Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Pi by Givenchy

Total Reviews: 49
*note: this is a review of the 2012 reformulation.

I will give this fragrance a neutral rating because it smells phenomenal, but has some serious performances issues. It smells great. Very sweet, like almond and vanilla with a licorice undertone, it's a very nice scent. But, longevity on this fragrance is horrible. Lasts about 2-3 hours on my skin. And it sits pretty close to the skin after half an hour, no nobody will be able to smell you when you wear this.

Rating: 6/10
Scent: 9/10
Uniqueness: 9/10
Longevity: 2/10
Projection: 2/10
18th December, 2015 (last edited: 20th December, 2015)
Tried this for 3 days now with samples and shop sprays. Here are my (amateur) thoughts:
A sweet, warm, delicious and sexy smell, I liked it. Reminds me of sleepily snuggling up to someone and breathing in the scent of warm skin. The effect is so sensuous I think I'd prefer to smell it on someone else. I detect vanilla and almonds, other things too I can't name yet, but definitely something edible. My partner said I smell like cake :). I think that's good..... I'm having a weird experience with the longevity: after spraying it seems to fade quickly, but then returns! And weirdly the scent that returns is very similar to the start. To my mind it would smell great on men and women. In the end I bought it, still like it very much, but by the time it arrived I realised it wasn't me. Much as I'd like to be, I'm not a sweet, warm and delicious kind of guy. So I've given it away. Therefore a "neutral" thumb for me :)
25th June, 2015
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
Pi is so aptly named--not because of the mathematical figure (no idea where that is meant to come into this) but because it is as sweet and rich and gourmand as a piece of pie. Yes, there are woods and herbs to balance the huge dose of sweet vanilla but for me, it still smells too gourmand for my taste. I love to smell (good) foods, but not to smell of them. I may have missed something, but Givenchy strikes me as a house known for green chypre florals unlike Guerlain, say, which is known for its masterful handling of sweet gourmands. All that said, Pi does smell really good--and surprisingly masculine--if sweet gourmands are your thing.
02nd June, 2015
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I used to love Pi, it smelled like a rich caramel with a little bit of woods in the background and would pop in with a vanilla / macadamia nut rush when my body temperature rose. Not a summer scent but great for warmer fall winter and spring days. However, since the 2012 reformulation this is absolute trash. It smells like maple syrup mixed with vodka I can't stand it. Recent sold off my reformulated bottle and am scouring that one auction site to find an older bottle. "When great scents go bad" could be an interesting blog here on basenotes.
24th December, 2013
review by stefly321

I find this has an almond/marzipan sort of aroma. Not really my thing anymore. It only gets cloying if its over applied. Just 2/3 sprays on the chest would suffice. Anymore and it becomes offensive!

26th July, 2013
Pi – Givenchy

I actually enjoyed the beginning very much. It gives me a light clean sweetness with amber, almond and slight vanilla-woodiness. However, as the time goes on, the amber-almond-vanilla accord gets more and more intense and Pi just gets sweet and sweeter.

Two hours in all I get is this dense sweetness, smells like a great vanilla almond shampoo.

If you have a sweet tooth and want to try something that isn't cotton candy sweet or gourmand sweet, get a sample of Pi. For me this is just too much, might be something for a freezing winters.
29th March, 2013
jcw122 Show all reviews
United States
Like everyone else is saying, it's a vanilla based fragrance. I think it smells great but honestly doesn't bring much to the table. I also got very poor longevity.
17th January, 2013
rso6e Show all reviews
United States
Pi is an 'okay' fragrance...almost too boring to be pleasant. It opens with a soft herbal note, which for a few moments turns into a sharp and unpleasant leather smell. No idea what is causing the leather smell since it's not listed as a note. Thankfully this only lasts a few minutes before Pi becomes a light, somewhat sweet floral. The drydown is very sweet and faintly powdery. It's not warm, just vanilla sweet and rather flat. Nothing in this fragrance really stands out. Moderate silage and longevity.
29th January, 2012
I'll start by saying that I'm the kind of girl that likes natural smells, particularly scents like tobacco, cedar, smoke and leather on her men. Occasionally I enjoy some sweet colognes, but it is very rare when I do.

Pi is a little too sweet in my opinion. To my nose, it smells like caramelised vanilla and musk.

I am somewhat disappointed seeming that so many women on the forum rave about this particular fragrance on their partners. I can appreciate the scent for what it is, but I can't say, from a female's perspective, that I find it very appealing.

It's almost gourmand in its approach. Perhaps it is a masculine version of Tocade by Rochas. Whatever it reminds me of, it makes a good choice for wear in the colder months due to its vanillary warmth.

