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  1. #1

    Default Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions



    Listed Notes: bergamot, mint, ginger, lemon leaves, amyris wood, black pepper and musk.
    Notes I pick up: Mandarin orange, smooth mint, airy ginger, lemon (listea cubeba-ish), salt, hints of vetiver, smooth white musk, hints of smooth but slightly medicinal sandalwood, hints of coumarin and vanilla

    Perfumers: Emilie Copperman & Lucas Sieuzac (these two are responsible for Play and Play Intense as well)

    If a sport fragrance is intended to be worn during actual sports or sports-like activity, then I can say that Play Sport earns its title well. I put some on this morning and it behaved a bit differently than on paper, but perhaps most importantly, it has survived a fairly intense weight lifting session and best of all, was never obnoxious or intrusive in any way.

    I think the reason for that is tri-fold. First, the scent is very light - somewhere between an aquatic and a citrus, but structurally leaner than most aquatics or citrus scents. That's not to say 'thin' with the negative connotation that term typically carries when applied to a fragrance. Amazingly Play Sport doesn't come across as thin despite bean very lean. Secondly, it has a cooling, almost chilled vibe to it thanks to a very unique mint element. It also has that icy/aquatic/floral musk note that appears in Reflection Man (also by the same perfumer, Sieuzac), Montauk, Secretions Magnifique, and Bosque. I wish I knew what chemical this is, because I absolutely love it. It starts out icy and cool, salty and a hint metallic (smooth metallic, though), and eventually showcases an interesting floral element. Third, the scent is smooth. The citrus is never sharp or biting as in say, TdH or Orange Verte, and yet it is not that overly smooth synthetic citrus in say Le Roy Soleil. It is smooth and yet there is a hint of tartness and even more fitting to the sport theme, a saltiness present. Behind all of that is a hint of creaminess that thankfully is NOT from the now ubiquitous tonka in so many designer scents. No, this creaminess is different - a bit like a leaner take on Allure Blanche and maybe a hint of Guerlain Homme in the mix, too.

    I really like that the saltiness persists throughout - it gives a kind of natural, fresh and clean sweat vibe, while the gentle creaminess and other fresh notes (a long last but almost "white" smelling lemon note) do suggest, as per Octavian's less than flattering review, a deodorant. Overall, I find the scent to be a simple pleasure (although there is actually a lot of noticeable note movement and interplay in the first 30 minutes, from a beautiful and direct mandarin orange opening, and then the lemon and ginger sneak in and the powdery/green/cool mint and aquatic element surfaces, then a saltiness emerges as the smoothness of the mandarin fades, etc). It's fresh, bright, sunny, and perhaps best of all it truly smells optimistic - if such a feeling could be translated into fragrance. I always thought CK One was the scent of optimism, and really very few other aquatics ever struck me as being so happy, so joie de vivre, because they either came across as too chemical or caustic or forceful or what have you. Now, I've got to add Play Sport to that list of 'happy scents' - a list that I would love to keep growing.

    I don't think many here will love the scent, and I can understand why. It's not daring or out of the ordinary in the way most BNers are looking for in their scents, but to me it does stand apart from other fresh scent offerings and will fill a gap in my wardrobe - smooth, natural, easy to wear and cooling citrus that is great in extreme heat and/or sporty or athletic acitvites. Also Play Sport does not project nearly as much as most scents in this category - a huge plus, in this instance, as far as I'm concerned, as that is what lends to its wearability during strenuous activity. I don't advocate wearing scents to the gym, but if I were going to wear one, Play Sport would be my first choice.

    I think I'll get rid of Varvatos Artisan or Hugo XY to make room for it in my 'drobe. Maybe I'll dump both, as in some ways Play Sport is kind of like a combination of the two.


    ----


    tl;dr
    Play Sport is a nice, simple, smooth and natural chilled citrus scent. Imagine Allure Blanche, with less woods and pepper, less creaminess, and a bit of mint and salt. Or imagine Guerlain Homme if it was made with lemons instead of limes and with a lot less powder. Or imagine the scent of a slightly sweetened lemonade, garnished with a mint leaf and some salt on the rim of the glass.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 3rd June 2012 at 05:17 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Nice review, and very interesting comparisons. Let me ask these questions....

    How does it compare to the regular and intense versions in terms of linearity? I like regular play because it's less linear than the intense version, to my nose.

    Is it as simple as the Guerlain Homme Eau? I found that one too simple for my tastes - I liked the complexity of the regular Guerlain Homme much more satisfying.

    The comparison to Artisan is interesting. Using a sort of catchall term, did you find this more or less "synthetic" than Artisan? Artisan has a small synth facet that bothers me.

