Chevignon (1992)

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Chevignon by Chevignon

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Chevignon is a men's fragrance launched in 1992 by Chevignon

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Reviews of Chevignon by Chevignon

There are 22 reviews of Chevignon by Chevignon.

Chevignon Brand is a ready-to-wear fashion arm of Les Établissements Charles Chevignon, founded by the former and Guy Azoulay, and has always been centered around minimalism and a certain brusque aesthetic that seems more suited to men (even if they have had items for women in the past too). Perhaps best known for its jacket, denim, and leather accessories, Chevignon set its sights on businesses outside of fashion as early as a controversial (and failed) cigarette arm in 1990, then later a fragrance division launching in 1992 with the Bogart Group handling composition, manufacturing, and distribution. If this sounds familiar, it's because Bogart Group is home to both the Ted Lapidus and Jacques Bogart lines, producers of the most unapologetic and masculine fragrances on the planet, meaning the debut masculine Chevignon (1992) would be right at home there. Other critics in the past called this a cut-rate Ralph Lauren Polo (1978), and they wouldn't exactly be wrong, since Chevignon has strong similarities, but this is no clone. The whiskey flask bottle and old-timey writing on the front go hand-in-hand with the faux-Americana the brand tried to channel in a decade that was back-to-basics compared to the preceding one, although by 1992 stuff like Polo was the furthest from what young guys looking to grunge it up actually wanted.

The opening is very familiar to Polo fans, with artemisia and galbanum, dry bergamot and aromatic notes like caraway, swapping Polo's coriander for basil. The differences are slight at this phase, as Chevignon does not have the pine of Polo in the heart, although it has just about everything else save muguet and leather, the latter of which is moved to the base in Chevignon. This includes jasmine, carnation, rose, geranium, filling in the heart, leading to a transition into a lighter less-dense base spearheaded by that leather note. The leather is very rounded and spicy like Hermès Bel Ami (1986) but much softer, and some may say Chevignon veers closer to Ralph Lauren Polo Crest (1991) by this stage. Cedar, oakmoss, amber, musk, and that leather form the base of Chevignon, with the telltale tobacco and vetiver from Polo absent in Chevignon, using increased patchouli to bring in some resinous green feeling that steers more towards something like Givenchy Gentleman (1974) or Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984) but with traces of the Polo "vibe" filtered through from the top and heart. Chevignon becomes its own beast by this stage, but just barely. Wear time is average at about eight hours but unlike most of what I've mentioned above, this is not a powerhouse fragrance at all, bringing the 70's/80's masculinity in line with 90's sillage. Best use would be formal situations where something green and mossy feels apropos, and likely more mature.

I like Chevignon but with stuff like Jaguar for Men (1988) still out there as cheaper viable alternative to vintage Polo, I see no reason to pay the steadily-increasing prices of the discontinued Chevignon. When this stuff was viewed as the cheap Polo alternative, it probably did Chevignon no favors which is probably why they chose to discontinue it in the first place. People who wanted Polo were going to buy current Polo regardless of formulation because brand cache matters to the average consumer, while fragrance collectors will either spring for the vintage Polo because "ermahgerd muh oakmossuses" or vintage "wood cap" Jaguar for Men, which is now the cheaper alternative for Cosmair-era Polo than the near-unicorn prices for the Chevignon. Logic dictates if you're going to overpay for a "rare and precious" vintage, get the original and not the reputed imitator right? Back in the day when Chevignon was new and common, I would have recommended it as a slightly lighter and perhaps more summer-suited alternative to fans of heavy green stuff like Polo or Givenchy Gentleman, especially since leather bases tend to shine in hot weather, but now I'd say only go in on a bottle of this if you're a collector. As it is now, Chevignon is a neat little historical blip, a transitory piece sitting between 80's power and 90's apology, but not worth the price of admission for any functional purpose beyond completing a display of such fragrances. Thumbs up.

Stardate 20170808:

Used to be poor man's Cosmair Polo.
Now that current Polo has been reformed again (this time for better) and price of Chevignon gone up, I would not seek this out.
If you find one for cheap (under $40) get it else stick to current Polo

Smells similar to original Polo but is closer to Polo Crest which means it has more of a modern feel than the original. Do not get that confused with modern scents, this is still in the 80s tradition of masculine scents...just a little cleaner and sweeter. For my taste, I prefer Polo Crest to Chevignon but this is an excellent alternative.

Chevignon is an honest hesperidic/mossy/leathery/cedary fougere which deserves attention and respect. I used to see the bottle on the shelves around in the past (today is hard to retrieve it) but tended to ignore the fragrance which, tested recently, left me pleasantly surprised for dignity and maturity. It is a minimalistic mossy/leathery/earthy herbal recipe supported by initial bergamot (a lemony tone is easily notable) and sharp floral patterns (geranium, rose or carnation) in the core providing a really sharp masculine vibe (vaguely wild, a la El Charro or Ralf Lauren classics). Really stout (but never over the limits) and finally mossy-leathery with someting spicy-earthy and "piquant" which I really like on my skin. Virile, confident, aromatic, vaguely boozy, balanced. Interesting bottle reproducing a whiskey/brandy box I suppose. I highly recommend this american "country-side" style concoction with doesn't accept compromises.

Chevignon Brand (original formula) opens with an herbal green artemisia (wormwood) and bergamot citrus duo before transitioning to its heart. As the composition reaches its early heart its general demeanor continues firmly green as the artemisia remains, now coupling with slightly sweet green jasmine-like lily-of-the-valley florals supported by oakmoss and a touch of sweet amber rising from the base. During the late dry-down the composition turns considerably sweeter as heavy amber dominates the dry-down, bolstered by the remaining green oakmoss, cedarwood and hints of hard leather and green mint leaf. Projection is average and longevity good at around 10 hours on skin.

Chevignon Brand (original formula) was a blind buy based on its loyal following by many old style composition lovers. Unfortunately, while the notes list is quite impressive it became clear relatively early that this was not turning out as well as one hoped. Things started out swimmingly with a very nice wormwood driven green open. The coupling of the wormwood with the green bergamot citrus gives off a near lime-like herbal accord that is bracing but impressive. Unfortunately things slowly turn south as the development continues. The key culprit spoiling the party is some sweet, artificial smelling amber in the base that creeps into the latter mid-section of the composition and dominates the late dry-down. This really gives the last half of the composition's development a relatively "cheap" smell. The sweet amber not mixing well with the green oakmoss and cedar doesn't help things either. In short, the late dry-down is a bit of a mess. Reading this one could surmise the entire composition is a failure but that really isn't the case. The problem is that with so many better options on the market, why would one pick a mediocre one? The bottom line is the $30 per 100ml bottle on the aftermarket Chevignon Brand (original formula) is a seemingly appealing option with its impressive list of notes and relatively low price point, but the last half of its development is marred by a liberal use of sweet amber that is incongruous with its other notes leaving the composition smelling disjointed, earning it a middling 2.5 star rating out of 5.

*Note: This item is still sold in a more modern style bottle that has been majorly reformulated. The discontinued original version's bottle reviewed here resembles a whiskey flask-like shape.

Chevignon is a blend of wood, leather, floarals and fruit with spices dredged on top. And what a mixture that is! The opening baffles me each and every time. The initial whiff that comes with the first spray is quite hard to define for me, however, you can spot the floral-whiskey-fruity nature of Chevignon right away. The wood and leather comes later with the drydown, and that is when it converts into something you would call a 'classic' cologne. Sillage is great, longevity of at least 7 hours to me is good enough. On balance, it's a beautiful and versatile scent which seems to quickly adapt to the wearer.

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