A box from LVMH shows up at my house approximately once quarterly, and when it does I know there is only one thing inside: Givenchy flankers. I’ve already covered last year’s autumn, winter and spring releases, and I’ve also talked at lengths about my displeasure with constantly rotating flankers. Yet at the same time I can’t help but seek and collect them (the eternal paradox is documented in my Flankers That Went Too Soon series). I’ve currently got my eyes on the Jean Paul Gaultier Popeye the Sailor Man rendition of Le Male, but don’t tell anyone because I’m not supposed to be buying any more bottles.
In any case, this fall Givenchy sent over a man’s release as well as a women’s release, which is an unusual move for the French luxury brand. Usually we see one or the other, and it will be interesting to see which one they market more aggressively. Indeed, let’s take a look at what these flankers are about, what I think of them, and if you need to run out and get them (it remains unclear if either is limited-edition). They’re up for grabs at Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora in Canada, so you can choose where to purchase based on gifts-with-purchase or rewards programs.
One thing I will say to the credit of the PR folks at LVMH is that they make fact-checking supremely easy. I was provided several booklets of information on the new releases (and cookies to snack on while I write), so any information from said booklets will be quoted for your convenience. Also for your reference I have not thoroughly tested out either of the original pillar fragrances, so I will not be comparing and contrasting them. I believe a flanker should be able to stand on its own as a promotional and olfactory piece. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The Gentlemen Only line receives its second annual expansion with Absolute. Absolute is not a more intense version of the original as the name might imply, but a completely new version that builds on the themes of the original. “The Absolute Best” is how they’re describing it. If you’re wondering whether there was truly a need for yet another Gentlemen Only, you’re not alone; I find it is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate between them. One point of difference, however, is that this is the first Gentlemen Only EDP, all the others were EDT. The classic bottle gets a matte black paint job with crimson accents (surely meant to evoke thoughts of an elegant silk tuxedo) for its red carpet reveal, and even a new TV spot. Take a look.
The official notes for Absolute include: “metallic bergamot,” a “trio of spices (saffron, nutmeg and cinnamon),” “sandalwood and a hint of vanilla.” Seems pretty classic at first glance, doesn’t it? In fact, it comes off almost too predictable. And it is just that, a unexciting and, dare I say, boring divergence from the great path that Parisian Break was on earlier in the year. The only redeeming quality of the scent itself is an underlying note of leather, not written about in the press kit but picked up on in several Fragrantica reviews. I’m not a leather fan myself but it does give Absolute a dash of much-needed personality. Overall it is nice but not groundbreaking, I believe that there is better even within the Givenchy range and do not find it worth recommending. Would work best for men in their thirties or forties who work in an office environment and need something that’ll work year-round.
The Dahlia collection’s newest member is Dahlia Divin Le Nectar de Parfum, and unlike its male counterpart it is very much intended as an amped-up, concentrated helping of the original. The bottle features golden elements in the cap and flacon, and it too receives a new feature film. I can’t help thinking that this campaign specifically goes after Christian Dior’s J’Adore in time for the holidays rush, with its ethereal gilded vibes, but I’ll let you determine that for yourself.
I wore this perfume for several days to test it, and unfortunately found that it didn’t fare too well on my skin. In a few short hours I wasn’t able to pick up on it, and I say that regretfully because I truly wanted to like it. The notes are “mimosa, sambac jasmine, vetiver, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla musk.” Just as before, there is an undisclosed note here in the form of rose, which paints the composition in a cool, sharp metallic tone, like gold leaf. I cannot with certainty point out the other notes, just an overall impression of something synthetic and sour.
Overall I wasn’t taken with either of these new releases, but that’s simply because they’re not my taste. I believe my dad and mom will be happy to take them off my hands as Givenchy’s more intended demographic. Have you given either launch a try, or are you waiting for a new pillar to change things up? I promise you’ll be the first to know if it does.
*Prices true at time of writing.
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