Reviews

Reviews of Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

My all-time favourite scent. Loved it since the eighties and never been beaten. Herbs, violets, a fresh, cool, damp, woody smell. Cool rain on skin. An Northern woodland clearing, on the cusp of Autumn, cool, green everywhere, the rain suddenly stops, the sun shines through the leaves, highlighting delicate purple flowers, the leafy tree branches still dripping with bright raindrops.
If I could only have one, this would be it.
I met Grey Flannel when I was 16. I'd never really thought about fragrance before, but had grown up with them as my mother wears them (then Poison, opium, rive gauche). This literally stopped me in my tracks, my heart missed a beat and a thousand childhood memories flashed before my eyes. I'll never forget it. I know it's not the original formula now, and I know it's dated now, and I know, increasingly, people don't like it. For me you can never replace your first love. It's me. I hope they drench the place with it at my funeral one day. If BaseNotes created a "golden thumb" that members could only ever use once and never again, I would use it on Grey Flannel without hesitation. :)
June 2015
25th June, 2015
This is a most unusual and unique masculine green scent, in that the oak moss is very subdued, not overwhelming as in most scents of the late 70s and early 80s. It is quite dry and sophisticated,
with a fresh, herbal, grassy greenness.

It has the effect of a very concentrated green tea extract, which makes it a most pleasant scent to wear in the summer months.

The dry down is powdery.

Turin gives it five stars and calls it a "sweet green." He notes it can smell crude if over-applied.

One of the great men's scents from the "powerhouse" era that deigns to be subtle, not in your face.

Recommended.
18th June, 2015
ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Impressive! I enjoy sporting this. Grey Flannel is fairly robust yet almost meek at the same time. Amazing value for the price. It retains a linear (kind of) petroleum vibe. Reminds me very much of Fahrenheit by Christian Dior and Knize Ten.
12th June, 2015
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Smells amazing. I definitely consider this an amazing piece of art. Very fresh and comforting. Can be worn anytime any place for any occasion. Great value to boot. niche quality for a fraction of the price. five stars. magnificent.
09th May, 2015
I'm not sure if I have dry skin that absorbs fragrance like a sponge to water or if I just have terrible sinuses and require a fragrance to literally jam itself up my nostrils before I am happy, but I tend to overspray myself. Even with only wearing it one or two times a week, I can go through a bottle of something particularly delicious within a year.

The sidebar tells me that this is available in an 8 oz bottle. I have no idea who could possibly live that long.
02nd May, 2015
What I'd imagine a handshake smelling like between Sean Connery and Alec Guinness.
11th March, 2015
This is such a heavy hitter for a budget fragrance, the initial blast hits you with a deep and dry almost harsh opening but the edge comes away revealing some sensual undertones that stay with you. There is some powder but definitely shines through as a males fragrance which complements a clean and fresh cut formal evening occasion, no wonder this has stood the test of time.
06th March, 2015
MRBDX Show all reviews
United States
THE BEST WINTER COLOGNE MONEY CAN BUY!
This stuff is MADE for wool sweaters. Beware....if you do spray it on your clothes......Its there to STAY forever!
22nd January, 2015 (last edited: 02nd February, 2015)
One of my favorites. The violet blends into the peppery sage/sandalwood/oakmoss to perfection. It's the cheapest fragrance I have but I get the most compliments from it.
22nd November, 2014
zoghbi Show all reviews
United States
I was introduced to Grey Flannel back in the early eighties and I have always kept a bottle on hand ever since.
If you have not yet tried it, do yourself a favor and do so. Now. I mean it.
You are welcome.
04th October, 2014 (last edited: 03rd October, 2014)
Grey Flannel opens with a barrage of very dry, bitter herbal notes, supplemented by what smells to me like a very heavy dose of violet leaf. Over time a slightly sweeter mown grass accord enters to underpin the brusque top notes, but Grey Flannel remains a stark and craggy scent.

Grey Flannel eventually matures into a blunt vetiver on a mossy cedar foundation, from which point it remains resolutely linear before fading away. Grey Flannel is clearly a product of that same decade that brought us the more trenchant and confrontational Yatagan, and I’m glad it’s survived for all these years. It makes a fine antidote to the host of faceless clean men’s fragrances that dominate today’s designer market.
15th June, 2014
Released in 1975, I assumed Grey Flannel would be similar to Azzaro PH or the like (which I enjoy but don’t want a similar scent to) but Grey Flannel is truly unique. It surprised me. I have seen this fragrance sitting on the shelf at local discounters for years. “How good could it be?” I thought. Finally, I tried it and I am quite impressed. The violet and citrus opening can be overwhelming to me if I slam my nose to skin but the sillage from the opening is amazing. The middle notes are warm and the floral-sage mix quite inviting. In addition to the base notes listed, I get an almond like note, very enjoyable. This fragrance doesn’t scream anything it just sits there patiently. To my surprise, my girlfriend, who is 25, really enjoyed this. Many classic scents remind her of her grandfather and that isn’t a good thing in some regards. However, she said Grey Flannel was comforting to her. It reminded her of walking through a nice clean alleyway on a rainy day while the smell fresh laundry floats all around.
01st May, 2014
A rich leafy, orangey green opening of neroli and petitgrain, galbanum, anise and lemon oil that recedes too quickly; it’s amazing. After an hour, the full fragrance is revealed: an intense violet and iris, mimosa, narcissus, rose and sage heart and a delicious almond, oakmoss and coumarin base. It’s lovely, although over time the alpha-isomethyl ionone can be somewhat tiresome. About four hours in, the citrusy notes reassert themselves on the skin along with vetiver--beautiful. Then that base sings its happy tune for hours and hours.

