Neutral Reviews of Derby by Guerlain

    Find out more about Derby by Guerlain in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


    Showing 1 to 7 of 7. (Show all reviews)
    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Light carnation/clove scent for summer wear

    This is a very nice, light summer scent - a green, woody effervescence that coalesces around a light and  refreshing carnation/clove note -odd that neither of these is mentioned in the ingredients list, but are for me the most predominant notes in this creation.

     

    Along with Guerlain's Vetiver (spicy and green - the very best available) and their Habit Rouge (dry citrus calming down to a moss), Derby completes the classic trio of their men's scents, stretching from 1959 to 1985. They would be best used in the following order:  Habit Rouge for morning, Derby for early afternoon, Vetiver for evening.

     

    Although perfectly nice and subtle, I can see why it failed in 1985. It was a quiet port in a storm of the scents of its time. Though hardly a masterpiece, as Luca Turin claims it to be, nor "one of the ten best masculines of all time," as he asserts, it is perfectly nice and a fine choice for the middle aged to older gentleman.

    Pros: Excellently balanced and sophisticated
    Cons: None

    20th May, 2013

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    An obviously very well-made scent in the typical old-school Guerlain fashion: complex in structure and very grand in scale; lots going on here. But alas, it's more admirable than lovable, I feel. And it's extremely hard to believe this one dates from the 1980s; smells much, much older: This is a very dusty, powdery affair indeed. (And where's the leather?) The 1920s Chanels such as Cuir de Russie or No. 5 have aged so very much better and feel newer than Derby which is 60 years younger. For a good masculine Guerlain, I'd suggest Heritage, which is fabulous. (And somebody should update the photo of Derby here; it looks completely different now, and if you're really unlucky, you might encounter it on display (e.g. at the Paris Galeries Lafayette flagship store) with a pump spray. Now how's that for masculine?

    23 May, 2010

    NillaGoon's avatar

    United States United States

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    OK, let's just get this out of the way: the bottle looks like a cockroach.

    Aside from that, Derby is pretty good. The drydown is everything that's promised: masculine, mossy, sophisticated, unintrusive, leathery. Two thumbs up.

    The thing is, you have to run a 45-minute gauntlet of generic, perfumey, "classic", "cologne guy" top notes to get there. From my perspective, the drydown may as well be on the other side of the moon.

    I will try this one a couple times more and see if it grows on me.

    02 February, 2010

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I was very interested to try this – I know it has many fans. I find that there is much to appreciate here. Ultimately the leather/patchouli combo isn’t quite my cup of tea.
    I find that this has three distinct phases. Also worth mentioning is that the fragrance note elements are quite clear and distinguishable from each other. The first phase is the opening, which is bracingly spicy and green. It is big, aromatic, and pleasing. In particular the artemesia has a vibrant and powerful presence. The second phase is that of peppery spice, with some florals given a dark and earthy tone. This too is well done. The last phase is true to the scent’s 1980’s origin: a big ol’ tangy-brown chord of leather and patchouli. The patchouli really hangs in there, and takes on a kind of salty, minty character.
    So, this is classed as a leathery chypre, but I think that a case can be made that it is a leathery oriental (given the spices and patchouli). Well crafted, and worth checking out if you like this sort of thing.

    02 June, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reviewing the re-issue. Pretty good leather. I smell more minty citrus than leather. A nice modified leather chypre with a heavier patchouli note than usual. If it didn't have the name Guerlain, I'd swear it was any other un-of-the-mill leather chypre from the 80's.

    16 November, 2008

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    I have only smelled that reissue version, and for sure it`s a nice fragrance, although I was perhaps expecting even something more magical.
    Balsamic, smoky leather in the vein of Knize Ten, vintage Cuir de Russie (Chanel), Cuir Mauresque etc.

    Very deep and mysterious, long lasting and quite satisfying experience. However, not worth the insane price tag, at least not to me.

    14 September, 2008

    vadim's avatar

    Russian Federation Russian Federation

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    My two cents' worth of dissent… As a lover of vintage chypres, I earnestly tried to develop a fully-fledged affair with Derby (both original and reformulated), but failed miserably. To my unsophisticated nose with a predisposition to full-bodied, manly, sensual and user-friendly chypres, Derby is rather thin and effeminate while also uninvitingly detached and indifferent to the wearer and others at best or smug at worst (given the name, it could easily make a great piece of tongue-in-cheek social commentary). I find the moss, leather and vetiver promised in the basenotes just barely perceptible, with Guerlain's signature vaguely floral / distantly sweet accord proudly floating above and muffling all other notes there are until the very end. Elegant and refined, no doubt, but hardly an outstanding men's chypre by my standards.

    28 May, 2007

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