GIVENCHY GENTLEMAN is a classic "thinking man's" fragrance that brings the nostalgia factor of growing up in the 70s/80s while being suitably unique for the midlife professional man today. Straddles the l8ne between trendy and classic. Opens with leather and tannic acids that is softened by a honey sweetness and light smoke (think the moist earthiness of burning leaves in autumn and fresh lawn trimmings). The heart is unmistakable patchouli that reads true and projects very well. Occassional pops of gourmand spices (cinnamon...but I get nutmeg, mace, and a little clove vibe too) all add youth and lightness to "your dad's cologne". GIVENCHY GENTLEMAN manages to be rich and cerebral without taking itself too seriously or with overpowering dominance.
The slight downside is longevity...lasts maybe 5 hours on skin/clothes before breaking down to a very soft barely discernable unaccented patchouli. This might be perfectly fine for various circumstances. I love it enough to repply as necessary!
Niche? No. This stuff is within easy reach, and that is no bad thing. Its very familiarity gives it a patina of associational values which it has built up over time.
In basic profile, we know what kind of guy wears GG. We have encountered this approachable gentleman in his legion of embodiments over the years. Right now, he is sitting on a brown leather chesterfield at our club, reading one of the broadsheets. He is also over there, shaking the last drips off his umbrella before handing it to the cloakroom attendant. And there he is over there sporting his side-parting, holding the door for the old lady with the inconceivable quantity of rouge on the cheeks. The waitress blushed when he winked at her. He knows. That's enough for him.
Soapy. Nail-brush soapy.
Nutmeg. Cassia, encroaching far enough into the register occupied by the patchouli to add close harmony. Flattened seventh chord. They use that one a lot in Barbershop quartets.
Civet? Not sure. Some cyclic ketone, certainly, but could be beaver, or palm oil. This adds to the old school satchel accord.
He's standing in front of me now, at the coffee stand in the station. The barista has put chocolate powder on his cappucino, even though he specifically asked her not to. He accepts it graciously, and easily conceals his irritation.
What a gent.
If you've never smelt this wonderful note, patchouli, I would urge you to try "Gentleman" by Givenchy. The scent has been around for ages - I wore it back in the late 90s. I simply don't get the whole marketing thing around this one, but as a fragrance it is really quite enjoyable.
Patchouli is an earthy scent. In fact it's a *wet* earthy scent. Now, you may be thinking earth is like soil, mud and compost heaps, but this is nothing but that. Imagine the earthy smell after the rainfall, the clean and crisp aspect of it and you've got patchouli. It's quite a masculine note and not one to be used sparingly.
"Gentleman" also has a good leather note in it too and this blends particularly well with the patchouli.
All in all, a very simple, yet powerful Eau de Toilette that is truly worth a sniff at the very least.
A decadent blend of dark, earthy patchouli, suede, rose infused honey and musky civet. Very buttery smooth in texture, throughout and the warmly radiant civet in combination with the rich, berry-like honey imparts a distinctive 'hot glow' to the whole composition, which is so beautiful and unlike anything I've smelled before. This stuff is perilously sexy.
(Review is for the reformulated version)
A traditional Gentleman's Fragrance
A Vintage sample of the original formulation:
Interestingly, after the initial tarragon there is on my skin a beautiful honeyed cinnamon that is quite unique and lasts for most of he life of this scent. I get a touch of vetiver and moss in the drydown, but the next phase is a gentle, mild leather, that is very discrete and reminds me if the original Russisch Leder by Farina Gegenüber in its restraint and softness. This fragrance always shows restraint and discretion, has poor projection after the first hour on me, and is gone after about three hours. A high-quality Genleman's fragrance.
Raw strength in a bottle.
A scent so very rich it has a palpable texture.
The reformulation is as good as the vintage. Slightly different, but just as good. I layer the two and find incredible depth in this masterpiece...
Easily in my top 5.
