Pi 
Givenchy (1999)

Average Rating:  221 User Reviews

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About Pi by Givenchy

People & Companies

Givenchy
Fragrance House
Serge Mansau
Packaging / Bottle Design

This fragrance is named 'Pi' after the mathematical figure which represents the number you get if you divide a circle's circumference by it's diameter. The number Pi starts off 3.141592.. and just goes on for ever and ever. Computers are sitting there as you read this working out more numbers to add on the end of it...

Fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

    • benzoin,vanilla

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Reviews of Pi by Givenchy

There are 221 reviews of Pi by Givenchy.


Although it's not listed in the notes here, there is a very distinct coconut note shortly after the opening top notes begin to fade into the mid-notes, and it lingers well into the drydown. Whether this is intentional, or a by-product of how the other notes interact, it is quite unmistakable, and helps prevent Pi from being just another vanilla-amber scent. It works surprisingly well in warm weather, without smelling like suntan lotion.
Aug 30, 2021


Givenchy Pi (1999) was more or less released on the heels of Thierry Mugler A*Men (1996), as the hype behind that fragrance and its use of gourmand notes was fast proving to be the advent of a new genre, or at least a new style in the men's scent arena. There is something of an inside joke that Pi was a double-entendre because the gourmand notes also made it smell like pie, but honestly I don't see it. The mathematical theming and unique bottle design still manage to turn heads in stores even two plus decades on after release (the time of this review), with myriad flankers also filling shelves in the wake of its success. Givenchy Pi would become the first real success story Givenchy had with men since Xeryus (1987) launched, and the last major success they would have again until Gentlemen Givenchy (2017) put a unique subversion on the presentation of the classic Givenchy Gentlemen (1974). Alberto Morillas was tapped, as an in-demand designer perfumer with successes in the men's designer market co-composing fragrances like Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1994) or Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani (1996), not to mention also being assigned to make Carolina Herrera 212 Men (1999), which released the very same year as this. All told, Morillas was shaping up to be (and still is) a very commercially-minded perfumer, the Quincy Jones or John "Mutt" Lange of designer perfumers that knows how to put a punchy hook in an otherwise easy-to-digest format, although perhaps at the expense of any creative audacity. In short, he "understands the assignment" if nothing else. Pi was a departure from freshies for him too, which is neat.

The basic theme of Givenchy Pi is sort of a hybrid between the traditional oriental structures that had been lightened and smoothed out as per the conventions of the 1990's, with the emerging gourmand themes that Mugler brought to the spotlight. You get an opening of mandarin orange and tarragon, with some basil and rosemary, and bits of neroli that swirl in a sweetened herbal mass that slowly gets more confectionery over time once the vanilla shows up. Galbanum places a green edge on things, and some ionones add a powdery orris facet too, leading some to say this smells like baby products, but honestly I think most "dudebros" feel so alienated by powdery smells thanks to the conventional wisdom of society and the implied associations of powdery smells, that it's almost mental programming at this point. Still, Pi is not all about being powdery, and soon the benzoin warms up with some anise and an almond note, taking us further into the baked goods direction and away from powder or any commercial smells. Tonka, cedar, and that aforementioned vanilla show up to create a sweet, creamy, early tonka woody-amber profile that smells great in winter time or for romantic settings, cozy and somewhat close-wearing. Pi is not a "club banger" despite some comparisons to other fragrances from the 90's rolling deep with vanilla, neroli, tonka, and benzoin being for that purpose. Wear time will go about eight hours and performance will be medium until the halfway mark of that, then recede until but a skin scent thereafter. I suggest not over-spraying to boost this lest you wish to have a cloying "cologne guy" experience.

Givenchy Pi has gone through some packaging changes, the most noticeable of those being the increase in size of the "Pi" symbol from being small and near the bottom of bottles, to being much larger and placed centrally. Part of this coincides with formula changes as well, since older bottles of Pi contained some oakmoss and had a much darker, warmer sort of throb to them in the wear. I won't say these older bottles smelled more "natural", just heavier and with a modicum of greater performance than anything made since the "Pi" symbol got bigger. Current bottles are just a bit brighter, fresher (in a manner of speaking), and having a bit of rubberiness to the dry down that doesn't kill the scent, but makes it markedly different than the dry down of older "small symbol" bottles. The rest of the scent is 85% the same for me from beginning to end, and older bottles of Pi fetch dumb sums of money in the aftermarket as the usual "first batch is the only real batch" gatekeepers and elitists gobble up then lord over what remains of the older stock like possessing absurd quantities of it makes them a more legitimate fan than you. What are we? Fragrance enthusiasts, or teenagers competing over who the most obscure (therefore coolest) taste in music? Anyway, the biggest competitor to this stuff was very much Rochas Man (1999), which launched the same year, had a similar gourmand vibe, and is also still fairly popular decades on, so there is a bit of Coke/Pepsi interplay between these two if you're a fan of them both. Not for everyone, Pi is still a pretty accessible example of the genre with a cool theme all its own. Thumbs up
Aug 23, 2021


Sweet and powdery. That powdery feel gives it a bit of an "old lady" feel, kinda unisex, but overall this is pleasant and enjoyable, even today. Has some similarities with Bulgari Black, minus the rubber and add some almond-vanilla sweetness.

It's a little loud and heavy in the opening hour but calms down and settles into a softer scent. Seems okay for everything except hot weather. Lasts all day on my skin.
Jun 1, 2021


Notes and reviews dont resemble my experience. To me? Johnson and Johnson Baby Magic. Which i like, and use. But never thought, "Man, I wish this baby lotion would project a bit." Thumbs down.
Dec 19, 2019


I remember this being one of the first few scents I've ever tried, and I fell in love with it right away. My feelings have tempered a bit since finding plenty of things I love since then. But it's still lovely. It's sweet, but not shouty or cloying. The almond is done well, sometimes in other fragrances it can come off a bit old-womanly to me but it doesn't here. I don't know if the changing, never-ending nature of Pi describes the scent all THAT well, it's fairly linear to be honest. But, it smells good so that's fine by me.
Aug 27, 2019


This is a good one. It seems to have a seamless transition from top through to base. That is, the opening is sufficiently soft and doesn't stand out so as to smell completely different as it dries down. However, I must say that the vanilla stands out nicely but is not overpowering (at least I know what that smells like).
Dec 14, 2018

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