I was inspired to review Givenchy Ysatis by a kind reader who wrote in and told me how much she loves it. It prompted me to ask why on earth I have left this wonderful classic so long?
Created in 1984, Givenchy Ysatis ( “Eeh-Sah-Teece”) was down among the brash Eighties hard hitters such as Dior Poison, Giorgio Beverly Hills and YSL Opium (which is technically late 70s, but was very suited to the excesses of 80s life). Eighties perfumes still have a what-the-heck nostalgia about them ( I will always have a bottle of Cacharel LouLou), but Givenchy Ysatis has somehow quietly acquired a bit of a classic status and still holds it own to this day, but not as a gimmick, more out of sheer respect. In fact, if I smelled it blind I would have attributed it to Estee Lauder. It reminds me of Private Collection, Knowing and White Linen.
The notes in Ysatis are too numerous to list here, so I will tell you my impressions of it (which are, as always subjective). Ysatis opens with strong aldehydes, lemon and woods. This phase lingers on for over an hour (reminding me very much of Taylor of London Tweed). In the middle, the notes blend into a woody, green phase with a few flowers around the powdery edges. Not girly freesias or peony though: spiky geraniums and rooty Iris, still with a background of aldehydes and greenery (think ferns and greenhouses).
The finish lasts for several more hours and has more of that delightful powderiness to it. It is rounded off with a hint of rich resins, a soupcon of honey, more woods, vetiver, oakmoss and even a hint of tobacco.
I tried this on my skin and my coat sleeves a few days ago and again today and every time my coat touched my skin, a bit more Ysatis would waft up deliciously. Use sparingly on skin, and add to a scarf and coat sleeve for a scent that lasts all winter.
Ysatis has die hard fans and is here to stay, I hope ( although you can never say for sure in PerfumeLand). From the glitzy excesses of the eighties, we found elegance and daring that still looks good today. Oh and don’t worry about the eau de toilette version being weak, it absolutely is not!
Stockists: in the UK you can get Ysatis online or in store from Boots at 24.99 for the 30ml EDT, or the 100ml can be ordered from Escentual for only 47.33. In the USA you can get it from Amazon.com, and in Canada, from Amazon.ca.