I cannot even start to describe this... it's pure heaven, but kinda earthly heaven, mossy, wet and sour. Perhaps a single girl's (with commitment issues) heaven - I seriously suspect now I have been wearing it for couple of months no man can possibly match this checklist of sophisticated masculinity.
But fantasy aside, I find it incredibly wearable and possibly the only bearable summer scent - and the summer in question is close to 40c.
remind me of yatagan but less animal, a true classic!
This makes me feel happy and in love with myself, if that makes sense. Weirdly from a department stores tester I got this amazing almost animal like manliest scent ever, which I utterly fell in love with. It lasted only about five minutes, and then faded to very nice patchouli. Patchouli bit made me happy and jolly. Not a dainty girly scent at all, and I felt relieved to come across with GG, as all the other's, classics and modern alike, seemed too 'girly' for my taste somehow..
So all in all a good scent for me, best so far, but as I bought this based on tester experience, the bottle from the box didn't have this strong animal scent, and I started speculating whether G puts vintage juice in the tester bottles or was it just edP version of it?
Lasted perhaps like six hours and as it was cold and rainy, I got mostly patchouli scent outside, but as soon as I entered indoors, this animal friend from the beginning revisited me in a most pleasant way for a short while.. Somehow I felt this scent 'pulsated' different layers of it, which was pleasurable. Keeps things exciting...
Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy. In all of Paris there was no more elegant man, one more breathtakingly stunning: In his time, perhaps Jean Marais was his only rival. Standing a ridiculous 6'7, Hubert de Givenchy was a killer in his epoch the likes of whom to this day France has not seen the equivalent: Even at 70 years old, a more delicious looking man, there was not. It is said that Hubert orchestrated the creation of the first masculine scent to bare his name, the lavender laden "Monsieur de Givenchy," beguiling in its mock simplicity, for himself, while the now utterly legendary "Givenchy Gentleman" was conducted for his brother James Taffin who lived in London. I grew up in France, and had the good fortune of actually being presented to Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy as a child by my mother who knew him. Later in life, as an adult, I met with him several times. The natural elegance of this man is a very hard thing to conjure today, for it is of a subtlety that is no longer of this world. In the late 70's and early 80's, in France, it was a known fact, much discussed, that "Givenchy Gentleman" was the sexiest perfume a man could wear were he desirous of attracting women. At this very time, with great trepidation i would approach my first year at Uni, and this scabrous detail was the only one for which I gave any thought when it came to the choice of perfume that would become my signature for about four years: I used the soap, the bubble bath, the shave cream, the shampoo, the after shave balm in my hair, and of course, the number of huge 500ml screw-cap flacons of splash eau de toilette that came and went I can not fathom, for I would douse myself in it with an abandon only France will allow. Now, I am old, and withered: Distinctly "middle aged." I grew out of "Givenchy Gentleman," and moved on to more subtle things. Recently, a generous e-bay seller who was liquidating his great aunt's unending collection of perfumes sent me a gratis 1.7oz spray: All black and white and chrome. I used to travel with these. I smirked when I saw it in the box. Ladies who worked in Parfumeries in Frnace would refer to this size as "La Baise en Ville" ("The F*ck in Town"). When I sprayed it, smelling it for the first time in well over 30 years, I almost fell into a swoon: "No wonder I wore this." Shaken to the core, that was my only immediate reaction. People today speak of "panty droppers," well, as it panned out, and the fragrance developed, I found myself struggling with some dark inclinations, very nearly dropping my own to quench them. Thirty minutes in and in order that I not succumb I was online sending the seller this S.O.S. message: "If it's GG, I want it. Whatever you got. I'll take it: name your price." I now can say that I have enough vintage GG everything to last for the rest of my days. Soap on a robe. After shave balm. After shave lotion. Bubble bath....and, of course, liters and liters of the august Eau de Toilette, again: All encased in interlocking black and white G's with chrome. The first day I walked onto the set of my