Givenchy: 7 posts

Givenchy L’Interdit 2018 : Fragrance Review

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Givenchy the couturier was catapulted into stardom by his work with Audrey Hepburn. Their partnership resulted in one of the most distinctive wardrobes in fashion history, from the embroidered gown of Sabrina to the little black dress of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Equally important was Hepburn’s role in making Givenchy the perfumer. L’Interdit was the first Givenchy perfume, and whether Hepburn wore it or not, she claimed it as her signature fragrance. 

The original 1957  L’Interdit was a floral aldehydic with enough elegance to make one feel dressed up, even if you wore only pyjamas. Think Chanel No 5, but soft, warm and with a delicious strawberry note.

I say was, because in 2005 Givenchy reformulated it. The change was done by perfumer Aurelien Guichard, and it made the fragrance less aldehydic and starchy, but also simpler. Still, as far as updates go, it was decent in that it retained the character of the original. You can read my more detailed review, in which I compare the original and the 2005 version.

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Givenchy Live Irresistible : Perfume Review

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Following a nefarious example set by Lancôme La Vie est Belle, perfume copywriters have assumed the role of social philosophers. “We live only once,” proclaims the press release for Givenchy’s Live Irrésistible, but I’m not sure why I’d fritter away my time on earth in the company of their fragrance.

Givenchy-Live-Irresistiblegivenchy2

Like many of the recent LVMH perfumes (Givenchy is controlled by the conglomerate), Live Irrésistible seems like a focus group driven creation, where the each component is augmented to be likable. Desperate to please, Live Irrésistible heaps together everything that women are thought to like–a sweet, juicy top note, clean florals, and sweet amber drydown accented with cotton candy, all tinted pink. The result should at least be cute, but somehow it ends up as dowdy and bland.

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Givenchy Ysatis : Fragrance Review

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Patricia tries on Givenchy’s Ysatis, once one of her signature perfumes, to see if it still fits.

The 1980s were a big decade. Big shoulders, big hair, a boom economy, and over-the-top perfumes. Givenchy Ysatis, a mossy floral created in 1984 by Dominique Ropion, was one of these, and I wore it happily for several years. At the time I was a serial monogomist where perfume was concerned, and Ysatis fit neatly between K de Krizia and Jean Louis Scherrer, Scherrer 2 in my rotation. As a mother of very young children, I enjoyed an occasional evening out, dressed to the nines and enveloped in a cloud of Ysatis.

ysatis

The perfume starts out with a blast–woody, floral, sweet, and powdery, accompanied with refreshing citrus notes and creamy coconut. Lush white floral notes, mostly fruity jasmine and ylang-ylang, dominate for the next few hours, before mellowing into a sweet and creamy dry down. It’s a  high-calorie feast of musk, amber, vanilla, and sandalwood that reminds us that Ysatis was born in the “more is more” fashion era. The dry down reminds me of the baby powder I once used on my children. While I liked this at the time, it now strikes me as cloying.

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Givenchy Dahlia Noir Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette : Perfume Reviews

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I can probably be forgiven for the erroneous assumption that Givenchy Dahlia Noir might be somehow dark.  After all, the name means “Black Dahlia” and what does this suggest but a grisly Hollywood murder?  Come to think of it, Givenchy seems the last house one would think of as conceiving a scent to match the name. Most of their names are meaningless and arrive somewhere between sounding good (Dahlia Noir) and sounding silly (Oblique Rewind).

dahlia noir

Dahlia Noir Eau de Parfum turns out to be a chypre based on rose, iris, and patchouli.  With a big citrus opening, it isn’t terribly dark, though.  Instead, it is intensely powdery, with the powder intended to describe the “femme fatale” allure of the marketing copy. To me though, the drydown of iris and vanilla is too strong on baby-powder. In its heightened use of this iris and vanilla, Dahlia Noir is somewhat similar to Guerlain L’Instant Magic.  Ultimately, the eau de parfum reveals a rosy center and a creamy patchouli base.

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Givenchy Ange ou Demon Le Secret : Fragrance Review

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Ange

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Another flanker, another fruity floral…. Initially, there seemed to be little reason for me to review Givenchy Ange ou Démon Le Secret, a 2009 sequel to the original Ange ou Démon. Yet as I was smelling it over and over again in the street and in the office, it struck me as a nicely crafted soft floral accord, where the tart fruity notes fizzle like champagne bubbles in a Mimosa cocktail. It is approachable, likable and pretty.

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