Perfume Directory

Givenchy Gentleman (1974)
by Givenchy

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Givenchy Gentleman information

Year of Launch1974
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 669 votes)

People and companies

HouseGivenchy
PerfumerPaul Lèger
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Givenchy Gentleman

A classic fragrance with a stylish mix of Vetiver, Patchouli and Leathery notes. Reorchestrated in 2017.

Givenchy Gentleman fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Givenchy Gentleman

My oldest vintage
Kept by logic and love in
Refrigerator

Sometimes referred to
As Gen[e]ral Givenchy
Of Scentral Command

Heart-scarred vet[e]ran
Of the innumerable
Stories of my life

A million reasons
Not to be worn again and
All of them are me.

We are assembled
Here today in Vintage Land
Not to bury them

Nor to recount them
Nor to even explain why
I don't wear vintage

With analogies
That somehow fail to compute
In lives not my own.

Instead, we shall praise
This fragrance my father wore
By some mystery

As demonstration
That the sins of the father
May or may not be

Passed down to the son
Along with good or bad genes
Or whatever taste

But at the same time
Love for fashion's apples falls
Not far from its tree

For there was a time
Long ago in galaxy
Not so far away

When big patchouli
Was creeping counter-couture
And death of fine ways

One more travesty
Wrought by damned hippies on our
Civilization.

"Downfall!" as heads shook
But hardly a thing next to
Women wearing pants

And yet quality
That thing of lasting value
That thing we desire

Somehow transcends time
Reminding past our fashions
Of something greater

Of new things done well
Of new things that might endure
Of new things grown old

By proper mixing
Into the wonder of our
Civilization.

Reading from the Book
Of Blue Cheer, Outsideinside
Which did not age well

We find a poem
I used to know who wrote it
Not that it matters

STATEMENT _ ABOUT _ NOW
AND THE NOWNESS OF _ CHANGE, then
Followed by the rest

Not amenable
To the format of haiku.
Be that as it may

And mattering not
For there is no right answer
In choosing between

Living each day in
Our own private Osmothèque
Or just visiting

On grand occasion
With Givenchy Gentleman
By fonder absence

So damned glorious
On scar-strewn back of my hand
Swatting away those

Painful memories
Of how ev[e]ry scar got there
But remembering

That my refuge in
NOW AND THE NOWNESS OF CHANGE
Is as much tribute

To that fine vintage
Musical raw patchouli
That made women laugh

Long straight hippie hair
No doubt looking more current
Somewhere in space-time

As reveling in
Then and the thenness of then
By Cheerful vintage.

So I guess I lied
And did somehow explain things.
So one final thought

From between the lines
Of many diff[e]rent books
That uncertainty

In many fine ways
Is nature's way of lying
About NOW AND THE

NOWNESS OF CHANGE or
Some such beauty that makes me
Want to live in it.
09th May, 2018
Reluctant thumbs up partly as I really am quite severe in my consumer (as opposed to connoisseur) reviews. A bit too pinstripe and dark suit. Slightly too much pepper and patchouli I can imagine an elderly barrister wearing it as he dusts off his wig. Yet just dial down the spice ever so slightly and this would be a superb masculine fragrance and real breath of fresh air (literally) compared to all those emasculated unisex fragrances plaguing us in this post modernist wave. Creed Viking once you get over the sharp opening gets it spot on. Fresh masculine without needing to lean back too much on spice.
Nope just changed it to neutral. Fair is fair.

Fragrance: 2.75/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 4/5
07th February, 2018
My first scent ,it was mother's present ,very ,very,very,good ,a very masterpiece of ever . Now ? Now it's another scent !

