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  1. #31

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Still happen to like, even if not necessarily worship this as one of the better contemporary barbershop scent choices
    Currently wearing: Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

  2. #32
    Hobbes's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Rive Gauche used to be a Basenotes favorite back in like 2008 - I’ve purchased and sold it (tin can version) no less than three different times, hoping to catch that spark. It never clicked with me

  3. #33

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Now send me your bottle as my tin can is running low.
    Currently wearing: Spice and Wood by Creed

  4. #34
    Dependent deltasun's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I think a big part of it too is WHEN you discovered the scent. It's like movies, something you watched and loved in the 80s will have that special nostalgic feeling for you today upon rewatching. Sharing that movie with someone younger and who did not have that same experience of watching it AT THE TIME, will not give them the same nostalgic feel, etc. It may be seen and appreciated as a good movie, but will not have the same impact.

    I see the same thing with vintage perfumes. Of course, you will run into some that will blow you away. But some others will not, partly due to not having that nostalgic or contextual experience to draw from.

    As some have said, when it was widely available, I don't think it was ever hailed as a holy grail. The scarcity and continuing talk amongst enthusiasts have definitely played a role in making it more "holy" than it really is or was.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with you. Just not your thing and that's all good.
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  5. #35

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltasun View Post
    I think a big part of it too is WHEN you discovered the scent. It's like movies, something you watched and loved in the 80s will have that special nostalgic feeling for you today upon rewatching. Sharing that movie with someone younger and who did not have that same experience of watching it AT THE TIME, will not give them the same nostalgic feel, etc. It may be seen and appreciated as a good movie, but will not have the same impact.

    I see the same thing with vintage perfumes. Of course, you will run into some that will blow you away. But some others will not, partly due to not having that nostalgic or contextual experience to draw from.

    :
    Great observation!

  6. #36

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Nothing at all wrong with you. RGPH, I do own however it is a fragrance that for me has its own cult following. Definitely not a safe blind buy. However what it is supposed to be as a fragrance it is actually very good at its job and old school barbershop fragrance. I rarely wear it but I'm glad to have in in my collection.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdp191 View Post
    No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Now send me your bottle as my tin can is running low.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Not at all.

    The difference between 'yes this is very good' to 'oh wow this is fantastic' is often just a few degrees at most. Included in these degrees of difference would be things like personal taste, history, their own current fragrance collection or lack of, and all the rest of it.

    If you tried every fragrance that is praised in glowing terms by any group of people - so, any fragrance where basenotes or elsewhere comes to some sort of consensus - you'll eventually find something that underwhelms you. In fact, you'll probably stumble on to something like that quite quickly. This reveals how, in spite of the consensus, there will be many fragrances you love from outside it that are brilliant, and some fragrances within it that you don't find brilliant.

    As for RG, I 'get' the hype/praise. It's aromatic, green, and masculine but manages to avoid all the worst qualities green aromatic fragrances from earlier in the 20th Century suffered with: cheap, sharp, harsh openings, bitter and sickly pine greenery, overbearing leather or oakmoss in the base. RG stays light and fresh for a good 4-5 hours or so and has a fresh, sharp, metallic edge to it which is a bit like a freshly ironed and starched shirt. It's work safe, masculine, and solid. After several hours, you get a different scent - that of creamy woods and slightly dank patchouli. Not dank enough to be unpleasant by any means, but enough to give you a true base which lends itself to afternoons and evenings. For what it's worth, I find the drydown slightly difficult and it became slightly overbearing on me - I blame the guaiac wood.

    In a wash of light blue watery aquatics, and sexy sweet scents, it stands out as something fairly different. It also feels timeless which is an undeniably excellent quality for a scent to have. People say it smells like shaving foam but I don't really get that at all, there are plenty of other scents that remind me more of shaving cream, like Bois du Portgual - not that it's a bad thing.

