Sunday, December 2, 2012

Monsieur de Givenchy

For me, when it comes to fragrances, the terms "old school" and "classic" don't often mean the same thing.  A scent I describe as old school is usually one that triggers thoughts and associations with a particular era of the past when I wear it.  Classic scents, by contrast, may occasionally conjure up those images for me, but overall they are timeless. 

For example, I consider Royal Copenhagen old school - its powdery smell is no longer in style at all, and it smells like a throwback to the 1960's.  I love it, and though it's something I'll always wear, it's not really a smell I consider to be timeless; I don't wear it as a time warp - I wear it because I like the way it smells.  Old Spice, on the other hand, is classic to me.  Sure, a lot of old schoolers love this juice, but when I wear Old Spice, it doesn't throw me back to an earlier time.  It still smells current, stylish and relevant today.

Monsieur de Givenchy is both classic and old school.  It's one of the greatest fragrances for men ever made, and if you consider yourself a perfume enthusiast, you at least need to try it.  When I first spray it on, its dry, bitter accord of citrus, floral notes and civet instantly make me think, "1950's French" all the way; they just don't make new colognes for guys like this anymore.  MdG is for men whose tastes align to the Moustache/Eau Sauvage/Equipage/Ho Hang axis of style, like mine do.

Give this fragrance some time on your skin, however, and it becomes more classic.  The floral notes become more subdued, the woody notes come out more, and MdG becomes one with your skin.  In a way, it's not that far off from a lot off the modern woody citrus scents that are popular now.  Of course MdG smells a lot more natural, sophisticated and better balanced than a lot of others, but you wouldn't smell out of place sporting this frag at the office or a night club.  It's discreet and debonaire, and teeming with class.  Guys who wear MdG are guys with good taste.

Givenchy reformulated and repackaged Monsieur de Givenchy a few years ago (pictured above).  For those who care, I can say that they did a great job reformulating it.  The newer juice has a tad less civet in it, but other than that, it still maintains the same feel and sophistication that it had before.  There's no need to waste your time hunting down vintage bottles of this stuff.  The bottle I own is the old juice, which I'd bought about twelve years ago before Givenchy reissued it, but I've worn samples of the current stuff, and it's great.

I don't wear Monsieur de Givenchy much anymore; in fact, I think it's been about six years since I last wore it.  However that's not because I don't like it anymore.  Rather, this blog has put me into an experimentation mindset, and I've lately been more interested in trying new things than settling down with my old reliables.  But Monsieur de Givenchy is so good and so classic, I know I'll be coming back to it.  You just can't give up on fragrances this good.

MY REVIEW:  10/10

Fragrance House:  Givenchy

9 comments:

  1. I'll have to try this. I've read elsewhere that things like Royal Copenhagen were formulated in the sixties as throwback scents to the twenties, so that makes those "old school" fragrances even more so! Wonder if that applies to MdG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, RC does smell like a throwback to 20's frags, particularly Zizanie and Dunhill For Men. I love them all.

      Delete
    2. I don't think MdG is in the same class as Royal Copenhagen, though. It's not powdery at all, though come to think about it, it does have some similarity to Jicky with its civet.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the review! Just got this about 3 months ago. Awesome stuff. Fits right in with Eau Sauvage and YSL pour homme, though predating them both. Is it my imagination or does the drydown have somewhat of a honeyed, albeit lighter, 'Kouros-like' vibe ? Even though honey is not overtly listed as a note, I can still smell it in the later phases. Just like Kouros, I think that MdG shines better during the cooler weather, or at least during cooler Spring/Summer nights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought about similarity to Kouros, but I think you're right. I think it's the civet, which both frags contain. Obviously it's a lot louder in Kouros, but it also gives MdG a touch of dirtiness. I don't smell any honey in MdG, though.

      Delete
  3. MdG is one of my favorites and I actually prefer the rendition you have pictured, only because I find it a bit more resilient and tenacious than the older formula which just did not last on my skin.

    It's definitely in the old French tradition of Moustache and Mouchoir de Monsieur.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, MdG isn't exactly a powerhouse, but I get pretty good longevity from it, around 6 hours. I never tested the reissue for strength, but I should.

      Delete
  4. Another one I simply had to try out since your 10/10s more often than not align with my olfactory senses almost 1:1. By chance I could get a bottle of the one pictured above and what do you know: It's the twin brother of one of my all time favorites- Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet !

    To be honest I wouldn't really know the difference if someone sprayed it on me while blindfolded- I would easily confuse one with the other.Only that BB is a little stronger and with better longevity on my skin. So Monsieur de Givenchy, enchante, 'twas nice meeting you, but I'll settle with the English.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll need to wear Blenheim Bouquet for a full day to see if I find the similarity. I've only done a wrist sampling of BB, and I didn't find much similarity to MdG. I thought BB smelled sort of like Agua Brava. I find a lot more in common between MdG and Equipage by Hermes.

      Delete