It's a brilliant violet and almond fougere undoubtedly worth exploring particularly for those who like green, violet, Fahrenheit or value.
20th February, 2014
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Grey Flannel (current EA formulation) is a conundrum. I understand both those who love it and those who hate it. I rather like it but it's not an easy fragrance to wear for me. The opening is unpleasant - sort of Eau de Harpic Pot Pourri edition. It takes about half an hour to calm down and about an hour for the signature violet to shine - there's no splash and dash with this as you need to get it in a fit state to leave the house! Once the violet note is out there it is full, bright and clear and rather beautiful for five or six hours. After that it starts to decline into Eau de Lipstick Pot Pourri edition. In general for the office I wear fragrance under or on clothes but that doesn't work for GF at all - depending on fabric it will tend to go straight from Harpic to lipstick. One spray to the back of the neck - that's it. Is it worth the effort? I think so - the violet is stunning when it shows - but I can see why many would pass.
18th February, 2014
I love this scent. Classic without being dated, rich and strong without being overbearing (2 spray max), always a solidly pleasant smell. I don't get tired of it throughout its long stay. From jeans to suit, versatile, though I usually wear it with more casual attire. A bit thick for summer..

Great casual cold weather scent.
14th November, 2013
Not grey at all

Most natural (non-synthetic) fragrance i ever smelled.
Its a sharp blast in the beginning with crushed flowers n freshly mowed grass mainly violets but well composed, very green!
Drydown is soft,tender,kind and laidback.
In my opinion the best laid back lazy sunday fragrance ever created.
It will not offend anybody i think this perfume is one of the most kind ones amongsts the sexy,macho, and bold perfumes around for men.
its not a perfume you should wear in sweaty night club or on a dance party for sure.
I think if you wear this right (smile with it) many people (women,men,and elderly people) are easily attracted to you because you create a aura of kindness around you.
Maybe a good advice to wear this if your a salesman...
My girlfriend told me that it was sex in a bottle after she smelled it on first sniff.
Maybe she likes kindness...

Second great thing about this is the price!
Many people here said its almost niche like and i totally agree with that. one of the cheapest niche perfumes around.

10/10
sillage+Longevity+scent+price+originality

Pros: Most green fragrance ever
Cons: Can be crude to some"

28th August, 2013
Awesome

simply awesome

Pros: Unique packing
Cons: low budget price"

13th August, 2013
awesome fragrance !!

i just love this fragrance , it's unique and soothing aroma lingers for 8+ hrs(good longevity). initially the silage is strong but then it bcms close to skin. it's a love or hate frag. i wd love if it has more sillage

Pros: a very soft and soothing drydown , good sillage
Cons: sharp opening ( but it's okay)"

08th July, 2013
I have to admit, I bought it because it was pretty cheap. Still, this scent is awful!!! It's smells of a powdery soap that my grandmother used to own. I can imagine that some people might love this kind of a smell, but it's not mine.
12th May, 2013
Grey Flannel is something of a cult fragrance in Europe. There’s hardly any folk memory surrounding this surprisingly American old school classic so anyone looking for a cheap, stylish scent that isn’t too obvious can always investigate. Much has already been said about this controversial fragrance and I suspect the negatives mainly concern the opening. I personally don’t like the opening, which reminds me of a damp woolen blanket left overnight in the grass. But then again, I don’t like the majority of openings of most of my favorite fragrances and they are relatively unimportant in real classics. After five minutes Grey Flannel starts to mutate and lighten up into something literally bittersweet and unique. The base has a brilliant soapy feel which thanks to the remaining bitterness never gets too sweet.

