Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Gallet

Total Reviews: 25
Hot hot day - cologne cologne cologne!

This is great to reapply throughout the day to get a bit of freshness, it's a classic cologne which is quite herbal (rosemary) on top of the bergamot citrus opening. It's not overly sweet and has a nice 'catch' or bite from the herbs.
20th July, 2017
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
One of the best of the classic cologne formulas. It manages to take the structure of 4711 and amplify it to both extend forward in time (I get all day longevity) and extend outward in aroma (it is linear but well-composed so it doesn't get thin like others of its kind). Nice work; good bargain. The notes pyramid seems fairly on point, although I don't get much sweetness from this one.
24th February, 2017
A dark, sturdy, smooth bergamot - orange accord comes mounted on a dry, clumpy and woody backdrop. This is the bland side of the petitgrain and synthetic neroli heart, the floral business end of which blends with and neatly hides the crunchy sweet drydown of the orange oil in the head. Together they combine to give this cologne its sustained orange direction. Spice comes through, and cedar and a discrete touch of musk can be found in the vetiver demerara brown base.

The original formula is some 200 years old and they've done a commendable job of bringing it up to date with modern materials. It remains good and true and hardly puts a foot wrong.

While other venerable marques have opted for prestige outlets with their associated high running costs, Roger & Gallet have stuck to a mid market strategy and sell their wares through a network of pharmacies. Extra Vielle isn't just good, at €40 for a 200ml splash bottle its a real bargain.

15th September, 2016 (last edited: 20th September, 2016)
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I posses now a vintage miniature of this scent, that seems to be the first and oldest scent on the market. The label on the bottle is well designed and still gives the impression of solemn classicism with its signature in evidence. I would have kept much more of this old style bottle in the new one.
11th February, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A discrete classic

The lemon, vetiver and neroli opening blast is more restrained, but delightful. later a bit of rosemary is added, but on my skin this is never a truly "green" scent, although a touch of wood appears in the base. Elegant and discrete with an all right projection initially, albeit with poor silage. I tested, however, a vintage sample, and the bright citrus-type notes tend to deteriorate first with time in a Cologne. Longevity is about three hours - very good for such a Cologne on my skin. Restrained elegance in a classic EdC.

25th June, 2013
I love this cologne, to me it is much better than 4711 and the original Farina's Kolnisch Wasser, but it has been eclipsed by newer colognes like Myrurgia 1916 or Borsari Aqua Classica.
Regardless, it is a fantastic cologne, fresh, very citric with a slightly herbal/musk drydown.
Sillage is the typical sillage of colognes, and the same goes for longevity.
Considering that it is over 200 years ols, it deserves my respects
06th January, 2013
One of my all time loves from Roger and Gallet. Eau de Cologne as it should be and probably as it was 100 years ago. I find that the new incarnations pale in comparison (as usual) to the vintage stock. If you can find the old stuff, go for it, much much better. I like this as a layering frag or just on the casual. It's easy, bracing water really, and works well with your chemistry. I prefer the Extra Vielle version :)
23rd October, 2012
A refreshing burst of Mediterranean citrus fruits are grounded by crisp herbs. This elixir will rouse its wearer and corrode morning tiredness. At its affordable price and quality, I would wholly recommend this cologne to all.

Note: This cologne reminds me of a breakfast cereal that I ate as a child: Froot Loops. This isn't a bad thing.
28th September, 2011
JonB Show all reviews
United States
Quite nice. I find it a bit smoother and a little more aromatic than 4711. For most of it's life, I smell neroli and rosemary. I never really get rose. As nice as this smells though, it's hard to get too excited due to it's short longevity. I know this is expected, but any nice smell deserves to last more than an hour. Try this before 4711.
09th April, 2011
Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Gallet is one of the reference Eau de Colognes. Although I have heard that the formula has begun to feature many more synthetics with each reformulation, the over all effect is quite natural and refreshing. In fact the longevity of this EDC is somewhat better than many others of it's ilk, and this could indeed be due to the inclusion of more aroma chemicals. This is the perfect after bath/shower cologne. It works very well in summer months as a refreshing splash or spray. As with all EDCs of this type, it is not meant to be long lasting; it is better to be considered an addition to one's bathing ritual, working well as a base to one's scent of the day, rather than being a full perfume in its own right.

