Tag Archives: Givenchy

Givenchy Very Irresistible: It Started Here


Givenchy Very Irresistible is not only a test of character for my spell checker ( I am having so much trouble writing irresistible!), but the fragrance that launched a thousand flankers.  Well maybe not quite a thousand, but near enough if you ask me.

It opens with Anise, Cassis, and Lemon Verbena, and you can smell all of these quite clearly:  it’s not just glib perfume-speak. Cassis comes from blackcurrants and anise is liquorice-y so Very Irresistible sings a fairly dark opening number.

However, as the heart blossoms into rose, peony, more rose, some magnolia and some extra rose, it becomes more irresistible with the opening notes providing a pleasant purple sort of background.  The base is more roses and this is no bad thing.  Sometimes in High Street scents, floral perfume notes can get lost among too many ingredient, but Very Irresistible remembers the power of the rose and uses it to good effect here.

Overall, it would pass the commuter test, it would be good for work and every day wear and wouldn’t tread on anyone’s toes in a lift. But don’t go mad before 9am.


My bugbear with Givenchy Very Irresistible is the fact it spawned nearly thirty flankers, and the fact that it isn’t groundbreaking or particularly unique.  But then again, if I want ground breaking or unique I know where to go when I’m in that mood.

This would make a good Christmas gift for the floral fragrance lover in your life.  I don’t think the price is amazingly good: it’s between 30 and 40 quid for 30ml, and whenever you search for it online, all the flankers pop up instead.

Stockists: In the UK you can buy Givenchy Very Irresistible from www.Escentual.com or Debenhams online.  In the USA  and Canada you can try Amazon.com or Amazon.ca respectively.


Givenchy Very Irresistible L’Eau En Rose: A Fair and Fleeting Rose




I like a pretty Rose scent at any time of the year and I quite like Givenchy Very Irresistible L’Eau en Rose.  However, I would like to say one thing to Givenchy: You have not only made twenty nine Very Irresistible flankers but why are no less than EIGHT of them Rose flankers with slightly different names?

This is a serious turn off and if Givenchy  was trying to date me, this alone would stop me from calling them back after the first date.

I always find too many flankers can start to look both self congratulatory and complacent.  One or two carefully made flankers can be good (one example is Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte– a divine flanker that deserved to be made), but make too many and the original becomes devalued in a stack ‘em high sort of way.


However, having got that moan out of the way, I will say that Givenchy Very Irresistible L’Eau en Rose (what a mouthful!) is a delightful and fresh, clean smelling Rose that sadly goes a little bit vinyl on my skin after half an hour. It is described by Givenchy as a “frosted rose”, and that’s a pretty idea, but I’m not sure quite what that translates to.  It makes me visualise frosted fruit with a faint sugary bloom.

There are only three notes listed on Fragrantica and they are: Blackberry, Rose and Musk.  What I like about this is that the Blackberry, whist adding juice and a bit of weight to the airy Rose petal, is restrained enough to prevent this from being a fruity floral mélange.

L’Eau en Rose is pretty, feminine and lasts about, oh let me see now, nearly two hours.  I do actually like it: there is a realistic feel to the initial blast of fresh rose petals, but sadly it cannot be maintained.  If it could, I would be all ears ( and nostrils!). Longevity could do with a bit of a push as well. Conclusion? So nearly there and so nearly wonderful. And for Goodness sake, Givenchy, calm down on the flanker overkill!


Givenchy Amarige: Jasmine via Megaphone


Twenty years ago, I bought my first bottle of Givenchy Amarige and didn’t bother using it sparingly. Loud, proud, and distinctive, Amarige is instantly recognisable.

It claims that “  It is so opulent and floral that it seems like its composition includes all the beautiful flowers that exist in the world.”


Launched in 1991 by our old friend Dominique Ropion, I was 21 when I bought my first, second and third bottles. There followed a hiatus in my love affair with Amarige, possibly because I met and fell in love with another fragrance, the quieter, greener Chanel Cristalle, to whom I was faithful for many years.

Recently, on my holiday sojourn (or staycation since I stayed in the UK and holidayed on the coast), I found Amarige in a sale for only 22GBP and Oops I bought it. The memories came rushing back. However, the 21 year old me, is very different to the me of today (although naturally we look the same age *cough*).

And it is.


With more notes than an opera, Amarige has everything you could imagine:  Neroli, Mimosa, Jasmine, Gardenia, Yellow Flowers, Oranges, Peaches (thankfully light), Roses, Tuberose, Carnation, Woods, Amber, Vanilla, Cedar, Violet…you name it, it’s in there.  In the wrong hands, this could be a generic mess, but Dominique Ropion has fiddled with the dials until everything is just at the right volume. My youthful self  was right on one point, it certainly does smell more expensive than it is. Luca Turin nearly gave it four stars, despite disliking it.  In fact, in Perfumes The Guide he states “ If you are reading this because it is your darling fragrance, please wear it at home exclusively, and tape the windows shut.”

