Positive Reviews of Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    15 June, 2014

    Geoface's avatar

    United States United States

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    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

    Carlie,JD's avatar

    United States United States

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    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

    MimramMan's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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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.

    18 February, 2014

    Bakadesh1's avatar



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    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.

    14 November, 2013

    MrMookie's avatar



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    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"

    28 August, 2013

    mskhalidch's avatar



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    Awesome

    simply awesome

    Pros: Unique packing
    Cons: low budget price"

    13 August, 2013

    mr. singh007's avatar



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    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)"

    08 July, 2013

    Sporenburg's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    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.

    28 April, 2013

    Oviatt's avatar

    United States United States

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    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!

    08 January, 2013

    overstatedpathos's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    25 December, 2012

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    25 December, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    22 December, 2012

    Jeszra's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    02 October, 2012

    Old Werewolf's avatar



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    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

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    One of the most renowned perfume ever, one the stage of the great classics with its aromatic, floral, herbal and mossy temperament. The juice is  restrained and conservative, it possesses a sort of (bathroom kind a la Paco Rabanne Pour Homme) laundry-medicinal soapy vibe and a kind of wet concrete undertone (typical with the violets) perfectly married with the general grassy, citrusy and mossy aura around. The first part of the trip is herbal (almost minty with accents of bergamot and lavender) and lemony with woody influences introducing the lymphatic valzer from the violets. The dry down is made by a solid sandalwood with mossy accents and with the moody (soapy-herbal) and elegant violet's trail. One of the "cleanest" fragrance ever, sharp discretion in a bottle.

    19 August, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    a charming classic, enthralling all the way!

    11th July, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    A powerful blast of bitter greens carried on a fat and sweet, greasy-turd violet note, this is the epitome of the anti-gourmand and has lost none of its power to surprise. I suspect this is one jolie-laide who instantly seduces or repels; count me among the weak-kneed.
    Impeccably crafted, no wonder shops sell it at ridiculous mark ups. Buy off the net and marvel at how something this iconic (and long-lasting) can be had so cheap.
    Not one I wear regularly but often the one I reach for on those dull days when other fragrances lose their ability to inspire. This classic is ill-served by its name – there's nothing grey or flannel-like about it. Instead it's bracing, iridescent and a bit of a dandy.

    18 June, 2012

    dreese's avatar

    United States United States

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    An absolute, one-of-a-kind classic. The way the notes come together makes this olfactory absinthe.

    13 June, 2012

    RobbieX's avatar



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    Absolute classic. Floral, soapy, medicinal, fresh, long-lasting and fabulous.

    07 May, 2012 (Last Edited: 07 October, 2012)

    lovingthealien's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of the very, very best deals available. This one is to be strictly used on skin, lest you wish to smell like the "Mountain Rain" laundry detergents that are likely based on this classic!

    The opening is a roll through a flower garden. "Green" starts and ends with this beautiful, bitter, juicy violet leaf opening. Galbanum and Citrus enhance and focus this bitter greenness, making it smell quite literally of crushed fleshy leaves, chlorophyll and peppery qualities abundant. Just beneath this realistic greenness is a beautiful floral bouquet. The entire effect is both realistic and nostalgic; this is truly the goal of perfumery. These florals play around with each other, some dominating over others, as the quiet, woody cyphre base adds a distinct edge to the scent, keeping it from just being a bubbly floral. It is shy, never really revealing its character through anything but subtle hints.

    18 January, 2012

    lupin's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the smell of this. I find it to smell comfortable, warm and fresh. The thing is... I think wearing it as a cologne is ridiculous. I can't think of anyone that I would enjoy smelling like this.

    I treat it as a top shelf Febreeze.

    That I can get behind.

    Blankets and sheets smelling like this? Awesome.

    A little spritz on the couch before guests come over? Wonderful.

    Spraying it on myself? Why??

    28 November, 2011

    peisistratos's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    It's great flavor. singles. Few fragrances are so characteristic.
    History!

    12 August, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 August, 2011)

    UrbanMan's avatar



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    This stuff is nuclear-powered. Thats not a bad thing. My big warning is, if you use too much of it - as in one small squirt too much of it - you'll be that guy that everyone is looking at, thinking, is he wearing the 1/2 the bottle?!

    If you buy some, first time, try one modest squirt on your chest. See how that goes over the course of the day. If necessary, escalate slowly.

