Perfume Directory

L'Interdit (original) (1957)
by Givenchy


L'Interdit (original) information

Year of Launch1957
Average Rating
(based on 70 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerFrancis Fabron
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About L'Interdit (original)

L'Interdit (original) is a feminine perfume by Givenchy. The scent was launched in 1957 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Francis Fabron

L'Interdit (original) fragrance notes

Reviews of L'Interdit (original)

L'Interdit's opening gives a short blast of fresh light-greenish floral aldehydes, and then moves quickly into fruitier territory. I wouldn't peg the notes as peach and strawberry, but sure, why not. This melds with a soft, diffuse kind of floral accord with a semi-makeupish orris powdery feel. Here, it briefly reminds me of the doughy/rooty/bready/confectiony floral accord that runs through L'Heure Bleue, but brighter. It stays in this zone to fade out, gradually focusing more on the vanilla/musk/benzoin side of things. Quiet overall, mostly a skin scent. Pleasant, but to me, not very interesting or satisfying.
13th July, 2020
In 1953 Audrey Hepburn asked her close friend and couturier Hubert de Givenchy to help her commission a scent for her exclusive personal use. He was by this time au fait with the world of perfumery and he passed the job over to the author of L'Air du Temps. The perfume was duly composed for Hepburn and when it was done L'Interdit, the Forbidden One was hers and hers alone. However, four years later Givenchy wanted to launch his own perfume collection and when his first juice Le De was ready he put L'Interdit on the market at same time. As he explained, 'with two horses in the stable there is more chance of coming in first'. Like many other couturiers his dresses were not selling anymore.

The original formula is an aldehydic floral bouquet, with a flourish of juniper and herbal notes in the head, fruity and spicy notes folded into the floral heart, and a biscuit undercurrent which later comes through supported by an oily-feeling vetiver sandal and amber base.

Its a simple construction that settles into a light, uplifting creamy yellow floral decorated with subtle ornamental flourishes. Although L'Interdit is an aldehydic in the hard and smooth eggshell manner of Blue Grass (1934) or Je Reviens (1932), it has a softer and more sympathetic floral theme than those other two. Where their lesser ornamentation and more straightforward articulation gives them a more functional and domestic feel - with metal polish notes for example, L'Interdit's sweet florals express more of a feminine feel than the 1930's iterations.

L'Interdit also has a certain amount in common with that comparatively ebullient floral aldehydic at the other end of the spectrum - Chanel No.5. With more clearly expressed ornamental themes and much more discrete florals the Givenchy is far less abstract, and outgoing, than the 1921 Chanel classic. When these two are put head to head its possible to see just how quiet L'Interdit is, just like Hepburn herself was in real life.

Somewhere between these two floral aldehydic tropes of homely domesticity and modernist abstraction, L'Interdit feels like an uncertain negotiation between private and public spheres, a bit like the sitation an introvert film star might find herself in when she walks onto the set.

16th February, 2017
A timeless represents confidence and sophisication.the aldehydes are crisp,the sandalwood smooth,the floral elegant and the dry down are excellent.the scent absolutely breathtaking reminds me of a delectable glass of champagne subtle but the compliments your own natural skin beautifully and it a natural way.the smell is clean and reminds me of baths and talcum powder.Classic,Chic,Ladylike,Powdery Subtle,Exciting and Passionate.

It's a beautifully aldehyde beginning with a brightness that can be attributed to citrus.the middle notes bring in a skin powdery that's so dries down to the most exquisite,comforting muskiness scent that makes a woman who has stamina,grace,power and self assured under the veil of a delicate,young,clean body as if enhancing your presence and making you beautiful and confident at the same time's a natural woman smell,it's who a man imagines a woman to smell.warm enough to be comforting in winter but light enough to be wearable in summer.


Longevity?Acceptable on my skin.

05th May, 2016
Spending an evening sniffing a vintage vial of L'Interdit dating from the early to mid-eighties, I caught myself thinking, "This is so good it's stupid."
Not the best verbiage for a review, but honest.
In this I smell the traceable root of the sandalwood/plum of Nicole Miller and the strawberry floral of Perry Woman, each another decade after this sample was made.
L'Interdit is (in this incarnation) to smell what suede is to touch, and it balances richness with restraint most beautifully. There is a burst of luscious aldehydes and berries at the fore , the former departing shortly after application, the latter remaining for most of its duration. There is a lactonic peach melding with the famously banana-like ylang ylang and a superb impression of lily-of-the-valley. And then the real stars emerge - the rose and sandalwood, a hazy, soft, out-of-focus duo so beautifully interwoven one wonders why they weren't made apparent from the start.
I had this sample lying around for years, and I had even tried it but never thought of it afterward. I am so impressed by this composition I have to give the reformulation another visit (I was rather harsh). I enjoyed wearing this so much I immediately bought a mini online for further 'study.'

This is a soft, suave, simple fragrance that isn't likely to floor many people but if you want a close fragrance that sings constant praise in an alto voice of supreme quality I would sooner recommend few others.

31st May, 2014
Lovely floral aldehyde. Warmer, softer, and sweeter than the "big" aldehyde (Chanel no5), it's also more durable. Best in early spring and early fall, it's a soft and delightful fragrance with a distinct fruit note (orange/peach/strawberry).
01st November, 2013
This is so subtle, it's practically a non-scent. Despite splashing more and more liberal amounts, I smell nothing. This from a vintage sample, so perhaps it did not retain its strength over time.
Despite 18 ingredients involving fruits, florals and woods/musk, according to Nigel Groom in his perfume anthology, nothing evolves.

Perhaps this simply interacted well with dear Audrey's skin and personal oils. Sad it does not with me. She is my favorite star and I did so want to have an idea as to what it was like to have her waft by.
28th July, 2011

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