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Rive Gauche is more chypre than anything else to me, though its' typically considered a floral aldehyde. It is not sweet, not especially smoky and not green either; all the flower (including magnolia, gardenia, geranium, rose, ylang and lily of the valley) and green notes smell a bit smoked, as if they've been dipped in incense. A powdery, sharp rope of iris and tonka, dusted up even further by aldehydes, run through all. It's got some character in common with Cabochard and Chanel 19, though I like Rive Gauche better. Still, it wasn't a major favorite of mine until I layered it over a Bourbon vanilla lotion one day - and then it truly came alive. The Bourbon vanilla is smoky, too, like the fragrance, but adds that jot of sweetness - not too much, just enough - that this scent seems to call out for. I have never worn it any way but then since then and highly recommend trying it this way. I am, by the way, referring to the "old" verison of Rive Gauche; I have not yet tried the reformulated one that's supposed to be a lighter take on this fragrance. The old heavy one's just fine by me!
01st October, 2005