Givenchy Gentleman

(1974)
Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy
Givenchy Gentleman (Givenchy)
7.7 / 10     177 Ratings
Givenchy Gentleman is a popular perfume by Givenchy for men and was released in 1974. The scent is spicy-leathery. The longevity is above-average. It is being produced by LVMH.

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Perfumer

Paul Léger

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Honey, Rose, Cinnamon, Lemon
Heart Notes Heart NotesOrris root, Jasmine, Patchouli, Cedar
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Oakmoss, Leather, Musk, Patchouli, Vanilla, Vetiver

Ratings

Scent

7.7 (177 Ratings)

Longevity

8.2 (144 Ratings)

Sillage

7.5 (127 Ratings)

Bottle

6.6 (131 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 01.02.2016
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Reviews

10/09/2015
Helpful Review    3 Awards
A gent's gem!
I don’t know the current version of this gem, and given Givenchy’s descent into mediocrity of the past couple of dozens of years, I am not sure if I want to; but the vintage incarnation of Gentleman is by no means inferior to many other timeless vintage masterpieces – and I mean the true Olympus of those, next to Tiffany for Men or vintage Chanel Antaeus. I personally find Gentleman extremely distinguished, extremely high quality, and extremely unique, if not really innovative for its era. My review could (should?) really end here, but well...

The thing I find innovative here is above all the way the combo patchouli-vetiver is used in the composition, and the notes which Léger’s genius decided to surround it with. Basically, the “frame” here is an earthy-smoky texture rich in herbal, hay and woody-leather nuances, which is brilliantly paired with a traditional aromatic lavender-infused fougère bone structure (think of Azzaro pour Homme, although it came later) and a touch of tangy and grassy citrus (similar to verbena). All of this surrounding then the true star of Gentleman, the patchouli-vetiver accord I mentioned above, which gets brilliantly enhanced by earthy, musky, smoky and sweet nuances; the dampness of hay, the indolic smokiness of leather and civet (just a hint, but you definitely smell that little devil rambling beyond the base notes), and a subtle yet perfectly perceivable smooth touch of warm, sweet-powdery-musky floral notes with a shade of vanilla.

Now, it may seem a heavy or complex scent with a lot of nuances ranging from herbal, to smoky-leathery, to woody and sweet-powdery, but it isn’t really. Or well, it is complex indeed, but not too “powerful” at all. It’s a refined, almost tame fragrance, perfectly reflecting its name, delightfully gentle and discreet, cozy and elusive at the same time. It’s so well put-together that it smells perfectly crisp, bright, even fresher than it may seem despite there is many “dark” notes. Truly a perfect uplifting harmony by no means “heavy” to smell – on the contrary, extremely easy to wear and to like. It’s amazing how the notes are there, clear and rich, and yet this fragrance has a remarkably weightless presence on skin – it’s substantial, but really mannered.

Surely a “vintage gentleman’s scent”, probably one of the most sophisticated around, but quite unique and actually, maybe more modern than others, if not slightly more “youthful” too (maybe thanks to the “hippie touch” of patchouli). Needless to say it smells rich, persistent and clear for hours, with a perfect projection and an impeccable drydown which gets gently drier and woodier (that vetiver again!) as hours pass, still keeping a touch of floral muskiness lurking in the background. What else to say? An amazing modern classic of masculine elegance perfectly showing the old school French taste for “classy dirtiness”, that unique ability of many classic French masculine scents to smell refined and cozy still keeping it dirty, complex and even subtly “raw”. Fantastic.

9/10
05/03/2015
Bottle 7.5
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 10.0
Scent 9.0
Helpful Review    3 Awards
Hell-bent on staying a gent...
Prologue

