Top top note.
The real beauty in this composition are really the top notes: bergamot, orange-like citrus and cardamom, with a great patchouli note added soon. The drydown is more floral with a dark rose and carnation; this is all rich, a bit dark and green, and very well blended. This lasts into the first four hours. The base notes, however, mainly oakmoss, leather, benzoin and a bit of amber, are less colorful and a bit thinner in my skin. Good silage and projection, and very good longevity of seven hours. A good take on the chypre theme.
I think every true collector has that one fragrance that they remember as the first to truly be a must have. Giorgio Beverly Hills V.I.P. Special Reserve is that one fragrance for me. I bought my first small splash bottle in about 1988. I see some that say there is no true separation of notes within the scent. I have always viewed this as a well written symphony. You know that all notes are played perfectly because they come together as one brilliant masterpiece. Yes, I can pick out the leather or the rose at different times, but isn't the idea supposed to be that all of these individual notes come together to form a masterful whole? This fragrance does just that. I am proud to be the one in a thousand to wear this, both then and now.
Oh my god this is powerful! As if the original Giorgio For Men wasn't strong enough, VIP is like a "Giorgio For Men Extreme". This may be the strongest powerhouse scent I've ever smelled.
The similarities to the original Giorgio For Men are obvious: lots of patchouli backed up by heavy sweet notes like amber, labdanum and benzoin. Only difference is that VIP has leather, which the original does not. This really does smell like Giorgio For Men layered with Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui. We're talking brutal, unrelenting power here.
I cannot imagine anyone finding Giorgio For Men to be too weak nor not macho enough. However, if any such people exist, then this is for them. I love powerhouse frags, and I love this.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
Very similar to the original Giorgio for Men, but more refined. I just got a sample and immediately fell in love with the top notes. They are just like regular GfM, but less "in your face" and smooth. Then the scent morphed briefly into a mini-mess that had me worried it would go south quickly... That fear was unjust, as the scent quickly recovered into the GfM heart and then dry-down I have come to love, only again more subtle and refined but still with plenty of strength, longevity and projection.
Overall I honestly can't say which version I prefer as they are both classics and top masculine choices in my book. That said, as the original has been re-released and can be had in all its former glory for $20 or less for a 118ml bottle (update: Giorgio for Men now has been reformulated around late 2011/early 2012, so look for the earlier re-release bottles that have a mossy green color to the juice still sold for the same low price on eBay), while VIP has to be acquired for mega bucks to get the discontinued original bottles I guess I would stick to the original at its "steal" price. VIP is great stuff if you can get a bottle at a sane price though. A 5 stars out of 5 powerhouse masterpiece for sure.
09th September, 2011 (last edited: 06th December, 2012)
It's a bit "blob"-like, meaning that I don't get good note separation, and it's a bit too sweet as well. Add to that the strong patchouli note (which I don 't like), and I can't really think of any reason to ever wear this. I have other fragrances that are somewhat similar (vintage Chaps, Boss #1, etc.), but go off in different directions that I prefer. Since I only wore this one, as a small dab to the wrist, and it seems reasonably natural smelling, I'll just give it a neutral and leave it at that. Longevity and sillage seemed to be at least very good.