Believe the hype (mostly). But be aware that this is a special type of fragrance that won’t appeal to everyone. It’s very subdued, very earthy. Even with the supposedly “rotten” oranges (which to me do not smell so), it is a clean fragrance. But it is not over-powering. And during the dry-down, it seems to all but disappear, leaving only a faint wisp of spices, orange, and something sweet. It is a weak fragrance, and this is a weakness that can’t be overcome with extra sprays (which brings about the dreaded “cloying” adjective). If it were stronger and longer lasting, I would consider it one of the best colognes I’ve ever tried.
A few years ago, I had not yet entered the world of colognes. Being a young man in college, it eventually became necessary that I have at least something in my wardrobe for nicer occasions. Uninspired, and very much liking the smell without much thought, I bought a bottle of Brut for Men. It seemed inoffensive, clean, and somewhat enjoyable. However, it didn’t take long before most of my female friends were telling me that I smelled “old” or that I reminded them of an uncle, father, or even grandparent. No one seemed to think it smelled bad, just that it didn’t seem to fit a man in his early twenties.
Which brings me to the one unshakeable problem I have with Rive Gauche: I feel like I smell old again. Make no mistake about it, as nice and as high quality as a fragrance as this may be, it is still simply Brut for Men done very, very well.
This cologne probably deserves a thumbs up, especially since I haven’t been told I smell old while wearing yet. Then again, it’s only a matter of time. After the fantastically complex top notes dissipate, you are left smelling of Brut until the Patchouli dry down takes over (which is as enjoyable in its simplicity as the top notes are in their depth). Good take on an “old” classic.
I first got into cologne a little over two years ago while attending graduate school. Before then, I had spent most of my life working out of doors and never really developed a sense of urban fashion. And so, on the eve of my first formal occasion at school, I hastily went into a Macy’s to purchase what would be my first bottle of cologne that wasn’t Old Spice or Brut.
I immediately rejected the Armani and Polo offerings that the fragrance lady sampled for me. They all smelled too sweet, too simple, with little depth or sophistication. And then the lady sprayed a bit of Vera Wang. Something in the notes struck me as very “green,” for lack of a better word. Not quite herbal, not quite fresh, but very natural none-the-less. This faded after a few minutes leaving behind one of the most pleasant dry downs I’ve ever known.
And now, two years, 12 bottles, 100 samples, and a mini-obsession later, I still think Vera Wang is the most pleasant scent I’ve ever come across. Being a bit linear, it is not as complex as many other scents out there (for example, Chanel’s Allure Edition Blanche, which if stronger would challenge Vera Wang as my favorite scent). But unlike any other cologne I’ve purchased, my enjoyment of the scent has never faded.
Now, the scent may not be for everyone. It is not the most masculine of scents, although I would argue that few popular colognes these day are. It is also probably not appropriate for the heat of summer days or tightly packed clubs. And I even feel somewhat self-conscious wearing it on a casual day to the office as I’m left feeling somewhat over-dressed, even while wearing a suit and a tie. But for nice restaurants, evening-wear, or occasionally just a relaxing fall day, I don’t think this cologne can be beat.
Really? People like this? It seems as straightforward and as “clean” a smell as toilet cleaner. Not only do I not like this as a fragrance, but I actually can’t stand the smell. It gives me a headache within minutes. I don’t want people (and I mean anyone) to smell like this.
I bought a sample of this and, absolutely floored by the wonderful smell, ended up buying a large bottle a week later. I found it to be very woodsy, very rich, and very intense. It seemed to be the perfect scent for…something…I just couldn’t put my finger on what.
My opinion of the scent has slowly changed. I still enjoy it, and I’m still glad, I suppose, that I went right for the large bottle. But overall, the middle notes and dry down have become much less enjoyable for me. I still think the top notes are fantastic, and if the fragrance simply captured those notes for a longer time, I would agree that it’s one of the best fragrances of all time. But once the dry down comes, it just feels cheap and I feel the need to either reapply or just wash it off. The vanilla brings too much sweetness to the mixture for my tastes.
I’ll still wear it to a bar or on a date, but it is simply too intense to wear to the office or for anything casual. And for all the times I’ve worn it, I still can’t find the right situation for it. It’s too edgy for a nice date, too woodsy for a hot club, too sexy for anything formal, and too conspicuous for anything casual. All in all, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll finish the large bottle I so hastily purchased.
This is easily one of my favorite colognes to wear in a casual setting. At first, the flower and tea notes are the most prominent. They are each softly blended together and, to my nose, no single note dominates. Eventually it eases its way into a more woodsy scent. I enjoy applying it lightly to the point where others can’t quite tell if I’m wearing cologne of not.
The cologne has two problems that I can tell. First, it is almost too weak. Even though I like it lightly applied, this is really the only good way to apply it, in my opinion. Too many sprays brings out the second problem, which is some sort of chemical-like note (which is what, I believe, other reviewers are referring to when they complain of headaches), not to mention an over-abundance of pepper. The “chemical” note is also present during the dry down even when lightly applied, but is usually inconspicuous. Too many sprays make it simply too powerful to ignore.
On the whole, a fantastic scent, especially if, like me, you choose your colognes in an effort to avoid smelling either too old and too much like a frat boy.
Very citrusy, but not too sweet. It reminds me of something between Aqua di Gio and L’eau D’Issey pour homme, but not quite up to the quality of either. Even with the half-dozen or so other colognes I wear on a regular basis, all of which are at least twice the cost of Bellagio, I get more compliments for this scent than any other. Strange, no?
Simply put, before I ever got into cologne, this is what I always assumed cologne should smell like. Something about it reminds me of Santos, but it’s less edgy and more gentle. Don’t trust the smell that comes directly from the bottle (splash or otherwise). After my first whiff, I thought it was nothing but whiskey in cologne form. That’s not how it smells on your skin.
For whatever strange reason, this scent reminds me of Cinema by YSL even though they don’t have notes in common. I think this would make a great scent on a woman. I don’t understand this on a man.
It’s hard for me to admit that I’m giving this a thumbs up, but I’ve decided to join the club. At first, I felt like I was spraying myself with some sort of liquefied browny mixture. This is still true to an extent, and I remain somewhat self-conscious when wearing it in public. You do, after all, smell like something to eat, and that still doesn’t feel particularly masculine to me. That said, it really is one of the most enjoyable smells I have ever come across. From beginning to end, it smells amazing and, oddly, comforting. For this reason, I’ll occasionally spray it when sitting around the house reading a good book. It gives me the same cozy feeling I get from being home for Christmas smelling the cookies bake in the effort.
On the other hand, God forbid I should ever take this to the club or wear it to the office.