Vintage 9/10

Current 3/10
18th January, 2018
Givenchy Gentleman is for exactly who's it's labelled: gentlemen. It's the uptown middle-manager to Guerlain Vetiver's front-line salesman, the sophisticated alternative to the wrung-hands Vetiver accords that were popular a decade or so before it's creation. It actually marries this vetiver accord with patchouli in it's heart, but the patchouli just slightly bumps it out of the way in terms of presence, making many consider this primarily a patchouli scent. It was the second great masculine Givenchy created after releasing Monsieur Givenchy at the tail-end of the 50's. Male chypres were all the rage in higher circles throughout the mid century, but were replaced by fougères as the mainstay of designer men's fragrance by the end of the 60's, undoubtedly as the mass-market cosmetic corps started taking bigger bites of the market once controlled by designers; Givenchy Gentleman however, was no chypre, nor was it a fougère. Just like the aforementioned Guerlain Vetiver, Givenchy Gentleman was built like a leather fragrance, and unlike Vetiver, actually contains a Russian leather note in the base, but to call this a leather scent is a huge injustice as in this context it's merely a dry-smelling fixative for what floats on top.

Givenchy Gentleman also contains civet, much like the chypres Givenchy was leaving behind with this truly abstract and unclassifiable scent. Tarragon and cinnamon open this up to your nose, and when it all falls into place like a finished puzzle, what you get is a warm semi-sweet opening that leads you into a green and smoky heart, then leaves you in a masculine base that's both virile and civilized, promising everything that a name like "Givenchy Gentleman" makes. It's a very European mindset of gentleman, not the 3-piece suit and luxury sedan mindset, but a more discreet chauffeured-via-saloon and dressed in his normal clothes kind of a gentleman, with a flower in the lapel. This scent sort of straddles the fence between timeless and period fragrance, because the loudly green middle and civet base definitely scream 1970's fashion, as everything at that time was super musky or mossy, but the vetiver and leather are just such treasured notes in the history of men's fragrance that they do battle with the rest of the scent to keep it relevant as a classic. Ultimately, how you feel about this will come down to your level of interest in fragrance as a hobby or most likely your age, since this is a very mature scent with not even a peep of sweetness or chemical oomph to push it over the sweaty din of a night club.

The name "Gentleman" would be reused by Givenchy in 2017 by itself for a fragrance, but they took care to place it before their name instead of after, to help people tell the two apart, and it is a completely different creature with a black label (as opposed to a silver one) that I won't discuss in depth here. It's not a flanker or a substitute to my knowledge, but it's not the first time Givenchy has recycled the name either, so beware. This one should directly read "Givenchy Gentleman" in that order on the box or it is not the same fragrance. This one also gets compared to Giorgio for Men quite a bit, and often unfairly because they both feature patchouli accords at their core, but Giorgio is much louder, sweeter, and more vulgar with it's typical 1980's chemical blast. Replace the vetiver with benzoin, add a bunch of honey on top, and turn a green garcon in a blazer into the Incredible Hulk in a leisure suit. Giorgio would definitely beat Givenchy in a drag race, but the Gentleman would certainly lose Giorgio in the twisty turns of European country roads in a full-on grand prix. Years ago this might have been romantic, but nowadays it's best for casual use or formal engagements.
12th December, 2017
This is for a man. A man who wears a suit. A man who is confident. Make sure you love patchouli otherwise you are in trouble. Love it!!
29th November, 2017
I'd coasted by for a while with only Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men in my collection, but kept hearing about his older brother Givenchy Gentleman. Unlike Giorgio it's taken me some time and bargain hunting to find a vintage bottle of Gentleman I didnt have to pay an arm and a leg for, but my patience paid off and it finally arrived yesterday.

On first sniff I actually couldn't believe how close it was to Giorgio, but the devil really is in the details and a side-by-side comparison brought out the salient differences. Gentleman is Giorgio pitched down, with gorgeous hints of cinnamon and tarragon not present in the latter, a slightly darker leathery feel, and a touch of that funky French 70s musk you get in fragrances like Lagerfeld. It also feels ever-so-slightly more soapy / waxy / aldehydic than Giorgio. The hint of sweet benzoin in Giorgio's base is absent, making Gentleman feel a little drier. Although all these differences are clearly master strokes, the added complexity comes at the cost of making Gentleman's drydown a little less green smelling than Giorgio, which still comes out on top for sheer, unalloyed patchouli oakmoss power. Still, given the decade or so that separates the two fragrances, there's not really any question as to who the big daddy is.

A classic gem and a must-have for powerhouse patchouli lovers.
28th September, 2017

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