Last days of April. A sunny and warm day, serves as a reminder that summer is never too far away. Not in the small part of the world where he lives at least. He enters leisurely a small and very old cosmetics shop, owned by a middle-aged lady who reminds him of this clever and kind aunt that almost all of us remember from our childhood. Having just smoked a couple of fags, he puts a chewing gum in his mouth. His eyes are scanning the fragrance shelves during the pleasantries. He spots a 50ml splash bottle of Azzaro's Acteur, and considering its 20€ price a bargain for such a vintage piece, he grabs it and walks towards the cash register. And there he sees them and nearly swallows his chewing gum.
Three (!!!) 109ml (not a typo) splash bottles of Givenchy Gentleman, half-hidden in the showcase which also serves as the cashier desk. They lie among brushes, pantyhoses and barrettes, inexplicably away from the fragrance shelves. Trying to act as indifferent as possible, he asks to have a look at them. Their boxes are slightly worn and dirty, and their top side is sealed with a small transparent sticker, bearing the Givenchy logo. But there is no barcode, no estimated sign, no green dot and no EMB code. His heart starts missing a beat in every two. These come from mid to late '70s! He asks whether it would be possible to check them out. The lady, feeling there's a good chance to get rid of three bottles that were collecting dust for almost 40 years, grants him the permission. He opens the boxes from their bottom sides. The bottles are full. He unscrews their caps and he's nearly floored by what his doing unleashes. Trying to put himself together, he asks for a price for the lot of them. He can have them all for half the price of a typical Creed. He stashes them in his mailman bag, and after a slight bow towards this perfume vault involuntary keymistress [sic], he exits the shop. Hindering the impulse to run home and bury his nose in the bottles, he goes on with his business as if nothing had happened. Bows, sang-froid...It seems like the three newly acquired bottles have already started working their magic, by granting him some gentleman's qualities before even opening them. Finally, he returns home in late afternoon, makes a coffee, lights another fag, and...

Main Act

"I never can be tied to raw, new things.
...
Such treasures, left from times of cautious leaven,
Cannot but loose the hold of flimsier wraiths
That flit with shifting ways and muddled faiths
Across the changeless walls of earth and heaven."

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, "Background"

Adding anything about the way Givenchy Gentleman smells would be superfluous. Hundreds of lovers or haters have described it very aptly before me, using sometimes the exact same reasons to justify loving or hating it. So my contribution here will be in the form of simply asking why such a ridiculously good fragrance has followed the fate of the dinosaurs, like a gigantic, mighty creature which was outlived by rodents. And if someone tells me that Givenchy Gentleman is not extinct, I'll beg to differ. Cause from what I read, its current formulation is so similar with its vintage one as much as dinosaurs were similar to mammals. In the sense that yes, both species are animals. But any further similarity ends there.
I usually avoid judging scents without testing them, but I think that one with half its notes synthetically replicated in a lab can't hold a candle to one laden with civet (probably the real thing) and oakmoss. The one acre of patchouli per bottle ratio is of course a staple, thus there's no use mentioning it. The funny thing however, is how a fragrance so stupendously fraught with something that its excessive use would label someone as a hippie when it was launched, has "gentleman" written on its bottle.
But please don't get me wrong. I like the hippies' simple life-approach very much, although I never strengthened their ranks. But true gentlemanship has nothing to do with the way one dresses, just like gallantry has nothing to do with one's size and education has nothing to do with schools. Some of the most decent gentlemen I've met so far, were shy, humble people with courageous hearts and little school education.
And speaking of schools, yes, Givenghy Gentleman is definitely the epitome of old-school. It's actually so old-school, that I guess it was already the headmaster of the powerhouse school when lads like Kouros and Antaeus entered first grade.

Epilogue

What was that again? How the current reformulated version smells like? Rhett?...
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
1 Replies
04/21/2014
Bottle 7.5
Sillage 10.0
Longevity 10.0
Scent 10.0
Helpful Review    4 Awards
Masked
A quite powerful mediterranean aromatic fougère of dried spices is almost completely masked with a big dose of minty-chocolate patchouly á la headshop. This interplay of contrariant forces, of dried herbs and camphor-coolness, gives a feel like India is situated at the Côte d'Azur. The recent version is close to a perfect scent: Exceptional, confident, reckless, affable and sexy.
12/09/2013
Scent 10.0
Helpful Review    5 Awards
Leather and patchouli delight
Even though this is not my absolute number one favourite, it comes a close second. The richness of the patchouli and leather accord are astounding. I really love patchouli and this smells awesome! I have had bottles of patchouli essential oil and they were nothing compared with Givenchy Gentleman. It is almost as though the creators have found some way to make a more intense form of the essential oil! This is one heavy fragrance, full of organic denseness. I have the vintage and reformulation, and while the vintage is more animalistic, the reformulation is my favourite if the two (it is the woodiness that does it for me). I like that it can be worn in summer, autumn, winter or spring and I find my self wearing it much more often than Kouros, my favourite. the sillage and longevity are excellent and this one stays edgy all the way through its life on the skin: there is no gentle ending for this one!
06/04/2013
Bottle 5.0
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 10.0
1 Award
old school
If you like to smell like typical middle-aged man from 70´ walking outside the small music bar with cigar in his hand, dreesed in a suit, with stubble on his face - this is what fit you absolutely. One of my best form Givechy. Only one objection - less cinnamon for me and it will be perfect.
12/28/2012
Helpful Review    6 Awards
Vintage Opinion
This heavy resinous classic from the 1970s is one of the greenest patcholi bombs ever. Its somewhat heavy handed in a few areas leaving some distance between it and myself. It is definitive of the 1970s. I love the chypre character, yet its a beast in a guilded cage.

