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  1. #1
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    Default I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    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?
    Last edited by Hugh V.; 7th April 2021 at 08:39 AM.

  2. #2

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

    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...

  3. #3

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

    I like the busy smell. Reminds me of old school scents where they included everything.

    One noters remind me of modern niche perfumery.

  4. #4

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

    It's nothing for you to worry about at all. If you're not inclined towards barbershop style scents, it wouldn't be special.

    It was a scent that was well done, very barbershop fougere at a time when those were not that common. It was also very affordable for many years.

    I can easily see where seeing the way it is lauded here could lift expectations beyond its ability to live up them. I'm not sure it has ever been a "Holy Grail" scent here, but within the world of designer fougeres, it has elevated status.

    I had a similar experience with PATOU POUR HOMME. I lucked into a bottle at discounted retail. It was nice, but didn't wow me anywhere near the level of praise I sometimes see for it here.

    I'm thrilled you were able to try and give it a good test. It's best to get those sort of intense curiosities out of the way. Now you can focus elsewhere.

    I'm lucky to have a pretty big supply plus some of the intense version (which is really quite similar). But if I didn't have any, I wouldn't chase it at premium prices.
    I don't get out much. But when I do, I smell real good.
    Currently wearing: No. 89 by Floris

  5. #5
    Zgb's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I think it's a very good fragrance. Not a holy grail whatsoever. I'm glad I have a bottle and would be much happier to have a backup bottle too.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    This is why I tend to speak out against vintage/unicorn hype and veneration. You get fragrances lifted to literal godhood, then drop sick amounts of money only to get burned when the stuff fails to live up to all the worship.

    On that note, I really like Rive Gauche pour Homme, but if I had paid double or triple what I paid for my bottles, I'd be seriously pissed knowing it's basically expensive Barbasol.
    Reviews Wordpress Archive here --> The Scented Devil
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  7. #7

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

    It is horses for courses. I know quite a few people that use this and similar as a signature scent. I think it has been overhyped over the years but it is probably one of, if not, the best at what it does - if you want a great barbershop shaving cream vibe in a fragrance it delivers it that in bundles. I still have a bottle and I don’t wear it often, but it’s still something I crave occasionally especially to finish off a wet shave. It conjures an underrated cozy feeling of simpler times.

  8. #8
    Wearing Perfume Right Now
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I was similarly underwhelmed. I find Quorum somewhat similar and more interesting.

  9. #9

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

    I don't understand the question ''Is something wrong with me that I don't like Rive Gauche?''

    As if you're forced to like Rive Gauche. As if you're somehow a dunce because you don't like a particular fragrance.

    No there is nothing wrong with you for not liking Rive Gauche pour homme. It's weird that you're asking this very question.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Institution Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    It's another way of asking if he's missing something. Or it's his own way of saying it's overhyped. He didn't literally think something was wrong with him.

    ZC nailed all points perfectly. It's well made and discontinued. RG isn't the only one to get this treatment.

    If you want to see even more ridiculousness, some discontinued mall store scents often have higher asking prices than RG.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  11. #11
    Basenotes Institution Darjeeling's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Not a fan, but I don’t like barbershop fragrances so it was never going to be for me.
    1. No, never blind buy (I do, but do as I say, not as I do. I'm taking no responsibility for your fragrance gambling).
    2. Get them both. You're a Basenoter and you know you're going to end up purchasing them both eventually.
    3. Yes, it has been reformulated.
    4. Looking for a signature scent? You've come to the wrong place.

  12. #12

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

    I like it a bunch. I am not sure if I would say it is overrated -it could be- but it is certainly over-hyped. The fact that it is discontinued and harder and harder to track down lends to the hype.

  13. #13

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

    Hi all,

    Timely thread. Back in the day (circa early 2000's) and being a Basenote's "newbie", I got caught up in all the "excitement" and ordered a can of YSL rive gauche. Once tried, I was disappointed and I didn't understand all the RG hype. I quickly finished the can (no doubt I over sprayed a LOT) as I could not detect what I thought was suppose to have been a strong" projecting Fragrance. I thought, RG was ok but (on the whole) disappointing. Flash forward March 2021. Recently while visiting a "Thrift Shop", I found (and purchased) a 120ml Can of "rive gauche" (which despite NOT being labeled PH or PF) turns out to be "rive gauche PF". At any rate, I wore "rive gauche PF" last week (several sprays) and I absolutely LOVE this Fragrance. Hugh, do keep in mind that (at time goes by) that the Fragrances you love today may (may) later turn out to be a Fragrance you will either grow tired of/dislike and the Fragrances that may repulse you today will later prove to be a Fragrance that you absolutely love. Ooh, I found that Can of "rive gauche" for one dollar!

    SixCats!

  14. #14
    Dependent speckmann0706's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Not a bad thing to not like it fragrances are subjective and not everyone finds a fragrance good.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Just another fougere out there, I rather use HDP 1725, Penhaligon's Sartorial or Chanel Platinum Egoiste, to each it's own.

