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  1. #1
    DustB's Avatar
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    Default Givenchy kicks rears

    I've meant to write a thread on this theme for a long time. The theme is Givenchy makes superior, nay, better than superior, scents for men. Givenchy stuff kicks a**.

    In my notebook I tried to break the scents down into grade categories so I could make a logical sounding review as I went through first tier, then second and third tier stuff from the house, but my notebook notes are chaotic and the truth is I can't decide which in my opinion are always second tier. Four stand always at the top though: Gentleman, Xeryus, Insensé, and Monsieur. These are ideal men's fragrances. No one who wears one of them is making a mistake. Each shows superior taste.

    Gentleman. Hints of rose and I wonder if cedar and civet over the best and most rounded patchouli scent on the mainstream market. I got to know this scent twenty-five years ago in high school and it has shaped my nose as the balance of beautiful patchouli. I smell this now and I say "perfect." All the balance is there, all the smooth corners, all the woods sanded with the finest grade of sandpaper that the resulting surface is almost a cushion to the touch. Patchouli is usually unruly and people mock it as a hippie scent. BS! Gentleman puts the lie to that--smell it yourself and the total package of refinement is simply so clear. Nothing like group food feeds. Conversational word on many threads here is that the current bottles are slightly inferior to earlier ones. I've smelled both. The difference is insignificant. The currently available bottles down at the store are still a superior scent.

    Xeryus. I have less to observe about this one, but it is similarly perfect. I think it is the house's "wild side" scent. It has a cold heart note that is steel like, geranium like, and austere. It haunts me because I know its smell even from memory--know the smell by brain alone without getting my bottle out to smell. Unforgettable. It's austere and cold, but in a way that is interesting--interesting in the sense that one wants to get closer to it to figure it out. This stuff never gets tired. This stuff is so damned cool!

    Insensé. Talk about daring departure. This is the house's heavy floral scent for men. I have the suspicion that most mainstream houses out there would be afraid to make a men's scent that is so obviously a floral. This one, however, all I can say is that it truly succeeds. Summer wildflowers in a bottle. Fantastic stuff. No bowl of flowers. Fresh flowing pastoral florals over a cedar base. A delight. Lasts forever too. Amazing with my blue striped dress shirt. Almost with a dandelion note too. Fantastic. Seems harder to find lately. I hope that's not true outside my area.

    Monsieur. To be honest it took me a while to warm up to this one. It seemed the old skool style vinegar sour type of scent to me forever--citrus, verbena, vetiver. I bought a bottle cheap when I saw one very cheap. Now I get nothing but happiness out of it. Longevity seemed to be a problem, but what the heck, the more times I wore the stuff the longer its been lasting on me. I'm almost going to be unfair to this one as I write the following, but Monsieur almost seems to be an aquatic to me. It smells like really good water. It is long before the aquatic trend came to every corner's fragrance selection, but Monsieur does a gentleman's fresh, clean, breezy, sun-dried cotton clothing scent better than so many. Classic classic classic. Smell it and you know already that it has been part of your nose's life. I guess that's what I meant when I smelled the old skool thing to it. A delight to wear and make a part of everyone else's nose life.

    Those are the top offerings from the house as my nose ranks them. Givenchy Pour Homme is nice indeed, but it never won me over. I dislike Givenchy Pour Homme in the blue label. I dislike all the flanker Insensé scents, especially Ultramarine. Stay away from those and get a whiff of the original Insensé only. I also never warmed to the candy sweetness element of Xeryus Rouge.

    One more thing. After decades Givenchy brought back Vetyver. I never smelled the original so I can't compare them, but a comparison isn't the point of this post. Vetyver is a fantastic scent now available, presumably brought back with the original recipe in mind. Would that other houses would follow this great idea and bring some others back! 2007 was awash with vetivers that smelled like Carven's and Givenchy's, so don't expect vetiver revelations from this one, but expect a great and happy scent from it. That's what I get.

    One house that makes all of the above superior scents from a short list of men's scents is killing.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Great post Chris.

    Givenchy Gentleman is just how you describe - beautifully balanced, certainly with civet, citrus and a big round, smooth, refined patchouli dominating. It reminds me to a small extent of mouchoir de monsieur, and it certainly stands up to that benchmark of quality. I had a chance to do a direct comparison of old and new and they are a little different to me; I would say the older is starker with more civet and somehow flatter in the big patchouli. I am not really a big fan of patchouli so I rarely reach for this but I recommend it highly.

    Xeryus I enjoyed two bottles of this way back in the late 80s (I think) but haven't been able to look at it since. Somehow one day, it just seemed too much. I bought a bottle of rouge blind, remembering how much I had enjoyed the original and I think this concoction put the nail in the coffin for me. It was soon gifted to a friend.