life wearing it, (knowing the edt was the equivalent of a modern "perfume concentrate," I went VERY easy on the application) FOUR unknown women stopped me and said: "You smell good!" I was astonished because, having grown used to dainty Guerlains and the like this has not happened to me for so long I can't remember the last time it did. The vintage Eau de Toilette is about thrice, maybe even twenty times as tenacious as a current Guerlain "Parfum," say, "Jicky," which i wear fluently, and It lasts....forever. The thing that's the most titillating about it is that It goes on like a kiss: When you put it on, it feels as though you are being made love to by a massive thing covered in fur and you are loving the vibration it's sending through you. In other words: It's HOT. The strange inclination to "Lick it up" overcomes you. It's so sexy that its power can be felt in the loins, auto-eroticism shows its horny head. No wonder it was the quintessential "panty dropper" in France in the years of its glory. Yes, it's masculine: But it's masculine in a way that I dare say only Hubert de Givenchy could conjure: It has sillage., but not just any sillage. No "Cologne" vibe whatsoever. People notice it. Looking distinctly annoyed, with raised brow, men say: "Are you wearing Patchouli?" Women, eye lids a-flutter say very frankly: "OK, can I just tell you, you smell so good, I want to eat you." -And they mean it. My assistant, who is a lovely woman in her early twenties, told me with a noticeable amount of care and self control that seemed to be pent up and finally came forth on the third day that I wore it to work that, as she cautiously put it, the scent was "Makin my head go all kinds'a places." Before the week was over, I thought: "Maybe, I'm just not ready to do this" so I began spraying it on my pocket square, which had for effect that my own head began to play tricks on me, going "All kinds'a places" in the act. All day long, I could smell its effluvia circling around me, like voodoo daemons doing a danse macabre . I kept getting whiffs and wafts of it, and each time, I would marvel: That can't be me, i would think. There's no way. Finally, I came to remove my pocket square and shove it in my back pocket. The thing about this scent that truly sets it apart is this: In order to "pull this off," especially in this Brave New World of nothing scents, where even the Guerlains smell like linen spray, the wearer had best be advised to truly "be" a Gentleman. This perfume wears its name very well. If not, things could get very much out of control very fast. As for the new version that is to be found in stores today, I haven't the faintest clue what it's like. The vintage, that to which I speak, must be one of the most "Attractive" male scents ever made: I have worn many, many different kinds of perfume: For women, for men, unspecified. Never, never once, has any of them brought people close to me the way this one has. Recently, after much debate with my assistant, who, having become a fan, insisted I wear it to a Black Tie Ball, (me: "What if my date doesn't like it? What if it explodes on the dance floor?") finally I succumbed. I found out very quickly that I could not for the life of me keep people off of me: 80% women, 20% men. After dinner I went to the Gent's & saw that my face was covered in lipstick. When the After Party was in full swing and everyone was drunk, in frot of everyone I got force-kissed full blown on the mouth by a random young thing: Very pretty. My date, who saw it, was furious. "I didn't do it! She just grabbed me!" I pleaded. She exhaled in disgust. "What do you mean 'you didn't do it?' You smell like an orgy." Then she stopped, and looked pensive: "Yeah. You smell like a f*in orgy. The weirdest part is that it's like there are velvet ropes around it, and nobody's getting in." That--I thought--was the best summation: One I would never invent. It's so easy to blend a perfume that smells like an orgy. Many "Niche" frags have them in their ranges. Hubert de Givenchy himeslf, and only Hubert de Givenchy, himself, would be capable of orchestrating a fragrance that "smells like an orgy," with the very distinctive detail that it just happens to be one where very few get in, and, all around it, keeping the common folk and pay-to-play crowd at bay, there are "velvet ropes."
01st May, 2012 (last edited: 18th August, 2012)
A woman can certainly pull this fragrance off. I wear it, and I wear it proudly.
Givenchy Gentleman is all about soft woods, cinnamon incense, earthy patchouli and sweet musk. To my nose, as strange as it may sound, this smells like an old-fashioned closet full of musty clothes and pink candy musk sticks.
