Perfume Directory

Van Gils (1988)
by Van Gils


Van Gils information

Year of Launch1988
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 47 votes)

People and companies

HouseVan Gils
PerfumerPierre Wargnye
Parent CompanyIWP International

About Van Gils

Van Gils is a masculine fragrance by Van Gils. The scent was launched in 1988 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Pierre Wargnye

Van Gils fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Van Gils

Stardate 20190128:

Old school masculine. Sits somewhere between Coriolon and GFF in style.
It has Lavender too (not listed in pyramid).
The top is powerhouse aromatic-fougerish but it settles fast and goes through a Coriolan phase drying down to GFF base.
28th January, 2019
It took me a while to appreciate Van Gils (classic).

Upon first sniff, Van Gils hit me with a strong blast of patchouli and incense. I haven't seen anyone else say it smells like incense, so that may be the way I interpreted the amber, wood, and musk notes.

Either way, it struck me as too strong, dark, and old-fashioned to wear in trendy West LA, where the weather is usually warm.

My most-worn frags here are Guerlain Vetiver and Terre d'Hermes, which feel just right to put on before going out into a sunny morning.

I nearly gave this away, but it was so unique compared to everything else I owned that I decided to hold onto it until Winter and give it another test.
Sure enough...I'm actually enjoying wearing it this evening.

It's a dark, mature, complex fragrance some might even find sexy.
It seems more suitable for an older man than a younger one -- I can't imagine ever wearing a fragrance like this to go clubbing.

My guess is that some people will love or like this, but most won't.
If you're looking for something safe to wear to the office, this probably ain't it. But at least you won't smell like everyone else if you wear it.
In fact, you'll probably smell unique -- unless you live in Holland, maybe.

It's strong: one or two sprays should be plenty.

My bottle was a gift from a friend who picked it up on a trip to Europe some years ago. It's an all-black design except for the words "Van Gils".

On the bottom it says "Copyright 1985 After Shave Natural Spray 75%". That may mean it has more perfume oil than an EDT does...or maybe it is only "after shave" strength...not sure really. It turns out the black plastic cover comes off the bottom of the bottle -- the liquid is amber-colored.


It's very good at being what it is. I can imagine myself wearing Van Gils on rare occasions in cool-to-cold weather, but not more than that.
27th December, 2018
Van Gils is authoritative epitome of the old-school powerhouse philosophy and definitely one of the classiest pieces of the whole glorious ancestry. This is an amazing deep-dark creation indeed, an impenetrable (especially along top and the core) dark luxurious powerhouse (all at once wild and fine, "camphoraceous/coniferous and fine leatherwears conjuring with hints of talkiness"), something ideally connecting (since owning in its formula a bunch of the characteristics of each single following example) scents as Chanel Antaeus, Cartier Santos, V&A Pour Homme, Fendi Uomo, Oscar Pour Lui, Quorum, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, the classic vintage Trussardi Uomo, Dior Jules, Aramis 900 and Devin, GianMarcoVenturi and Ysl Kouros. I detect a central honeyed/powdery/aldehydic/barber-shop/kind of waxy structure "from the forest" (with hints of ambery/honeyed animalic patterns) a la Paco Rabanne Pour Homme or Arrogance classic Pour Homme (lavender, bergamot, powdery tonka, rose/geranium, oakmoss, animalic musk, ambergris, honey, sage, artemisia and further). While the opening is properly loud (I mean, super aromatic, dark, citric/herbal, aldehydic/hesperidic, resinous-camphoraceous-coniferous, spicy and angular) and the core spicy, the juice starts finally to morph down towards something softer, smoother, talkier and more subtle (a sort of delicate talcum powder with soft suedish nuances). Cardamom provides an airier fluidy twist while cloves enhance the general poudre vibe of the final stages. The floral presence is somewhat sharp and minimal while amber and tonka provide a final powderish-soapy smooth delicate "pillow" a la Boucheron Pour Homme Edp enriched by a sort of more substantial "nuttiness" (and piquant earthiness) which I've stumbled upon while enjoying the Ungaro III's dry down (a mix of amber, sandalwood, balsams, musks, suede, dusty edible spices and God knows what else). In this final stage Van Gils is pure subtle gentlemanly refinement, an hardly reachable example of discreet taste and luxuriousness. Another example of great timeless (nowadays almost extinguished) perfumery with a sheer "fragrant" naturalness in perception.
07th January, 2017
Hard to find ultra masculine powerhouse. Very spicy, heady smelling. Stands out, strong but not synthetic smelling at all. Hats of to the perfumer.
12th January, 2015
Starts with a strong aromatic accord where clove/carnation is the main note, dark but not sharp, similar to Gianfranco Ferre for man drydown or even the new reformulate Kouros. Really good! What amazes me is that, suddenly, It turns. Some bright notes appear and the fragrance becomes clean and powdery, in the vein of Boucheron pour homme (without the citrusy character): an exquisite clean aromatic talcum powder smell. I had never seen such a drastic change. Normally It starts citrusy/bright and then is dominated by powerful/darker notes.
It's pleasant, perhaps a bit dated, but never cloying. As time goes by, some slightly sweet notes join the powder and It remains like that until It vanishes. Great longevity on my skin, nice projection. Definetely a keeper!
Unfortunately, hard to find these days.
19th December, 2014
Great retro powerhouse. Powerful and long lasting. In same family as Antaeus and Salvador Dali Pour Homme. A really good frag.
26th July, 2012

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