    I have no experience of the others....
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  3. #3
    Sur la Plage

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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Chris,

    Thanks for this post. I appreciate your insights and thoughts on these fragrances. I haven't had the opportunity to sample many Givenchy fragrances, but have been wanting to - especially Gentleman and Insensé. I now even feel more compelled to seek them out!

    Take care,

    Joe

  4. #4

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    5812th post and you still kick butt, i can tell you that.

    just dig gentleman..its one of those fragrances which one would love right out of the nozzle....its simplicity is only infectious, it seems only obvious it had to smell the way it does...just a classic..

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I like G. Gentleman...it is a very masculine fragrance. The initial notes scare me, but after a few minutes it gets tamed.

    .

  6. #6

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I'm a big fan of Pi as well. Lovely.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I agree. It kicks bootay.

    The great thing with Givenchy scents is THAT YOU CAN SMELL THEM! So many of these lame, weak efforts foisted upon us these days are gone in 60 seconds.

    Givenchy scents are rich and bold. Thank God.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Now, I need to try some Givenchy 'fumes. If my wallet gets any lighter (which means i'd have to cut chunks out of it :P) i'll come get you.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Thanks DustB - honestly, I have only smelled Xeryus. I do agree with you, I would never even need to smell another bottle again, I can conjure up the smell of Xeryus from memory it's so unique. Of course I have compared Narciso Rodriguez for Him to it, but I used this comparison as a compliment. Funny, I wore Xeryus as an adolescent, even though it is NOT an immature scent. I probably over applied it too.

    Of course Givenchy Gentleman has been recommended to me to try so many times (on my Cinnamon thread, on patchouli threads I've posted, the list goes on and on...) that I just need to get out there and TRY IT ALREADY. I will.
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  10. #10

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Well done, Chris. I agree wholeheartedly with your selections, although I never got around to buying Insense because I preferred Rabanne's Tenere in that style of scent. Still, the ones you sited are more than a cut above the mainstream.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Thank you for the great post. The only Givenchy I own is Very Irresistible, and even though it's a relatively new release, it certainly feels like a classic, and is one of the scents that I feel I can do anything when I'm wearing it.

    A while back I tested Gentlemen and Pi, and I thought they were magnificent, classy scents, but for some reason I have forgot about them. Now that you describe Gentleman the way you did, I think I need to give it more attention, along with your other three favorites.

    Pour Homme and Blue Label, however, were not that impressive when I tested them about a week ago.
    Last edited by Mostapha; 24th March 2008 at 07:29 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I've always been intrigued by Insense (the virtue of being a mass market floral for men automatically merits some attention), but the mention of a dandelion-like note - now that has got me definitely interested. A good dandelion's a note that I've been searching for but has yet proved elusive. I'm thinking maybe I should take one of the last bottles available on eBay before they disappear for good (it's been discontinued, right?). Do you think it's blind-buy worthy?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Great post as always!

    Even their more modern fragrances are above the run of the mill. Blue Label could have been just another generic marine scent, but the sensual woody dry down makes is a cut above.

    Has anyone had a chance to try the reissue of their 1959 Vetyver? It's part of the Les Parfums Mythiques line.

    The scent grows richer, he knows he must be near
    He finds a long passageway lit by chandelier
    Each step he takes, the perfumes change
    From familiar fragrance to flavours strange
    A magnificent chamber meets his eye

  14. #14

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    A truly great post!
    I have 6 Givenchy's scents in my wardrobe (Gentleman, Xeryus, XeryusRouge, Pi, Givenchy pour Homme and Very Irresistible) and I'm desperately trying to find Monsieur (1959.). It is impossible to find that scent in my country, you know. Last summer, our business partner from France visited our company. He smelt soooo good. I asked him what scent does he wearing and he told me Givenchy Monsieur. Then I knew: I just have to have that frag in my wardrobe.
    “As if everyone, all over the world, had his daily visually artistic task; the task of being an image for others.” Peter Handke

  15. #15
    Mikey Q's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Thanks Chris. Xeryus is a classic imo - always in my top ten. Greenergy is my favorite green - period.

    Go team Givenchy!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I am so with you!

    I love Xerius, Xerius Rouge, Monsiur, Pi. I Like Gentleman and Very irresistible. I have to try Insense. I think PH is ok. I don't care for Blue Label but I think it's better alternative to AdG.

    I think this house always puts out outstanding or above average scents.

