Created by : Paul Leger
Date : 1974
Genre : Patchouli leather
Concentration : eau de toilette
This past Saturday I was invited for supper at a friend’s place with some very interesting guests… l’Opéra de Montréal’s guest conductor for their Die Fledermaus opera and a classical music and opera critic among others. One of the guests talked about a pool party at Tennessee Williams’ New Orleans home back in the 70s… and of course, Truman Capote was there! And one wonderful woman, Maria, described to me how she escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia by walking across the border in the middle of the night! Can you just imagine it?
Although I knew that some very smart people were invited, I’m glad I didn’t think about it too much. I might have cancelled. I mean, I like opera… but I’m no expert! So… just before leaving I reached into the magic closet and pulled out… Givenchy Gentleman. I hadn’t worn GG in a long time and I had a good feeling about it… but I took a risk. So many other fragrances were safer choices… just about any Chanel or Guerlain… but I wanted to throw the dice!
I like to be concise when I describe fragrances and this review is not going to be any different. Givenchy Gentleman is a patchouli leather scent with a herbal, gourmand note that I can’t quite describe… all I know is that it makes my mouth water. So… wearing Givenchy Gentleman to this dinner party turned out to be a lucky bet because GG goes well with food.
If you read other reviews, Givenchy Gentleman is sometimes referred to as “wan” or “sad, little”… but not my bottle! My Givenchy Gentleman is anything but… it’s strong, unapolagetic, dense and with only a little space between the notes. It’s very sexy and very masculine so on a woman, it could easily seduce victims of both sexes.
As for classification, I disagree with both the Société française des parfumeurs and Michael Edwards’ Fragrances of the World. Both classify Givenchy Gentleman as a “wood”. For me, it’s an obvious leather fragrance… classy and out there… perfect for a fancy dinner party. Just go easy on the atomizer, Givenchy Gentleman has both throw AND sillage.
Victoria from Bois de Jasmin correctly lists Givenchy Gentleman as one of the 100 perfumes that influenced perfume history… and she is so right. My only criticism is that it might gain from more natural materials in that it smells somewhat synthetic to me but on the flip side, it has great staying power and had my evening ended in a more intimate setting it would have been a very intoxicating scent.
Don’t let the price fool you… this one is great!
Image : Tennessee Williams and Anna Magnani