    Its great for the cold of winter. US Thanksgiving until St Patrick's day. Perhaps its the violet-moss notes, providing a needed whiff of spring.

    The lemon and orange elements are largely obliterated. Its all about the violet, moss and wood with this one.

    Its hard to imagine under 30s liking this. But if everything that was once old at some point becomes new again, its possible. Remotely possible.

    12 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    I was very intrigued by this fragrance seeming that I had read so many rave reviews on it. It was surprisingly quite difficult for me to track down, however I managed to find it hidden amongst some lesser known fragrances in a quiet little chemist.

    Upon first application I was beginning to question why this fragrance was so popular. The citrusy opening notes were very strong and in some ways, harsh. The scent was also quite green, which is an aspect that I rarely like in fragrances.

    I did not doubt Grey Flannel's obvious masculinity, however I expected something more unique and memorable. It wasn't until the scent settled that I understood why Grey Flannel is so likable.

    The scent has an almost soapy-fresh quality with subtle herbaceous notes. I can see why this fragrance is hailed as a classic, it is indeed very sophisticated yet adaptable for any occasion.

    It actually smells rather nostalgic to me. I swear that my Father used a talcum powder that smelt rather similar to Grey Flannel when I was a child.

    The whole powdery, clean aspect of this cologne is both warm and cozy. Unfortunately I find the name of this fragrance rather misleading, as the name Grey Flannel only makes me think of old, smelly men's pyjamas.

    When settled on the skin, Grey Flannel smells very natural and musky. It also lasts a good while which only adds to this fragrance's appeal.

    30th June, 2011

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Grey Flannel smells so crisp and green, I'm always surprised that so many people despise this scent. It must be the violet leaf, which can smell bitter and ascerbic to many people, and the tremendous sillage this fragrance projects.

    This is an extreme violet leaf scent - its potency will nearly knock you on the floor. I love the violet leaf in this because it is so complex - sometimes it smells green, sometimes peppery, sometimes woody, and sometimes almost metallic. Grey Flannel smells more like a chypre to me than a fougere because there's a lot of oakmoss in this, and this is a rather bitter and crisp scent.

    I ahve yet to smell another fragrance that smells like Grey Flannel, it's so unique. It is just so classic and timeless, and it's suitable for any occasion. However, I prefer to wear this in a business setting, wearing a suit and tie. Grey Flannel is also very austere, and it projects an attitude that you mean business when you wear it. In the right setting, it can be an intimidating fragrance.

    My wife introduced me to Grey Flannel back in the early 90s when I first got interested in fragrances. It's always been a favorite of hers, and she loves it when I wear it. I'm glad she introduced me to it, because I love it too.

    MY RATING: 8.5/10

    25 May, 2011

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    For a while there it seemed like every man in America had a bottle of Grey Flannel. Maybe it was that little bag it came in that made it seem so special, like Crown Royal. And when you think about it, Grey Flannel smells very much like a high end whiskey or scotch. 150 proof yet. But if it Grey Flannel is anything, it's sobering. It's almost like a throwback to the Victorian era and its smelling salts and tonics...there is something very medicinal and harsh about Grey Flannel. It was often advertised with images of sharply cut, bespoke suits and this was very appropriate I think. I think GF should only be worn if wearing one of those very British suits or in wintertime under layers of wool and leather. I find it really only lends itself to these two extremes. It is one of the least versatile fragrances I've ever smelled. But what it does do--and I suppose that is to give the wearer a certain gravitas--it does perfectly. But please, never under any circumstances in summer! And go with a light hand. Grey Flannel takes on a life of its own once out of the bottle.

    03 May, 2011

    0j76's avatar

    England England

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    Wow! A legend. Crisp and cool and perfectly executed. Fragrance at its best :)

    03 April, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    My motto is "if you have something interesting to say, you don't need to shout it out loud" and that's exactly what Grey Flannel is doing since 1976. Seminal, influential and distinctive but at the same time discreet and gentle, definitely classy. It opens with dry and sparkling clean green notes, violet leaf and mannered woody citruses. Simply delightful. In the drydown it gets somehow sweeter but its "dry-side" is still there to perfectly balance the scent to a bittersweet little symphony. Never loud and with a good longevity it's a perfect scent for daytime and office. Mannered but never affected. A masterpiece and an all time favourite.

    18 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 April, 2011)

    shadidahs's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Lavender is the discerning gentleman's Vetiver. And Grey Flannel does it exceptionally well. This one is a diamond in the rough.

    12 February, 2011

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