Givenchy Roundup

Honestly, I´ve never even considered another Givenchy fragrance, save for March´s and my obsession with that “sexy cupcake”, Organza Indecence.

Apparently, all it takes is one rather pushy (yet very sweet) SA at the Bay, and all of a sudden, I´m head over heels for not one, but three more Givenchy scents: Ange au Démon Le Secret, Very Irrésistible Rose Centifolia (from the 2009 Harvest Collection) and their newest, Eaudemoiselle, for which I am about 20 years past the target demographic. But, as I always say, when has that ever stopped me?

Givenchy fragrances have a huge presence here in Canada. What I am slowly discovering, now that I live here permanently, is how different Canadians really are from Americans. For one thing, there are many “Britishisms” alive and well and scattered all over the landscape. You can buy greeting cards for “Mum”, the Queen´s picture is on all the money, and, you can get some pretty decent fish and chips if you know where to look. I wouldn´t go so far as to say Canada is a total doppelgà¤nger of the UK, but hey, we still are a Commonwealth nation, and we´ve been under minority government rule for the past 6 years (waves to Lee). There are some American traits sneaking up on us here: surly transit workers, Victoria´s Secret stores opening in all the malls, litter, me being able to drop the occasional F-bomb without my aunt turning white as a bed sheet…

What does all this have to do with Givenchy? I don´t have a clue. What I´m trying to articulate is that yeah, things are different here. One country´s Givenchy is another´s Ralph Lauren.  Givenchy fragrances preside over some major real estate in the fragrance department at The Bay, and lo and behold, some of them are actually quite good. Again, I´m not talking about the classics here, but the ones I´ve mentioned are lovely for the spring/summer seasons and their price tags won´t clean out your bank account. Most of them hover in the $85-$100 range; it´s money better spent than $60 for SJP NYC. As far as I know, Bonne Bell Strawberry Lip Smackers can still be had at Wal Mart for about $2.

So, here´s a rundown of my Top 3:

Ange au Démon Le Secret:  Cranberry, green tea, crystalline jasmine, blond wood.  Tart, light, refreshing, and actually has some staying power.

Very Irrésistible Rose Centifolia: Moroccan centifolia rose, a bunch of other roses, patchouli. First of all, the patchouli is very mild. Second, the SA told me there´s some orange blossom in this scent, as there is in the other 2009 Harvest scents. It´s very apparent to me, and it adds a wonderful airiness to the blend. I don´t normally go for rose, but I find the older I get, the more I´m starting to like it.

Eaudemoiselle: Winter lemon, rose, ylang, musk, ambrette seeds. I believe March told me this was the top seller at Sephora in Paris. As I said, it´s targeted toward the sophisticated twenty-something, not old farts like me. Again, no biggie; if I like it, I wear it. End of story.

Do you have a favourite Givenchy? If so, tell me about it.

Disclosure:  Samples of all the scents were obtained at The Bay.

  • Jonna Rebick says:

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  • nozknoz says:

    I tracked down Amarige d’Amour after learning that it is partly composed by Duchaufour, and it was only $20 at that point. You can see why he is so pumped by having higher budgets now, but it does smell good. %%-

  • Robin R. says:

    I’m hoping someone can tell me how the reissue of Le De Givenchy compares with the vintage. I am deeply in love with the original, which is now priced in the stratosphere – if you can find it.

    It was one of the first French perfume I tried in the sixties when I was 10 or 11: it came in one of those boxes filled with minis with the Eiffel Tower or similar iconic Parisienne on the front. It stood out from the rest, which were muddy brown things. Le De Givenchy was bright (aldehydes) crisp (greens) rich (jasmine, ylang ylang) and strangely exciting (frankincense, vetiver). I was able to find a decant of the vintage parfum and it has stood the test of time – and how.

    I am a big fan of the Harvest series. I think they’re amazing value and they all just sing. I love the idea, too, of a “vintage” year and a crop of exceptional flowers from a specific place, much like a vineyard-designated bottle of wine with its own personality.

