Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eau de Givenchy

Givenchy launched Eau de Givenchy in 1980, and it seems to be one of their last light and sheer fragrances for at least the next twenty years. My first meeting with Eau de Givenchy came in 1988 when my aunt gifted me a bottle as congratulations for passing my drivers test. Perhaps once you link a fragrance with a happy milestone - one symbolic of entering adulthood and new found freedom, the scent will always be a cherished memory. Eau de Givenchy, for me, is the summer of ’88. It is driving around with my friends, going to the beach and the mall and listening to the Violent Femmes, from the casette tape deck player in my first car, a powder blue Ford Escort named Nelly.

Eau de Givenchy is a charmer. Unlike other “Eau’s” its more potent and lasts a good 4-5 hours. When everyone is raving about Dior’s Escale a Portofino and Chanel’s Eau de Cologne, I must admit to feeling a little smug about my love of Eau de Givenchy. EdG costs about $30 and the longevity is far superior to the Dior and Chanel. It opens with a cheerful citrus and green burst that includes just a smidgen of fresh herbs and mint. I definitely find it more green than citrus but the bergamot lends a little hesperedic quality to the start. EdG dries down to a lovely clean, fresh, green floral that is very different from the “clean, fresh greens” of the past 10 years. EdG does not have the annoying peppery quality that I can’t abide, I’m thinking of Eau de Cartier and others in the same style.

Eau de Givenchy has a lovely floral heart and dry down. I find it’s reminiscent of sheer and ethereal florals like Diorissimo and Cristalle (edt). If you tested EdG blindfolded I would wager you’d think it was a new fragrance, there is nothing dated about it, nothing at all that screams 1980 to my nose. I can detect the honeysuckle and lily of the valley but I still don’t find it too sweet or cloying in the least.

The notes are: bergamot, spearmint, tagetes, greens, fruits, honeysuckle, jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, rose, cyclamen, orris, musk, cedarwood, sandalwood, and moss.

To me, Eau de Givenchy is a classic. It’s a hidden treasure with excellent longevity especially when compared with a slew of more expensive eau’s that don’t stay with me beyond 30 minutes.

Right now a 100 ml bottle is $33 at Rei Rien
OR $29 at Parfum1 (plus their 25% off code this month)

I can’t speak to the different bottles and perhaps slightly different formulations. I still have my old bottle from 1988, which is an amusing looking retro thing.


junaduft said...

Givenchy has relaunched this fragrance, along with several others and is now selling them at their boutiques and select upscale department stores in Europe for 82 Euros. I liked EdG and a few others--including a green version of Amarige, if I remember correctly.

junaduft said...

P.S. I wonder how much these "new" old fragrances have been reformulated.

Abigail said...


I haven't tried the newly launched EdG, I hope it hasn't changed.

The Green Amarige is called Extravagance and it's actually quite nice. Zero similarity with Amarige. It's a hidden gem.