Negative Reviews of Pi by Givenchy

    Find out more about Pi by Givenchy in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woody Oriental

    Pi may well represent the nadir of sickeningly sweet masculine gourmand orientals. Even if you despise A*Men, Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, Rochas Man, and their ilk, you have to credit them with a degree of intricacy – sometimes to excess – in their structures. Not so Pi. It’s just unrelentingly sweet artificial vanilla extract and talcum powder, in a combination that manages by some perverse miracle to be at once bland and grating. I suppose there must be art in that, but surely it’s art too diabolical to pursue further. Especially disappointing coming from Givenchy, which could once be relied upon to deliver scents like Monsieur de Givenchy, Vetyver, and Insensé.

    23 June, 2014

    mtheory8's avatar



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    eh... way too sweet and sugary. I like sweet fragrances in general but then the burnt sugar with the honey added on top of the vanilla makes it way too much. I think if was tone down a little I may enjoy it more but all the sugar sweet gives me a sweet tooth everytime I wear it. Not horrible but no thumbs up for me. Test before you buy unless you know you LOVE all things sweet.

    28 March, 2013

    androidi's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    Pi tries to be different from other men's perfumes and ends up smelling like any cheap cologne mixed with a teenage girls' vanilla fragrance.

    28 November, 2012

    Quartz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Absolutely sickeningly sweet. Horrible stuff. I don't know what I was thinking when I made this purchase.

    27 November, 2012

    Allen-on-Holiday's avatar

    United States United States

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    This stuff is a joke! Baby power and women's makeup. Are they serious???

    02 July, 2012

    Zut's avatar



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    On me, Pi and One million by Paco Rabanne had the same disastrous effect. All the ingredients for a nice warm spicy amber-based fragrance were there but they turned really bad once they touched my skin. Pi has many notes I like in an EDT:

    Top: Basil, rosemary, tarragon, mandarin
    Middle: Neroli, geranium, lily of the valley, anise
    Base: Vanilla, tonka, cedar, benzoin, almond, yellow sugar

    The only note I really don't care for is anise but it is not what really disturbed me. The vanilla-tonka-benzoin base (all notes I adore) is much too loud and heavy. I had an instant headache as soon as I sprayed Pi on my wrist. I had to run to the men's room to wash it off. This happened to me over 10 years ago and I still feel a little nauseous whenever I smell Pi.

    18 February, 2012

    OnLyTNT's avatar



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    I got this from my sister as a gift and it was very disappointing :(. Powdery chemical sweetness. Longevity? 8 sprays and 2-3 hours later nothing left o_0, I found the bottom pretty quickly lol!!! Thumbs waaaay down...

    13 February, 2012

    FISS80's avatar

    United States United States

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    Very synthetic putrid vanilla fragrance. Opens with a dull, overly sweet, metallic vanilla smell that remains pretty much throughout the life of the fragrance. Even if you are a diehard vanilla lover there are a ton of other vanilla based fragrances that put this fragrance to shame. Terrible...

    29 October, 2011

    bFlay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Exceptionally sweet, cloying, persistent scent. Difficult not to interpret as feminine. I bought it because it was listed as being similar to another fragrance that was not available on an Internet site. I did not find it similar to my choice, I don't think the description Givenchy gives it is accurate either. I don't dislike it enough to dispose of it, but I wear it mostly when i'm not going anywhere special (or in close proximity to others I like!). I've also learned to apply it VERY sparingly at least 30 minutes before leaving the house to minimize the overwhelming fragrance which, even to those who like the scent, would be too strong for quite sometime after applying. This is one of the most pervasive colognes with the longest longevity I have ever encountered and, if that is appealing to you, I'd recommend it. Otherwise, be cautious proceeding with this one. It certainly makes a bold and specific statement, a narrow statement, about the wearer! [upon updating this review 6 weeks later, I must emphasize how feminine this fragrance is and it's exceptional projection far and wide! This is just plain HORRID!]

    20th October, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 December, 2011)

    santino's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is my first negative review and deservingly so. I cannot simply describe how awful this fragrance(?) smells. Vanilla is one note that is so temperamental and I understand that. And so I decided to give it some time. I gave time to Le Male and it turned out to be a good fragrance in the end. But Pi smells the same even 4 months after. I feel sorry for my brother who bought full bottle of it blind. I would prefer my body odor instead of this. Givenchy is a great house with a lot of winners under its name. Sadly, this is an exception.