  17. #17
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I agree about Givenchy fragrances as well. I've owned Gentleman in the past and I'm craving it now since all I have is a sample. After trying samples of Monsieur, Incense and Vetyver I want them as well. Givenchy is a great house.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Awesome post indeed! I have always dug Gentleman as well. Now, this makes me want to experience the vetiver. Is is sold in boutiques only? Great job on the reviews!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I love Greenergy and Blue Label. The latter is an aquatic, and I know that's pretty much a sin on BN's, but it's head and shoulders above most scents in that genre.
    I'm a fresh scent junkie and proud of it!

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Great post!

    The other day I was smelling the yawn inspiring Pour Homme and thought, "What happened!?!?" Givenchy has produced some absolutely awesome scents for men. I've tried a few and liked many, but the one that I always come back to is Xeryus. There's something about the lotiony drydown that gets me every time. I have read many comparisons to Narciso Rodriguez for men, and I understand some of them to a point, but find Xeryus to be absolutely superior in every regard. A real skipped over 80's classic.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Really great post.

    This house has great tradition in men's scents, and Gentleman is in my top 3 since quite a long time.

    Also, pour homme has a distinct quality among its equals.

  22. #22
    DustB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Gentlemen,
    You’re all too kind. Thanks very much for the kind words and praise. It feels good when you get a chance to put some writing behind something you like and believe in, no?

    Another great thing about Givenchy stuff is that it’s not going to break your wallet. Quality and true refinement that even fits in a budget. The re-issue of Vetyver was steep because I bought it at retail, and that was US$65. That’s 100ml size too. That’s half the cost of a Lutens 50ml bottle, for example. And no lost classiness at all. I think I’ve seen everything else from online dealers at the usual fraction of the price. That makes wearing them a further mental pleasure for certain.

    Xenophon, LightninrodDan, and all you Pi lovers. I hear you. I’ve never gotten the Pi thing in my blood though, so I can’t say for me that it sings, but Pi further says something about the house’s products--like ChuckW says, Givenchy scents SAY something. Even if we don’t like Pi, we all know it. It stands out. It is THERE. Is that balls or what? It’s not all hidden, temperamental, no edge, no nothing. It’s there and it says what it is. It’s like they skipped the focus group wishy washy advice when it came to that stage. Maybe they even skipped that stage with it altogether. I don’t go for heavy vanilla scents in general, so Pi isn’t really for me, but it is a piece of sculpture in scent that you can’t not look at when you walk around it in the museum.

    And again, like ChuckW says, YOU CAN SMELL Givenchy stuff. Loud and bold, thank god. Well said! Damn straight too. Vision, quality, and production value. You can put it on and not worry. Like a man’s scent is supposed to be.

    MikePerez, I almost want to say fie on you, my friend! Get the to the Givenchy Gentleman sales person now! I think you’ll leave with a lot of respect for the juice. I’ve got to agree with Hirch though, that the current bottle’s wet insides are different from my bottle’s, but also, I sincerely believe the match is so good that it really doesn’t matter. I wish things were always as grand as they were in the ideal first pressing of the scent, but if that truly cannot be any more, I’ll be very happy to replace my bottle with a current one. If all reformulations could be this good, we would have little to complain about. I’m sure several other fine members will disagree with me, and that’s always cool, but like Levente, Smeller, and all the others mentioning Gentleman in their list of highest regard, I think the reformulation keeps the stuff up there.

    Whoops, I meant Jenson when I said Levente in that last sentence. Classic and perfect is right. Levente brings up the other great mainstream men’s floral, and it’s probably one more special than Insensé. Paco Rabanne’s Ténéré is another perfectly masculine floral, that is cold, dark, wet, hinted with honey and decay, and cool, cool, cool like they don’t make ‘em anymore. I think it tops the masculine floral genre. Insensé isn’t cool like that though, it’s bright daylight. It’s turning your car south into the summer sun around noon when you’re crossing the prairie and you don’t have any sunglasses. You squint because of the bright light and the hood of your car has no color because of the reflection on it. I don’t think it’s been discontinued, as Heythatslife wonders, but I could be wrong about that. I think it is probably in very limited distribution, though, and might be harder in some markets, countries, continents. It might be very easy in others, say, as Renato always tells us how abundant Aramis is down under. I imagine some online stores have it.

    Mostapha brings up Very Irresistable, and blast if that’s not one that I forgot about when I tried making a list of Givenchies. I just completely forgot that it’s out there. I’ll need to give it a sniff. I did when it first came out, and I remember it as a gourmand influenced something, but that’s not enough.

    Peevish Yolk, yes, you’ve got to get Monsieur! Monsieur is the type of scent that might even be available in those huge 400ml bottles that some European stores can carry. It’s that kind of scent--meant for he who buys big bottles in the granddad style! I sure hope it is, at least. Givenchy released a Monsieur II once and I don’t know what happened to that or even what it’s like, but I think it’s listed on the Basenotes directory and probably pops up on eBay sometimes. Not likely that anyone smells of it anymore is my guess, and not that it matters.

