Perfume Directory

Grey Flannel (1975)
by Geoffrey Beene


Grey Flannel information

Year of Launch1975
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 760 votes)

People and companies

HouseGeoffrey Beene
PerfumerAndré Fromentin
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchElf Aquitaine > Sanofi Beauté

About Grey Flannel

FIFI award winner in 1976

Grey Flannel fragrance notes

Reviews of Grey Flannel

We were driving through the Mendocino national forest after a rain with the windows down and my wife remarked how similar the forest smell was to Grey Flannel.
I've used this for years, It's my winter go to scent.
Very long lasting, Little will go a long ways. Scent is Citrus, calming to a soapy cedar. A very clean green scent. I'll ware this until it's discontinued.
24th September, 2018
I was expecting this would be introduced in late 60's to early 70's… not very surprised when I found this actually introduced in 1975.

It is fresh and introvert. A resemblance not found in artistry for quite a while. For the reason I think this is one special 70's artefact with its own unique place. It puts me in the perspective of the 70's and bring feelings like no other vintage creation. This is not a memorial revisit. It stills, not looking over. Being inside, without hurry, counts or timekeeping, not as seen on old movies or documentary.

I think this is "autumn" in mood, but could be OK for winter. I can't imagine how it would feel in spring or summer at the moment.

Coded 6FC1, my bottle dates as 2016 production. What I perceive is fresh florals, with leaves, freshly cut stems and fresh water in the vase. I don't detect any "woody" smell, but some resins. A floral can be worn in a funeral without replicating smoky holy smell customs. Serious, light, handsome. Funny, it reminds me our old washing machine (in its day, not moldy old one) with rinsed 70's detergents inside its polyurethane hoses and PVC paraphernalia. Or a wet bathroom on a cool day. I think since chlor is common in both PVC and chlorophyl, fresh green smells sometimes drawn to the plastics imagery.

I detect no specific development, or a "dry down". But, it is faceted, can be perceived differently depending on olfactory gestalt or memory. I perceive jasmine sometimes but generally nothing specific. Delicate, about to ripen, greeny flowers just like in the nature. Gives a pleasant whiff occasionally and thats it . Well-blended, probably the best executed oakmoss I encountered.

As on many perfumes trying to capture subtle notes longer or stronger than happens in nature there might be some foul note(s) perceived. Probably thats the other reason why I get some plastics. I learned not to stick my nose very close for the first moments. In that regard Grey Flannel reminds me another "pour homme" floral, Caron's "Le 3' Homme". But in my humble opinion Grey Flannel composed much much better, since foul notes are much more prominent on Caron, clashing, and it had been impossible for me not to bother.

This doesn't exactly reflect me to be worn every time but I'm sure will be revisited often.
09th September, 2018 (last edited: 18th September, 2018)
Blind bought this out of curiosity...always used to see this in the five and dime stores and always a little curious especially today with Grey Flannel's high ratings.This smells like something a tourist from Florida,New York,or California whipped up to make a buck off of as a reflection of their trip to the south.Something they wear before they can visit to watch the leaves change and do some 'glamping'.

Grey Flannel's approach is to invoke what seems like a sunny day in a rural mountain area.The tourist notices a certain worship to the mountain breeze by the natives.Despite the modern convenience of a dryer some people still like to hang their clothes on the line to dry.Despite Central Air some families like to dine with the windows open and let the breeze carry the fragrance of the forest through the field and through the flower bed giving an indulgence of nature's gift through the open windows of their home.Grey Flannel hit a neutral for me because it's a useless scent to me as a southerner and had no appeal.It hit negative because it was so tacky and synthetic.

I get a really bitter and sharp lemon in this bordering more on an industrial cleaner of some kind.Sandalwood is in this which does nothing really other than generates more dryness to the lemon.A really nasty violet note.I like violet in general as a note in Preferred Stock and Sung Homme but this is gross with it's urine tone it has.A moss note but more reflective to a sun dried/stale moss crumbling to a powder in my hand.A rose and powder duo...this bothered me in two ways.The powdery structure combined with the bitter crumbling moss adds more powder to me and made me sneeze both times.The rose and soap combination rubs me in a way of an elderly woman's after bath powder really.Grey Flannel reminds me of the ladies gathered after Sunday service in the living room for a glass of sweet tea and gossip.All of them trying to outdo each other with Jean Nate,Primo!,and feminine floral scents by Crabtree Evelyn combined.

Grey Flannel is very tacky,synthetic,old lady feminine,and trying to throw off a 'Little House on the Prairie' feel.It's like a bad joke that I'm surprised isn't sold in the back of the tourism promoting magazine called Southern Living via mail order.A magazine that also avoids discussing problems in the south on economical,poltical,and cultural issues at the result of tourists migrating here.

27th May, 2018
TeeEm Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This was given to me as a cheap Xmas present back in 1990. I loved it but I never dared to put the bottle next to the other designer perfumes I owned due to its low price tag.

Now I buy it from time to time, currently do not own it, just to remind me how nice a simple cheap smell can be.

Its smell is unique, very difficult to describe ... a woody/flowery unique smell

08th January, 2018
I've worn this for around 20 years now.This one is hard for me to put into words.