My god this is heavenly. To be honest, I love it so much on myself that it'd be hard for me to smell it on my man. He's used to my masculine and smokey scents, yet the other day when I sprayed this on my neck he had no clue it was marketed for men. Bless his heart, he actually mistook it for Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere.
Towards the drydown Givenchy Gentleman becomes quite powdery and tends to resemble the scent of shaving foam. I've actually resorted to shaving my legs with men's shaving foam seeming that it's a whole five dollars cheaper than feminine shaving foam, so I'm used to my body smelling like this.
It makes me feel so refined yet powerful at the same time. This is one of those great powerhouse scents from the 70's with amazing longevity and sillage, however I must add that I don't find this fragrance dated.
Oh, it's just so comforting, like a hug from your loved one while you're curled up beside a fire on a cold Winter's night.
This is a review for the vintage juice...
I have heard vintage Givenchy Gentleman compared to Giorgio for Men by others, and while I can see where they are coming from I believe they are in the right ballpark, but just a bit off the mark with their aim on this one. This juice is actually a dead ringer during its top notes for the lesser known but equally as good sister scent, Giorgio VIP for Men (that is more leather focused). I placed VIP on my right arm and Givenchy Gentleman on the left, and with some minor variances I was sold that I had found a replacement for the very expensive and long since discontinued VIP early-on. Well, not so fast... Similarities remain between the two scents throughout, but Givenchy Gentleman turns much more mossy, less sweet and slightly less refined when you get past the top notes. I would not really say it is inferior to VIP, just different...
OK, comparisons to VIP set aside, what does it smell like? It starts out with a very beautiful cinnamon, honey, ginger and tarragon. It is almost a soapy smooth opening, with just a hair of the leather from the mid notes making itself known early-on. The scent then moves completely to its more rough mossy, leathery heart combining with a good dose of patchouli and vetiver. The oak moss, patchouli and leather are the stars all the way through its slightly animallic base. It is very old school (a very good thing in my book) and has some really good strength. Projection and longevity are both well above average.
Givenchy Gentleman in its vintage form is an incredible classic that I am ashamed I have not tried until recently. I have heard the recent reformulation has been unkind to the scent, and if so, it is a darn shame. Vintage juice at a "sane" price is still available but getting scarcer and pricier by the minute, so my advice is to stock-up folks. This classic masculine is a really good one! 4 out of 5 stars.
31st March, 2012 (last edited: 21st December, 2012)
Big patchouli scent. Almost the dirty, pure smell of straight fragrance oil the hippie wannabes wear. Nice powder to it. Feels super dated but thats ok. It's a formal scent to me and definitely masculine. Not for everyday unless you're 50+. You have smelled this before even if you can't place it. Classic...
My husband and I have just bought this for my father-in-law, because I remembered my much older brother wearing it years ago. OMG. This stuff is gorgeous. It makes me feel uncomfortable to want to sniff my father-in-law's collar. So the only solution is to buy some of this. But not just for my husband. I'm thinking I may wear it and layer it with something else. I'm wondering if it would go with Agent Provocateur. Someone mentioned wearing it with Gucci Rush, which I also love. But this, even on its own, is HOT. My goodness. What a find.
18th September: NEWSFLASH! Had to change my review ... just been on holiday with husband. Tiny apartment in Monte Carlo. Husband accidentally dropped and smashed bottle of Givenchy Gentleman. Entire apartment suffused with it. Could barely breathe. Can now not bear even a whiff of this stuff. Quel dommage!
26th January, 2012 (last edited: 18th September, 2012)
This fragrance made in 70's and I hate most of classic fragrances! I don't know why but it doesn't smell dated to my nose!
It's unique and completely masculine.
There are so many notes listed above, but I didn't smell most of them because of very strong patchouli note which is the main player of this fragrance.
So patchouli haters completely stay away!
The opening is very strong and sharp patchouli scent mixed with dry leather note with slightly sweet smell mixing with it. the leather is weaker and light against the patchouli note.
Also you can call this fragrance a patchouli bomb!