    There's no harm in not liking it nor 'seeing' why people hype it up in the way that it is hyped. No problem at all.
    “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
    Currently wearing: Beau de Jour by Tom Ford

  9. #39
    The Scented Devil
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    I find Or Black by Pascal Morabito and Sartorial by Penhaligon's to be vastly superior. No sweeteness, and a bit bolder and better done, imo.

    The only reason that might explain the hype for RG is that it's hard to admit that a frag is just 'meh' after having spent $200-400 on a single pop.... and there's also the 'bro' effect (uhhhh.... sorry.... the fragcomm I meant.... LOL).

    And let's not forget one thing: discontinuation brings under the spotlight fragrances that no one cared for earlier. A quick forum research will demonstrate exactly what you feel: RG doesn't make the consensus AT ALL, in spite of what the overhypers want people to think (they are the loudest fraction of forums). HERE is a link to a thread from 2004, but I could give you another 100 threads on RG that have the same amount of mixed reviews. Only when discontinued, the magic of forums happened, and suddenly it supposedly became the holy grail for everybody lol
    I feel the same about Or Black. I'd wear Sartorial more but it's so spendy now, I end up reaching for Chanel Platinum Égoïste or Luna Rossa Carbon which scratch the itch similarly.

    You also hit the nail on the head about cognitive dissonance that happens when hype leads to an expensive blind-buy, and the peer pressure vis à vis "bro culture" in the online fragrance community.

    If all the cool high post-count guys on forums, heavily-followed Instagrammers, or 100k+ subscribed YouTubers say a $400 discontinued "unicorn" is a masterpiece (which indirectly suggests you'll get some clout by sporting it), then a lot of sad sacks searching for that sweet validation dopamine will fight themselves if they initially dislike a fragrance until they're convinced the problem is with them and not the scent itself.

    People do some weird mental gymnastics for affirmation from strangers online, not just in the fragrance community, but everywhere. I like mine enough to keep them, but with the insanity happening in price, you bet your @$$ I'd sell them if I hit a financial stumbling block and needed a "stimulus" boost haha.

    I guess insult to injury would be Tom Ford Fougère d'Argent, which was basically Rive Gauche 2.0 at a price per ml the original now commands, so the idea of scents like these needing to be expensive was sown in the niche world long before this one shot up in price itself. Dad's aftershave from yesterday is grandson's luxury "swag frag" tomorrow. Sad.
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  10. #40

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I think it’s a solid $100 fragrance, probably my favorite take on a barbershop fragrance, and my very attractive dentist loves it, but it’s no unicorn worth tons of money.

    Also- The Barbershop/fougere genre is wide and varied and there’s lots of different takes. If you read through some of the old fougere/barbershop threads from a decade+ ago you’ll find that people all over the world have different ideas on the genre and preferences, as their barbers used different products. To some, barbershop is the smell of bay rum, others it’s clubman, or barbersol, powder/the smell of talcum powder, Brute, etc etc. They’re great reads and there’s lots of differing opinions on what’s the best/most accurate/favorite barbershop or fougere.

    It’s no big deal if you don’t like it, we all have different tastes. That goes for unicorns and grails as well.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by H_West View Post
    Nothing wrong with you, all tastes are different. I think it's great but it's no holy grail for me. Maybe the availability has something to do with it.

    Maybe something is wrong with me as I don't see a big difference in the tin can and square bottle...
    Also my thoughts. In the end I couldn’t justify keeping my bottle when it’s price had increased so dramatically
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  12. #42
    Dependent MisterGrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    It's good, but over the years I've smelled better scents and it's not worth the current price.

    Commercially, I'd say it was ahead of it's time.

    Had it been a current release smack-dab in the middle of the golden era of artisan wet shave products, it'd sell out as a fast as any big name artisan seasonal.

