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  1. #1
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    Default Givenchy III Discussion

    I propose a discussion on Givenchy III, which in my head is "Givenchy Trois."

    What are your thoughts on this fragrance?

    What smells similar to you?

    Pictures of your Givenchy III bottles are welcomed.

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    From his 2008 thread, here's JamieB on sampling different bottles of Givenchy III:

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    I promised a review and comparison when I got hold of an earlier version of Givenchy III, and here it is. I found a bottle in EdT in the earlier packaging, with the box like the one on the Basenotes Directory page picture, albeit a different bottle.

    For reference, here are the pyramids for both versions:

    (1970)
    Top note: Aldehyde Complex, Bergamot oil, Galbanum, Gardenia, Peach
    Middle note: Carnation, Jasmin, Jonquil, Lily of the Valley, Orris, Rose
    Base note: Amber, Castoreum, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver

    (2007)
    Top Note: Galbanum, Hyacinth
    Middle Note: Rose, Jasmine
    Base Note: Oakmoss, Patchouli


    I'm not sure if the one I got yesterday is the original 1970 version, but it's definitely pre-2007. I can safely say that this version is more complex than the new one, if not as "clean" or "brisk." It is very obvious to the nose that the top note is more complex right from the moment of application; the gardenia and peach notes support the other opening factors quite clearly. The drydown is also more evidently elaborate, where the myrrh and animalic notes especially stand out and strengthen the last chord. The middle still seems to have a hyacinth note (though unlisted in the pyramid I found), but it is considerably denser with the carnation and additional white florals, particularly the green-tinged lily-of-the-valley. The orris also adds an earthiness that is no longer there in the 2007 version. Nothing I say here is meant to dis that newer scent; it is beautiful and well-made in its own right — brighter, cleaner, brisker, altogether more suited to the "modern" taste. But the older scent is a green chypre in the classic mold, comparable to Chanel No. 19 and others in that style.

    The strange thing is that the new version is "faithful" to the old in every important respect, as far a reasonably well-trained nose attuned to "modern" tastes can easily detect. The skeletal structure is intact, and while it is not as rich, animalic, or dense as the original, there is a real sense in which it is recognizably the "same fragrance" with what a "modern" nose would consider incidental or inessential notes stripped away. The starker, cleaner-limbed version is what the current taste would call a green chypre in the Givenchy style.

    Nevertheless, it is a treat to know the original in all its fleshed-out splendor, with all the bells and whistles that used to be considered indispensable to a refined fragrance before newer fashions and EU restrictions put perfumes on a (dare I say "forced?") diet.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    I wore it back in the late 70s as a teenager, not tried the newer version but heard it is very different.

    It was a classic chypre(this was before I knew I loved chypres), I actually cannot think of anything it is similar to perhaps Jolie Madam but it has violets and leather.
    DONNA

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion


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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    I wore it back in the late 70s as a teenager, not tried the newer version but heard it is very different.

    It was a classic chypre(this was before I knew I loved chypres), I actually cannot think of anything it is similar to perhaps Jolie Madam but it has violets and leather.
    Ah, memories from the 70s! This was a 1970 release.

    Something slightly similar from my collection - related in spirit, somehow, let's say, to my nose, is Ivoire de Balmain. There's a similar uncompromising character.

    I haven't tried Jolie Madam de Balmain yet, or if I have I can't remember. Givenchy and Balmain are two houses that tug at my heart strings.

    0F96303B-9C01-46D1-8B72-A15DE5F459FD.jpg

    Notes from the directory for Givenchy III (1970) - a classic chypre, according to Donna:

    Bergamot, Mandarin, Peach, Gardenia, Galbanum, Hyacinth
    Jasmine, Rose, Lily of the valley, Orris
    Oakmoss, Patchouli, Amber, Sandalwood

    Notes from the directory for Ivoire de Balmain (1980) - a witchy chypre, according to Grayspoole:

    Green notes, Galbanum, Bergamot, Lemon, Aldehydes
    Lily of the valley, Rose, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Carnation, Orris, Orchid
    Cedar, Musk, Oakmoss, Amber, Raspberry, Sandal

    Ten notes in common. Fun!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    I like green chypres so I like Givenchy III a lot. As noted, what I smelled a few years ago is leaner and cleaner than the old one, but still acceptable. My impression is that green chypres survived the demise of oakmoss better than other chypres. who knows, perhaps the galbanum provides enough backbone so as not to make the whole thing fall apart in the drydown.

