Category: Givenchy

San Francisco and memory

(an aside) My strongest perfume-locale association is in San Francisco. Double, actually. I was in San Francisco with my husband David when his company were performing at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts a few years ago. While they were in the theater during the day I went to see a show a friend had curated at The Contemporary Jewish…

digging (into) vintage: Givenchy Ysatis, 1984

(image, dreadful 1980s shoulder pads as worn by Joan Collins) Givenchy Ysatis, 1984.  Perfumer Dominique Ropion. Ysatis gives me some new thoughts on scent and memory. It comes from an era when I rarely wore perfume, and didn’t pay attention to the state-of-the-art at all.  Still, I remembered it instantly when I found a perfectly preserved vintage specimen recently. Ysatis…

Givenchy Monsieur de Givenchy, 1959

  (image, Henri Cartier Bresson) The Monsieur is one of a crew of wonderful masculine citrus chypres from the mid-20th century including Rochas Moustache, Chanel pour Monsieur and YSL pour Homme.  This genre smells like the middle ground between the feminine green chypre of the 1960s-1970s (Estée Lauder Private Collection, Scherrer de Scherrer, Weil de Weil) and Eau de Cologne.  I know the more current…

digging (into) vintage: Givenchy Insensé, 1993

(image Rain Dove) Givenchy Insensé, 1993. Perfumer Daniel Molière. Is it a truism that a masculine floral is doomed to failure? Insensé was released as a men’s fragrances. Would it have been released as a feminine fragrance? Unisex? Is there a gender for whom Insensé would have worked in the marketplace. The masculine/floral truism tells us that perfume is limited…

digging (into) vintage: Givenchy Xeryus, 1986

Perfumer unknown. (Firmenich) Two fascinating moments in perfumery happened within a few years of each other. They are the “road not taken” moments. When Thierry Mugler’s Angel hit the scene in 1992, women’s perfumery was changed irrevocably. Florals, chypres, traditional orientals were instantly ancien régime. It was a classic paradigm shift, an overthrow of the old order. The floral survived…