Red for Men 
Giorgio Beverly Hills (1991)

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Reviews of Red for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills

There are 62 reviews of Red for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills.

For a guy who likes classic 80s/90s fragrances, the whole Giorgio Beverly Hills line somehow escaped me until a few months ago. After trying GBH for men and loving it, I ventured into two of their other offerings, Red and VIP (uh, this one is amazing). As for Red, the GBH Red ETD I purchased (not Elizabeth Arden) I thought was very nice but it has an "edgy harshness" element to it at the opening. The drydown helped. But just today I received what I believe to be the original, vintage EDC version and it is smooth and rich all the way. Overall, it's more of a spicy-oakmoss rather than a dark-oakmoss (that's VIP) or floral/honey-oakmoss (GBH men). I really like Red, glad it's in my collection, and I get compliments (though, those are secondary to me; I like what I like). So, if you can, purchase the EDC. UPDATE: purchased a .5 ounce EDT boxed sample. It is better than my 1.7 ounce EDT bottle but still not as delightful as my EDC.
Mar 3, 2021

Bigsly was right.

Tracking down a vintage bottle of Red has definitively proved that my conception of 80's Giorgio as the blistering height of "you can't afford it" Rodeo Drive snob appeal bordering uncomfortably on gaucherie was correct, and not merely my own personal mythmaking about the brand. I now own the big three Giorgio "classics" in vintage form - Giorgio for Men, VIP and Red. They are all redolent of a level of ingredient quality simply not seen in designer perfumery today. (I'm reminded of a quote from a well-known perfumer I can't place, perhaps Pierre Bourdon? saying that designer fragrance briefs today ask for blockbuster hits with final production costs less than a fifth of what was commonplace twenty years ago.) My other suspicion - that the attention, quality and cost put into vintage reformulations runs in almost direct proportion to the brand's current cachet as measured by its place on the TJMaxx / graymarket price hierarchy - is also shaping up to be more true than not. Hence Drakkar Noir, which has remained a beloved international bestseller (if not Guy Laroche's sole export these days) has never slid into that sub-$20 price bracket of DOOM and remains quite well reformulated today, while those that fell below the $15-for-a-huge-bottle demarcation are for the most part ghastly, unrecognizably cut-rate impressionistic sketches of the originals (Halston, ODLR and of course, the entire Giorgio stable).

Giorgio Beverly Hills is unique in that perhaps no one else in that bracket fell down from a greater height, so they are useful if you are really interested in understanding the kinds of compromises that need to be made when taking fragrances which were untenably opulent, even for their time, and recreating them on a shoestring budget.

Having had (and having promptly given away) the EA reformulated version of Red, I was almost startled by the sensation the vintage juice creates immediately after the firehose blast of the sprayer hits the skin - the sensation of HEAT, like your skin temperature just went feverish in the area of application. It's a stunning effect and the first of many subtleties missing from the EA version. I've experienced something similar with vintage Givenchy Gentleman but this is really pronounced.

As this subsides you start to apprehend the indecipherable mess of notes you're dealing with, however a few spotlight notes do rise above the fray, most notably cinnamon and other oriental spices, which play off against a cool fresh streak of calone? dihydromyrcenol? and a slight ambered sweetness. The projection is nuclear as is typical for Giorgio. As with its other dizzyingly complex contemporaries, the first hour or two is notes whizzing randomly by, first feeling oriental, now with a fougere freshness, now a deep woody leather etc.

As you slowly begin to land on the base you can detect a very finely powdered, almost velveteen woody note, perhaps sandalwood. It's present in Giorgio for Men and especially VIP, suggesting a sort of "Giorgio-ade" signature base accord, another fascinating aspect of the brand completely stripped out of the reforms. Overall a markedly more interesting and dynamic ride than the flat, cheap smelling EA reform (you can always tell who's reviewing what version because just about anyone opining about the "cheapness" of Red is reviewing current juice; the vintage, however controversial its note choices, is nothing a discerning nose could ever write off as cheap-smelling.)

Red is a powerhouse, of its time and not without its "dated" elements. What it attempted - sort of an oriental-fougere-leather hybrid - had some history dating back to at least Z-14, and opinions of Halston's success in that endeavor remain split down the middle just as with Red. But vintage Red is abundant and cheap now, and I promise you have not smelled anything like its far drydown.
Feb 2, 2020

Old School Intimidating Leather Fragrance most likely to keep anybody younger at 40 at safe distance :)
Grantees privacy and personal space to the person who wears it.
Recommended for concerts and new year celebrations
Nov 11, 2019

Red for Men is a GEM of a fragrance. Similar to Devin by Aramis but so much better. Red doesn't have that overwhelming Galbanum note that Devin has, that can be cloying to my nose. No, Red is an absolute joy to wear. It's interesting. It's clean, yet it's funky. The contrasts make it come alive. It's fragrances like this that make me glad I'm in this fragrance game. If you are a serious collector with a sophisticated nose, and you've never tried Red for Men, I highly recommend you get a bottle.
Oct 5, 2019

i've also heard that this fragrance was supposed to originally have something like 500 different ingredients...I can see this...has an old-school vibe , but still interesting enough to be worn today...hard to pin down any individual notes...I get a cloud of spices and herbs with little touches of musk/patch/leather...has a semi-animalic vibe that , to my nose , gets stronger as it dries down...was a big fan back when this first came out and wore it a lot...bought a newer bottle at TJMaxx and kind of enjoyed wearing it...finished the bottle, but probably won't get another...had my fill of this one...
Nov 7, 2018

I admit, I've seen this on shelves at discount stores more than of actually opening up a bottle and trying it on. The one time that I did, I got a definite impression: Old!

Being old doesn't make it bad automatically. But let's face it, certain old-school, back-in-the-days colognes (and perfumes) just can't "de-old" themselves, owing to the era they hail from and the strong associations that come with it.

Red for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills is one of those colognes. A period piece and nothing less, Red for Men is chock full of yester-decade fougere richness (just like GBH for Men original and its cousin VIP, which take a certain frame of mind to wear and process in 2018!).

Similarities are there to scents like Givenchy's Xeryus (original), Polo (green pre-reformulation original), and Puig's Quorum: Bold, complex, musky, exuding a brash mix of all kinds of exotic spices and florals and warm ambery-mossy base. I can see the disco globe / rave lights flashing bright whenever I sniff this potion!!

Red for Men had an interesting niche-like personality in its time, and to this day it does stand out proudly no matter what one may think of it today. I applaud Red for being a credible contender in its time amid the large array of options that clubbing / party-happy young men had to splash on themselves before taking on the night back then. But personally, I feel it's too stigmatized and rife with connections to the aspects of that era which I have moved on from; I couldn't see myself wearing it even for a private, casual whirl around the house.
Aug 23, 2018

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