    To my nose, it's related to other green chypres, like Cristalle, which is crisper and colder, old Y, which is also soapier and cleaner, and Private collection, which is more floral and less animalic.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Bavard, I never thought about the G3 relationship to Ivoire before, and Ivoire is one of my favorites, so now I'll have to compare them.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    My impression is that green chypres survived the demise of oakmoss better than other chypres. who knows, perhaps the galbanum provides enough backbone so as not to make the whole thing fall apart in the drydown.
    Interesting point, Cacio. I adore G3 in vintage, but have never tried the modern one, and your comment plus Jamie's notes make me think I ought to.

    I almost always prefer an EDT or PDT over parfum in vintage scents, but G3 is that rare case where I think the parfum is superior. (And fortunately is still relatively affordable.)

    These old crisp, aloof green chypres (YSL "Y", Ivoire, Diorama, the green Lauders, No. 19) are my favorite vintage category and the most heavily backed-up in my collection. Modern perfumers who try to replicate them seem to get them either too wispy and transparent (JC Ellena) or too heavy and solemn in the base (Papillon, Vero Profumo).

    Not my photo, but this is the parfum bottle I have:



    That same bottle can be found with a shiny gold label on the front rather than white. If anyone knows the age difference between those two labels, I'd like to hear about it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    I wore Ivoire in the late 80s and to me it was a galbanum bomb. I don't remember finding it reminiscent of GIII. I found that Givenchy III smelled very complex and dense - probably the oakmoss and patchouli - but on me it was incredibly smoky for some reason. I did not like it because I prefer simpler and cleaner scents, but I was living on a ship at the time - 1980, 1981 - and got a lot of compliments on the mess deck when I wore it. The only thing I can think of that reminds me of it, oddly, is Coromandal.
    How do you know what a French whorehouse smells like?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    I own this one and consider it a classic example of a green chypre. I find it somewhat similar to Chanel No. 19.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Bavard, I never thought about the G3 relationship to Ivoire before, and Ivoire is one of my favorites, so now I'll have to compare them.



    Interesting point, Cacio. I adore G3 in vintage, but have never tried the modern one, and your comment plus Jamie's notes make me think I ought to.

    I almost always prefer an EDT or PDT over parfum in vintage scents, but G3 is that rare case where I think the parfum is superior. (And fortunately is still relatively affordable.)

    These old crisp, aloof green chypres (YSL "Y", Ivoire, Diorama, the green Lauders, No. 19) are my favorite vintage category and the most heavily backed-up in my collection. Modern perfumers who try to replicate them seem to get them either too wispy and transparent (JC Ellena) or too heavy and solemn in the base (Papillon, Vero Profumo).

    Not my photo, but this is the parfum bottle I have:



    That same bottle can be found with a shiny gold label on the front rather than white. If anyone knows the age difference between those two labels, I'd like to hear about it.
    This is also the bottle that I have. What a darkly green beauty! Glll seems very serious about its chypre-ness. I find it somewhat starkly elegant and somber.

    I would love to know how it stacks up against Coty's original Chypre.
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    I don't detect galbanum or green-ness in Chypre. Chypre is really chypre 1.0, just the basic accord, unadulterated

  12. #12

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    Glll seems very serious about its chypre-ness. I find it somewhat starkly elegant and somber.

    I would love to know how it stacks up against Coty's original Chypre.
    This is also how I experience it. Though it's certainly a green cyphre, the greenness is almost beside the point to me, fading relatively quickly. I wonder if this partly due to topnote fade, given my bottle’s age and condition? It gets straight to the mossy point, capital C Cyphre. Bracing, chewy, a little yeasty, elegant, skin-like after awhile.

    I too wonder how to close the original reference it comes, particularly in their bases. It does share a lot with my Mitsouko EDC, to my nose. Mitsy is of course warmer and fruitier up top, but the bases converge quite a bit, I think.