    A dear friend gave me her unopened ounce of l’Interdit parfum, bought in the Amsterdam duty free when she was a stewardess in the late sixties. It is incredible stuff. It reminds me of Caron Narcisse Noir, with that Mousse de Saxone type of base and the dark, mysterious narcisse heart, along with a really exceptional sandalwood note that is front and center in the composition.

    I happen to also have a quarter ounce of l’Interdit parfum from the eighties, and while it has the rather good ingredients they still were using then, it is nothing like the quality of the sixties’ edition, which literally lasts for a full day — more than 24 hours — on my skin and is ridiculously beautiful every second.

    I almost wish I didn’t know what I know about vintage parfum, if you know what I mean. :((

    • Nava says:

      And you make me glad I don’t have the vintage “bug”!

      I haven’t smelled the re-issued Le De, but I would have no comparison to make; I’ve never smelled the vintage.

      I am curious about something: are the Givenchys as omnipresent on your side of the continent as they are here, or are the selections geared more towards the larger Asian population?

      • Robin R. says:

        Good question, Nava. You’d think that we’d have a fragrance selection in the store that takes into consideration our sizable Asian population, but our department stores are just like your, albeit smaller, and I think we have more niche lines available in the shops — or quite an impressive number of them all told, anyway.

        We do get all the Givenchy Harvests and those zillion Very Irresistible and Ange ou Demon flankers. Givenchy is big here. I’m thinking of our Asian population now: most of the young women are very westernized and wear all the patchouli and amber blockbusters the rest of us do without hesitation. Others come as foreign exchange students funded by well-heeled parents and I think they’re rarin’ to break with tradition.

        • Nava says:

          Well, you know the saying: “When in Rome…”

          Toronto isn’t totally devoid of niche, but at this point, I’m just a little afraid to go looking for it. You never know what I might find. :d

  • Louise says:

    I have the Ange et Demon Harvest Jasmin sambac, and it’s quite lovely, though as Melissa pointed out at some point, the bases of these are nearly identical. Still, it’s very pretty, cozy.

    I also, um, admit to liking Amarige Mariage, though I have yet to buy any…:-?

  • Linda says:

    I like the Organzas, and I actually adore the original Ange ou Demon. The licoricey/saffrony components put such a spin on the vanilla softness: it’s what I wear when I can’t decide what else to wear. It’s amazing layered with Jo Malone Anise & Vanilla, as they are close enough cousins to simply add sparkle and movement to both.

  • chrissyinoz says:

    Eau de givenchy was 1 of my very first growup scents in the early 80s (when you could buy it at the local chemist). I still have a bottle in my cabinet that i bought in 2000 (i think), still smells wonderful though. Ysatis was the other givenchy i wore in the 80s, today’s reformulation smells nowhere near it. I wear Ange ou demons (the original) & always get compliments.

    • AnnieA says:

      I love the Eau de Givenchy soap, which makes me feel happy when I’m washing my hands…

  • March says:

    I wish I’d paid more attention the the Extravagance. I thought it would be a “bigger” Amarige, and who needs that? But someone commented on the notes and I think it’s greener? Anyway, it sounded lovely. And I think L’Interdit is gorgeous as well. Eau demoiselle was … fine, the way that, say, Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche is fine. But my hand didn’t jerk toward the wallet. 🙂

    • Nava says:

      I’m saving my Eaudemoiselle samples for when it gets hot. Or, rather, IF it gets hot. It’s definitely not what I would call “distinctive”, but it would probably be quite refreshing on a schvitzy day.

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi March, as a fan of the unfortunately named Extravagance d’ Amarige, it is greener and much more lighthearted and less potent than the original Amarige. I think people just saw the “Amarige” on the box and kept their distance. It has a certain effervescence; it smells a bit bubbly and sparkly to my nose. A great choice for warm weather. Can’t wait to get a sniff of some of the Eaudemoiselle, as that sounds like a shoo-in for the heat as well.

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m craving a chance to try these now, and I’m usually not chasing after Givenchy. BTW, I had a teenage boy at home some yeas ago and DID take his Axe away for a while. I tried to explain that a little goes a very, very long way with that stuff. Fortunately, he seems ot have inheirited a bit of my taste scent-wise and now goes for Hermes. Wait – maybe that’s not so fortunate after all…!

