Weird to say, I already owned a bottle but I had to give it away, not because I didn't like it, but because it was a big splash-type bottle and I couldn't dose the perfume. As you should know, this cologne is powerful, intense, with huge projection, sillage, and longevity. Though I reordered a medium size with the vaporisateur, 120ml just costs me less than 15 euro. It's so different from all these modern fragrances in this price range which mostly smell very generic. Grey Flannel is dominated by three main notes: galbanum, violet, and oakmoss. It combines several flowers, typical of feminine perfumes, with more masculine notes, resulting in a gentle soapy bouquet. The newest incarnation of Grey Flannel by EA Fragrances is much more of a crowd pleaser than the vintage version. Is this cologne getting older? No, absolutely. It is a citrusy, fresh and flowery, bright green opening right away with the juicy vegetal violet leaf. It is masculine but flowery and citrusy enough to be unisex for anyone who loves green landscapes or light filtering through leaves. Just get acquainted with this cologne, and you will fall in love with it.
Bitter herb opening softens to wonderful violet and woody notes that on me, seem to morph back and forth with the rose and moss notes. I adore how it seems to change over its long-life. Herbs, violets, a fresh, cool, damp, woody smell. Cool rain on skin. A Northern woodland clearing, on the cusp of Spring, cool, green everywhere, the rain suddenly stops, the sun shines through the leaves, highlighting delicate purple flowers, the leafy tree branches still dripping with bright raindrops. The initial notes I get are violet, definitely tons of violet, intensely galbanum that gives a greenish tone, and a little bit of lemon that makes the opening a pretty refreshing, which is completely unique and unlike anything you've ever smelled before. The violet and citrus opening can be overwhelming to me if I slam my nose to the skin but the sillage from the opening is amazing. To me, it smells a bit powdery, soapy, with plenty of violets, a really powdery green opening.
The scent changes up a lot over the day, you will catch sweet rose, dark green geranium mixed with sage, the white narcissus, and iris. Repeatedly, the heart is still like a blossom bomb, a lot of white flowers. For at least two hours these are the things you will get most, and I get a lot, really a lot of iris, not a lipstick as in the Dior Homme but more powdery, very good, I do love it. It is soft, silvery powder, dry, dusty and fabulous. The middle notes are warm and the floral-sage mix quite inviting. On a paper strip, the sage dominates the central stage, whereas the violet leaves rule on the skin.
At this point, the fragrance strikes a lovely balance and develops an almost humid quality, rather like the inside of a greenhouse. The citrus that brightened the composition is almost gone while the oakmoss and patchouli come to the foreground. The sandalwood, hardly noticeable, surely helps anchor the scent as it seems to have two different characters, soft and fresh, and warm and shadowy. But it is the synthetic moss that controls the dry down, which exudes more and more during the rest of the day.
Projection is amazing and longevity is well over half a day on this. Honestly, anyone who likes it can wear it quite easily, and its reduced strength actually makes it appropriate for the spring days and even summer nights, where its cool violet leaf/iris character makes for a refreshing change from more modern and chemical designs. But, then, Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel is no ordinary fragrance. You really have to smell Grey Flannel to believe it. Forty-something years after its original release, Grey Flannel is still easy to find, it remains a masterpiece, and remains one of the most original and distinctive fragrances I have ever smelled.