  13. #43

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opiate View Post
    I think it’s a solid $100 fragrance, probably my favorite take on a barbershop fragrance, and my very attractive dentist loves it, but it’s no unicorn worth tons of money.
    These are my thoughts as well. It's my benchmark barbershop fougere, but when I started out in the hobby, it was a "cheapie" at around $40 for a big can. So I can never really shake that association. I don't think I would pay more than $80 if I had the chance now. I do think it's a great fragrance, but certainly not worth anywhere near the prices it goes for now.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    There’s something VERY wrong with you! lol
    Interesting to read some opinions about it in here. I find it VERY good and don’t think the perfumes cited in here are better substitutes to it at all. Not even Sartorial. I’m yet to try Fougere D’Argent and Beau du Jour though, but I can bet I won’t find them better substitutes either.
    Rive Gauche is my favorite barbershop-smelling fragrance. It has a soap/shaving cream quality that is excellent to me and maybe it’s what makes most people who like barbershop fragrances but don’t like it not like it. People here are a bit averse to the soap smells or anything that remind them of shampoo or anything like this.
    It was indeed a fragrance released out of its time, and different from M7 that was ahead of its time, Rive Gauche seems to belong to the past.
    I don’t understand.It is so vast that surpasses all understanding.Understanding is always limited.But not understanding can have no boundaries.I feel like I'm much more complete when I don't understand.Not understanding,like I say,is a gift.Not understanding,but not as a simple-minded.The good thing is to be intelligent and not understand.It's a strange blessing, like having craziness without being crazy.It is a meek disinterest,it is a stupid sweetness.

  15. #45
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    5/5 masterpiece, my most-worn.

    That doesn't mean everyone will or has to like it. We like what we like.

  16. #46
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    5/5 masterpiece, my most-worn.

    That doesn't mean everyone will or has to like it. We like what we like.
    Same here, honestly if I didn't have any back ups (for cheap too) I'd be super bummed having to find an alternative.

  17. #47

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Different strokes for different folks. RG is one of my faves, wheras you laud Paco Rabanne. I purposed my Paco Rabanne as a bathroom spray.

  18. #48

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    You're a monster that doesn't deserve to have a nose, Hugh V!!!!

    I rather enjoy it but I had another tin that seemed a bit unbalanced, the patchouli being more dominant, and it reminded me of the smell of cannabis a bit. As did Ice*Men.

  19. #49
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Great replies, thanks everybody. The people who aren't quite as impressed with Rive Gauche PH have articulated why it doesn't quite click for me. Maybe it's that "cold clove" that gives it that sweet, creaminess that I can't get past.

    I definitely don't believe in unicorns anymore. There's too many good fragrances out there still in production to enjoy. I have about four different classic vintage fragrances that I bought over the last few years, never having smelled their original formulation before. They're definitely better than the reforms but not so different that they're worth $$$.

    And I agree that how you first encounter a fragrance, and its presentation plays a big part. Next time I go to the barbers I'm going to wear Rive Gauche and see if I can create some sent associations with it.

    And now I want to try the women's version of Rive Gauche. For a $1 was quite the find.
    Last edited by Hugh V.; 8th April 2021 at 11:31 AM.

  20. #50
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post

    And now I want to try the women's version of Rive Gauche. For a $1 was quite the find.
    A person who doesn’t believe unicorns has no future!

    The female Rive Gauche has strong aldehydes and is flowery/powdery. Despite not being similar, it can be compared to Chanel No5 IMO.
    Bought it as a mistake believing it was a limited edition version of the male one. I was lucky that to me it was a nice surprise.
    If you’re not into female fragrances, it’s a no-no for you.
    I don’t understand.It is so vast that surpasses all understanding.Understanding is always limited.But not understanding can have no boundaries.I feel like I'm much more complete when I don't understand.Not understanding,like I say,is a gift.Not understanding,but not as a simple-minded.The good thing is to be intelligent and not understand.It's a strange blessing, like having craziness without being crazy.It is a meek disinterest,it is a stupid sweetness.

  21. #51
    Dependent RedRaider430's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I guess I agreed with you, Hugh, as I sold my bottle (can) several years ago. I seem to recall initially liking it when I tried it, but then future wearings.....I didn't appreciate it so much.

