Very clean and citrusy. I can't stand anything else from Givenchy but this fragrance is nice.
I have a fairly late version so I can't comment on how any original might smell but I am assuming it is very similar.
The reissued Monsieur de Givenchy is a very soapy, aromatic citrus chypre. Luca Turin writes that it smells like “Chanel pour Monsieur but with more citrus.” I’d say it smells like Chanel pour Monsieur with a few bushels of lavender and geranium thrown in. The top notes are all tart citrus and barbershop lavender, joined quickly by moss, geranium, and a bouquet of astringent aromatics. So great is the aromatic content that Monsieur de Givenchy teeters between chypre and fougère style for some time after application. Since the sweet, softening influence of coumarin - so essential to the classic fougère accord – is never felt, so by the time the moss and wood base notes are exposed the composition tips decisively in favor of a chypre.
Like its Chanel cousin and its house congener Givenchy Vetyver, Monsieur de Givenchy is an extremely suave, civilized, and sophisticated fragrance. It smells of maturity – though not age. In fact, I can think of no more obvious instance of a label establishing a recognizable “house style” in one fell swoop than did Givenchy with Monsieur de Givenchy and Vetyver. While distinct in terms of content and fragrance genres, Givenchy’s first two masculine fragrances express the same well-defined aesthetic: refined, dapper, and elegant, yet with far too much authority to feel prim, preening, or precious. Both are outstanding, and it’s great to have them back!
A classic - to some dated, to those who can appreciate, timeless. An incredible work of classic, masculine fragrance with wonderful blended essence of superb quality ingredients! I am referring to Vintage Eau de Toilette. It is a landmark scent and, while reserved, a quintessential creation in 1959. Chanel Pour Monsieur came just four years before in 1955. It was the "benchmark" - Hubert de Givenchy created his own wonderful bottle that expresses balance, class, and a true gentlemanly vibe. You must be a fan of French-styled fragrance to appreciate this fully. It is of sheer quality - the notes have superb depth for an Aromatic Citrus (Chypre), but it is never loud or intrusive. For Vintage EdT, I have a tremendous amount of respect and enjoy each wearing. Nice attire is mandatory. Original Vintage EdT is simply outstanding. No rating, just admiration...
I was able to acquire a pristine, Vintage, 100ml bottle of the Monsieur de Givenchy in Super Concentrate ("Haute Concentree") formulation as well. This is really nice. In the Super Concentrate formula, there is a rich base of moss and nice rich musk (and what I perceive is a touch of civet) with smooth sandalwood - but not "overdone". This wears like a classic watch...it is dependable, shows sophistication and will definitely tell others around you that you have a style all to yourself. Not a fragrance for the mainstream - and I never have been part of that. Since a young age, I've enjoyed classic scents. This is extremely good and I appreciate every nuance. Different than the standard concentration EdT, but actually wonderful in a blended wearing (not directly applied on top of one another - just a couple of sprays on my forearms of this while wearing the Vintage, Original formulation EDT and it is mesmerizing). Worn separately, different vibes - as well as together.
For the Vintage, Original Monsieur de Givenchy EdT - it is not loud, but it is very distinct. One spray on the back of my hand from about 2 inches away. Where it sprayed heavy, there is more focused scent (and deeper moss, musk and more sharp citrus & herbs)...where it "misted", the note separation is wonderful. This is very good to discover. Excellent to note as I will apply this (in a full wearing) at least 6-8 inches away for a couple of shots and then a focus shot on my wrists or backs of my hands. This is, traditionally, a spring/summer scent, but really just amazing in its classique elegance.
However, the "Super Concentrate" formula is definitely a year-round fragrance. It is laden with moss and depth of herbs. The top notes are there and very rich, but the depth of the base notes (moss, musk and a very nice and traditional gentleman's sandalwood) are what allow this scent to last. I actually see this being wonderful on cooler spring/fall days - and even wet weather (but not too cold).
The subtleties in this composition are what make it so amazing - the beautiful lemon verbena, slightly pungent carnation-clove, earthy geranium, fragrant (but slightly bitter) sage, fresh lavender that is both floral and a hint herbal along with a nice touch of pepper (and the dash of civet is notable in the Original EdT as well). The entire composition exudes confidence and what a European gentleman is all about - with an aire of sophistication. Proper attire and confidence required. It does wear close, but in warm weather - this breathes on your skin and has very nice presence. The ambiance is pure charm.
Intelligent, reserved, and refined masculine fragrance that shows wonderfully. There is a time and place where MdG would be perfect...I can think of many. Relaxing on a weekend (or dressing up in proper attire on a weekday), reading a novel (not a book), watching a classic movie (black & white, foreign, arthouse), listening to live jazz in an upscale bistro...
**Update** - Bought last formulation in squat, squared 100ml spray bottle prior to Les Parfums Mythiques release. It is a tester, with the description written on the back: "WOODY CITRUS: Freshness of Lemon and Bergamot, elegance of Lavender and Sandal wood." A brief, but perfect description - a distinguished scent for a gentleman. With sandalwood becoming a more precious commodity, we see houses going to other ingredients...in Monsieur de Givenchy, Les Parfums Mythiques has gone to Hinoki Wood. I wanted to get the older, last bottling of the very close to Vintage formula - and I am very happy I did.
A scent for those who understand that less is more, elegance and taste has been refined and that scent is part of your "wardrobe" or attire. Understated and one of the best Aromatic Citrus Chypre scents ever created in an excellent composition. This is not as loud as another great citrus aromatic/woody/chypre scent, YSL Pour Homme, nor is it as herbal as Eau Sauvage. A composition of purity, class and refinement...in all of its formulations and concentrations.
27th January, 2014 (last edited: 30th January, 2015)
Can't explain why any of the group YSL Pour Homme, Rochas Moustache, Chanel Pour Homme and Dior Eau Sauvage all that are said to belong to the same family with MDG don't really impress me ( I even find YSL Ph and Moustache disgusting), but Monsieur de Givenchy....I simply love this fragrance. Haven't tried the reformulated later release, so this applies to the vintage juice. A refined classic, that i find a bit melancholy and calming that's not typical for a citrus scent. The best part is the soapy musky oakmossy drydown - it offers a calming and relaxing effect that i personally enjoy.
Monsieur De Givenchy belongs to the group of classic masculines including Chanel Pour Monsieur, YSL pour Homme, and Eau Sauvage that evoke crisp elegance. MdG is a citrus aromatic that just begs for a business suit in a high-rise glass tower filled with folks getting things done. I envision the guys in Mad Men wearing MdG and its amenable compatriots. MdG brings you along to the happy hour after work.
The bar is filled with laughter and congratulations about the account you landed today. Martinis flow. And then it fades and you head home to your loved ones. This is how MdG strikes me. MdG is a bit more soapy than Eau Sauvage, but not over the top. Whereas Eau Sauvage can be sharp, MdG doesn't feel that way to me. MdG smells citrusy, slightly soapy and clearly aromatic. I find MdG to have average longevity and light to moderate sillage. A timeless classic. A fragrance that comes with an itinerary.