    My little EDT bottle, in tough shape but smelling lovely, topnote fading or not:

    IMG_0001.jpg
    "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."
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    This will be my next vintage feminine. Chanel no 10 edc is in the mail to me along with Cabochard edt right now.
    Currently wearing: Ciel Man by Amouage

  14. #14

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Remembering this as a classic chypre in its vintage version, rich in subtleties, facets and depths would easily consider unisex and a benchmark for quality traditional nowadays likelier to find within the niche and/or (as mentioned before) vintage fragrance segment

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    This is one I have yet to try, but affordable listings seem to be drying up and it is discontinued again to my knowledge (Givenchy has raped it's legacy catalog since LVMH ownership), so while I'd love to try it, I won't spend a car payment on a bottle either.
    oh look, I have a signature

  16. #16

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    This is one I have yet to try, but affordable listings seem to be drying up and it is discontinued again to my knowledge (Givenchy has raped it's legacy catalog since LVMH ownership), so while I'd love to try it, I won't spend a car payment on a bottle either.
    Good luck! There should still be some deals. I found my beat up 1ozer for ~$15-20 not all that long ago, as I recall. I'm a big fan of "distressed" small bottles that nobody else seems to want.

    I'd be curious to know how much outside appearance correlates to the juice. Per my post above, there may be topnote loss, but I have nothing to compare with, and it smells damn fine to me.
    "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: Deep Forest by Bogner

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilpha View Post
    I wore Ivoire in the late 80s and to me it was a galbanum bomb. I don't remember finding it reminiscent of GIII. I found that Givenchy III smelled very complex and dense - probably the oakmoss and patchouli - but on me it was incredibly smoky for some reason. I did not like it because I prefer simpler and cleaner scents, but I was living on a ship at the time - 1980, 1981 - and got a lot of compliments on the mess deck when I wore it. The only thing I can think of that reminds me of it, oddly, is Coromandel.
    I thought about the comparison Coromandel. Interesting. Givenchy III has a more vintage smell, of course. Coromandel has some more modern sweetness. They both have woods, patchouli, and some sweetness. Coromandel is quite a bit sweeter, but still has an interesting, complex balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by cologne connoisseur View Post
    I own this one and consider it a classic example of a green chypre. I find it somewhat similar to Chanel No. 19.
    The old Givenchy III edt is greener than the parfum. The parfum, to my nose, is similar to vintage Miss Dior parfum.

    I like the two versions of vintage Givenchy III I've tried, edt and parfum. They're fairly different - close enough to keep the same name - but it smells like there was a re-working to get from one concentration to the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    What a darkly green beauty! Glll seems very serious about its chypre-ness. I find it somewhat starkly elegant and somber.
    It's an interesting, complex fragrances with quietly confident gravitas - it's convincing over the course of a wearing.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    This is the bottle I have, which looks similar to Bavard's except for the top:



    I'm not incredibly familiar with the older style of chypres, and cannot really say whether there are any fragrances similar to it. Looking at Fragrantica, people are comparing it to YSL Y and Jean-Louis Scherrer, both fragrances I have never tried. I wouldn't compare it to No.19, which is much harsher and austere.

    The scent itself is... strange. It starts off with a blast of bitter galbanum and sour citrus juice, and then segues quickly into slightly lactic florals and tart citrus peel. Funny thing is that I perceive a combination of the notes to smell slightly... 'meaty'. It calms down soon afterwards, and sweetens into a lovely accord that is sweet yet a little bitter, in the same way that dark chocolate is. The iris lends it a slightly feminine, powdery twist, but I wouldn't call the scent feminine, at least from my more contemporary point of view.

    I think the colour of the juice aptly translates into the overall feel of the fragrance, and I would say that to me, it seems like the perfect sort of thing to wear on the cusp of spring to summer, where the blooms of spring have subsided, but the high temperatures of summer haven't arrived yet.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    The bottles I own are the splash from LiveJazz.

    I am wearing Y by Yves Saint Laurent edp version and it makes me think of Givenchy III.

    Oh, I mean the 1964 feminine one not the new male of the same name.
    DONNA

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Glad to see a thread on this one, it is sort of a measuring stick 70's chypre for me and one of the few things I keep on hand more for reference than wearing regularly. I think it is a great example of a genre and to boot, it has long been widely available for very low prices and comes in smaller quantities (15ml, 7.5ml, 4ml, and 2ml for the parfum) which I'm partial to, especially for a reference piece. I don't know the EdT that well, but I imagine it is probably a bit greener than the Parfum. None of the three bottle I've picked up have much in the way of fresh or citrus top notes, but the base is wonderful. They're all pretty old I believe, late 70's to early 80's, and in my experience there's a decent chance the top is well attenuated or gone, especially in parfum/extrait. I think there is an EdP too, which I have not tried.