I didnt encounter it until after Giorgio for men. It was the obvious inspiration for the later. Gentleman is much more encryptic. I see Kouros in it more. It was the beginning of the mens powerhouse.

Its darker and more cold than Giogio. I would have to say somewhat more rugged than anything offered later. Its not really a gentleman. Its more of a libertine. Thats it! The low, dirty civet. How could I have missed the obvious? It hides behind every note like a predator, waiting to pounce. Its like its trying to hide its beast within.

Who needs testosterone gel with giants like Gentleman, Anteus and Kouros? Its as if the BIG patcholi was meant to hide the skanky civet. I am finding civet to be a rare moment on my skin lately. I still appreciate it, but yes, it IS animal piss. I salute the boldness, yet wear them infrequently today
12/21/2012
Bottle 7.5
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 7.5
Scent 8.0
Helpful Review    4 Awards
Buy The Vintage...
This is a review for the vintage juice...

I have heard vintage Givenchy Gentleman compared to Giorgio for Men by others, and while I can see where they are coming from I believe they are in the right ballpark, but just a bit off the mark with their aim on this one. This juice is actually a dead ringer during its top notes for the lesser known but equally as good sister scent, Giorgio VIP for Men (that is more leather focused). I placed VIP on my right arm and Givenchy Gentleman on the left, and with some minor variances I was sold that I had found a replacement for the very expensive and long since discontinued VIP early-on. Well, not so fast... Similarities remain between the two scents throughout, but Givenchy Gentleman turns much more mossy, less sweet and slightly less refined when you get past the top notes. I would not really say it is inferior to VIP, just different...

OK, comparisons to VIP set aside, what does it smell like? It starts out with a very beautiful cinnamon, honey, ginger and tarragon. It is almost a soapy smooth opening, with just a hair of the leather from the mid notes making itself known early-on. The scent then moves completely to its more rough mossy, leathery heart combining with a good dose of patchouli and vetiver. The oak moss, patchouli and leather are the stars all the way through its slightly animalic base. It is very old school (a very good thing in my book) and has some really good strength. Projection and longevity are both well above average.

Givenchy Gentleman in its vintage form is an incredible classic that I am ashamed I have not tried until recently. I have heard the recent reformulation has been unkind to the scent, and if so, it is a darn shame. Vintage juice at a "sane" price is still available but getting scarcer and pricier by the minute, so my advice is to stock-up folks. This classic masculine is a really good one! 4 out of 5 stars.
07/15/2012
jtd
Helpful Review    3 Awards
unsuccessful
I imagine that this one has not so much been reformulated as fallen prey to the Humpty Dumpty syndrome.

Was this really an animalic, patchouli leather? Filthy in that perfect way? It’s now a triple S-bomb: shrill, saccharine, scary. GG takes all the potential off notes of patchouli, groups them together, and then makes a point of adding nothing that might mitigate this fingers-on-a-chalkboard calamity.
04/09/2012
Sillage 5.0
Longevity 7.5
Scent 7.0
Helpful Review    4 Awards
Unisex; spicy incense and leather
A woman can certainly pull this fragrance off. I wear it, and I wear it proudly.

Givenchy Gentleman is all about soft woods, cinnamon incense, earthy patchouli and sweet musk. To my nose, as strange as it may sound, this smells like an old-fashioned closet full of musty clothes and pink candy musk sticks.

My god this is heavenly. To be honest, I love it so much on myself that it'd be hard for me to smell it on my man. He's used to my masculine and smokey scents, yet the other day when I sprayed this on my neck he had no clue it was marketed for men. Bless his heart, he actually mistook it for Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere.

Towards the drydown Givenchy Gentleman becomes quite powdery and tends to resemble the scent of shaving foam. I've actually resorted to shaving my legs with men's shaving foam seeming that it's a whole five dollars cheaper than feminine shaving foam, so I'm used to my body smelling like this.

It makes me feel so refined yet powerful at the same time. This is one of those great powerhouse scents from the 70's with amazing longevity and sillage, however I must add that I don't find this fragrance dated.

Oh, it's just so comforting, like a hug from your loved one while you're curled up beside a fire on a cold Winter's night.

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