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  1. #1
    Neurosis's Avatar
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    Default Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Every now and then i'll get inspired to post my thoughts on a fragrance, and today i'm wearing Givenchy Pi. Pi is one of those fragrances that fall into the strange category of being incredible...but incredibly unwearable. I first heard about this from a few youtube reviewers, and as i began to find my own tastes of fragrances, this kept seeming appealing. I had sampled it back when i was wearing Vurt (lol) and i didn't know what the hell it was and totally wrote it off. I tried it at Macy's a few months later and liked it. Few months later, and some more sniffin' under (or in?) my nose, and really started to like it. Considering i was in my "must buy everything" phase of fragrances, i bought it (1.7oz, $40 at Sears).

    My note-tacular experience: It's actually pretty linear, but it's...my metaphor for this one is that it's like peeling back layers. It opens up with tangerine, but there is ironwood and bezoin lurking just behind. a few minutes later the tangerine get's kicked overboard and the ironwood takes over, of course with bezoin ultimately pulling the strings. After about 20 minutes, the benzoin takes charge and ironwood becomes the background...and it stays this way the rest of the time. The non-note smell (when you just smell it and don't analyze it) is marshmallows, hence why it's a gourmand and why i like it.

    The shortest lasting time has been about 8 hours, more than enough to me. However, this is the longest lasting fragrance on me to date: around 30 hours....well JOOP! Homme can do better but this is about Pi, and JOOP! isn't a normal fragrance.

    Now for the controversial wearability....this fragrance is unique by all means. It's sweet as hell and smells like marshmallows, but remains elegant, smooth, subtle, not a fragrant-banshee like Joop! Homme or (to everyone BUT me) A*Men. I think that's why i have trouble wearing it, its a quiet gourmand. Another quiet gourmand is Rochas Man, but i find that more casual, Pi is classy. It's hard to describe exactly as it's so subjective, but i'd say its a "classy gourmand". Gourmands have a reputation for being "kiddish, casual" or "for clubbing", but this one breaks that trend. If you wore this in a club, yeah it might work for you, but to me, this requires the specialist of special occasions...or simply (like tonight) you feel like wearing it!

    Would i recommend this to anyone to buy blind? HELL NO, unless you love extremely sweet fragrances. Definitely sample it, which should not be hard to do.

    Verdict: An elegant, classy gourmand, incredibly sweet; smells of marshmallows with some woody notes/opens with a tangerine note. It's hard to find an occasion to wear it, but it really is a special occasion fragrance. I'd say its a 7/10 (its a 9/10 smell, but a 5/10 for wearability).


    Wow, i somehow forgot to mention the bottle! This bottle is one of my absolute favorites. It looks incredible, it's detailed extremely well and i find the pi symbol to be simply really cool
    Last edited by Neurosis; 5th September 2010 at 05:09 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I thought Pi smelled like cotton candy myself and wondered how it could be cosidered masculine.

  3. #3
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    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Thanks for the review! It brings back those Pi memories. Maybe I'll bust it out for a wear sometime next week.....
    * * * *

  4. #4

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Personally, I find Pi disgusting and it has literally made me sick. It has that fake-vanilla scent that i can't stand. In fairness, I have been out with a friend who was wearing it and he did get a compliment from a nice looking young girl.

    My verdict: it's only suitable to wear in two cases

    1) you have just swallowed some sort of poison in which you need to expel from your stomach
    2) you have an iron stomach AND are going out to a bar/club with younger, college age women. They seem to like it. They also seem to like tequila which I don't understand, but that is a whole other conversation.....

  5. #5
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I agree Pi feels smooth & elegant. It is sweet but the sweetness is not unbearable esp. in sillage. But ultimately I find it too linear & gets old fast. Big seller for Givenchy though.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    this is the fragrance that kinda made me jump into my fascination of fragrances. i smelled it on my friend, and i thought it was the most beautiful fragrance ive ever smelled. though i still enjoy it, as ive experience more fragrances its absolutely not numberone on my list, but ill tell u one thing, the ladies LOVE this

  7. #7

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Pi was my first blind buy since joining basenotes. It's almost 1 year since I bought it and my tastes changed a bit.
    It's definitely unisex, very sweet, but not unwearable if you dont overspray (that means just 1 or 2 sprays on chest and you are set). Topnotes are really disgusting synthetic sweet mess with hint of citrus and I think that I would never pass through them if I sample it before buy. Drydown is comfortable, almost real like linear vanilla. Very simple but relaxing. Longevity is awesome. I wore it whole winter as my office fragrance because its longlasting and unoffensive. Its fragrance that doesnt make any statement so I cant see it being a hit with girls but ... whatever.