    20th March, 2011

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Get yourself a bottle of McCormick and bathe on it, you'll be better off, I swear

    08 March, 2011

    Humanfactor's avatar



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    Wow, what a very un-inventive creation. I tried this on and couldn't wait to wash it off. I felt like I was first rolled in vanilla syrup and then rolled over baby powder. It is a very linear fragrance. The silage is actually very good, but I wish it wasn't based on my aversion to this elixir. I thought Givenchy created some good fragrances, but based on this I would be very reluctant to try any others. I hate giving bad reviews and I'm especially careful when I smell something that was thoughtfully made but just didn't work for me, but would be great for others. But in this case I can't see anyone enjoying this.

    08 March, 2011

    Boster's avatar

    United States United States

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    This smelled like cheap vanilla candy in a pine forest air freshener to me. With just a hint of headache-inducing ozonic chemical. After I scrubbed it off, the remaining skin scent was not an unpleasant simple powder with a slight coniferous quality.
    Maybe it would be better as a body wash then. I would suggest wearers to try Bulgari Black for an alternative take on vanilla.

    17 January, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    alleged notes: tangerine, pine needles, infinium, ironwood, benzoin crystals.

    One of the nastiest scents I've encountered. Cloyingly grotesque in its sweetness.
    Candy floss, cream soda, and vanilla on a sugar cube.
    It is delusional to claim that there is anything like pine needles here.
    Could only stand this for about 30 seconds before I scrubbed it off.

    01st January, 2011

    kingkutty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nastiest frag i've put on my skin so far...I picked up a note that smelled like medicine to me. Probably those Benzoin Crystals. Then the sweet notes were very cloying on top of that. I waited for an hour to see if it would dry down to something nice but I couldnt stand it any longer. I had to go take a shower to get it off of my skin then i drowned myself in a different fragrance just to cover it up. I absolutely do not understand why anyone would wear this let alone like it.

    01st December, 2010

    BradW's avatar

    United States United States

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    Wow! Is this stuff for real? I smell a very strong cotton candy like accord here. I chucked my mini of this stuff. I guess I should have asked my teenaged daughter to test it out on here skin first, though.

    08 July, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    To me this smells like a cheaper knock-off version of Le Male. A VERY synthetic almost vanilla-like scent that literally made me queasy.

    I know it's fairly popular and the ladies supposedly like it, but I would never buy it nor wear it.

    26 June, 2010

    aktp-iciook's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Well, Pi is outdately sweet and synthetic, IMHO.

    I am sorry to turn down other positive reviews on Pi. I was almost fainted when I sniffed it with too high expectation ☺

    It is a kind of "love/hate" fragrance.

    Cheers,

    03 March, 2010

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    I can see how this appeals to many people. The benzoin smells like vanilla and there are very few vanilla scents for men and this one does seem to work quite well. Although...I think it's too sweet and not really my cup of tea. Too much vanilla for my tastes.

    22 January, 2010

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    It smells like ambiguous vanilla chemicals. Not *completely* unpleasant: there a few aspects that I appreciate. It isn't syrupy sweet like a bakery; it's actually a rather dry, ambery vanilla note, I guess because it's actually benzoin. It seems like there's this beautiful soft powdery drydown, gorgeous by itself, that's exists side-by-side with that chemical note. It's just very very unrefined, and not something I want to smell like all day. The smell seems like it should be emitted from a Glade Plugin.

    11th November, 2009

    's avatar



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    I can't put my finger on it but Pi just makes me ill.

    21st October, 2009

    Klont's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    This was once of my first fragances i bought. And I got it mostly by other people's good experiences from it (I don't know whether it was from this site or not).
    When i smelled it in the store it smelled OK to me. But right now it is the fragance I wear the least.

    I really agree with the people here saying it is very synthetic.... because it is. Altough I'm a beginner when it comes to fragances I really can't pick out the different notes in there, it just smells like a crazy chemical mixture which has the outcome of smelling like vanilla, which isn't even in there.