He calls this a “soapy-green tobacco-tuberose”. I really don’t know where to categorize it on my dressing table (my bottles stand in groups).  Despite the valid criticisms of it, I can’t help liking it, and can’t stop sniffing my wrists today as it whooshes me back to the early Nineties.

Divisive ain’t the word. There is an Amarige review on Fragrantica that makes me chuckle every time, It is written by a man whose ex girlfriend practically marinated herself in it to the maximum degree, despite his pleas to stop.  Dear crazykoffee you did give me a laugh as well as giving us all a sobering lesson on how NOT to use perfume! It is a brilliantly expressed review  and is a good balance to my gushing.


Amarige is a distinct classic, with Tuberose and Jasmine rooted in a deep and redolent base. The Yellow flower notes remind me a little of Chloe Narcisse, a fragrance only suitable for bees.  At the same time it’s playful and sweet, without being candy-sugary. It beds down into a floral woodiness, and lasts for ages, even as an EDT. I can’t help liking it, but I promise never to wear it over breakfast.


Sephora! Sephora! Sephora!


Firstly, an enormous thank you to my expert guest blogger Lisa Wordbird. She teaches me so much and on my return I thoroughly enjoyed reading her blogs written during my absence. Equally, I was educated by the debate and comments her interesting articles stimulated. To everyone I learn from, and especially my dear, invaluable Wordbird friend, I am grateful.

On my recent trip to France, I had two ambitions: one was obviously to enjoy myself and watch my children make memories in the chilly Spring sun (thanks for having us Mum!), and two, was of course, to raid Sephora and Marionnaud with the last vestiges of my carefully hoarded birthday money, saved for this very purpose.  It’s been six years since I last walked into a Sephora and two things struck me. Firstly- Why on earth don’t we do this in the UK?  Those rafts of fragrance testers! Row upon row of gleaming, tempting bottles, with the kind of variety we are starved of in Blightly. Sephora is pure Heaven for anyone with even a passing interest in fragrance and it equals over-excitable joy to a hard core sniffer.

My second observation was the prices. My dears, I fainted out cold at the shock. They had to bring me round with a nasty blast of Ambre Sultan, for lack of smelling salts. I’ll give you an example: In my local Superdrug, you can buy a 30ml bottle of Cacharel Amor Amor for £14.99. In Sephora it was E37.50 for 30ml. Even with the current rate of the Euro against the pound, that works out at £31.81. Serge Lutens fragrances worked out very slightly cheaper at E84, or £71.26 for a 50ml bottle.  Clarins Eau Dynamisante is £40.63 at Sephora (or E47.90), but just £24.65 (with free postage) on Cheap Smells.

I made a small purchase of a purse spray in the Sephora own brand range “Lagoon” and hoped that even a parsimonious purchase would reap me rewards in the samples stakes. With a smile and my best French, the lovely Paula either admired my linguistic efforts, or took pity on me. In any case, a few minutes after disappearing, she returned with two Serge Lutens samples (in cute little boxes) and a sachet of Dahlia Noir. Since my esteemed colleague Lisa Wordbird has already kindly reviewed Dahlia Noir L’Eau, I deem the two to be too similar to merit two separate reviews, so I will simply say it’s very similar to Dahlia Noir L’Eau, but has more resonance.

The Serge Lutens samples were La Fille de Berlin and Clair de Musc, more of which anon. I also visited the Parfumerie chain Marionnaud and was whacked over the head with a tester spray of Guerlain’s Mouchoir de Monsiuer. Surely this is Jicky by another name? I demanded of my non plussed husband, who was smelling of dreamy Habit Rouge by the time we left the shop, thanks to me. Mr IScent is so patient with me. No samples from Marionnaud since there was a distinct priciness in the air. Perfume obsessives must keep an eye on purse strings from time to time or temptation would lead us into being the best smelling homeless people in the world. A 50ml bottle of Cacharel LouLou was an eye watering E101 or £85, compared to £38.50 in Boots for an equivalent bottle, or even cheaper if you buy two 30ml bottles at £14.99 each in The Fragrance Shop.

Where French Parfumeries get it oh so right, is in the sheer variety, not only of brands, but of testers, widely available and on the shelf, ready to browse and be squirted. Increasingly in the UK, I am finding that testers need to requested over the counter and then of course, you get trapped in the sales spiel and are unable to complete your  desired session of mindless capricious browsing. Sephora is a huge brand, owned by LMHV, and can be found on most typical French high streets. However, they have a full range of Serge Lutens and Guerlains, Givenchys, Hermes, Chanels, Diors, and all manner of lesser known brands, as well as the usual growing army of celebuscents.  Equally sensible is the vast array of male fragrances too.  Maintaining my husband’s interest in his side of the store induced me to stay longer, (and the end of that story would be to spend more).

I would love for Sephora to open its chains in the UK. Boots would be its biggest competitor, although they spread their nets wide and thin these days. Sephora is pure indulgence, selling nothing but beauty products and fragrance. If prices were more competitive, Sephora could revolutionise the smell of the UK High Street and maybe, just maybe, rid us of the fruity floral fog that we must live in until the trend for identikit scents passes us by.