Perfume Directory

Givenchy Gentleman (1974)
by Givenchy


Givenchy Gentleman information

Year of Launch1974
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 661 votes)

People and companies

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

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
Note: Review is of the vintage version (wraparound label)

Givenchy Gentleman, in its vintage form, is perhaps my favourite patchouli, together with Nicolai's. I find most 'straightforward' or 'hardcore' patchouli fragrances nice but tiresome. Additionally, one can achieve as good an aromatic effect by simply choosing a quality patchouli EO. Givenchy Gentleman takes patchouli, and creates a magnificent accord with civet. The civet adds a generous dose of sensuality, while providing a leathery aspect. The composition is further embellished with touches of aromatic herbs (tarragon) and spices (cinnamon). The result is an incredible composition, as solid and deep as a Brahms sonata. While it stays on skin for six to seven hours, there is adequate sillage to conclude a special experience. There is absolutely nothing like this on the market today: old school elegance, rarefied, forceful but with a gentlemanly demeanour. Familiar ingredients, but masterful abstraction and brimming with intelligence and emotion. Sometimes I get a touch of honey, with the composition hinting at a quality, aged Scotch.

Note: The current version of this has experience a significant loss in quality. Not only does it feel less rich and layered, there is only a brief burst of what feels like a second grade version, before paving way to a weak dry down that lasts all of two hours.

4.5/5 vintage (positive)

2.5/5 current, circa 2013 (neutral)

04th September, 2017
Avoid the current formulation at all costs, vintage 1970's is the only way to go with Gentleman, one of my favorite powerhouses of all time.
23rd June, 2017
At first, I did like its greenish, classic quality.

But I had noticed several people (notably *women* ;^o) who had winced in disgust as I'd passed by them.

Then my own opinion changed: It just smells so....gaudy! Perhaps it's a body chemistry thing. In the same class as YSL pour Homme (1993), Givenchy Gentleman is definitely not for younger wearers; it smacks me now as a retro fragrance for formal occasions. Can't do it, captain. ;^I
18th March, 2017

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