Let me just say...masterpiece.

18th October, 2017
Grey Flannel is a love-it-or-shove-it male fragrance that seems to toy with a lot of traditionally feminine floral top notes and typically masculine woodsy bottom notes in an otherwise traditional fougère formulation which honestly veers close to chypre as well. It's a scent that smells of things it doesn't possess in the note pyramid, just due to the virtue of how what it combines smells when mixed, and will either clear a room or get people to actually come a little closer in curiosity. What I find most interesting is that it looks nothing how it actually smells, and smells nothing like what it's name suggests, furthermore being quite the surprise for the unsuspecting blind buyer, which also may be part of the extreme reaction to this stuff. 1975 was a time when oriental-themed fragrances and lemony chypres were just starting to phase out in favor of heavier, more woodsy aromatic fougères, which were also replacing not just the orientals, but the powdery barbershop fougères that carried men through much of the mid-century. Grey Flannel was an odd example of something that wasn't dark, musky, or forest-like at all, during a time when that was becoming the new standard for masculinity. But before Azzaro Pour Homme (1978) came along to add a brighter zest to things (at least until the 80's powerhouses showed up), here comes little old Geoffrey Beene and his bitterly floral long-kiss-goodbye to the days of yore, in a bottle that looked like something one would find some sort of Victorian-era tonic in rather than a fragrance. I've seen this bottle sitting in it's little trademark nap sack on department store tables for years, which is funny because most of them nowadays don't display older scents or have testers for them, if they even carry older scents at all. This leads me to believe that Grey Flannel somehow has the staying power to keep being displayed out in the open despite being over 40 years old, which speaks volumes of it's character.

Most of the time the big fashion-savvy chains like Macy's only want the most relevant stuff made in the last 5 years on their shelves. Having something this old still out for testing tells me that it must be the ONE JUICE everyone over a certain age asks for, or a scent with such universal appeal that it attracts buyers from any generation. Once I experienced this, I determined it was neither. It's just such a strange combination of notes within it's style parameters of what is otherwise a very traditional trope that it blows the heads off people (for better or worse). Grey Flannel at first glance comes across as a very bitter jasmine, which is the best part of all since it has absolutely zero jasmine in it, but because the violet and petitgrain interact so vividly with each other, they mimic the opening blast of jasmine quite well, but without the sweetness. It's the same sort of flavor confusion one would have when they try amaretto for the first time and mistake it for cherry flavoring without being told it's actually derived from almonds. Grey Flannel is essentially the amaretto of fougères if that helps to wrap one's head around what's being conveyed here. It nearly conforms to the chypre standard but technically isn't. From there the other florals like rose and geranium take us down the bitter head rush that is the top and middle until we gently fall on a bed of aromatic woods near the end. These woods would threaten to make this more of the aromatic fougere type as mentioned earlier if they didn't have such flowery notes doing their best Three Dog Night impression and singing in three-part harmony all over the top and middle of the fragrance. When it's all said and done, these woods do more to anchor down an otherwise overdone florals in something just masculine enough not to send this into perfume territory, which I sort of feel it already is in anyway. If anything out there deserved to be described as "Perfume for Men", Grey Flannel would be a huge contender. We were years away from stuff like Zino Davidoff (1986), Bogart Furyo (1987), Joint by Roccobarocco (1990), Jacomo Anthracite Pour Homme (1991) or Givenchy Incense (1993), but here in the 70's was a floral-based male fragrance like none other.

The next thing worth mentioning is that while this doesn't really smell conventional for it's era, it also doesn't really smell conventional for any era, hence the love-it-or-hate-it reaction, even if most here on this site seem to love it. The scent's dry floral treatment is fresh enough for a warm weather but naturally recalls spring time, so it's best worn during that season, and maybe a bit into summer. It doesn't fit the rustic smells of fall nor have enough warmth for winter, and this is above all else a casual or workplace scent. Nothing about bitter flowers screams sensual to anyone besides maybe a botanist or gardener. Maybe layering this with some musk might be what the scent needs to grow a nice pair of dancing legs, but I don't tend to mix stuff into or alongside my colognes often so I just take it as it is. Mr. Beane wouldn't make very many fragrances, as his legacy lies more with fashion wear than on scents, hence his name being applied to the "Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award" given out by the Council of Fashion Designers of America every year to various prominent life-long fashion designers, but the ones he did make certainly stood apart from everything else out there at the time. Hey, this managed to win a FIFA award the following year so it must have turned enough heads in the right sense to be praised so officially. I personally enjoy wearing this as a break from the inoffensive fougère I normally wear in the work space as it maintains that same pleasantry but with a whole different construction under the hood, and the fact that people keep saying it smells like jasmine (seriously I get that a lot) when it doesn't contain a bit of the stuff makes me giggle. Timeless? Maybe. A classic? Depends on how you define such a thing. Unique? Definitely. It also seems to be an unofficial sequel to the obscure Monsieur Lanvin (1964) from a decade before, but decidedly without the huge civet plonk. For a daring nose with a taste for the strange, you can't go wrong here, but if you like to color inside the lines, pass on this one.
07th September, 2017 (last edited: 02nd August, 2018)

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