  16. #16
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    it's basically expensive Barbasol.
    This is exactly what it is IMO. Not a bad scent - I blind bought the "tin can" version a long time ago. It's ok, but it's just shaving cream.
    Current Winter Favorites:

    1. House of Matriarch - Blackbird
    2. Brückner - Aoud 1
    3. Creed - Royal Oud
    4. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Generation Man
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    6. by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
    7. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Mortal Skin
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    I find RGPH to be a good scent and well worth the $90 I spent for the gift box that came with a 4.2oz can. I liked it well enough to grab a cube bottle for comparison. After owning them for a few years, they're gathering dust now. I'll pull one out a few times a year and that's it. No way is it Holy Grail worthy, IMO.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Yes, something is wrong with ya. Just kidding my friend. It's probably just not for you.

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

    Nothing is wrong with you at all. While I’m a fan of the barbershop scent I never found this to me barbershop to me. I mean I get the Barbasol but there was something too heady in it for me. I bought a tin can early in the game and sold it immediately. Did not like it at all. It was overwhelming to me and too heavy at times. I’ve said the same as you in many threads...and I enjoy Beau du Jour.
    "Desperation is a stinky cologne."
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    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

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

    Quote Originally Posted by techt View Post
    Just another fougere out there, I rather use HDP 1725, Penhaligon's Sartorial or Chanel Platinum Egoiste, to each it's own.
    Agree on all points. Big fan of HdP 1725 right now
    "Desperation is a stinky cologne."
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  21. #21
    Basenotes Institution Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    For the majority, I do think that RG is overhyped and overrated. For me, personally, it lives up to the hype in every way. But it's not the most perfect fragrance of all time that is immaculate. It's just another fragrance but it works perfectly for me and does everything that I had wanted/expected it to do. One of the best blind buys I ever blind bought!
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  22. #22

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

    Yes, something is wrong with you, take your bad taste somewhere else!


    Just joking,! Tastes differ, Thanx God!

  23. #23

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

    Nobody has to like anything just because someone else does.

  24. #24
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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
    Is something wrong with me that I don't like Rive Gauche?
    It's just not for you. Nothing wrong with that.
    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.

  25. #25

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

    It was a solid buy when it was selling at a steep discount, but I don't see it as some masterpiece.

    Pascal Morabito Or Black (current version) is, to me, a more interesting and satisfying take on the theme.

  26. #26

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    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.
    Agreed. I pull it off in Spring and Fall (when I do), the aromatics notes might be an issue for warmer weather. It smells of quality? Yes... quality designer, that is: still just designer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    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.
    I fully agreed. I like BdJ, but that very noticeable sweetness in the base is an issue for me. These are one-size-fit-all kind of fragrances, to please all the age customer segments. It's no surprises it pleases a lot the American market that probably consider BdJ as a 'dry fougere' fragrance, while at the end of the day it results being more a woody-amber to my nose. Still, I found RG to a be a way better blend than both BdJ and FdA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    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 have current Drakkar Noir, and dislike it for the same reasons as BdJ doesn't convince me: sweetness in the base. Not a RG fanboy, but from that standpoint, I think it shoots a step higher than both of these.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    Anyone disappointed in or not a fan of RG?
    Yes: me. The hype for it just doesn't make any sense to me. Don't read me wrong: It's a great aromatic fougere, but that's pretty much all. Nothing to write home about. For example, in that category, 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

    As for me: I like RG, but it will never enter my 'top 10 for life' (and probably not even my 'best 50'). Happy to own a bottle (square glass re-issue), but also glad I have spent less than $80 on that blind buy - not a great deal, imo. (that said, seeing that a 100ml of BdJ retails for $150/180... I have no words haha)

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

    When I first sampled it, I didn't care for the "cold clove" characteristic. Over the years, the fragrance overall has grown on me and now I wear it every once in a while. The unicorn status isn't warranted, but understandable given how online hype and FOMO create false demand.

    “Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”
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  28. #28

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcelello View Post
    I like it a bunch. I am not sure if I would say it is overrated -it could be- but it is certainly over-hyped. The fact that it is discontinued and harder and harder to track down lends to the hype.
    This is basically how I feel about it. People saying it’s expensive Barbasol... you’re not wrong. But it’s really perfectly blended and balanced Barbasol! I like that enough to own a can. It hits a perfect middle of the road for me, not as bitter as Invasion Barbare, not as anise/chocolate distinct as 1725 or as artsy-black-licorice-leather as OR Black, or as metallic as Sartorial, or as old school hyper masculine as Bon Monsieur... but I very nice, balanced “dumb reach” barbershop. It has gotten pretty overhyped in its absence. But it’s still great for what it is.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    Agree on all points. Big fan of HdP 1725 right now

  30. #30
    Super Member OldSchoolScents's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think Rive Gauche PH is overrated. Is something wrong with me?

    Yes something is wrong - you are very sick

    But honestly taste in fragrance is so subjective, so of course you're not wrong at all for how you feel. It's my favourite fragrance of all time, but there are plenty that others absolutely adore that I either find lackluster (like Aventus) or repulsive (like Invictus or Burberry London). To each their own!
    Formerly known as BeardedBarbershopFan - Still have a beard and still a barbershop fan
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