    Did anyone here get positive reaction from women here? It just gives me a headache right now.

    01st August, 2009

    Surfacing's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Pi

    Sweet powdery vanilla based fragrance. The main issues with Pi are that it really works for only certain times like a cold day and perhaps a short evening out. Even then, considering the ubiquity of Pi, one may consider other options. Pi is very much a linear fragrance that is too sweet and weighs down on the user. A fragrance as such may smell nice on the tester strip, but a few daily wears reveals this fragrances weaknesses. Easily gets boring. In the market for mainstream sweet fragrances, there are certainly many more preferable options. Longevity and projection on Pi are pretty good and the bottle is unique (although ugly).

    I’ll end this review with an observation at a perfume shop last fall. I was busy drooling over the overwhelming selection the shop had, but from the side I noticed a couple (early 30s) come in with the female leading the male towards the counter. “There’s something I want you to buy...I love the smell...its called Givenchy Pi...”. At that moment I was done with the shop and walked out. But this got me thinking. If she (or women in general) loves Pi so much why do they not purchase a bottle for themselves to wear? Pi is feminine, straight up. I know Caron 3e Homme has been worn by women as well, so I am not suggesting something groundbreaking. It all reminds me that women buy their men Pi because they want it themselves to enjoy.

    Try Pi before you buy, not just on the sample card, but on your skin with 3 sprays. Try it for several daily wears so you have an idea of what you are getting into. I for one cannot deal with Pi and therefore give it a negative.

    26 June, 2009

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    It must be the magnetic wood that I don't like. Ever since I was a child, I've found that scent unpleasant, but that may be because I lived near a lumber yard that sold a lot of magnetic wood. Okay, seriously, this juice smells like a vanilla scented glue (has a "synthetic" quality). It lacks development, dynamism, and balance. It feels like some sort of heavy syrup was just poured on your head. If you seek a similar fragrance that actually is a fragrance (has the basic qualities, like dynamism, balance, development, etc.), I suggest Dunhill Desire (red). It also may come across as "synthetic," but if you don't mind Pi's syntheticness, you won't mind that quality in DD. I'd be curious about the assessment process in the decision to go with this juice. What could they have been thinking?

    24 March, 2009

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pi by Givenchy is not as good as I used to think it was. Now it's just too sweet - like a custard or mousse.

    While I like vanilla, I'm not really a fan of sweet fragrances, and this is just all sweet. Nothing else to bring to the table. For this type of fragrance, I'd rather roll with Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin or Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin. But hey, if you've got a sweet tooth, Pi is definitely worth checking out!

    22 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 28 December, 2010)

    robpmgc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sweet. Sweet sweet. Not a good sweet. Like the sweet smell of something rotting. As if somebody used rotting vanilla beans as a fuse to ignite a 5 pound bag of sugar, then used Caro syrup to put the flames out. My poor son gets another reject bottle, he's going to hate me some day.

    26 February, 2009

    tonijel's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    I found it soft,empty,fresh and nothing special. Definetly not some must have/special scent.
    Just fresh,but boring and , again i must say, nothing special. Also i didnt noticed any transformation/drydown that would be on some level to find this interesting.
    Its just so nothing interesting that tomorow(i tested it today) i will not remember anything unique about it except that what i wrote in the first sentence.
    Event if you like fresh and clean i would say this is a must try before u buy

    17 February, 2009

    dynastyd95's avatar



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    I don't understand the list of the notes provided. I just smell vanilla extract from beginning to end. It isn't a bad smell, but its certainly isn't something I would like to wear. Too sweet and feminine.

    12 February, 2009

    Nihilist's avatar



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    the good: its vanilla big time. its longevity is that of roman gods. its not offensive.
    the bad: its a frostier, cool vanilla. i much prefer warm. its not metallic, as some have said, but rather a poor wood.

    i gave it a 3, and im being generous. this bottle will probably last me a couple years.

    01st February, 2009

    mikey_p's avatar



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    Confused packaging that looks like a cross between a piece of dodgy 1960's sculpture and a door knocker, riduculous spaceman marketing and an equally puzzling watery mandarin makes this hard to fathom. A total waste of effort...........if there was any.

    23 January, 2009

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