Perfume Directory

Ginseng N.R.G. (1998)
by Jovan


Ginseng N.R.G. information

Year of Launch1998
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 40 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Beauty

About Ginseng N.R.G.

Ginseng N.R.G. is a masculine fragrance by Jovan. The scent was launched in 1998

Ginseng N.R.G. fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Ginseng N.R.G.

Ginseng N.R.G. is a reinvention of the long-gone but once popular "ginseng" fragrance trope of the 1970's that was the evolution of the "oriental" fougères of the 60's (not to be confused with the oriental fragrance category). Jõvan had a heavy contender in that category with the aptly titled Jõvan Ginseng (1975), but when Quintessence sold to Coty, everything but Jõvan's top titles were dropped. I'm guessing the "N.R.G." in this scent's name stems from the word "energy", and there is a degree of kinetics here, especially in the play between top and heart notes, but this is really nothing like the original, albeit merit-worthy in it's own way. Coty sort of milks Jõvan for revenue from it's biggest classics, as the company helped pioneer mainstream fragrances with musk as the primary theme. It's other big 1990's hit was Jõvan White Musk (1990), which was a clean, simple redressing of the same synthetic musk note forming the basis of the original 70's monster. Ginseng N.R.G., although it's own release, could very well just be another flanker.

The diminutive fragrance only available in a 1oz bottle opens with typical lemon, bergamot, that 90's darling known as fig, and an interesting green tea note. This is likely on purpose as ginseng is often taken orally with green tea, so most folks may associate one as smelling like the other due to that format. From there, we get to the noticeable ginseng root itself, which is surrounded by dry geranium, earthy tonka, jasmine, and carries us into "sheer woods" which to me smells like a synthetic cedar/guaiac/sandlewood blend. The drydown ends in a very voluminous musk note with amber accompaniment that makes this otherwise soft and bright ginseng-themed scent very sensual. It's a rare breed of "clean" and "sexy" that is typically advertised to be contained in a bottle of epically failing body spray, but in this case really do exist in tandem. It's a ginseng and green tea-themed musk, very groovy for the guys out there missing their old bottles of Jade East (1963) or Hai Karate (1967). Honestly, I catch a strong correlation to Avon Tai Winds (1972), but I'm sure that's coincidence because of the stiff tonka and musk.

When I owned this, I used to get oodles of compliments, in fact so many they became unwanted attention. Years ago I worked a retail gig, and during my first Avon phase, I picked this little bottle up for peanuts (and it still sells for peanuts), because of it's holographic label (I was an idiot), and became shocked at how much everyone around me loved it. People would ask me what I was wearing, multiple times a day, every day I wore it, and it became overbearing to the point I stopped. Couple that with the fact that it's particular mix of perky ginseng, tea, bergamot, and rich musk was also a huge headache-inducer for me, and I saw little further use for it, giving my bottle away circa 2005. It's not a terrible scent but feels redundant if you own Jõvan White Musk for Men (1990), or really any 90's fresh/clean citrus/woods/musk ensemble easily found on shelves. For a cheap mostly-inoffensive thrill with lots of go-getting potential, you can do worse, as this is living up to the Jõvan reputation in that regard, but can also do a lot better.
20th February, 2018
ortho123's review comes closest to my own assessment of N.R.G. If I could wear cedar (surely that's at least one component of the "sheer woods" accord), I would have held onto my bottle, saving it for the hottest of days. It's truly cooling and long-lasting.

I would also add that there is a metallic/marine accord similar to the original Inis. More refreshing than energetic.

02nd July, 2017
Fresh lemon type smell just something about it my girl loves she says she does say is like a pure clean scent
14th August, 2015
Very clean and sunshiney fragrance. There really is a ginseng note in there which I probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't taken ginseng in various forms over the years. A nutty earthiness. I wear this primarily when I go to the gym or when I want to wear something that barely reads as a fragrance. It could be laundry detergent or deodorant as far as others are concerned. Almost transparent but there's a definite light citrus/musk/earthy/clean thing going on which lets you know it's there.
16th October, 2014
I haven't tried Jovan's White Musk, but I imagine that there are some similarities, since "white musk" is the main effect that I get from this frag. Makes good for good everyday wear. Something to put on when you just want to smell pleasant.
18th January, 2012
Decent, typical citrusy scent, but doesn't compare to the original which is extremely hard to find. NRG was actually off the shelves for a while and just brought back not too long ago. (found easily at Walmart now)
02nd April, 2010

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