    I'll have to do a comparison wearing with Ivoire, they're always fun.

    Speaking of vintage 3's, I recently picked up a vintage mini (7ml, I think) of Gucci No.3 parfum for peanuts - it's a wonderful mossy chypre and for my tastes at least, passes much more easily as a masculine than Givenchy III, although I don't find the Givenchy resolutely femme either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    This is one I have yet to try, but affordable listings seem to be drying up and it is discontinued again to my knowledge (Givenchy has raped it's legacy catalog since LVMH ownership), so while I'd love to try it, I won't spend a car payment on a bottle either.
    I haven't found that to be true at all. Since I became interested in it, maybe 8 years ago, it has been all over eBay for quite affordable prices in many formats - vintage EdT is usually available in 30ml for around $25-$45 (sometimes 60ml or 100ml for that price) and 4ml parfum/extrait hover around $10-$20, and I've seen the 15ml parfum occasionally go for that too. I think I paid $9 shipped for the most recent 7ml parfum after an offer was accepted, in May of 2019.

    Current eBay listings more or less reflect all that and to the best of my knowledge, this has been status quo for the better part of a decade. If you just want to give it a whirl without too much financial commitment, vtg. parfum comes in 2ml format which is perfect for that sort of thing. They can usually be found for $10-$15 if you keep your eyes peeled. There is one here for ~$12 shipped. I have a feeling you'd probably like it, or at least appreciate it's place in the genre. They used to be plentiful on Amazon too (in vtg. & Les Mythiques form) but I haven't checked in a while.

    Of course, if you're limiting yourself to only pristine BNIB specimens of large bottles, your choices are much more likely to be confined to the upper end of asking prices. But for a first try blind-buy, I'd recommend going small.

    I do think you are correct about the Les Mythiques version being disco'd, which I think they only produced in EdT, but this too I'm seeing for reasonable prices ($50/100ml BNIB).

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    This is also the bottle that I have. What a darkly green beauty! Glll seems very serious about its chypre-ness. I find it somewhat starkly elegant and somber.
    That is a good concise way to sum it up, Starblind. Definitely a serious perfume, which I think is how I generally feel about this type of chypre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    You always manage to find beautifully maintained bottles. Great photo.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Not my photo, but this is the parfum bottle I have:



    That same bottle can be found with a shiny gold label on the front rather than white. If anyone knows the age difference between those two labels, I'd like to hear about it.
    I think what we have here is simply an optical illusion. I've had strange results myself trying to photograph GIII parfum because of the reflective nature of the label.


    I'll just add that every time I wear the parfum, I'm hard-pressed to think of a drydown that I enjoy more. It's like the perfect human smell.
    Currently wearing: Jules by Christian Dior

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by roro View Post
    I think what we have here is simply an optical illusion. I've had strange results myself trying to photograph GIII parfum because of the reflective nature of the label.
    Oh, so you think all the labels are shiny gold? If so, I've missed out on a couple of bargains!

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Oh, so you think all the labels are shiny gold? If so, I've missed out on a couple of bargains!
    I do. I think we're just seeing the background reflected in the foil here. Kind of like that blue dress / gold dress thing. . . or, maybe not. But that's what I was reminded of.
    Currently wearing: Jules by Christian Dior

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Here's my bottle of pure parfum: shiny gold label.

    (And don't you love how the bottle has "cleats" that connect it to the base with a quarter twist. So spiffy.)

    /Acey
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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Oh, so you think all the labels are shiny gold? If so, I've missed out on a couple of bargains!
    Well, I think there may be some whitish, non-reflective labels out there after all. I still think the *parfum* labels were always gold, but I've found some pics of EDT bottles where the label looks to be paper-based. Hmm.
    Currently wearing: Jules by Christian Dior

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    Default Re: Givenchy III Discussion

    An older parfum

    696ADDA2-EB92-45FC-97C1-2D2AF251FBE4.jpg

    I get an association with Miss Dior parfum in the initial blast, then, as advertised, it is similar to Dior-Dior. I think it continues and does a third act, which is hauntingly familiar, but which I can't place. This so-called third act is more masculine, or maybe unisex, than the first two.




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