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  1. #1

    Default Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    I alluded to this in another recent thread about Gentleman, but I didn't want to derail the other thread. I now have a very early version of the "non-wraparound" silver cap bottle with the original box, from the early 2000s. I've had a few chances now to compare it with my earlier vintage bottles with the wraparound silver label. The general consensus in the community has been that this packaging change pretty much heralded the end of Gentleman. Here are my findings:

    First of all, I've become aware of at least 4 different versions of non-wraparound Gentleman:

    • Earliest version - silver cap with matte silver sprayer, short 3 ingredients list on box (this is the one I just acquired)
    • Silver cap, sprayer unknown, long ingredients list w/ oakmoss
    • Silver cap, long ingredients list w/ NO oakmoss listed
    • Black cap, most recent version, by most accounts an abomination


    Whether there is any substantive difference between, say, versions 1 and 2 is hard to say. The ingredients may not have changed and the list was only lengthened to disclose more potential irritants. Similarly between 3 and 4, only the cap color changed to my knowledge. However it's highly unlikely that 2 and 3 smell alike, because a critical base ingredient - oakmoss - was removed from the formula.

    I've been on the hunt for this earliest short ingredients version, because it shares the same packaging and look as most of the bad versions that came after it, so nobody is claiming that it's "vintage" or "old formula" and charging the attendant small fortune the wraparound versions are now worth - even though it has all the hallmarks of the era before the heavier regulations kicked in.

    The bad news first - while I wish I could say that this is exactly the same as my wraparound bottles, it's not. Some kind of reformulation happened when the bottle design changed. The good news is that the two are very, very close, to the point where I could confidently recommend this version to someone who wanted to see what vintage Gentleman was all about but wasn't ready to spend $150 on a wraparound bottle. It's also nice if you're like me and wear Gentleman all the time, and you want to get your fix without tearing through your vintage supply.

    Here are the main differences I notice:

    • The honey note has been amped up in the newer version. It's still not anything I'd call a honey-based fragrance but it's a little sweeter, not nearly as dry as my wraparound bottles
    • One of the floral notes - my nose is not good enough to tell which - feels a bit "reconstructed" in this version, not quite as natural
    • I can't tell if it's the honey I mentioned, but occasionally you get a subtle feeling of a white musk or fresh aromachemical that wasn't in the old version.
    • Just sniffing the sprayer, I'm not floored with the sheer amount of patchouli like I am with my old bottles, HOWEVER - spray it and the patch is all there.


    I have to say that the differences are extremely minor - someone new to this fragrance will have a very difficult time telling these two versions apart - and astonishingly the base seems the least tampered with and is still very dark and mossy, almost smoky. Although there are hints of what notes were going to get butchered in later versions, they are mostly intact here and it's undeniably Gentleman. Performance is every bit as good as the older versions as well.

    I hope this helps some of you in your search for what may have been the greatest masculine fragrance of all time, and happy hunting!
    Currently wearing: Interlude Man by Amouage

  2. #2
    Super Member grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    Excellent, informative post, sir! I like Givenchy Gentlemen very much, but not on me, too masculine. You've reminded me that I have to figure out a clever way to get my perfume-averse DH to try some GG from my vintage mini.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    Excellent, informative post, sir! I like Givenchy Gentlemen very much, but not on me, too masculine. You've reminded me that I have to figure out a clever way to get my perfume-averse DH to try some GG from my vintage mini.
    Thank you! All I can think of for your husband is to decant the mini into an unmarked spray vial, and don't prime the sprayer so he can't smell it until he applies it. I hope he likes patchouli!
    Currently wearing: Interlude Man by Amouage

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    Thank you for sharing your first-hand in depth comparison of the different versions. Very helpful.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    Great post, Pauer_Haus. The non-wraparound, three ingredients version sounds interesting, as well as the version with oakmoss listed. Without the box, it would be tricky to know which version is for sale.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    Thank you so much for this, PH.

    I own an early vintage bottle with about 10ml left, and a smaller bottle that's about 2/3 full as backup. Although I try not to stress about vintage supply...it happens, and I rarely give the Gent a nice full wear for that reason. So knowing there's a mid-vintage option that should be adequate to give the GG "fix" is great.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  7. #7
    Basenotes Junkie moharram's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comparing two different vintages of Givenchy Gentleman

    Thank you for your post, greatly appreciated, I agree with you that givenchy gentleman in its vintage form is un surpassed gem in the world of perfumery, after having and smelling hundreds of frags, this gem is still the best to me.
    Currently wearing: Good Life by Davidoff

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