worn it several times thus far, and my impressions are as follows.

It is a gorgeous fruity, floral, woody, musky but CLEAN fragrance with NO patchouli--a welcomed difference. It is VERY feminine; very soft; and, very fruity upon initial application. Then it soon turns much more floral. I think the sillage, projection, and longevity on this one will be one of my worst, though, possibly worse then the current Apres L'Ondee EdT, but I hardly expected it to be a powerhouse, a heavy hitter like Opium for example. It is simply not that sort of parfum. It is the type of fragrance that once one gets a sniff of it, however, one would want to move in much closer to the wearer in order to get a better sniff. : )

I definitely get a fresh, red, JUICY but tart strawberry in the top. Then it quickly dries down to sandalwood and musk with hints of rose and probably violet peeking through the sandalwood and musk. I do not detect any sunflower, freesia, jasmine, or incense, and I definitely do not detect any ylang-ylang which is a note I truly enjoy. My nose it pretty untutored overall, though, so I may be missing some of the notes that more experienced noses could readily discern.

L' Interdit has something of a "perfumey" vibe about it. It does not smell like any currently made accessibly priced fragrances of today which all tend to smell fairly sweet to my nose. This composition definitely seems to have a vintage vibe to it if compared with, for example, Madonna ToD Naked which is quite heavy on the honeysuckle, vanilla orchid, and peach blossom notes, and is thus quite sweet. L' Interdit's sweetness is of a different variety---it is less artificial, less synthetic, truer to nature, and I LIKE THAT about it!

Within thirty minutes of application, L' Interdit pretty much begins to lean toward becoming a skin scent, albeit a very feminine, floral one. Projection could not be more than a foot at that point as far as I can tell, and I imagine sillage is very soft indeed. A heavier hand is definitely possible with this one. Thirty minutes after application, it is slightly woody, quite floral, but not at all either sugary sweet or balsamic. Actually, the strawberry makes it smell more tart than sweet from the very beginning.

Overall, I really like it, and I am not at all sorry I bought it blind. It seems VERY spring/summer like to me, very fresh and very French. I do not think this L' Interdit would perform as well in cold weather, but I could be wrong. It is pretty warm here again today as I wear this parfum.

In my opinion, L' Interdit is a fairly light, woody, fruity, floral that has a fresh, young, French vibe to it. I doubt anyone could possibly find this fragrance offensive. I believe it would work for both daytime and night time wear in virtually any environmental setting, including around children and/or elderly people. I think it would work well on a woman of just about any age, too. Although it is not synthetically sugary sweet, I bet its natural, authentic floral sweetness would attract bees and wasps if one wears it out of doors! Definitely recommend this one if you like fresh florals with a woody, musky base.

Fragrance: 8/10
Sillage: 3/10
Projection: 3/10
Longevity: 4/10

All in all, this is another successful blind buy for me, and although I could not claim that this is a "sexy" fragrance, I definitely think it is a very cuddly fragrance that gentlemen would appreciate smelling on their ladies. As a floral, it is MUCH more sophisticated smelling than the florals from the very early 20th century. Definitely not a soliflore. Definitely VERY FRENCH. It leans toward the demure but very feminine side of the spectrum. I do not think this fragrance is unisex at all, though. Sorry gentlemen.

ETA: In the very deep dry down, L'Interdit smells a little bit powdery but not overwhelming so. I am quite taken with this lovely fragrance. : )
17th April, 2016
Spending an evening sniffing a vintage vial of L'Interdit dating from the early to mid-eighties, I caught myself thinking, "This is so good it's stupid."
Not the best verbiage for a review, but honest.
In this I smell the traceable root of the sandalwood/plum of Nicole Miller and the strawberry floral of Perry Woman, each another decade after this sample was made.
L'Interdit is (in this incarnation) to smell what suede is to touch, and it balances richness with restraint most beautifully. There is a burst of luscious aldehydes and berries at the fore , the former departing shortly after application, the latter remaining for most of its duration. There is a lactonic peach melding with the famously banana-like ylang ylang and a superb impression of lily-of-the-valley. And then the real stars emerge - the rose and sandalwood, a hazy, soft, out-of-focus duo so beautifully interwoven one wonders why they weren't made apparent from the start.
I had this sample lying around for years, and I had even tried it but never thought of it afterward. I am so impressed by this composition I have to give the reformulation another visit (I was rather harsh). I enjoyed wearing this so much I immediately bought a mini online for further 'study.'

This is a soft, suave, simple fragrance that isn't likely to floor many people but if you want a close fragrance that sings constant praise in an alto voice of supreme quality I would sooner recommend few others.

31st May, 2014
Lovely floral aldehyde. Warmer, softer, and sweeter than the "big" aldehyde (Chanel no5), it's also more durable. Best in early spring and early fall, it's a soft and delightful fragrance with a distinct fruit note (orange/peach/strawberry).
01st November, 2013
This is so subtle, it's practically a non-scent. Despite splashing more and more liberal amounts, I smell nothing. This from a vintage sample, so perhaps it did not retain its strength over time.
Despite 18 ingredients involving fruits, florals and woods/musk, according to Nigel Groom in his perfume anthology, nothing evolves.

Perhaps this simply interacted well with dear Audrey's skin and personal oils. Sad it does not with me. She is my favorite star and I did so want to have an idea as to what it was like to have her waft by.
28th July, 2011

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