    Mikey and MikePerez are Xeryus lovers with me and several of you. I can’t get enough of that stuff, and you’re all right pointing out the similarity with NR. Good things come around again, I guess. Xeryus is so simple, so direct, and so complicated at the same time. Truly from an era with Kouros, JHL, Anteaus, and Aramis.

    Mikey also mentions Greenergy, along with Words. I’ve never smelled that! Curse. I’ve read here that it is straight green with very little change from top through all the drydown. I think the rep is thus that it’s a bit dull. I’m curious to hear other thoughts on it, but it’s another one Givenchy put some effort into trying out. When I find some it’ll be easy being green in it.

    Scentologist asks whether Vetyver is only in boutiques. I bought mine the week it came out at Nordstrom, which I think was the first place it was rolled out in the states. I bet other standard brick and mortar stores, such that exist anymore, now have it or can get it. I paid $65 for it, as stated above. Trumpet_Guy and I have had different experiences of its longevity. I think he’s reported it having shorter duration while I’ve gotten a full day of 12 to 16 hours from it.

    Nicolas says Pour Homme missed the mark. I’ve got to agree. To me it feels like half a scent, sort of like dried fruit is tough and raw and half the impact a good juicy slice of whatever fruit it was was. Pour Homme smells like dried fruit too, and in a good way. The dried wine, the dried wood casks, and all the other things in there are nice, but they’re just too far away in any sniff of the stuff. So sniffs of it are unsatisfying. I don’t get it, but it’s not disagreeable, and it’s not really like anything else out there. I’d certainly wear lots of things before it, like VC&A PH, for example, which is a heavy hitter, or the king of dried and almost rotting stuff, Anteaus.

    The house makes fun and enduring stuff. And it brings some stuff back too. A great model to follow.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I couldn't agree more. I ADORE INSENSE and love the rest- yes, all of them in their own ways.

    One I REALLY liked and would love to have again was Insense Ultramarine Midnight Swim . . . That was a clever scent. I sooooo wish I still had a bottle. :-) I hardly ever see anyone mention it, but, nonetheless, I thought it was brilliant!! The way the cinnamon and cypress worked together was amazing. I have NEVER come across another that has done it as well - yet . . .
    Last edited by distortech; 25th March 2008 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Currently wearing: Amyitis by Mona di Orio

  24. #24
    Cow Tipper Extraordinaire

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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Great post. Now I want them all!
    These things cannot be long hidden: the Sun, the Moon, the Truth--Buddha
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Chris, I will use this as a guide to investigate the house further (I have only tried Gentleman) - thanks.
    -

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    i LOVE pi. I want to give very irresistible and all those others a try too!
    Last edited by reneirwold878; 25th March 2008 at 04:08 AM.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    I'm pleased with Blue Label and I wouldn't object to wearing it. It starts off aquatic on me, then mellows down to a soft, sorta fizzy, citrus. I'll revisit this one again some time. It smells pretty good when I worked out a few hours after application. The only other Givenchy scent I tried aside from that one is Very Irresistible Fresh Attitude. It's a fresh and fruity scent. It's a bit heavy once the fizzy citrus settles down. It's not bad. I don't mind wearing that one again either. I just don't know how I feel about it's sweetness. I could say it's almost like starting off like Blue Label, then drying down to Diesel Fuel for Life, but a bit thicker in sweetness.
    Last edited by Hollandaze; 25th March 2008 at 04:44 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    What a great post Chris. Thank you.

    It was a tiny miniature bottle of Monsieur de Givenchy that brought me into the world of fragrances as a child - there it is today at the top of my fragrance cabinet. Gentleman followed as a gift in high school.

    Your post drew me back to Gentleman. To me, it has always had an edge that's hard to describe - refined and gentleman-like but with a cocky attitude. Like when you know the teacher wants to expel you... she is desperately trying to find something to pin you down with.. but she can't find a good reason. Some part of her really likes you.
    Last edited by laroche; 25th March 2008 at 04:52 AM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    Gentleman is a favorite of mine, a surprising hit with the ladies as well.

  30. #30
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy kicks rears

    DON'T LISTEN to Chris.

    Insense Ultramarine and Xeryus Rouge are great - just somewhat misunderstood.

    You will have a devil of a time finding a more marine scent than Insense Ultramarine, and very refined to boot.

    And if you want to wear a sweet scent, you may as well get a classy one like Xeryus Rouge.

    Oddly enough Chris's favourites - Monsieur, Gentlemen, Xeryus and Insense - never did much for me. I greatly disliked Insense for about 6 years, but now I like it a lot. Xeryus is just starting to grow on me.
    Renato

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