In the UK, Boots (formerly "Boots The Chemist") still has a decent loyalty system, and I have managed to earn enough points for a bottle of something a year for the last two years. Last year it was Eisenberg's J'Ose, which remains unopened while I decide what to do with it. (Boots have stopped stocking the Eisenberg lines now; sheer lack of interest, I suppose.) This year, though, it was Rive Gauche I chose (RG for free!), and this is a different story - no chance this is remaining unused.
Rive Gauche is first and foremost a fougere, but it's not an obvious one. It's masculine, but not in-your-face masculine. The usual adjectives applied to RG are all relevant, I think: dark, creamy, a little powdery - and all done in a very sophisticated way. It is interesting above all to read many of the descriptions here discussing RG as "sweet"; Turin in The Guide describes it as "completely devoid of sweetness". I wouldn't want to come down on one side or another at this stage, and without coming on over-dramatic, it has started to make me question my conception of what "sweetness" can be; there's certainly a spicyness here, although whether it's sweet is a moot point. RG lacks the usual ingredients that make the fougere sometimes notorious (perhaps musk, assertive florals, fir balsam among them) and the result is something a little more austere than what you might normally think of as scents in this genre.
Incidentally, RG is a good staging point on the path to understanding Or Black. If you have the choice, try RG first. I will not dare to review Or Black until I've had rather more experience with it.
In the meantime, RG gets a FWF recommendation. It's good for casual and formal wear; it's the one-time jock turned company director who attends the high school reunion and makes jaws drop with his new-found worldly ways. All in all good stuff and completely deserving of its reputation.
Incidentally, this is obviously the new, square bottle version. Excellent, high quality sprayer, with four sprays enough for the day.
Hands down the best creamy barbershop scent I have ever used. Yep, this is what every old fashioned American barber shop should strive to smell like, memories galore. A bit weak in performance due to modest power and a quicker than average fade.
Azzaro PH is similar with better power and longevity; but, I reach much more for this when "Vintage Barbershop" is on my mind. APH appeals to me strongly, as well, in a somewhat different manner.
Big bummer, it seems to be getting ever scarcer and spendier. I sourced a second can (a very novel container) a few months ago, before that vendor sold out or hiked the price up a few more notches. Sad day if and when its gone.
Some additional thoughts:
Rive Gauche is what Penhaligon's Bayolea wants to be when he grows up. The best of all the barber shop fragrances. The best combination of notes, the best blended, the best individual notes which leads up to the intoxicating brew that is Rive Gauche Pour Homme. Just an incredible aromatic creation by Yves Saint Laurent.
Comforting and classy are the first two words that come to mind. There's a sweetness with a twist that must come from the star anise and it is intoxicating in a wonderful way. I absolutely love the opening and the dry down all the way through. What an amazing day with this frag! I have to say that this is one of the best fragrances I've tried. It is definitely bottle worthy, and is also back-up bottle worthy. A masterpiece, in my humble opinion. Two thumbs-up as high as possible!
19th January, 2017 (last edited: 10th March, 2017)
Fantastic fragrance from YSL, one of my most favorite in my collection for over a decade.
Rive Gauche has a rich, aromatic character from spray-on to wear down. The anise stays quite present, pairing really nicely with the lavender, cloves. A tastefully spicy, sweet oriental potion that always garners compliments and never becomes sour.
I prefer RGpH basic compared to the Intense vesion, which can actually be more cloying by its hyper-emphasis on the spiciness. Huge thumbs up for this wonderful scent!
I've come to really appreciate and love Rive Gauche. It took some repeated wearings for me.
Just as everyone mentions, you get this wonderful shaving cream vibe!
It projects well. It lasts all day.
Just fantastic. I have the skinny can. Love it!
Clean, creamy, masculine, aromatic fragrance.
A great YSL designer fragrance. This is one of the most masculine and versatile fragrances. it opens up spicy and aromatic with the lavender, star anise and rosemary. it reminds me of shaving creams. it gets creamier as time progresses. the performance is very good. a staple in a grown man's fragrance wardrobe. it gets compliments for sure.