So every note except patchouli is in the background and even some of them completely undetectable!
The patchouli note also does have a wet and cold feeling vibe. like a wet basement and also does have a very earthy smell.
In the mid the leather note still is there, patchouli settle down just a bit and slight amount of sweetness, woodsy and floral notes joining in and you will have this scent to the end!
You can count this as a linear fragrance. yeah!
Really good projection and above average longevity.
I like this fragrance sooooo much!
30th October, 2011 (last edited: 17th October, 2012)
I have the re-formulated version.
This one smells very smooth, nearly 'buttery'. What I smell mostly is strong vetiver with a hint of peppery notes. The drydown shows leather, but just a bit. To me this scent brings up warm/nolstalgic feelings. Not exactly a hiper-masculine fragrance, I find this kinda sweet and old-style. Proper name for the juice. I enjoy it quite much.
I remember the patchouli, vetiver and leather smell, the heady intoxicating "yes I own a stable of horses and I have a roomful of gold bullion" feeling, that smelling Gentleman, evoked (for me anyway). I agree with what MJW77 said "masculine gentle-manliness". In the 70's and 80's Ii vividly remember walking up to men wearing this and practically shouting "what is that fragrance that you are wearing?" I am not kidding when I say that I wanted to marry any man, even if he was an old man, who wore this (all 7 of them that I ever met, haha).
It just goes to show that how someone smells can make you love them :) Especially if you have a heightened olfactory sensitivity, as most of us on this forum probably do.
I first purchased this in high school during the early 1970s. Scroll forward 30 years and Ive purchased two more bottles recently (off eBay) hoping to get the vintage version that I remember and not the latest reformulation that lacks the intense civety animalism of the original. The bottles I acquired appear to be vintage and the fragrance smells good, though not as long-lasting as I remember. Interesting -- one bottle seems to smell much more intensely of patchouli and the other has a richer, though smoother, more animalic fragrance. Clearly, a lot of variation over the years, but it remains a high watermark in men's fragrances.
Gentleman Givenchy (Original Formulation)
A great peppery leather fragrance that shows no aging. Hints of cinnamon on a considerable dose of patchouli and vetiver. A simple formula that's still incredibly compelling. I will never understand why at Givenchy they needed to reformulate this little masterpiece. Buy it while stocks last.
The original forumaltion had a different packaging form the new one. You can make sure you're buying the original Gentleman by looking at the box that has to be with the Givenchy monograms printed in white instead of grey.
I tried the current version and gave it a thumbs down. I tried the 'silver-label-wraps-round-the-bottle' pre-reformulation juice and, yes, it's vastly better: still strong but subtly powerful rather than monolithic and tedious.
01st April, 2011 (last edited: 31st July, 2011)
Good stuff. A mature, sophisticated leather fragrance. GG does exude a sense of masculine gentlemanliness but I don't think this is too old school and can easily be worn and enjoyed today.
My Dad has the pre reformulation aftershave of Gentleman (which he doesn't use much.) Having compared this with the current EDT that I own, I don't think the reformulation is bad at all.
The first fragrance I purchased as a teen back in the eighties. Given its qualities and my distinct lack of them at the time, perhaps a wholly inappropriate choice. Despite this I thought it to be terribly chic and wholeheartedly masculine - at least I was correct in these respects.
I returned to GG last year out of curiosity and nostalgia. Whilst this re-awoke some happy memories it also gave a new appreciation for this wonderful fragrance. Upon application I find it to be potent but not offensively so, soon settling down into a reassuring powdery, patchouli undertone of impressive longevity. One for the well dressed gent (of a certain age).
To be honest I bought it in a hurry after smelling Bond No.9 H.O.T. Always and being amazed by it. I read about the similarities, smelled Gentleman and - true, it was almost the same and much more accessible so I bought under this fresh impression. S little later did I realize that although similar - well, Gentleman has this 'old world' feeling and H.O.T. Always manages to be contemporary. For some time I was actually repulsed by Gentleman and regretted buying it. It had this extreme opening of wet, oily Cuir de Russie and civet, almost like some liquid flowing in the veins of an alien monsterdog. Then it settled to something equally pungent but tamed, soaking oily patchouli.
