Total Reviews: 109
A great masculine.
Honey and patchouli mixed right.
I also get some flowers(rose maybe or carnation).
The animalic civet is done perfectly here.
I do not like overpowering civet (Furyo is ruined for me because of civet) but in here civet plays very nice with others.
Get it. The vintage version of course
"And speaking of schools, yes, Givenghy Gentleman is definitely the epitome of old-school. It's actually so old-school, that I guess it was already the headmaster of the powerhouse school when lads like Kouros and Antaeus entered first grade"
This is the solid truth.I know because I was there in the mid 70's.
Big Daddy for the Patchouli bombs of the 80's.
First few years it had an ample dose of real Civet.
By 1993 it had paled. Today's, well, why bother.
Glory years were 1974-1984. Vintage all the way with this one.
This is a good one, and the base of the vintage is assuring. I'm tempted to procure a full bottle when I finish the mini.
This perfume is known colloquially as a patchouli-civet bomb.
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A chameleon of warmth till the end - that is, if you have the strength to allow those bewitched top notes to tame down.
Perpetual - arrogantly well-bred - Beyond classic !
Experience required !!
A classy masculine patchouli-dominant with noticeable animalic musk and a teaspoon of honey. Perfect for guys with memories of the decade it was introduced. The Standard.
I don’t know the current version of this gem, and given Givenchy’s descent into mediocrity of the past couple of dozens of years, I am not sure if I want to; but the vintage incarnation of Gentleman is by no means inferior to many other timeless vintage masterpieces – and I mean the true Olympus of those, next to Tiffany for Men or vintage Chanel Antaeus. I personally find Gentleman extremely distinguished, extremely high quality, and extremely unique, if not really innovative for its era. My review could (should?) really end here, but well...
The thing I find innovative here is above all the way the combo patchouli-vetiver is used in the composition, and the notes which Léger’s genius decided to surround it with. Basically, the “frame” here is an earthy-smoky texture rich in herbal, hay and woody-leather nuances, which is brilliantly paired with a traditional aromatic lavender-infused fougère bone structure (think of Azzaro pour Homme, although it came later) and a touch of tangy and grassy citrus (similar to verbena). All of this surrounding then the true star of Gentleman, the patchouli-vetiver accord I mentioned above, which gets brilliantly enhanced by earthy, musky, smoky and sweet nuances; the dampness of hay, the indolic smokiness of leather and civet (just a hint, but you definitely smell that little devil rambling beyond the base notes), and a subtle yet perfectly perceivable smooth touch of warm, sweet-powdery-musky floral notes with a shade of vanilla.
Now, it may seem a heavy or complex scent with a lot of nuances ranging from herbal, to smoky-leathery, to woody and sweet-powdery, but it isn’t really. Or well, it is complex indeed, but not too “powerful” at all. It’s a refined, almost tame fragrance, perfectly reflecting its name, delightfully gentle and discreet, cozy and elusive at the same time. It’s so well put-together that it smells perfectly crisp, bright, even fresher than it may seem despite there is many “dark” notes. Truly a perfect uplifting harmony by no means “heavy” to smell – on the contrary, extremely easy to wear and to like. It’s amazing how the notes are there, clear and rich, and yet this fragrance has a remarkably weightless presence on skin – it’s substantial, but really mannered.
Surely a “vintage gentleman’s scent”, probably one of the most sophisticated around, but quite unique and actually, maybe more modern than others, if not slightly more “youthful” too (maybe thanks to the “hippie touch” of patchouli). Needless to say it smells rich, persistent and clear for hours, with a perfect projection and an impeccable drydown which gets gently drier and woodier (that vetiver again!) as hours pass, still keeping a touch of floral muskiness lurking in the background. What else to say? An amazing modern classic of masculine elegance perfectly showing the old school French taste for “classy dirtiness”, that unique ability of many classic French masculine scents to smell refined and cozy still keeping it dirty, complex and even subtly “raw”. Fantastic.
The aftershave which got me hooked on wearing decent scents.
There's no way I can objectively review this aftershave as it will always remind me of my granddad.