    Do I like it? Yes.
    Would I buy it again once my bottle is empty? No. There are more interesting and funny choices.
    TOP 4 hot weather:

    1. Gucci Pour Homme II
    2. Lalique Encre Noire
    3. Creed Aventus
    4. Creed Millesime Imperial


    TOP 4 cold weather:

    1. L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme
    2. Chanel Coromandel
    3. Dior Homme Intense
    4. Dior Homme

  8. #8

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Back in its launch year, when it first appeared, tested it almost immediately after its release and was stunned

    Now, my rating of this one is rather neutral, because while I do acknowledge that it's a classy and long-lasting fragrance, it's something about its sweetness which keeps my verdict from being unanimously appreciative

  9. #9

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I really like Pi. I completely agree it is hard to find occasion to wear it. For me it is strictly very cold weather scent. Somehow it feels right wearing it when there is a lot of snow outside. Ppl have a tendency to designate it as unisex, but to me it is deep and thick, and I do feel some woodiness in it that makes it quite masculine to me. Elegant stuff, and women really like it. You can't pull it off with casual clothes.

  10. #10
    Cartoonish Royalty Le Grand Duc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I love PI, Givenchys best male offering, IMHO!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I have always liked Pi's overtly benzoin vanilla synthetic sweet warm long-lasting overload.

    I do too think that it's mostly a winter scent, but i like to be a bit of a masochist when it comes to scents so i use it in the summer as well (like opiumPH edp and diorH) but only at home of course.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I don't wear it often either, even though I really like it.

    I last wore it on a hot, really humid and muggy night, while wandering around Venice with my then lady-friend (now wife). For some reason, it just seemed to work extra well then.
    Renato

  13. #13

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I have never tried Pi, but I do wonder about this description of being a powerhouse, driven mostly by benzoin. Benzoin is a very weak scent. Up to a point it does add some sweetness, but you can make a perfume of only benzoin, and it never gets very strong. It also doesn't seem to make sense as far as longevity either. Benzoin dies down after a couple of hours. I think the power of Pi has got to be some combination of synthetic aromachemicals, and not benzoin.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Great review--the obvious result of lots of smelling and lots of thinking, Neurosis, and that's what it means to love scents. Glad to see such good content.

    I don't go for Pi or most sweet stuff myself, but I like this place when it has a defender and thinker talking about EVERY scent. Especially when the defender has a good phrase like "fragrant-banshee"!
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    It reminds me of those marshmallow chicks that appear in baskets around Easter, nestled in a mound of artificially-flavored orange jellybeans. You can smell a bit of the basket's woodiness, but it's nearly obliterated by the sickeningly-sweet candy fumes. How they came up with the title has always been a mystery to me.
    Don a wig of larks and fly!

  16. #16
    Neurosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    Great review--the obvious result of lots of smelling and lots of thinking, Neurosis, and that's what it means to love scents. Glad to see such good content.

    I don't go for Pi or most sweet stuff myself, but I like this place when it has a defender and thinker talking about EVERY scent. Especially when the defender has a good phrase like "fragrant-banshee"!
    thank you! that means alot

  17. #17

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    An extremely under-appreciated fragrance. Even after all the niche discoveries and experiments, Pi still is a scent I find very unique and constantly yearn for when I go without wearing it for more than a month. The eau de parfum is even more impressive. I do wish the top notes would last longer and the dry down was a bit more dynamic though. That is the reason I wish one of the so called niche houses would replicate Pi with their higher quality ingredients and perhaps improve the note progression to the drydown.

  18. #18
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    I don't wear it often either, even though I really like it.
    Nor do I.