    • Nava says:

      My friend’s 15 year old son was doused with something from Abercrombie or Aeropostale or American Eagle (who can remember?) the other day. He swore to me he only spritzed twice, but it was PO-TENT! :-&:-&

  • BBJ says:

    I smelled something at a Givenchy counter a million years ago that smelled AWESOME. I thought it was Amarige, and bought a bottle on that assumption, but Amarige is just heavier and stronger than what I remember.

    I’m not sure what it was.

    • Nava says:

      I would go over to Now Smell This and look up Givenchy under the “Perfume Houses” section. God bless Robin – she’s my go to for all that info!

  • Fernando says:

    My wife loves Ysatis. It’s one of those that I buy backup bottles of.

    The two Organzas (Organza plain and the Indecent one) are both good. She wears them perhaps less frequently than Ysatis, but they’re right for certain moments. I enjoy the old bottle, especially the tiny one that I call the “Indiscretion”, as it’s not big enough to be really indecent.

    We have an old bottle of Amarige, but we’re a little afraid of it.

    I bought what claims to be a vintage Givenchy III on ebay, but I can’t really smell it. It’s like a blast of green, followed by nothing.

    I’ve been making eyes at the Vetyver, which is hard to find but sounds pretty good. Any one out there have a comment?

    And these Harvest ones… can one actually get them in the U.S.? I haven’t seen them anywhere.

    • Nava says:

      If you can’t find the Harvest Scents in any of the department stores, I would check online at some of the discount sites.

      • Fernando says:

        No dice, really. A google search on Givenchy Harvest gets very very little.

        • Nava says:

          Give it some time; I think those scents were just released a few weeks ago (here in Canada). You never know where they’ll turn up eventually! 🙂

  • Tamara says:

    My daughter
    (thee 14 yr. old) has been drooling and pining away for
    Ange au Demon Le Secret for awhile now.
    It smells really good on her baby skin.
    I’m getting it for her just ’cause.
    🙂

    • Nava says:

      She’s a lucky girl. 🙂

      • Tamara says:

        Yes Nava she is, and more importantly, a good one.

        I can’t do stuff like that all the time with four daughters, eeek and they do all want to smell yummy,
        my 12 yr. old is in love with Memoire Amour (just a lil’ goes a looong way bebe, I tell her!)
        And the baby (6) gets so miffed when I won’t put all my samples on her at once. She likes L’Artisan Verte Violette.
        she says “Smells soft Mama.”
        And my oldest (16) has her mall muck but still sneaks into my stuff – GRRRRRRRRR does she think I can’t smell my lovies wafting down the stairs????
        Evil. ahah

        • Nava says:

          Be grateful you don’t have sons reeking of Axe! I’d take mall muck over that stuff any day!

          • Tamara says:

            Ugh , I’m sorry Nava!
            Axe is the devil huh?
            I guess your right.
            But if I buy them their own scents why can’t they just leave Mama’s lovies alone?
            :-w
            Take care Nava, make a stand and blow the Axe away with your own desired scent of choice.:”>

          • Nava says:

            Because you didn’t have mutant offspring the way my mom seemed to. I abhor almost every scent my mom ever wore. I’m such an ungrateful child! 😮

          • BBJ says:

            I teach high school. I dream of taking the boys’ Axe away and replacing it with something nice.

          • Winifreida says:

            It would beat the ‘scent’ of a classroom full of 16 yr olds’ joggers after lunch on a hot Aussie summer afternoon!!!!

          • Louise says:

            I dunno-I ran into the boy’s lacrosse team after practice at my school this last week, and the Axe was overwhelming…hello, asthma >:/

  • Shelley says:

    You know, funny thing about rose: I keep on saying I’m not interested in it in perfume, and then I find myself drawn to various treatments of it, either out front or on the side. In general, I prefer it chypred up or on the side, but still, there’s that Bulgari Rose Essentialle that entered my perfume life early on and hasn’t yet been kicked to the curb…so I think that I shall keep an eye out for the Rose Centifolia.