A lovely, manly, woody scent with a subtle drydown and a hippy patchouli vibe. Applied sparingly it'll leave people thinking that you're charmingly retro.
Too much on the other hand will have friends blinking away their tears in your wake and give the impression you've teleported straight from the 70s.
There's nothing quite like it - highly recommended.
Hell-bent on staying a gent...
Last days of April. A sunny and warm day, serves as a reminder that summer is never too far away. Not in the small part of the world where he lives at least. He enters leisurely a small and very old cosmetics shop, owned by a middle-aged lady who reminds him of this clever and kind aunt that almost all of us remember from our childhood. Having just smoked a couple of fags, he puts a chewing gum in his mouth. His eyes are scanning the fragrance shelves during the pleasantries. He spots a 50ml splash bottle of Azzaro's Acteur, and considering its 20€ price a bargain for such a vintage piece, he grabs it and walks towards the cash register. And there he sees them and nearly swallows his chewing gum.
Three (!!!) 109ml (not a typo) splash bottles of Givenchy Gentleman, half-hidden in the showcase which also serves as the cashier desk. They lie among brushes, pantyhoses and barrettes, inexplicably away from the fragrance shelves. Trying to act as indifferent as possible, he asks to have a look at them. Their boxes are slightly worn and dirty, and their top side is sealed with a small transparent sticker, bearing the Givenchy logo. But there is no barcode, no estimated sign, no green dot and no EMB code. His heart starts missing a beat in every two. These come from mid to late '70s! He asks whether it would be possible to check them out. The lady, feeling there's a good chance to get rid of three bottles that were collecting dust for almost 40 years, grants him the permission. He opens the boxes from their bottom sides. The bottles are full. He unscrews their caps and he's nearly floored by what his doing unleashes. Trying to put himself together, he asks for a price for the lot of them. He can have them all for half the price of a typical Creed. He stashes them in his mailman bag, and after a slight bow towards this perfume vault involuntary keymistress [sic], he exits the shop. Hindering the impulse to run home and bury his nose in the bottles, he goes on with his business as if nothing had happened. Bows, sang-froid...It seems like the three newly acquired bottles have already started working their magic, by granting him some gentleman's qualities before even opening them. Finally, he returns home in late afternoon, makes a coffee, lights another fag, and...
"I never can be tied to raw, new things.
Such treasures, left from times of cautious leaven,
Cannot but loose the hold of flimsier wraiths
That flit with shifting ways and muddled faiths
Across the changeless walls of earth and heaven."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, "Background"
Adding anything about the way Givenchy Gentleman smells would be superfluous. Hundreds of lovers or haters have described it very aptly before me, using sometimes the exact same reasons to justify loving or hating it. So my contribution here will be in the form of simply asking why such a ridiculously good fragrance has followed the fate of the dinosaurs, like a gigantic, mighty creature which was outlived by rodents. And if someone tells me that Givenchy Gentleman is not extinct, I'll beg to differ. Cause from what I read, its current formulation is so similar with its vintage one as much as dinosaurs were similar to mammals. In the sense that yes, both species are animals. But any further similarity ends there.
I usually avoid judging scents without testing them, but I think that one with half its notes synthetically replicated in a lab can't hold a candle to one laden with civet (probably the real thing) and oakmoss. The one acre of patchouli per bottle ratio is of course a staple, thus there's no use mentioning it. The funny thing however, is how a fragrance so stupendously fraught with something that its excessive use would label someone as a hippie when it was launched, has "gentleman" written on its bottle.
But please don't get me wrong. I like the hippies' simple life-approach very much, although I never strengthened their ranks. But true gentlemanship has nothing to do with the way one dresses, just like gallantry has nothing to do with one's size and education has nothing to do with schools. Some of the most decent gentlemen I've met so far, were shy, humble people with courageous hearts and little school education.
And speaking of schools, yes, Givenghy Gentleman is definitely the epitome of old-school. It's actually so old-school, that I guess it was already the headmaster of the powerhouse school when lads like Kouros and Antaeus entered first grade.