  19. #19
    odioustoilet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    It sticks out like a sore thumb, and I like that!
    Not the most masculine scent but it will catch people's attention.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Turin described this as "sweet nothing," which I thought to be one of the more humorous descriptions in the book.

    Personally, I don't find this thin and whispy enough to be a "sweet nothing" --as Zgb said above me, it's a thick, deep, foody, woody, cloying, vanilla pie crust scent. I personally have worn this in casual clothes as well as in the warmer months. In fact, of my 2007 purchases, Pi and TdH are neck-and-neck for most used overall. It smells good, it's relatively inoffensive, and it gets compliments. Although my beliefs contradict the review and several other posts, I find this to be more-or-less an all purpose scent, although I could see how it would be more appropriate in the colder months.

    With all of that said, I've been teetering on whether or not to keep this one for a while. I don't like letting my collection creep above 20, and as it is I'm approaching 30 at this point. Pi is a very solid scent, but in my opinion it's also ultimately forgettable. Every time I've reached for this lately, I've opted instead for a New Haarlem or a Body Kouros. It's just fallen out of favor a bit.
    Looking for Hermessence Ambre Narguile and for TFPB Moss Breches (50ml bottle), willing to pay in cashdollars. PM me!

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I have Pi EDP. Talk about strong. I finally learned how to apply it properly, which is the spray and run method!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Givenchy Pi has more nostalgia attached to it than any of my fragrances. Its a shame that it stings my skin to wear!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I remember smelling this on a guy at the National Air and Space Museum in Washionton D.C. (in freaking July!!). Anyways, I was shocked at how woodsy it smelled versus sweet. It smelled very elderly, too. It never smelled like that on me or out of the bottle either... but I wonder if that is what it develops into after olfactory fatigue sets in.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    how interesting that this was my scent of the day after not wearing it for a long time and there are two threads about it either made or bumped up.

    once upon a time, this was my all time fav. ive experience alot of frags now so i dont love it as much as i used to, but i stil thnk its really nice

  25. #25

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    The final verdict is as always, If you like it and it makes you feel good, wear it, period!

    Btw. to me strictly cold weather scent and it truly does draw compliments from women

  26. #26

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Great gourmand fragrance. Unlike many, I don't find this to be "sickly syrupy". I just find it to me mostly a 1 noter, vanilla and benzoin.. the combination just makes it smell like a less natural vanilla. The woodsy dry down is very nice and subtle, longevity is excellent, as is projection. Overall it's totally my kind of frag, however I too find it hard to wear.. not because it isn't versatile or anything, but because of my rotation. There's so many other things to choose from that are much more interesting. But, if I had an office job and needed a few fragrances to wear strictly to the office, Pi would be one of them I would wear religiously, no doubt.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    PI is definitely one of the great fragrances of the 2000s.

    It's decidedly sweet and warm with the vanilla, amber and burnt sugar notes. Yet it falls short of the sappiness I get in e.g. YSL L'Homme or Lancome Hypnose. Very wearable if used in moderation.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I dig it and it was one of the first frags I got when I began expanding my wardrobe from the 1-2 punch selection I had for a long time. Now with my collection reaching closer to 40 frags I find less opportunity to wear it. Still a good one for me, though.
    ***My SALE thread***My TRADE thread***
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  29. #29
    fountain
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    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    although an altogether different (sort of classy) frag, i would find it as unwearable as ps fine cologne. there's something bizarrely camp about it, imo.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I used to own a bottle but rarely wore it and gave it away. Frankly its just something I don't want to smell like.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    I remember being absolutely smitten with it when I first smelled it.

    Never did buy a bottle but sprayed some on a card the other day and was really enjoying it. Hmm.. I *do* need some more warm gourmands for this winter. I'll have to give this one a proper test again, and see if it goes too sweet on me.
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  32. #32

    Default Re: Givenchy Pi: The Final Verdict

    Pi was the first bottle I bought when I started getting into fragrances. I get a lot of the woodiness in the drydown, and love it. I wear it to work (in moderation) and out at night (also in moderation). It gets way too synthetic on me if I overspray, but a little bit is just right with this one! I do love vanilla scents, so that may have something to do with it as well...

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