I'm surprised to see its release date as being 1998, I would have thought it was a much more modern release, at least something brought about in the last few years. However I understand that the whole concept is supposed to be futuristic.

Pi is very much open to personal opinion. You'll either love it or hate it. I don't detest it, nor would I run from it, however I wouldn't run towards its wearer either
22nd October, 2011
bFlay Show all reviews
United States
(UPDATED May 2016)
Below is my original review of Pi. Since that review, I think it has been reformulated and is now not as cloying and doesn't project as forcefully. For this fragrance, that's a good thing. Still not a favorite, but not a hated fragrance either...
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!
20th October, 2011 (last edited: 13th May, 2016)
Talc, almond and mint blended together, this is what Pi smells like. 
A traditional formula approached (though in different ways) by many houses ( The Dreamer, One 
Million, Midnight in Paris, some Gaultier's, Lolita Lempicka Au Masculine  etc), a citrusy aromatic opening (terragon, rosemary and others) , and a woody-tobacco powdery milky final development. The key elements: greens aromatic, Gaiac wood, orange, tonka, benzoin-vanilla supported by other resinous elements. A touch of whiskey and an hint of chemical sparkling elements complete the work. The fragrance turns out powdery, milky and almost mentholated but with a notable undertone of almond (rise cream and eliotrope). Some anise and mint appear in the blend while a bunch of floral notes hardly provide sophistication to the powdery wake. I agree who with writes that the sweetness is not off-putting because it is temperated by a sort of bitter-almost salty-resinous-masculine undertone because of tobacco and resinous elements. I write what i've already written about fragrances carring out this formula: a decent  after shower to be worn in sostitution of deodorants in order to feel comforted  in the house or inside  your bed for a serene night of sleep, not a fair fragrance to go out after midnight with an aura of dark and natural  boldness or sophistication. Not my cup of tea but i disagree for sure who with talks about a chemically intoxicating DDT.
02nd October, 2011 (last edited: 31st December, 2013)
It starts of with some kind of medicinal scent which led me to believe I was going to hate this one with a passion. I am biased due to the fact I love sweet scents (Rochas Man =) But approx 45 min after applying it started to warm up to me into a nice vanilla caramel scent. Can certainly become easily cloying if oversprayed. I do not agree with the linear description most give it. A good one for fall/winter use. Longetivty 6-7 hrs & projection a good 5 hours. Good but just not great.
04th May, 2011
Pi for me sets the mark of the very average sweet oriental. It doesn't have anything that makes it stand out, say like the almond and smoky vanilla in hypnotic poison, it's not overally sweet and complex like serge lutens offerings, nor does it have a stand out note aside from the vanilla like tobaco vanille or musc ravageur. On the other hand it's not super synthetic like blue sugar, or too sweet like joop. It's simply...average. You get vanilla, some not cloyingingly sweet candy and a hint of burnt sugar. Longevity and projection are average.

It's a great fragrance to venture into the sweet gorumands/orientals. And as much as i'd love to give it a thumbs up for the spot it fills, after all it is an accomplishment to fill the spot of average in a genre dominated by either really good or really bad fragrances, i simply don't find myself reaching for it often. When I feel like going sweet I want something with more of an edge, and if I want to go safe I'd just pick up one of my ambers. Perhaps sugary and sweet gourmands are suppsed to only be either great or horrible and there's no place for the average.
05th November, 2010
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Ugh. I can't figure out. I'll never figure it out.

Pi by Givenchy just doesn't work for me. I know there is something to it. It has a softness that makes a woman feel comfortable, yet something hiding subtly under the surface that keeps this scent masculine enough for men to wear.

Just smells like vanilla baby powder to me, but I at least understand why people may like it.

I'd be tempted to give it another shot. It's been a few years since I last tried it.

Anyways, if you like it, good for you, if you hate it, I understand!
16th September, 2010
It smells like vanilla but more sweet.. it was over powering for my taste and way to strong. I thought i would like this but it did not happen. The dry down was not as bad but definitely the top notes are very strong with the vanilla scent.
21st June, 2010
I like vanilla scents and expecting something very strong.
But nothing great here,like most other Givenchy I tried, pour homme,blue label were good
but just this...and Very
Pi has average longevity and nice smell and I think its nice scent.
08th March, 2010
Bought this blind off of a basenoter for a pretty good price as i had heard a lot of good about it. While Givenchy Pi has a very sophisticated bottle, the scent is an unorganized mess. Not sickeningly powdery or "old-man" smelling, but nonetheless largely unappealing to me. Girls seem to enjoy it, but i don't think that is adequate justification to wear this. Rather synthetic smelling as well.
Sillage and longevity is good, however, and i can see how this scent would be liked. Can't really thumbs down the scent, but definitely not a thumbs up either.
03rd March, 2010
AllIn Show all reviews
United States
The compliment factor almost led me to give this one a Thumbs Up. The ladies really loved it - many, many compliments.