    Considering what it's going for now, I wish I had been a little more tolerant and kept it.
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  22. #52
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    When I first sprayed RG at the counter, I thought: "Nice, but I have smelt this before" and decided to take Michael by Michael Kors. Particularly, I always liked the Light version better. When my RG Light bottle finished I wasn't able to find another one for a fair price and instead bought an old stock RG bottle that was going cheap on a local store.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    If there is something wrong with you, I share the affliction as I too didn't particularly care for the stuff and gave away my vintage bottle with no regrets.
    Current Top Ten:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Jasmin Antique (Rogue Perfumery)
    3) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie
    3) Giorgio V.I.P. Special Reserve (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie

    5) Dia pour Homme vintage edt (Amouage)

    6) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    7) Nombre Noir (Shiseido)
    8) Lucifer (Renaissance Fragrances) - tie
    8) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
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  24. #54

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    You're not alone, I always found it slightly overrated. I wasn't impressed enough with my can years ago to keep it around (although if I had, I could have probably made a profit on eBay).

  25. #55

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    There are some elements of RGPH I really love, like the star anise and clove combination and the way it emanates rather than projecting sharply. The patchouli is almost really good, but it smells a bit cheap to me in the base, and I prefer Azzaro's anise and herbs for my aromatic-meets-barbershop fix. I ultimately sold the tin can I had (I had a backup, too, so at one time I really loved it), and while I've occasionally regretted it, the current prices are ludicrous.

    I think a pretty direct line can be drawn from Azzaro through RGPH to Luna Rossa Carbon, provided you're willing to stop off at Chanel to grab Platinum Egoiste's sharp edge; I'm relieved to see I'm not alone in that perception. Luna Rossa Carbon is essentially RGPH on Mars, and I enjoy it, even its ambroxan base. Kind of want to layer it with Azzaro now and see what happens.

    Anyway, all that to say, nothing wrong with not liking Rive Gauche PH; I can't imagine paying the going rate for the stuff, since I passed up bottles for under $100 as recently as 2017.

    Personal Top 10:
    Guerlain Vetiver, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Dior Eau Sauvage Parfum, Cartier Declaration Essence, YSL Live Jazz, Terre d'Hermes EDT, Richard James, Azzaro Pour Homme, Monsieur de Givenchy, Eau de Rochas Homme

  26. #56

    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    I've had my Rive Gauche tin-can for about two weeks. When I first wore it I was pretty excited when it dried down to the base, as it smelled straight up like a soapy 80s fragrance. But after several more wearings, I just get that subtle-but-sweet, shaving cream smell that has just enough warmth to make it inappropriate for warmer weather. It smells like quality but I honestly find it kind of annoying. Like it's trying too hard.

    And now I definitely see the comparisons to Tom Ford's Beau du Jour and Fougere D'Argent. Those are some very sweet and loud powdery cream scents. Rive Gauche actually does have that vibe, just significantly dialed down. They all feel a bit too busy though.

    Anyways, I was thinking that Rive Gauche was the holy grain of masculine fragrances but, I find it kind of boring. Vintage Drakkar Noir is just as smooth and nuanced but bolder and more serious imo. I'd say Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is better than both but really dated.

    I can see why it didn't catch on when released. No one was trying to smell like that in 2003-2005 when Aqua di Gio was at its peak in popularity.

    Is something wrong with me that I don't like Rive Gauche? Maybe I have a poor understanding of what makes a barbershop fougere, which makes sense since I don't like Stetson, Old Spice, Wild Country, or the dry down of Brut. Maybe my expectations were misplaced as far as it being "cold smelling." Or maybe I just need to give it some more time.

