In this review I am going to do a head to head comparison of Ouragan and Xeryus Rouge because they are so similar.
The departures are essentially the same, Orange Tango; pimento, thin exotic fruit and citrus in XR, and OU has bergamot, mandarin and orange, and some sharpness, but here its more restrained.
There is the same formica-like, clear sour woody-plastic off note in both of them.
They both also have an aromatic herbal component but Xeryus Rouge is dryer, more acidic and spare and has better definition. Ouragan leans more towards the aromatic and then gets sweeter and more floral as time goes on, spreading wider, getting softer and becoming warmer with spice.
OU evolves in the direction of sweetened geranium. This makes for a decent transition which moves the profile through from citrus down to the sweet ambery powdery base.
By contrast there's a problem with the central section of XR. Its a version of Xeryus, but the woody musky heart is far back in the mix and reads only as a weak floral element. Although its detectable on paper, in practice the heart stays very much in the background and as a consequence the profile feels hollow. There is only this recessive mild floral and sweet woody musk accord to connect the pimento top with the powdery vanillin and balsamic base.
The two works very much prioritise opposite ends of the formula. XR spins out the long lasting trim head, pulling it down over the sweet fluffy woody core, and there's really no base to speak of.
OU inevitably diverges from this pattern because its a regular three part structure with a fully worked out base. The base is where OU reaches its climax, a dark woody sandal and amber overlay accompanied by a strengthening warm spicy note. There's also possibly vetiver to give an extra demerara sugar fullness to what is a comparatively much richer and more successful drydown.
The heads are different in detail but broadly similar in outline, piquant orange citrus. From below the top and down to the base the central core of both works is very similar, except that OU has been given some extra padding. Its only in the base that they really diverge.
So, it seems likely that OU was, shall we say, inspired by XR. One is more powerful, piquant and spare, the other a sweeter, bland and fuller version of the same subgenre or species, namely woody citrus (powdery).
One point of criticism; the off note is present in both formulae but in XR its more intrusive, stronger and longer lasting. There's no place for the off note to hide in the compact profile of XR, but the broader and more fluffy body of OU manages to cover it up sooner. And so, to be consistent I've had to mark XR down.
Another point; Ouragan is available in supermarkets and costs a third of what Xeryus Rouge was selling for in the perfume shops.
In summary; OU is the more mainstream, safe, fuller and more natural smelling of the two, while XR is more adventurous, more aggressive, more spare and definitely more synthetic.
Today XR could be read as a signpost saying Sauvage this way ---> 11 (years).
Xeryus Rouge - Givenchy 1995 **
Ouragan - Masculin by Bourjois 1997 ***
BLUF: Raucous, highly original, not safe for most. Try while at home, not work, because you’ll smell strongly of it until you shower. Great for a collection, far less likely as a signature/daily wear for most. I’m honestly not that comfortable wearing it.
Xeryus Rouge and I got off to a bad start. I bought it blind and tried it for the first time while hung-over, immediate dry heaves ensued…yet, XR still gets an unflinching “thumbs-up” from me, mainly for originality. To echo past reviews, it is one of the best for longevity and sillage in my relatively small collection. The artificially sweet/cactus/tarragon opening is loud and very unique and then something like cedar follows within 15-20 seconds. In the drydown, the sweetness morphs a little but stays prominent. For me, the drydown is a (somehow) pleasant saccharine/vanilla-ish sweetness, pimento, and a hint of what I can only describe as “synthetic floral woods from the future”. I hate to admit it, but I kind of understand other reviewers suggesting that it might be a “club scent”, but only because of its bold character. I just don’t like the idea of a fragrance I admire being lumped into a category with something like One Million.
Every now and then I get a slight hint one of the original wave of Axe/Lynx products, but I can’t (and refuse to take the time to) figure out which one. However, most of the time this offering from Givenchy smells like nothing else I’ve encountered. I almost immediately put it up for swap that first day, but glad I didn’t because this one really grew on me, despite my rarely wearing it.
Big, bold, unique, memorable, probably not for everyone, not even sure it’s for me really, but I admire it.
The kumquat-cactus-tarragon opening is indeed unique and a great inspiration as a top note. In the drydown I get a green- flowery tone that leads into a sandal/cedar base note that is far less unique than the beginning. Nonetheless, a creative composition, although not everyone will like it. Adequate silage and projection with five hours of longevity. Tradition with a twist.
Was given this a few years ago and came to truly love it. It is an acquired taste, since the blend hits so many notes and tones. The woods and the lighter notes (kumquat and fruity, sweet red pepper) balance each other in a beautiful way. My only cautionary advice is a warnign that this blend will not work for everyone, but it mixed wonderfully with my strange body chemistry. I see the comparisons to many other red fragrances and have to say that this stands well apart from them.
Pros: Unique, Memorable
Cons: Unusual "
Unlike anything else
Very unusual scent (very unique). Smells different, in a good way. I find it suitable for a party cause i think that projects well and have a very good lasting power.
- Good projection and lasting power.
- Unusual spicy smell
- Not very "romantic"
I want this in my collection cause i think if one of the best of Givenchy and unlike anything else. If you are a fragrance collector or looking for some different scent, try this, can be a nice surprise.
Pros: Unusul and unique. Distinctive
Cons: Not very romantic, too spicy"