Longevity and projection are above average but not as forceful as some have suggested (perhaps the original formulation was more powerful). This is indeed a scent for elegant men, not your t-shirt and jeans combo. With its constant associations of musty green and dampness I also like to think of it as the ultimate rainy Sunday morning scent. Calm, clean and slightly austere. A beautiful scent.
28th April, 2013
Very astringent and soapy. Clean and deep, I find this to be very "barbershop". A cheap medicinal concoction that's worth a smell. Good enough for a gentleman on a budget.
28th March, 2013
I have tried every which way to like this old school powerhouse but I can not bring myself too. I do not by any means call it a bad fragrance or dated or old manish. I do call it a fragrance that has stood the test of time with great projection and good longevity. Sadly, just not for me.
10th March, 2013
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
This old classic has recently received quite a bit of attention--both good and bad--online. I wonder why, now this is getting so much attention. If it is a love/hate scent, I fall into the love camp. One of the most original scents on the market when it came out, it smells a classic and distinctive now as it ever did. The mossy, green, medicinal violet scent is clean, discreet (in proper doses) and timeless. Fantastic bottle and packaging (that flannel bag--brilliant!). It is not loud or old manish--to me--but instead is something that would be at home on a diplomat or captain of industry. Despite being a discount fragrance now, it entered the market at the high end of designer prestige, riding high on Geoffrey Beene's well-deserved acclaim as America's top designer. This was unique when it came out but has spawned several children, such as the wonderful Cuir Pleine Fleur by Heeley and others. I have worn it over the years (am doing so now as I write, in fact) and love it. However, it is one of the few scents that has never become a part of me. Whenever I wear it, I keep smelling it throughout the day thinking, is there a man wearing Grey Flannel nearby? He smells good. As opposed to wow, I smell good. Oh well, at least someone smells good when wearing it!
08th January, 2013
Admittedly, it doesn't take a lot to get a thumbs up out of me.
Aptly named. Powdery and soft- odd to me that some on here are saying it's a loud scent, I'm not getting that at all. Actually strikes me as a great scent for bed when you're expecting more spooning than sex. Very comfortable, lends itself to close quarters.
25th December, 2012
Violent violets? That's only Grey Flannel you smell. Back in '76, you could get away with basing a mainstream men's frag around violets. These days, forget it. But let's go back to '76. GF goes for violets and they're potent, warm and green. Never in the slightest does it ever get feminine and that's to the perfumer's credit. I detect also lavender & galbanum to make the men's garden complete. Yes, this is a garden built for man and it was revolutionary for '76. The everpresent violets never go away but a delectable oak moss, tonka and sandalwood accord creep in to form the base. So simple and so good. The quality is shockingly good as only the cheapest and barest of ingredients are in the juice. For the price, it's a steal. I've heard it's been reformulated like so many classic frags (they stripped out the oak moss) but I've not smelled the new version yet so the jury's out on that one. Look for the vintage version and prepare to enter the garden of manly delights.
25th December, 2012
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Grey Flannel opens with a citrus combination of lemon and bergamot, quickly joined by a floral green orange blossom, galbanum and petit grain undertone that permeates the early citrus development. The floral green accord remains into the early heart where it is then joined by a strong floral violet note that is the real star of the scent and hangs around to a degree through the remaining development. As the petit grain and galbanum begin to recede later in the heart phase, a supporting rose note now joins the violet. During the dry-down, the violet and now heavily diminished rose are sweetened just a hair by the use of tonka bean in the base though never does it sweeten Grey Flannel enough that one could mistake this for a sweet scent by any measure. Projection is good and longevity is very good.

Grey Flannel is pretty unique. It is a masculine floral that uses violet and galbanum very different than I have sniffed in other fragrances. I get an almost aromatic vibe early, with the green resinous citrus combination supporting the florals, then the scent takes a bit of a detour late, steering away from the florals to a degree while never quite entirely losing them. Grey Flannel is not particularly my kind of scent, but the quality of the composition is certainly there and I can easily appreciate what its legions of fans see in it. I would recommend sampling this before purchase, but due to its relatively low price nowadays even a blind buy (as I did) is not particularly risky. The bottom line is the classic scent Grey Flannel is a trendsetter that is a bit polarizing but worthy, earning a very good rating of 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.
22nd December, 2012
The powdery opening screamed "old man" at me and I was scared. However, the old guy showed me patience is a virtue and hours later I am enjoying a nice oakmoss and sandalwood base. Dirt cheap, trying this frag out will probably deposit change into your pocket, that's how cheap it is.
I don't know what else to say about it. I am pretty neutral on this one.
12th November, 2012
Jeszra Show all reviews
United States
It started out lemon rounded by floral with a hint of powdery on me. I dislike powder so I was a bit concerned but it was balanced. It's now dried down to a lovely oakmoss with a background of sandalwood and still a hint of violet at the end.

It is very clean, soapy and fresh but a little deeper and green due to the oakmoss. Inoffensive and conservative, but not necessarily something I would wear every day.
02nd October, 2012
Grey Flannel starts out with a very crisp, greens, lemon grass aroma. The middle notes are smooth. The basenote is a really musky sandalwood on me. It lasts through the day. Very nice.
20th August, 2012
Horrible scent. It has a very sharp bitter note that is close to bringing me to tears, in a bad way. I'm pretty sure this will repel people.

Scent 1
Sillage 8
Longevity 7
20th August, 2012