This EDC is nice because after the initial citrus burst, it moves into a nice herbaceous rosemary, spicey carnation (which is where the clove note comes from) and neroli accord which brings some interesting effects to this otherwise fresh scent. The dry down is a light rose water scent that lasts much longer than a true rose water ever would. I have no idea how much this scent has changed over the years, but its current incarnation is quite nice. JMF will never knock my favorite Guerlain EDCs off the top of my list, but it is just about the best EDC in its price point.
04th January, 2011
An eau de cologne that tends toward the "savory" or salty end of the spectrum. Initially it's a lot like 4711 but then the floral components go into hiding pretty quickly, leaving a relatively leafy citrus. The lime that survives this transition stays fairly close to the scent of the peel, without much of the candy-like or herbal tinges that other lime scents can have. Finally as the lime begins to fade, the florals return, again like 4711 but accompanied with a slight dusty herbal component like Wellington or Blenheim Bouquet. JMF, however, does this herbal note right, and it comes out less stale and "kitcheny" than those two. Finally, we're left with that light, dry wood aura that always reminds me of straw, hay or bamboo, as seen in the bases of the newest versions of Guerlain Vetiver and Eau Sauvage. The only drawback here is that the Perfumed Court refers to the sample I bought as the vintage formula, so even though it's pretty cheap, I hesitate to actually buy a bottle online (only large sizes available!) and then not quite get what I bargained for.
31st May, 2010
It's sort of pushing it calling it a unisex frag, is it not?

Initially, for a short while I can see the 4711 comparison or calling it a barbershop "opening".

For me though very soon after spraying on this "perfume water" as the bottle label is titled, it was all roses from there on. I am not talking "all is coming up roses" happy-go-positive type of attitude though.

I mean it comes across to me as a matronly type of rose note. A lot, like that year when I helped plant my neighbors 40 rose bushes in his yard, in-your-face rose scent!

Sorry guys, I pass on this and at time of writing this review, am preparing the bottle for shipment to my parents back home, maybe one of them will like it, probably my mother more so than pops.
17th May, 2010
This is somewhere between Maitre's Pour le jeune homme, and 4711, surprisingly, more towards the former.

Opens with a bright citrus cocktail that is sweet and tart, and opens into a combo of orange blossom(neroli) and orange leaf/stem (petitgrain)...This smells quite alot like the aforementioned Maitre scent.

...that then slowly mixes into an herbal/spice combo of Rosemary and Clove, which ends up smelling like Basil, as there are shared aromachemicals amongst them.

There is a slight floral Rose note to balance the Clove into the drydown, and at this point, the clove and Orange blossom smell alot like the drydown of Truefitt's West indian Limes, but with some extra masculine edge, I assume from the herbal notes.

All in all, this is a classically constructed scent with a natural appeal far above it's price point.

Both thumbs up.
25th November, 2009
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Lovely cologne. Burst of bergamot, and a drydown of florals and a light woodsy accord. Nothing special but smells pretty good!
30th October, 2009
Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina Extra Vielle

It is said that Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Extra Vielle is one of the earliest examples of a modern cologne. That it dates back to 1806 and is over 200 years old clearly puts it in a small group of contenders for that title. This is an eau de cologne which means lighter wearing and certainly if you're looking for sillage and longevity you should move along as there is nothing here for you to see. If you are a lover of well-constructed scents and have an interest in the evolution of the art of perfumery you should stop , spray some on and luxuriate in the beauty of a real original. The top of this is a beautifully bright citrus that just rises off my skin in a fresh wave. Then a note of rosemary adds a greenness to the citrus that brings it back to earth. Finally there is a development of florals that finally end up in a distinct light rose akin to rose water. It is light and refreshing befitting all that led to this place. It is fascinating when wearing this that this was very likely the first time these notes and accords were introduced. To think that this was the first citrus bergamot top and the first rose base makes this a perfume history lesson in a bottle. Also 200 plus years later it is still an example of everything an eau de cologne should be.
31st May, 2009
A glorious olfactory expedition to simpler times, when the only criteria for a fragrance was to smell masculine, and to smell sensational. The opening is exactly what you want from a hairy chested cologne, it is a robust blend of citrus ingredients entwined with the acerbity of rosemary. This initial phase is in fact quite long lived, and it is several hours before the middle notes become more prevalent. The slightly bitter carnation notes augment the original edge provided by the rosemary in the opening, and together with a bold neroli presence, Jean Marie Farina becomes rich,edgy and fresh. To maintain the slightly astringent seam that exists from application to expiry, the rose in the base adds a final,dry, masculine phase, that is a fitting denouement. I have always worn this on slightly cooler days, and consequently its longevity is markedly improved. I can easily extract seven to eight hours from my morning application, and its consistency and contained sillage are remarkable.