It was months later when I learned to appreciate this fragrance and wear it outside. I can't remember under what circumstances exactly but the truth is after the pungent animalic blast that tickles the nostrils in a disturbing way, there are lot of nuances coming their way, not exactly sweet (de-sweetened honey, hypnotic patchouli), not exactly bitter (almost herbal vetiver, hypnotic patchouli), with the mildly smoky leather smelling like some luxurious industrial oil, giving depth. Gentleman actually depicts a whole story and yet it looks like composed of very little layers. It manages to completely envelop the wearer in its dark-brown aura. it's actually soothing. It's a masterpiece. Strange thing: aren't all smokey leather-dominant fragrances called 'masterpieces' as long as they're powerful and pungent enough?
After the powerful opening you can smell the leather mixed in with the patchouli then it drysdown to a wonderful patchouli fragrance that you do not get in many scents.
This is quite potent that it overwhelms my nose to a extent that I cannot smell it up close. One moment I can smell the aroma all around me then its gone only to reappear with a vengence. I do find myself quite taken with this fragrance as it is so different to the fragrances of this day and age.
A delightful patchouli fragrance that I am glad is part of my wardrobe.
This is a classic by anyone's standards; I can see how some might refer to Gentleman as an old man's fragrance. I like, but don't love it. It is surely rich and refined, with a beautifully constructed drydown dominated by patchouli. Gentleman closes in a near-powdery fashion, reminding me a bit of barber shop fragrances. Some have referred to GG as ultra-masculine, but my interpretation is not quite so macho. I would describe as classy and mature, not hairy bare-chested. If you like this fragrance, I think you would also enjoy Balenciaga Pour Homme (if you could manage to find a bottle, that is....).
New to the site - but had to say that I adore GG. A powerful being, this creation soaks you with it's top notes like a waterfall - not entirely a pleasant affair, but one that immerses you nonetheless! I get the tarragon, the fresh squeezed lemon and leather all at once, before - as many have commented - the 15 minutes when it settles into an amzing drydown of herbage, woodland and testosterone!
It's fresh as hell, but warm as hell - like a beautiful red wine - the first glass - and I don't know why , but has more than a passing similarity to Chanel's Pour Monseiur which I also own. This is way heavier and stays with you for way longer - only a few sprays will last you all night - and I would consider this for formal / all night occasions, more than anything else - perhaps because of my age.
Women of all ages have complimented me on this one, and it IS a real man's fragrance, Earthy and heady, but balls out front.
16th January, 2011 (last edited: 22nd January, 2011)
Look how far you have to go back to find a real 'cojones out' masculine fragrance -- and it works a treat. A real sweaty, dirty mixture of patchouli, leather, woods, herbs and civet that, paradoxically feels like a breath of fresh air againist all the androgynous generic scents invading the market. I'm almost inclined to mention a roughed up 'Bel Ami' here. I'm not going to wear every day, but will look forward to the days I do. A masterpiece and cheap as chips.
My signature fragrance since 1974. Heady, intoxicating, sophisticated yet atavistic. The composition defines mastery and is one of the great creations. I have not tried the reformulation because I was uneasy about what I'd discover. I cannot understand the desire to reformulate this at all much less the need.
First wore this one about 25 years ago, I adored it SO Much,,,,, thinking back I imagine I may have choked a few people in my vicinity.
I still love it but feel disinclined to put it on now; perhaps ones tastes mellow out with age.
This is classic that will live for years to come!
Honey and dampened cinnamon left in a cupboard and forgotten, with maybe a few rinds of lemon... Heavy, heady woods which were freshly cut but rained upon. Sweet, strange, just shy of austere, but somehow comfortable, like an old memory. Classy to a fault, unmistakable, and inaccessible for a man of my age.