    Anyone disappointed in or not a fan of RG?
    Nothing wrong with you. I purchased Rive Gauche when it launched and had the first issue tin can and then the Intense. I preferred wearing Tuscany Uomo (vintage) so sold my bottles. Of the two I liked the Intense best and felt the dry down was similar to Tuscany but just enjoyed the Tuscany from top to bottom.
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  27. #57
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I'm wearing it today. The sweet spot for me is when it gets to the base notes. It's less creamy, more soapy, and cooler. No warmth. It mixes well my body chemistry at that point. A very nice "natural" smelling scent.

    Yeah, this was definitely too nuanced for the mainstream imo. It's more like a more subtle and subdued Tom Ford-style fragrance at the top and heart. And you need some patience to get to that sweet spot at the end of the dry down.

    I'm comparing it right now to Taxi by Cofinluxe, another barbershop fougere that has anise and oakmoss. That to me is the more exciting fragrance at the start. It's invigorating, bold, and smells very much of its time (1987) in the best way possible. However, as it dries down, it eventually becomes this tobacco-laced shaving cream, kind of like a fougere take on Gillette Cool Wave's base. It's not bad at all, and I really like it, but it's pretty pedestrian. It's not something I'd wear on a first date or to formal gathering.

    For me, Rive Gauche Pour Homme feels more like a cult-classic as opposed to a discontinued masterpiece. I like the bottle presentation, with it evoking the barbershop pole, and while I initially thought black and silver was a better color scheme, the dark brown fits the better, as it reminds of the late 70s era: The brown packaging of Halston's 1-12 and Z-14, and the rusted tint of Azzaro Pour Homme's juice. The top notes also kind of feel retro, which adds to the theme. My only beef is with the middle notes, but they're still done in an exceptional way. I don't get any call backs to the 70s or 80s with it.


    I wonder if it had been released in 2010 and they leaned into the nostalgia factor somehow, would it have been better received?


    Quote Originally Posted by Beck View Post

    The female Rive Gauche has strong aldehydes and is flowery/powdery. Despite not being similar, it can be compared to Chanel No5 IMO.
    Bought it as a mistake believing it was a limited edition version of the male one. I was lucky that to me it was a nice surprise.
    If you’re not into female fragrances, it’s a no-no for you.
    Ah, okay. Thanks, you saved me some money. I really like the presentation of the bottle design. But flowery and powdery? Not something I think I could pull off. And as far as getting it for collectible purposes, I don't think it'd be worth the blind-buy. I've bought a few vintage women's fragrances in the past because I found them for a $1. Bill Blass for Women, and Avon Toccarra. I haven't tried wearing them, but from the atomizer they both smell "serious" and "business-like," not powdery. They're really good. I wish that style was still in fashion for women.

  28. #58
    Dependent chopwet's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    OP is a heretic!

    Jokes aside, Rive Gauche suffers a bit from hype and I think some people expect it to be something that blows them away like perhaps a magical oud. I've never thought of it as that sort of fragrance. It's familiar and comforting if you enjoy shaving.

    I too wasn't overly impressed nor blown away when I first tried it but it grows on you and if you love the smell of the average shaving foam in a can and the feeling of being freshly shaved then RG can have very positive connotations linked with the shaving experience. I haven't come across anything else that hits the spot quite like RG and it's been one of my favourites for a while now because it's subtle and versatile but it makes me feel great. I tend to wear it after shaving to heighten the experience.

    It's a pity it's been discontinued because it was one of my favourites but I don't think I would pay a ridiculous price for it. I'll enjoy the bottle I have and then move on to something else. There is definitely a tendency around here for fragrances to grow in reputation upon discontinuation.

    Aramis's Havana was like that when I first started browsing these forums and it was still discontinued. The greatest tobacco fragrance ever, a reference. When it was brought back in unchanged form it very quickly stopped coming up and now hardly anyone ever mentions it

  29. #59
    Dependent Davem81's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Upon reading the title, my first thought was that it might depend on the version you had. I had the re-issue and didn't like it at all.

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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Super solid frag if you like that sort of thing. Prolly some discontinuation unicorn vibes attached , thus high expectations.
    Currently wearing: Antaeus by Chanel




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