29th May, 2009
Almost identical to 4711 and I love them both. Colognes that can change your mood from bad to good. Probably the only scents that boost the feeling of freshness once you get out of the shower... You have to appreciate that.

The longevity of Jean Marie Farina is somewhat better in comparison to 4711. I might be wrong on that one. However, for some strange reason, I don't mind that.

A timeless classic.
04th April, 2009 (last edited: 19th May, 2009)
Not exclusive, not original, not sexy but it smells good , fresh, classic but not cheap( like dishwasching lemon) so, after leather incense tobacco oriental stuff, spraying JMF it's like opening the windows in a springtime morning. I spray it heavely on fabric so it lasts a little longer, and then I reapply ! , it'sa price to pay to enjoy it. You are sure it will be never discontinued , so no vintage rare speculation. While we regret the loss of Caesar or Alexander per-fumes we can play as Napoleon wearing the same scent ! (i'm not sure if it was FARINA GEGENUBER or JEAN MARIE FARINA) .
28th November, 2008
bokaba Show all reviews
United States
Smells like a good fresh soap. I think it is nearly the same as William's shave soap. The beginning is strong of citrus and finally dies down to woods and neroli. Lasts no more than an hour, but it is a good traditional cologne.

EDIT 11/6/2009

I now realize that my original bottle off which I reviewed had gone bad as it was from the 1970s and was likely store improperly. The old bottle was harsh and reeked of acetone. Needless to say, I purchased a new bottle and it is quite different. The opening is a strong accord of citrus tempered with a light herbal bouquet. The opening is a tad soapy (yet far less soapy than the bad bottle). Soon after a light floral heart makes itself known with neroli and rose, a crisp rose, not a mucky vanilla rose. The florals give way to light woodsy accord from the neroli. There is no base, yet I wonder what this would be like with a helping of musk. Onward then to Eau de Guerlain even though its caraway note is off-putting. Jean Marie Farina IS what 19th century gentleman doused themselves with—it was glorious and still is.
30th October, 2008 (last edited: 10th November, 2009)
It opens with a rosemary / citrus opening that is unlike the bright, clean citrus openings of the many of the more modern fragrances – I get more rosemary than citrus, substantially more and I am loving the difference There is a kind of bitterness to it that I find refreshing and clean in a pleasantly different sort of way. It certainly contains a lot more substance to it than the lighter, modern accords, and it is a refreshing change. I expect the opening to be gone in a few minutes, but it lasts longer than I expected. It isn’t until a half hour later that I begin to pick up the florals from the middle. Because of the neroli and the Petitgrain, the heart accord has more of a citrus effect than the opening, but a rose note shows up in the background to grow to eventually take over in the base. The spices from the carnation and the cloves never expose themselves on my skin, and I don’t really miss them. This scent is a joy to experience and use. Of course it has poor lasting power, but the scent is so enjoyable that its longevity is an inconvenience, not a problem.
23rd August, 2008
If you look up "Eau de Cologne" in the dictionary, it will refer you to this stuff. This is what cologne smells like, behaves like. Napoleon went through gallons of this stuff each month, which should tell you something about how long it lasts. A little bracing on contact, but good for stress.
15th August, 2008
There is old-school and then there is really old-school! Jean-Marie Farina is one of the earliest of the modern colognes. It is worth checking out for its history alone. It is a delightful classic EDC. It has excellent lemon-bergamot notes, bolstered by the green freshness of rosemary. Phase one of the scent is sparkling green citrus. Phase two is a slightly spicy dry floral. The carnation gives a hint of clove and a fresh ‘bite’. The orange blossom and rose are gentle flowers, not too sweet. The rose drydown is very good. This is an excellent unisex fragrance, certainly one that any man could wear and enjoy without qualms
23rd July, 2007
I agree that if you like 4711 you'll like this one too, it's good stuff, very french with some italian fresh springtime hints, very very fresh, and it works very well in the summer and heat, the only bad thing it's that its longevity is very poor. Get the big-bottle version cause it'll run out quickly! It makes me happy.
17th June, 2006
I was given a bottle of this when I was still in high school and it was my introduction to something better than Aqua Velva and English Leather. I liked the clean, dry lemon fragrance. It smelled "elegant" to me. It no longer has the same cachet, but I do like it.
13th November, 2005
At first whiff, this stuff completely knocks you back. The good news is that the strength of this fragrance dies down after a few minutes. The bad news is that it smells like your everyday, cheap, unoriginal cologne. The only thing that sets it apart from other colognes is its emphasis on a "lemony" scent, but it just doesn't do the trick. There are worse, but there are also a whole better.
24th November, 2003