What was that again? How the current reformulated version smells like? Rhett?...
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Vintage GG is all about raunchy civet and patchouli masterfully smoothed with an airy velvet touch of honey and spice. The patch and civet remain front-and-center but are joined in the background by a classy suede accord and a touch of soapy lavender and rose. This says plainly: "old school." But then I ask myself: to what vintage scents is it closely related? No clear answer springs to mind and, from what I gather from my reading, GG largely was viewed as a singular offering back in the day because it stood on a dangerous knife-edge of being indecorously racy. Needless to say, if vintage GG stood apart from the crowd as too overt back then, in these days of chaste whistle-clean fragrances, vintage GG is practically a bottled carnival of human depravity.
I haven't worn this since about 1990. Blind-bought a 100ml bottle recently. I'm really glad I did - it may have been reformulated, but to my amateur nose, it's very similar to the original and wholly recognisable as the Givenchy Gentleman from years ago.
It's clear-honey sweet (not overly sweet), vegetally fresh, sexy (nice sexy not "bad" sexy...,), classy, wholesome and just simply pleasant to be around. It also kind of reminds me of that lovely, fragrant, clean-yet-warm smell you get if you press your nose into a cat's fur. OK that's weird, but I'm being honest and I said I'm an amateur.....
On the first day I had 2 compliments from office colleagues (1 man, 1 woman (twice)).
Sprayed it on at 7am, it was still with me at 4pm, when it became more cinnamony. Lovely. Miaoww :)
I have only smelled the original version of this but let me tell you--back in the day, this was unequivocally the most masculine (in your face masculine) scent going. Beside it, even Aramis seemed a little effete. Tarragon, one of my favorite herbs, and cinnamon, one of my favorite spices, are used to great effect in the opening notes, but they don't last long. The patchouli, civet and leather take center stage instantly and let you know that this is not for boys--this is for grown up, hairy-chested men. Oh, he may be wearing a French designer suit, but he is oozing testosterone all over it. For hours this manly funk goes on and on, drying down to a slightly sweaty, post coital smell. If this has in fact been cleaned up, then that is a shame, but it might make this more wearable as in the old days, wearing this was priapic, to say the least, thinly disguised by French designer duds.
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!
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.
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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.
17th July, 2013 (last edited: 06th February, 2017)
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)
An earthy/spicy "leather-frankincense-patchouli accord" with a touch of mild/resinous smoothness, a fragrance full of balance, class and distinction. This formula still retains a vintage soul even if, according with many, the current version has been reformulated, in order to tame deeply the dreadful animalic and prickly old style temperament, enhancing (or adding as new ones) several flowers, resins, appealing or soapy ingredients. The marvelous original was deeply "restrained, serious, uncompromising, almost liturgic". The core of the scent, perceivable throughout the trip, is the earthy-rooty link composed by vetiver-patchouli-cedar which stands out sharp in its spicy, hesperidic, leathery valzer of nuances. There is a certain airy and fluidy (aromatic) freshness in this scent (expecially in the top) which immediately gets you to figure a touch of lavender (which is not listed) as settled down to refresh (and water down) a bit the severe roar of citrus and spices but this is just an impression I figure out and I perceive it only by inhaling the fragrance on the paper. The citrusy-herbal-spicy top notes (powerful in their accord of terragon-cinnamon-sour citrus) are thankfully flanked by a touch of smooth rosey honey which enhances the " old age" feel of the concoction but tames a bit the very sour/earthy starting. Some flowers are listed in the middle to refine the earthy temperament of the fragrance's core. The base is the natural shelter where the performer to provide the leathery temperament and to soothen and polish the pungent aroma's vibe due to a musky amber-vanilla accord (which is like a breeze of woodsy balsams) and due to an animalic edible civet presence. The final outcome is sort of woodsy, incensey, assertive kind of smell. Gentleman is still a marvelous fragrance today even if not versatile, basically stuck to a strictly formal olfactory dimension and (for this reason) not so appealing to many profane younger noses. To me this is an amazing creation and a must have for any collector.
18th February, 2011 (last edited: 21st January, 2017)