    I *won’t* expect to find it in a Mexican restaurant. 😉

    • maidenbliss says:

      I agree about rose-always said I wouldn’t ever wear it. However, :d a fellow perfumista sent me several samples of rose perfumes and wow! Amazing how many variations there are and how creative perfumers can be. Never say never. Have you smelled Czech and Speake #88?

      • Nava says:

        I think I started reconsidering rose when I smelled the Rosines. And Ava Luxe made a killer oil, Incense Rose, along with Eau d’Italie’s Paestum Rose; those really rocked my non-rose world.

        • maidenbliss says:

          Well! Just read several reviews of Eau d’Italie’s Paestum Rose. This is a must have for me!! I’ve also
          heard raves on Ava Luxe Incense Rose as well. Thank you for enabling me, darling:x

          • Nava says:

            My pleasure. Anytime! :d

          • Shelley says:

            Actually, I have Ava’s Incense Rose. I like it. :d

            I also like: PR Twill Rose, Magie Noir, L’Arte d’Gucci, Rose Ikebana (had to put those two together to show the contrast /:) ), Zen (the original black bottle, a woody rose), and, erm, some others. :”>

            And I like to go trippin’ every now and then on SIP Black Rosette. I don’t like it, per se, but it’s a fun experience…when I’m prepared for it.

            But I’m no fan of rose in the bottle.
            :-$

      • Shelley says:

        No, but see below…

        • Shelley says:

          Comment fail. Guess that would be “above.”

          As long as I’m at it, I know it’s “Magie Noire.” :-b And, heck, I’m gonna take this opportunity to say I know how to spell “cemetery.” (That’s for >-))

          • maidenbliss says:

            You lost me–#41? And you failed to mention 4 Roses=)) Whiskey, used to b in parental stash for
            parties<:-p

          • Nava says:

            A bouquet of Four Roses!

            And Rose Ikebana is all grapefruit on me. Also, it lasts about half a second then it disappears without a trace.

          • maidenbliss says:

            What a bouquet that would be-lol. Without a trace? Don’t know what I put on earlier, but that’s a perfect description. I always have several samples on and unless I write it down I have
            to continuously smell my arms!
            If you’re still here, Nava, how can I contact someone who I want
            to send some samples to- without posting my email? I’ve sent that question
            to PP, but if you’re still here, please let me know.

          • Nava says:

            Click the “Contact Us” button up top.

          • maidenbliss says:

            Thanx for responding. I did do that so I’ll wait for response.

          • Shelley says:

            Nava, that’s how Rose Ikebana was for me when I first tried it. Then, there was a teaching day when I wanted to put on something, but something that wouldn’t offend or interfere PLUS not potential trigger a headache (some days you just KNOW are going to be like that), so on went the Rose Ikie. About three hours into my schedule, I got a waft the most delightful rose, threaded with a bit of citrus…lovely. So, I dared try it *again* a few weeks later. Sure enough, that is now how I experience it. I don’t know what caused the turnaround, but once it happened, it has stuck.

  • maidenbliss says:

    An ‘older’ friend wears d’Amarige Extravagance and I bought her a bottle for Christmas-she smells so good, womanly, sensual, I want to enfold myself in her and cuddle. Convinced it was the sexiest scent I’d smelled in years I bought a fb. Ew! Fruity & floral, almost acrid, and proof of how our bodies are so chemically different when it comes to scent. Someone sent me a sample of Organza Indecence-spicy, amber, woody, a gorgeous perfume.

  • LindaB says:

    I enjoy Organza Indecence in the fall/winter–it gets very spicy on me. I just ordered a big ol 8 ml of Le Secret from TPC because I just can’t get it outta my mind! I smelled it in a magazine and thought, well that’s nice, next. But since a second sniff, I had to own some. The cranberry in there gets me in a good way although I’m not a big “fruit in my perfume” gal. Coincidentally, I also ordered a samp of Balenciaga as I am sooo intrigued. Should be a good mail day soon!
    Other than OI and Le Secret, I really haven’t smelled any other Givenchy’s. My mother owned L’Interdit and she just loved it. It was a little “too much” for me. Heavy and cloying.

    • Nava says:

      I think that’s why I never gave any Givenchys the time of day. One of my mom’s friends wore L’Interdit, so for me, it was right there with Chanel No. 5.

