I haven't smelled the reissue, and this review is for the vintage version.
I had come to accept that my chemistry must have changed a lot, because I used to do so well with green chypres and green florals, yet I never find a new release along those lines that works for me. However, wearing Eau de Givenchy for the first time in 25 years makes me realize that our context for what qualifies as a fresh or green or dewy scent has really changed!
For this scent is objectively just as I remember it, with the minty burst up front, the un-sweet florals, and the mineral-y, grassy drydown, yet it's not a happy-go-lucky scent by today's standards; it is so shockingly somber and formally structured compared to, say, what's going on at Hermes. As much as Jour d'Hermes should be something I'd love - and it did smell magical to me in the air - as worn, it became a flat and monotonous lemony musk. Whereas Eau de Givenchy doesn't smell that "happy" and springlike in the bottle - it's definitely perfume and not the magical capturing of a spring day - it DOES magically develop into a cool spring day on my skin.
The drydown actually reminds me a lot of Sisley's Eau de Campagne.
Certainly could be unisex, yet I hold it up there with vintage Diorissimo as an example of how lily of the valley can be devastatingly beautiful in a feminine.
Eau de Givenchy is a nice, pleasant, relaxed chypre which brilliantly manages to combine a fresh, minty, summery breeze, almost "iodine" in a way, with a denser, darker and stickier base line of notes more typically found in classic chypres – the usual musky/animalic mossy base, not particularly earthy or heavy here, but still carrying that kind of slightly skanky-sweaty smell. In the middle, a bouquet of flowers ranging from carnation to rose, then sandalwood, patchouli, perhaps vetiver. Shortly a classic Oriental chypre on the mossy-woody side with a remarkable fresh twist – halfway mineral and fruity, azure and refreshing, played not on calone but rather on a combination of balsamic, floral, fruity notes which delivers a colourful, fresh breath, slightly aqueous too. Totally refined, a kind of "weekend" relaxed elegance. Perfect elegant drydown (which despite the name "Eau de...", is quite long-lasting). A good one for sure!
Genre: Fruity Floral
Eau de Givenchy is a screechy, chemical citrus-floral composition that’s at once harsh and hollow. It smells more like an unpleasant soap than a perfume. To employ a technical term: ick!
Eau de Givenchy is an overlooked masterpiece. I wonder how so many fine noses missed the gentle caress of green grassy notes as they part for a brilliantly-executed honeysuckle, lily of the valley, jasmine, and tuberose exposé. Although the florals follow the lemon and bitter mint, they don't take center stage for very long. As the evolution trends dangerously close to floral territory, bitter oakmoss and grassy notes reemerge to flank the sweetness. Eventually everything dries into a citrusy green melange of herbs and spices, tinged by the gentleness of honeysuckle, and darkened by a withdrawn-but-present tuberose. Simply beautiful, and comparable in tonality to Chevrefueille Original by Creed.
It's funny comparing 1980's idea of 'light and fresh' to today's.
The Berga-Mint opening reminds me a little of Paco Rabanne's XS, and EdG performs barely any better, but the ingredients seem okay. Not too much going on other than that light grapefruit-bergamot-mint that quickly blows away and leaves what is basically the scent equivalent of an afterimage of white floral and vague wood. This fragrance is devoid of any personality.
This might serve as my signature 'forgettable scent,' were that not really an oxymoron.