Monday, March 7, 2011

Givenchy - Givenchy III (Vintage)

Dry green elegance

Do you believe in practical magic? Can we bring about the warmer weather by wearing perfume that is evocative of spring? Continuing my one woman protest against the snow still on the ground, I have another green perfume to recommend: Givenchy III.

Released in 1970, Givenchy III is a dry and elegant green chypre. It starts with sparkling aldehydes and leafy green galbanum. A sunny hint of peach balances the galbanum's bitterness. The heart is a slightly powdery, white bouquet with a green lily of the valley. The florals are kept dry, not sweet, by the addition of hyacinth and iris. The base notes are lovely smooth woods; slightly earthy and mossy.

Givenchy III feels like finding a patch of snowdrops on the mossy floor of the woods in Spring. It's a ray of sunshine and hope in the winter gloom.

Note: My bottle is a vintage tester I bought from Fritsch's Pharmacy. I'm not sure what year it is, but it looks like the photo below. It has the best spray of any bottle I own. A nice, fine mist.

House: Givenchy
Nose: Jean-François Latty, Raymond Chaillan, Y. Jerrold
Top notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, peach, gardenia
Heart notes: lily of the valley, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, iris root
Base notes: Patchouli, oakmoss, amber, sandalwood

Photo of snowdrops by R~P~M


  1. Gorgeous bottle to hold what sounds like a lyrical fragrance. I hope its magic takes effect in our hemisphere soon!

    My husband and I rent the second floor of a beautiful Depression-era house. There are snowdrops planted outside in a particular corner of the front yard, which we keep under anxious surveillance every spring. Sadly, that very spot is the one our obnoxious downstairs neighbors have chosen to "walk" their new puppy... so we may have none this year. :(

  2. What a coincidence! I found a full miniature bottle at my parents house last Sunday and was delighted it still smelled great. Your lovely review is perfectly timed.
    We are enjoying a cold, but very sunny day today, Spring can't be far off anymore. :)

  3. Hi Olenska, right now I am watching huge, fluffy snow flakes float by my window, so I don't think the magic is working yet. I hope your snopdrops survive the puppy!

  4. Hello olfactoria, that's a great find! I hope you enjoy is as much as I do.

  5. Hi Krista!

    Did Fritsch's Pharmacy have any other vintage Givenchy III hanging around? If I called, would they mail me a bottle with a credit card? Givenchy III is my all-time favourite but I have a bottle of Les Mythiques which has been reformulated apparently. I would love to have a bottle of the original. Your wonderful review has really piqued my curiosity!


  6. Hi Normand. Yes, I believe Michael Fritsch does have more of the Givenchy III. I know he often sells to remote collectors of bottles, so I think he would do business with you. His contact info is at the bottom of this post

  7. Perfect. Thanks Krista! I said I wouldn't buy another bottle for a couple of weeks... but vintage Givenchy III is too tempting.


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