      Le Secret is fabulous. I think I might need a FB of it. :d

  • mals86 says:

    My experience with Givenchy is rather limited – I’ve sampled a handful only.

    Amarige I rather liked, but found it a little too insistent, like Chloe on steroids… the tuberose that ate the East Coast. I own a little half-ounce bottle of (original)Organza Indecence, that sexy spice cupcake, and really enjoy it. Le De I found boring, to tell the embarrassing truth. I liked the Les Mythiques version of L’Interdit, but wearing it felt a little like attempting seamed stockings when everyone else is wearing low-rise jeans. Fleur d’Interdit was a bit hit of fruity-sticky lip gloss over a wrist corsage for prom. And, sadly, just yesterday I tested Givenchy III and found it to be absolutely horrid on me, frighteningly dirty and bitter. Turns out that I must really need a LOT of florals in my chypres – GIII was a lot like somebody went round snipping all the heads off the roses in my beautiful L’Arte di Gucci gothic garden.

    • Nava says:

      Yikes! I hope Rappleyea read your comment about GIII. That’s not good…

      I wore Amarige years ago, when it was packaged in a stoppered bottle. A drop was all you needed and sometimes, even that was too much.

      • Rappleyea says:

        LOL! I just read it, and actually, it gives me hope, as I’ve sort of figured out that Mals and I are close to being Evil Scent Twins. Get those florals out of my chypres! :)>-

    • Shelley says:

      LOL…here I am, thinking that the person wearing L’Arte is doing the snipping… ;))

  • Rappleyea says:

    What an incredibly gorgeous picture of the Awesome Audrey.

    Years and years ago, I went through gallons of Givenchy III, and then it seemed to disappear. That was before I knew about reformulations. I haven’t smelled the newest incarnation, and I don’t think I want to.

    • Nava says:

      Isn’t that a great pic? I couldn’t be that elegant with a gun to my head!

      • Rappleyea says:

        LOL! Me neither! And she aged so beautifully too. I was always described as “cute” when I was younger, and “cute” doesn’t really translate well to a “woman of a certain age”.

  • Cheryl says:

    I fell for Organza Indecence. It was less than $100. Oranges and vanilla..very comforting and cheerful. Maybe an improvement to my personality!

  • Musette says:

    I finally sampled Organza Indecence a few weeks ago, in a Mexican restaurant in the middle of nowhere (where the fragrances competed with(and barely won out over)the most indescribably sickening bathroom ‘air freshener’ known to humankind.

    Air freshener notwithstanding, OI …..well, it’s a little warm and cuddly for my tastes, though I can see how it would ‘work’.

    The bottle? =)) Is that a matador in a dress?

    (I’m just sayin’ – the bottle’s a bit strange)

    xo >-)

    • Ann N. says:

      Good one, Musette! I will never look at that bottle in quite the same way again! 🙂

    • Nava says:

      A lot of people think that bottle is the height of tacky, but I love it!

      Why prey tell were you testing fragrances in a Mexican restaurant? I think the smell of burrito grease kills everything, even indescribably sickening bathroom air freshener!!

      • Musette says:

        Actually, the restaurant itself didn’t have much smell and we (S and I) were loading up the place with some pow-ful fumes. Or else we both are just so used to the smell of Mexican food? To be honest, I’m surprised we didn’t get thrown out of there, we were stinking the place up with so much ‘fumage.

        But we met our match in the guise of the Dreaded Bathroom Air Freshener (which was all the way on the other side of this restaurant, btw)

        It wasn’t until somebody used the bathroom that the AF kicked in – (and it was the AF, not the ‘bathroom action’, if you know what I mean).

        Honey. I nearly fainted from that thing (think the cheapest dollar-store air freshener you could find. In a landfill.)

        xoxo >-)

    • Winifreida says:

      I soon discovered Indecence on my blog travels, realising it had a sort of fabled fame, and ended up with two bottles; the first I thought must have been the re-issue, tall and cylindrical with only a slight flounce but with the matador cap. So then I had to get the full flounce with matador. Then I saw the mythiques which looked like they were in tall oblong bottles, no matador. Anyway, I certainly could not tell my two apart…

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Nava

    I’ve tried a few samples of the Harvest fragrances over the past couple of years. I can never remember the years, nor which note (rose, orange blossom, jasmine, etc) goes with which original scent (Amarige, Very Irresistable, Ange au Demon, Organza). But I’ve liked them and wished that they were more widely available, so that I could more of them give them a proper testing. Funny, I don’t really like the original scents, but I like the two or three Harvest “flankers” that I have sniffed.