    Again, thanks for this!
    * * * *

  3. #3

    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Well, I'll do my best to answer those given that I've only worn it once

    I find it to be somewhere between Play and Play Intense with regards to linearity. There are no drastic shifts in character in PS - it's always a light smooth salty/sweet citrus, but that first hour does show a fair bit of movement. It seems like at the hour or two mark the scent has fully settled into what it will remain until the end. Of course I was trying to be very observant of the scents shifts - and they are noticeable if subtle. I could see how some might think it is almost entirely linearly after the opening mandarin note shifts into the background. I thought the mandarin was gone entirely once the light sweet/salty lemon moved to the fore, but now I am picking up hints of mandarin here and there amidst the sweet/salty white musky dry down. To me, its transformations and evolution seem to be more akin to those of all natural scents - you can smell notes shifting around even if the theme remains the same throughout, and really at no point is it dominated by any one synthetic or accord (unlike say CK One or Chrome).

    I've no experience with Guerlain Homme Eau unfortunately. While I think it may actually be as complex as the original Guerlain Homme, it doesn't seem as complex because it is less dense and there are no major shifts. Any complexity here is complexity through subtlety. I find the way it manages to carefully balance a number of contrasting qualities to be fairly complex though: it is cooling without being cold or clinical and in fact has a sunny quality to it (like those cloudless spring days where a cool breeze is present), it is sweet and salty, it is smooth and creamy and yet a touch tart. I think it's particularly well balanced in those regards, and that provides most of the complexity imo.

    I find it less synthetic than Artisan overall. Artisan to me starts out wonderfully but the drydown is a bit thin/synthetic and unidimensional. PS smells pretty natural to me throughout. I mean, I know that it's probably mostly synthetic, but the base note musk especially is one that doesn't strike me as synthetic despite not having a clear analogous natural smell. Well, I guess it does have some analogous smells but not one thing in particular - it's like hints of vanilla with that medicinal aspect of some sandalwoods, and salt and sugar. I'm curious if others will read this as very synthetic. It's hard for me to say since I simply LOVE this chemical (it's what I most love about Montauk, although there I find it presented in a much more metallic/synthetic context).

    Thinking more about Octavian's deodorant comment - the sweet and slightly creamy, yet still eminently fresh quality of it does call to mind some variation of Old Spice. One of the powdery ones - I think it might just be the white stick version of Old Spice High Endurance. Another scent that popped into my head while smelling it is L'Homme Libre - the scents are very different but the freshness in both of them does have a bit of that deodorant stick vibe - in the best way. Of course, I can see some disliking that entirely but for a sport fragrance I think it makes sense. I liked that quality a lot in Libre and love it here.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Awesome - thanks!
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    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Echoing Red's comments, nice review and very interesting commentary !

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Great review, SOS. I'm planning on seeking out a sample now.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Also tried it and not bad at all for a sport scent.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    This has become one of my favorite sport scents, which I generally do not care for. The only one's I own/like are Chanel's Allure Homme Sport and Issey Miyake's Summer 2009 formulation. However, both of these are quite thick and almost "heavy" for a summer/sport scent. I think Play Sport is a great lighter and more wearable sport scent for casual/active wear. On my skin, I think this is getting better projection and longevity than Play Original.

    I did find that I wanted to compare it with CK scents, possibly a combination of One and One Summers, but it is higher quality than these. However this is from memory.

    I will likely pick up a bottle of this to sit alongside my Play Intense. Who knows, I may even complete the trio!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Givenchy Play Sport: Initial Impressions

    Just ordered this to complete the trio. Got the 100ml, despite having the other two in 50ml, as this one is going to get sprayed and re-applied quite a bit in the heat.

    I know most people think this is ho-hum, and I understand why, but it's one of my guilty pleasures. There's something about it that just really tickles my nose in a pleasant way, and as I said in the OP, it's one of the few sport fragrances that is not too strong when you're actually really active/sweating-like-crazy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wearing this tonight from my new bottle that just arrived. A few hours into the dry down, I realize the scent that this probably most closely resembles - the airy/dry/woody aspects of Erolfa's dry down. It's got that same tart citrus - here flanked by more mint and a beautiful sandalwood/white musk combo that comes across as clean and dry (but not at all soapy, like say, Himalaya).

    Yup, definitely some Erolfa in this - although this is more casual whereas Erolfa struts its wealth around a bit more. In this case, given that I'd only wear either of these casually (and the fact that I don't own a yacht) the casualness of Play Sport is actually in its favor.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

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    and more!
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