Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Gendarme V by Gendarme

They didn’t bother with top notes on this one. How radical is that? You have to wait for the blast of undisguised rubbing alcohol to wear off before you can enjoy the punchy basil/tarragon herbal accord Gendarme V has to offer. I haven’t smelled a more literal rendition of these culinary herbs since Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s salad dressing fantasy Baïme, and while it’s an appealing effect in both cases, it’s not necessarily something I want to wear.

As Gendarme V develops the anisic/licorice aspect of its herbal notes grows more conspicuous, in contrast to a sharp, tart citrus accord. I’d love to smell the listed civet note, since it would add depth and warmth to the composition while counteracting the salad dressing vibe, but it’s not registering for me at all. The basil ultimately outlasts the citrus, which isn’t saying much, since the whole scent runs its course inside of two hours. My final call? For an herbal, anisic citrus scent, you’re better off with Eau de Rochas or Annick Goutal’s Eau du Sud.
14th June, 2014 (last edited: 15th June, 2014)
Ostensibly, this smells like soap. But it's got orange blossom and a touch of neroli dancing on top of a white soap smell, so it's quite floral - it reminds me of gold Dial soap, a smell that I really enjoy, hence the thumbs up.

This floral soap takes place on top of a warm-body-in-a-shower smell that's weirdly salty. Honestly, this shower body trick has become a bit of a cliche nowadays, but V deserves some sort of credit for jumping the bandwagon early.

As much as I'm unimpressed by the body smell, it works as a clever foil for the soap smell, and I REALLY like that soap smell...
09th June, 2014
Smells like clean soap. Fresh. Light. Too light. Not bad, but not good. Soap is cheaper.
04th August, 2011
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Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
I just don't like these notes, except for the civet, which is done well here. I'll give it a neutral because I can't think of anything "wrong" with it, but it's definitely not the kind of fragrance I enjoy these days. I find the anise to be strong and not pleasant here, but I do like Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, so that leads me to believe that it's just the combination here that doesn't work for me, rather than the fragrance being "bad" in any way.
18th January, 2011
To me this was all about biting into a green apple. Ultimately, this is not the kind of enjoyment I seek when wearing a fragrance. Civet in the note list of this? HA HA!! Quite a joke. This is all about smelling clean (and undaring) and therefore, for the ones who can't have a third or fourth shower during the day due to time constraints...
27th July, 2010
The opening of V is rather remarkable for its fizz and effervescence. Gradually, it becomes evident that this is merely a prelude to a rather dusty rose, or whatever heavy florals one finds in the genre of Ungaro III, Van Cleef and Arpels, or Czech and Speake #88. Masculine rose scents never really do anything for me personally, so I would never buy this stuff. Still, if a fan of those brands wanted a slightly more summery analog for his collection, then Gendarme V might be a good place to start the search.
13th June, 2010
Tony T Show all reviews
United States
lemon and lemonbalm but not a lemony scent. i smell some lime and that's about it. i got a used bottle of ebay so it won't get a thumbs down.
09th September, 2008
Doesn't Gendarme do anything else besides soapy, clean scents. This one has a weird floral note (carnation?) in it. A little better than the original.
06th September, 2008
I have a hard time distinguishing this from the original. As with the original, I don't find the unnuanced grassiness very appealing.
14th October, 2006
zztopp Show all reviews
United States
A less citrusy version of the original classic, the base of Vetiver and Tonka is what distinguishes it. One of my friends like this version better, and says that the earth Vetiver is what makes it stand out (he is a big fan of earthy vetiver scents). However to my nose, the combination of the clean fresh top notes and then a transformation to an earthy vetiver base, while sounds intriguing on paper, doesnt really work for me .. the fresh top notes and the earthy vetiver clash a lot and the scent seems unstable at times.
24th July, 2006
Subtle variation on the original Gendarme. To my nose, the same quiet purity and quality but a different dimension of clean with less of a citrus emphasis. Imagine a summer breeze blowing gently through the flimsy curtains of a quiet room that smells vey pure and with a faint odour of fine spice. As with the original Gendarme, a rather frail scent, but utterly wearable, calm and kind.
It's not surprising that some politicians apparently wear Gendarme scents. Perhaps their public relations people ought to insist on it. After all, these scents project such subtle subconscious cues about what a decent, upstanding fellow the wearer must be. No sleaze or chicanery around here, folks!
26th May, 2006
Wow! I really wish there was a 2+ thumbs up symbol below. Sometimes i write a review after a day or two of wearing and the excitement is still there and i kick myself later because my thoughts have changed. Not with Gendarme V. This is #1 or #2 (i alternate between GIT and this) of worn scents.

I will really be adding nothing more the aforementioned comments (especially scentementals.. a big champion of the scent on the board) except the following:

1) although pepper is not mentioned in any layer of this scent, i smell it.. and it is wonderful. Maybe it is an herb/scent i'm unaware of that mirrors but the pepper head is nice.

2)This is the same scent for hours, and in a good way. Imagine a scent that has no middle or drydown really, is totally synthetic, and still can maintain this worthy buzz, kudos Topper if you read this board.

Regardless if they admit it or not, a top 5 scent on anyone's shortlist that has tried it.

