Red for Men (1991)
by Giorgio Beverly Hills


Red for Men information

Year of Launch1991
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 175 votes)

People and companies

HouseGiorgio Beverly Hills
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchAvon

About Red for Men

Red for Men is a masculine fragrance by Giorgio Beverly Hills. The scent was launched in 1991

Red for Men fragrance notes

Reviews of Red for Men

Bigsly was right.

Tracking down a vintage bottle of Red has definitively proved that my conception of 80's Giorgio as the blistering height of "you can't afford it" Rodeo Drive snob appeal bordering uncomfortably on gaucherie was correct, and not merely my own personal mythmaking about the brand. I now own the big three Giorgio "classics" in vintage form - Giorgio for Men, VIP and Red. They are all redolent of a level of ingredient quality simply not seen in designer perfumery today. (I'm reminded of a quote from a well-known perfumer I can't place, perhaps Pierre Bourdon? saying that designer fragrance briefs today ask for blockbuster hits with final production costs less than a fifth of what was commonplace twenty years ago.) My other suspicion - that the attention, quality and cost put into vintage reformulations runs in almost direct proportion to the brand's current cachet as measured by its place on the TJMaxx / graymarket price hierarchy - is also shaping up to be more true than not. Hence Drakkar Noir, which has remained a beloved international bestseller (if not Guy Laroche's sole export these days) has never slid into that sub-$20 price bracket of DOOM and remains quite well reformulated today, while those that fell below the $15-for-a-huge-bottle demarcation are for the most part ghastly, unrecognizably cut-rate impressionistic sketches of the originals (Halston, ODLR and of course, the entire Giorgio stable).

Giorgio Beverly Hills is unique in that perhaps no one else in that bracket fell down from a greater height, so they are useful if you are really interested in understanding the kinds of compromises that need to be made when taking fragrances which were untenably opulent, even for their time, and recreating them on a shoestring budget.

Having had (and having promptly given away) the EA reformulated version of Red, I was almost startled by the sensation the vintage juice creates immediately after the firehose blast of the sprayer hits the skin - the sensation of HEAT, like your skin temperature just went feverish in the area of application. It's a stunning effect and the first of many subtleties missing from the EA version. I've experienced something similar with vintage Givenchy Gentleman but this is really pronounced.

As this subsides you start to apprehend the indecipherable mess of notes you're dealing with, however a few spotlight notes do rise above the fray, most notably cinnamon and other oriental spices, which play off against a cool fresh streak of calone? dihydromyrcenol? and a slight ambered sweetness. The projection is nuclear as is typical for Giorgio. As with its other dizzyingly complex contemporaries, the first hour or two is notes whizzing randomly by, first feeling oriental, now with a fougere freshness, now a deep woody leather etc.

As you slowly begin to land on the base you can detect a very finely powdered, almost velveteen woody note, perhaps sandalwood. It's present in Giorgio for Men and especially VIP, suggesting a sort of "Giorgio-ade" signature base accord, another fascinating aspect of the brand completely stripped out of the reforms. Overall a markedly more interesting and dynamic ride than the flat, cheap smelling EA reform (you can always tell who's reviewing what version because just about anyone opining about the "cheapness" of Red is reviewing current juice; the vintage, however controversial its note choices, is nothing a discerning nose could ever write off as cheap-smelling.)

Red is a powerhouse, of its time and not without its "dated" elements. What it attempted - sort of an oriental-fougere-leather hybrid - had some history dating back to at least Z-14, and opinions of Halston's success in that endeavor remain split down the middle just as with Red. But vintage Red is abundant and cheap now, and I promise you have not smelled anything like its far drydown.
02nd February, 2020
Old School Intimidating Leather Fragrance most likely to keep anybody younger at 40 at safe distance :)
Grantees privacy and personal space to the person who wears it.
Recommended for concerts and new year celebrations
11th November, 2019
i've also heard that this fragrance was supposed to originally have something like 500 different ingredients...I can see this...has an old-school vibe , but still interesting enough to be worn today...hard to pin down any individual notes...I get a cloud of spices and herbs with little touches of musk/patch/leather...has a semi-animalic vibe that , to my nose , gets stronger as it dries down...was a big fan back when this first came out and wore it a lot...bought a newer bottle at TJMaxx and kind of enjoyed wearing it...finished the bottle, but probably won't get another...had my fill of this one...
07th November, 2018
I admit, I've seen this on shelves at discount stores more than of actually opening up a bottle and trying it on. The one time that I did, I got a definite impression: Old!

Being old doesn't make it bad automatically. But let's face it, certain old-school, back-in-the-days colognes (and perfumes) just can't "de-old" themselves, owing to the era they hail from and the strong associations that come with it.

Red for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills is one of those colognes. A period piece and nothing less, Red for Men is chock full of yester-decade fougere richness (just like GBH for Men original and its cousin VIP, which take a certain frame of mind to wear and process in 2018!).

Similarities are there to scents like Givenchy's Xeryus (original), Polo (green pre-reformulation original), and Puig's Quorum: Bold, complex, musky, exuding a brash mix of all kinds of exotic spices and florals and warm ambery-mossy base. I can see the disco globe / rave lights flashing bright whenever I sniff this potion!!