That being said, it's a little too "buttercream frosting" for my personal tastes. Not a bad smell in any sense, but as a men's fragrance, just too sweet/vanilla/Bath and Body Works for me. I'm sure some guys could pull it off, but as a younger guy, it's not my style.
03rd February, 2010
autumn89 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I really tried to like this, i still do want to like it, but whenever i wear it i feel "sticky" almost... It's totally imaginary obviously but its like ive been dunked in honey... Im sure you'll love it if you like sweet fragrances though. It does last a long time.
09th September, 2009
I am a fan of powdery sweet scents but I found GIVENCHY PI to be too synthetic for my taste. Perhaps it was too difficult to achieve just the right balance with the benzoin crystals, resulting in a blend that is creamy but somewhat bland. And there really is no vanilla in here. Vanilla to me is always vibrant yet this element is noticeably missing from Pi. Still I can appreciate how easily the sweetness could have been misconstrued. And as pretty as the bottle may be, Pi simply has no chance of displacing Arpege pour Homme from my wardrobe.
19th August, 2009 (last edited: 11th September, 2009)
Might work as an air freshener or range of scented candles but does not impress me as a men's EDT. I do not want to smell like vanilla ice cream dipped in alcohol. Not one to wear in summer when all the insects are flying around, looking for a sweet treat.
18th May, 2009 (last edited: 24th July, 2009)
Sweet Vanilla

It's sweet, it's vanilla.... I can only see one use of Givenchy Pi, and that's on a date with a girl who loves candy.

Wear this, share a cotton candy, and you're in, buddy.
12th March, 2009
There may be magnetic wood in the mid notes, but there is very little else that will attract you in this sugar-fest from Givenchy. Given the architecture of the top notes, I had expected something a little fragrant and exotic, but one is merely subjected to a series of diabetic episodes that result in the relentless frontier of vanilla in the drydown. Very, very ordinary.
27th February, 2009 (last edited: 08th September, 2011)
MAGIC Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I personally dont like it and rank it to a more mature audiance and not at the younger generation of today (Im 17). I find its too sweet, strong and has a big in your face attitude to it to which it would make a perfect evening/romantic fragrence. However the only situtation i would see myself wearing this is on a sunset walk on the beach with my GF and even then i would choose something more appropriate.

Definalty worth a try! The vanilla note is gorgeous and would highly recommend this to people aged 30+ ...... a more mature audiance :)
26th February, 2009
This smells good for what it is, it's just too feminine and sweet for my taste. Vanilla, burnt cotton candy, cake frosting are all what come to mind. Not much else to it.
28th January, 2009
I agree Pi is overwhelmingly sweet, but, if applied moderately, it could just come off right.
23rd January, 2009
1st - great bottle! one of the best ever.
2nd - i like sweet fragrance but it's too sweet even for me ;/. i dont' like anymore fragrance with sweet vanilla drydown...
16th January, 2009
Rather simple and quite linear scent. All vanilla and not much else. Bored me to tears. Think they blew their wad on the bottle (one the best out there) and forgot to put some creativity in the juice. Smells very synthetic too. One of the few good qualities of Pi is that it has good sillage & longevity. However, there's much better orientals out there like Heritage, Must PH Essence and Egoiste. Spend your money on these and forget about Pi. Except if you're into Trigonometry!
02nd January, 2009
I don't think this scent works for me. It smelly too sweet for my personal liking, too much vanilla. That being said, it seems to work fine with my body so it's not an issue of that, it's personal taste. However, I'll keep it around since I know a few women who enjoy this scent.
26th November, 2008
I really like the concept behind this fragrance, but the execution is a little "off."

Pi opens but smelling of sweet warm vanilla, however there's a lipstick accord in there that rubs me the wrong way. The lipstick smell doesn't disappear for an hour or so until the dry-down fully takes place.

The base notes smells of synthetic warm vanilla (Benzoin Crystals). It smells good, but doesn't smell very natural.

I don't detect much of anything else in this fragrance. Very sweet synthetic warm vanilla and lipstick.

Sillage is a monster though, and so is longevity. Just a couple sprays of this stuff directly to the skin and your scent will definitely linger as you cross paths with someone.

I have gotten several complements from the opposite sex while wearing Pi. Women seem to love it. If it wasn't for the lipstick accord in the top and mid notes, I would probably love it too. As it stands though, it's just mediocre.
29th September, 2008