Givenchy : Givenchy Gentleman

Tennessee Williams and Anna Magnani - click to enlarge

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

Leave a comment


  1. What a great evening and a wonderful review too! Thank you, I have been on the fence about Givenchy Gentleman but now you have sold me.

    • Thanks for the comment! I was on the fence about Givenchy Gentleman until I wore it again after a break. It really is bold and spectacular… maybe not an everyday scent but for special occasions it’s perfect.


  2. Tara C

     /  January 24, 2013

    Funny you should mention Tennessee Williams… I was just reading an essay about the Bird by Gore Vidal the other night. Fascinating individual (both of them, actually). Sounds like a wonderful evening, would have loved to be a fly on the wall! And I am sure you smelled fabulous. I have not had the opportunity to smell Givenchy Gentleman.

    • It WAS fun… totally unusual for me. Just bought Velvet Rose and Oud by Jo Malone. Can’t wait to go to work tomorrow… LOOK OUT PEOPLE!


    Good read. Good perfume. Good mood. Good glimpse. Good Givenchy Gentleman.

    Here’s a new work. Enjoy!

    Thought For The Day
    By Leon Enriquez

    Rays of new light, rays of fine hues;
    Arch springs classic, arch signs splendour;
    Intuit fond sight, intuit real dues;
    Now brings magic, now brings flavours;
    Begin fine start, begin bold part;
    Opt to live well, opt to feel zest;
    Wear perfume art, wear happy heart;
    See pleasures tell, see wit greet jest!

    Normand, all the best for new discoveries and old times revisited this year.


  4. This is another one I have to sample. You make it sound so intriguing,


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