19th April, 2006
*Gendarme V*, with its high concentration of natural perfume oils (15% in this case), is typical of Gendarme fragrances in general. It’s clean and casual and wears close to the skin, and, like the original *Gendarme*, it has a pretty tight accord, but it’s certainly also a more complex scent. It manages to use ylang ylang in a way that I haven't seen used in either women's or men's fragrances. Ylang ylang tends to have a sickly sweet, fecund, heady note that is perilously close to smelling like the flower itself has begun to decay, a note that is very hard to tame. Not this ylang ylang. It's as if the most ethereal and pleasing fragrance characteristic of the ylang ylang was gently removed and blended optimally into the *Gendarme V* accord. An unsuccessful use of ylang ylang, in my opinion, can be seen in Damien Bash's *Lucifer No.3*, where from the outset the ylang ylang crowds out the other elements and continues to do so right throughout the drydown. The use of ylang ylang in *Lucifer No.3* is somewhat crudely handled, and no special care is taken to mitigate that heady, fecund, cloying note found in the flower. This is the ultimate success of *Gendarme V*. It is an entirely harmonious accord with, at its center, one of the most potentially inharmonious and inhospitable of flowers.

I spoke to Topper Schroeder one time, the guy behind the Gendarme line–a very charming and affable, laid-back guy, by the way–who told me, when I put it to him that he had done wonders with ylang ylang, that it was in large part due to its being blended successfully with “a very expensive vetiver”. Can't say I can really smell the vetiver, but again that’s precisely *Gendarme V's* success–it’s blending.

*Gendarme V* doesn't change much from initial application to final drydown. The accord is tight, harmonious, and balanced, and, of course, one of a kind. You’ll be smelling yourself all the time when you apply this, and even though it wears close to the skin, you’ll be aware of it, as will others. It’s a feel good, uplifting, casual scent that’s dreamy, California dreamy, in fact. One final point about *Gendarme V* is that it sometimes manifest a stronger citrus note than the other two Gendarmes which is definitely carried by what is a synthetic civet note. It can sometime surprise the wearer in this way. When it does so, it develops a slightly sharp, citric, animalic note on top of the ylang ylang/vetiver accord. Not unpleasant but it can be surprising because it's not always present. Definitely, the most interesting and complex of all the Gendarmes in my book.
29th January, 2006
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Much on the order of the original Gendarme but has a stronger presence. This is more like it. The citrus is there and available rather than playing demure as it did in Gendarme. There is a real presence with the combination of notes, but if there is civet there, it is certainly has been domesticated. Gendarme V remains a light, balanced, sweet and fresh fragrance. It is more complex than the original, but it continues the tradition of a clean, refreshing, and non-allergenic fragrance.
14th January, 2006
the bergamot, lemon, and verbena really smell aromatic and nice, and everything mixes in really well. It's light at first then becomes a little heavier with it's grassy vetiver.
03rd February, 2005
Gen V is far more sophisticated than the original - I keep sniffing my collar and think I may just have finally found my "signature scent". It's gentle, clean, green, unique, pleasant and sexy. The secret to this scent is the masterful blend of citrus over a "polite" base of base vetiver and tonka bean. Citrus top notes fly off in the majority of formulations leaving a heavy handed base to mope around and keep any remaining top notes firmly under their thumb. But the lemonbalm middle freshens for a long time, and stands up to the the vetiver-tonka duo which could easily dominate. But Gendarme has chosen to a pair of gentlemen for a proper base, not a couple of bruisers who throw their weight around. To make up for their polished nature, basil rounds out the base nicely, so smoothly blended in, you have to whiff deeply and use fine discression to separate any one of the three. A perfect acccord. The middle notes are played by another virtuoso trio. Reviews quote a "sweeter than Gendarme original" reflection, resulting from the floral ylang ylang. The sweetness of a wild flower is perfectly tamed by a domesticated civet, or is it the other way around? A wild civet adds the necessary masculine note to balance a sensuous woman who would otherwise attract all the attention. Either way, the floral-animal-citrus waltzes in the middle as another expert accord. The perfection is topped with classic citrus notes, however, like an epicurian, Gendarme's recipe calls for more lemon than orange (as good gastronomists know the best way to conmplement basil), garnishing the plate with freshness and brightening the atmosphere of the entire restaurant. The acidity of my skin mutes the first impression of this delicious concoction, leaving the civet to pad thru the grass and basil while nibbling on tonka beans. So be sure to spritz your collar or garment where body moisture assures you can savor the cooking of this master chef. Youll be hungry again in 4 hours, but when meals are this good, you always look forward to eating again! A masterpiece.
24th June, 2004
Gendarme V is another incredible fragrance that is sweeter and more "Greener" than the original. The fragrance is so unique that people pay attention to it. If you want a warmer heavier version of Gendarme get the V. You won't be dissappointed!
14th May, 2003
Dennis Show all reviews
United States
Although I prefer Gendarme V to the original Gendarme--it's a little less soapy, slightly sweeter--both fragrances are absolutely singular. There's nothing else like them. Very clean, quietly assertive. And they REALLY last. Gendarme V is another member on my "can't go wrong" list!
25th February, 2003
I really like to wear this scent in the daytime when I can't make up my mind. It really has that "clothes fresh out of the dryer" scent that people notice. It is greener and longer lasting than the original but I still prefer the original as I find the V more feminine to me. I will sometimes use it to spray on my bedsheets to get a fresher smell( though yes I do wash them regularly). Promotes good sleep.
26th November, 2002