Red for Men had an interesting niche-like personality in its time, and to this day it does stand out proudly no matter what one may think of it today. I applaud Red for being a credible contender in its time amid the large array of options that clubbing / party-happy young men had to splash on themselves before taking on the night back then. But personally, I feel it's too stigmatized and rife with connections to the aspects of that era which I have moved on from; I couldn't see myself wearing it even for a private, casual whirl around the house.
23rd August, 2018
wow. picked this up for $10-3,4 oz and love it. Old school in a way but not harsh or dated to me.For some it may be on the border of old manish-70's disco hairy chest open shirt like but it doesnt really head there in a huge way.
It has an oily like feel and great longevity and sillage on me. I love cheapies that perform well. Go easy on the sprayer(i dont) as some may be offended.
20th July, 2018
Let me start by saying that I hate describing a scent by comparing it to another scent, but the most concise way to describe this early 90's effort is as Giorgio's answer to the powerhouse floral fougère. It's an odd thing, because by the early 90's there had been a jarring shift away from rich and complex masculines back to simple, clean, and fresh compositions, and the pioneers of the powerhouse were already a decade old, making this style a tad ubiquitous. Yet, Giorgio Beverly Hills decided to release a masculine counterpart to Red (1989) in this vein, making it seem out-of-step upon launch, which is quite curious. Red for Men (1991) is a floral indolic aromatic chypre borderlining on an oriental, blurring the lines with the floral fougères also stalking shelves at this time, and bearing considerable resemblance to Coty Preferred Stock (1990), Givenchy Xeryus (1987), Houbigant Duc de Vervins (1985), Révillion French Line (1984) and Drakkar Noir (1982), with its soapy clean top notes. Red for Men was the third masuline from the house, which at the time was owned by Avon, and follow-up to Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men V.I.P. (1987), and first divergence from the main line. I feel Avon had mixed intentions using Giorgio as their prestige line, because V.I.P. was a decent flanker but Red for Men felt like massively retooled Avon Cordovan (1982) with the tonka plucked out, although most guys too "scrupulous" to explore cheapies would ever make that connection. Red for Men is good, just a very odd sort of good. I stumbled across this by accident in the rummage store fragrance section, and had good luck with Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984) and Wings by Giorgio (1994), so I thought this was a solid blind buy.

Granted, having too many smell-alike fragrances is boring, but there are exceptions, and I think that's pretty much the exception being banked on here by Giorgio back in the 90's. A person who stumbled across a tester of this sweet, warm, indolic floral male chypre with the romantic lean will go "oh hey, this smells like a sexier version of what I already have, I bet this will be a hit on weekends", and take the relatively inexpensive plunge on a bottle. Red opens with cumin, artemisia, bergamot, basil, and some unlisted citrus (likely orange). The cumin assures a sweatiness that implies virility, which was a quality starting to fade by the 90s, but there it was. The sharp artemisia and bergamot are smoothed down with basil and sweet citrus tones as it all segues quickly into more florals. Juniper and geranium reassert this is a masculine scent before, rose and a very indolic jasmine dress it up in drag, communicating with a cumin on top to give Red for Men a sort of heady bordello skank. Despite this intensity, it's all fairly standard types of notes before hitting the odd wormwood accord which brings in the aromatics. From there, we get the rich amber undoubtedly borrowed from Avon, a fat oakmoss/olibdanum accord, and a touch of leather to let you know this is still a chypre for men underneath all that sexual cacophony. Red is nothing too exciting by niche standards but feels sort of niche in execution, with very dependable longevity of 10+ hours and good sillage that can mutate to cloying if over-applied or used in summer, so limit this sweet floral to night or winter daytime unless you want folks moving out of your way.

Drakkar became the cologne you buy your boyfriend or husband (or yourself if you were a go-getter) back in the day, while Houbigant Duc de Vervins or Givenchy Xeryus became high-end options to impress the coworkers or friends; Preferred Stock became the fragrance people had stuffed under Christmas trees by relatives that didn't know what to get them, and worn to those same relative's houses the following Christmas, but Red by Giorgio never quite grew that de-facto popular, so it's a very purpose-bought fragrance with a heavy sexual theme. Quickly discontinued, Red for Men became a cult fave that used to earn huge prices before it was re-issued, but the vintage hound's compulsion to play expensive show and tell for online brownie points is really to blame for that. It's sad how inadvertently polarizing this scent is now, as quite a people who reviewed this did so from memory or old samples, not knowing that it's been returned to production by EA Fragrances (who bought the Giorgio portfolio from Avon), and the rest stumbling across it in department store impulse areas (like most of the prominent Giorgio scents even today), seeing it as clearance garbage, meaning that for a fragrance meant to beat other popular scents of it's generation at their own game, it ironically became more of a historical anecdote that means drastically different things to different generations, which was the polar opposite to the gangbuster success of the later Wings by Giorgio for Men. Fans of jasmine and rose amber perfumes will love this, and is an easy old-school blind buy for fans of late-generation powerhouses, particularly floral ones with lots of indole and cold-weather heft. Thumbs up!
15th August, 2017 (last edited: 30th October, 2018)

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RED for Men Giorgio Beverly Hills Eau de Toilette Spray 5 pcs. Vintage Set

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RED * GIORGIO BEVERLY HILLS * Cologne for Men * 3.4 oz * NEW IN BOX

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