    Of the older scents, Givenchy III is beautiful, as is vintage L’Interdit. The newest re-release of L’Interdit is respectable too. (The first reformulation was a hot mess). I may be one of the few who doesn’t like Organza Indecence Cupcake though. It’s a scrubber for me! 😮

    • Nava says:

      Melissa, I paid absolutely no attention to any other Givenchy with the exception of Indecence. It’s amazing how your geographic locale and the availability of stuff makes you so susceptible to changing your thinking!
      :d

  • Ann N. says:

    Good morning, Nava! Very happy to see you giving some props to Givenchy. I, too, am a huge fan of Organza Indecence (older version but the new one’s fine, too) — simply put, yumminess in a bottle.
    I’m also with Tatyana above on the Ysatis. A rich, plush, big-boned beauty from the ’80s that’s still beautiful today.
    And I also enjoy the oddly named Amarige Extravagance as a bright, fresh, don’t-have-to-think-too-hard-about-it scent.
    I kind of like the Le Secret from the one tiny test of it I did recently, but need to spend more time with it.
    And I’m looking forward to trying the Eaudemoiselle but not sure how widely available it is yet here in the States. I know none of my stores here in Atlanta have it yet. Anyway, thanks again for a great post!

    • Nava says:

      You’re welcome, Ann. 🙂

      I scoffed at Le Secret the first time I smelled it (I was so blown away by Balenciaga), but it really grew on me. Definitely spend more time with it if you can.

  • Tatyana says:

    Hi,

    I would try more of old Givenchy’s (like L`Interdit or Givenchy III) but my favourites for now are
    1)Ysatis
    “Magical floral fragrance. Ysatis woman is smart, emotional and distinct. Elegant bottle matches the opulent fragrance that smells like luxury. The top notes are citrus, ylang-ylang, galbanum, coconut, rose wood, and aldehydes. The heart notes are jasmine, rose, iris, tuberose and narcissus. The base notes are musk, amber, vanilla, vetiver, patchouli, sandal wood and civet.” (c) fragrantica
    Really it is. Great tuberose and musky, civet-y, animalic base. Slightly old-fashioned, heavy and loud, entirely in style of 80-s, may be ‘too feminine’

    2)Organza Indecence

    • Nava says:

      Wow! I gotta try me some Ysatis!

    • Graham says:

      Ysatis is my favorite as well. Inherited my mother’s old bottle which, I suspect, was bought in the 80’s, so the top notes are a touch off (plus, it’s not a spray, it’s an EDT splash – hellooooo contamination??). BUT, I’ve been known to dab it on in small doses. Never admitting to what it is, but wearing it nonetheless. Makes me happy.

  • Joe says:

    Hey Nava: I only just recently (finally) got a sample of the Indecent Organza Cupcake, and I agree it’s really nice. I was just sampling it again last night. But now everyone’s going to tell me how there are two different formulas, and if you’ve got your eye on buying some, you have to make sure you get the right one, or some hoo-hah like that… right? Oy vay. Perfume connoisseurs can make your life hard!

    Anyway, I don’t have many other Givenchy stories, except that another friend sent me a sample of the Amarige Harvest Mimosa 2007 and it’s pretty amazing. I’ve never tried the original Amarige — the review in The Guide still makes me laugh — but I’d buy that Harvest Mimosa.

    • Nava says:

      Joe,

      I don’t find Organza Indecence in the newer packaging to the THAT different than when it was housed in the original. It’s kind of like, a galloping horse wouldn’t notice. :d

    • March says:

      Nope! I sniffed it in Paris. If anything the new Mythiques one smelled a hair less sweet and a bit more woody, both of which were fine with me. And it’s not a fair comparison anyway, as many of the older bottles of anything have slight variations in smell.