Neutral Reviews of Xeryus 
Givenchy (1986)

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Xeryus by Givenchy

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Reviews of Xeryus by Givenchy

(The notes listed above are truly only a small part of the story, there are far more unlisted notes - check Fragrantica).

The original, in the black bottle as pictured here, was the very first cologne I bought for myself as a teenager. At the time (in the 1980's), Drakkar Noir had just hit, and suddenly all my male classmates were literally dousing themselves in that cologne. It was a fine scent, but when you're surrounded by boys you could literally smell from across the room or from down the hall, I was inspired to go a different direction. That's how I blind bought Xeryus. I rocked that scent for a good 10 years before I fell off the fragrance bandwagon.

Fast-foward to today, I'm in my 50's, and I see that this cologne is still for sale, so I buy it.


First, the bottle has changed. It's a nice, heavy frosted glass bottle with a 'gemstone' cap - fine, but it's certainly not as cool or dramatic as the original 'black castle' bottle.

Next, the fragrance has obviously been reformulated, definitely watered-down. What once-upon-a-time started as a bright citrus blast of grapefruit and cypress that softened into a woody, spicy green fougere/chypre combo, and finally dried down to a rich, ambery base - it seems they have kept most of the top and mid notes intact, but the base has really fallen off. So you're left with the woody, slightly leathery mix of fougere and chypre mids and not much else, after the citrus opening. It's still nice, it's just not on the level of what it once was. The base of old was so rich and ambery and mysterious - it was an incredible place for all those other notes to eventually land. If you can get a hold of the original black bottle, grab it, because that's where the magic lives.

As for the reformulation - eh, it's fine. It smells clean. It still has dozens of notes that your nose will have fun trying to differentiate, it interestingly straddles a fence between fougere and chypre - but it's not as intoxicating and addictive as the original. The thing that made it special was something in the base, something that sat on your skin and drew people in and was truly rich and mysterious. That's gone.

To add insult to injury, where I once got so many compliments on this fragrance as a young man, the only comment I've heard while wearing the reformulated version is one of my students saying "someone smells like a grandma in here" when he walked into the classroom. It's a shame. If it smelled like it used to, I'd probably make it my signature scent once again, 30+ years later. Alas, this full-circle is not meant to be completed.

If Xeryus had a star sign I'm sure it would be Aquarius: eccentric, friendly but cool and detached; a non-conformist. says any attempt to box-in Aquarius will most likely fail; and likewise, Xeryus is a difficult scent to get a handle on. It's a gluey, pale green hybrid of fougère, amber and chypre; and - as you'd expect from a scent with thirty notes[!] - it has plenty of decoratives: lemon, pale tree-fruits, evergreen resin, green notes, woody notes, nutmeg, amber, leather and moss...

Sadly it doesn't work on me, but as 'equality and fairness' are hallmarks of Aquarius, I'll give Xeryus the benefit of the doubt - and put it down to Bad Chemistry.

I find the top of Xeryus intriguing, but something in the base is not quite my style, too coniferous, perhaps.

Wearing this some more, I get a strong connection to the smell of dryer sheets, in a nice way - top quality dryer sheets. I could almost give this a thumbs up, I'm on the fence.

Very dated and watered down generic woods fragrance. Undiscernable citrus notes. Again, just translates to watery notes with no punch or personality. The amber is more than just a is really the only dominant scent after 10 minutes. Xeryus is bland and inoffensive. Does not project much. Lasts 4 to 5 hours on skin.

Quality fragrance, just way too soapy opening for me. I smell "Irish Spring" soap for the entire opening. Not bad, but not something I'd wear.

Stiff (though slightly exotic), moody, classic aromatic fougere. Citrus-lavender, oakmoss, sage, sandalwood, geranium, amber and other notes turn this fragrance out very similar to the sadly disappeared Coveri Pour Homme, which i prefer to this one because of the Givenchy's one final too stressed warmth while the Pour Homme kept on till dry down that touch of green-earthy freshness that makes more wearable a fougere. The mossy warmth as already written, is enhanced by a link between artemisia, woods and moss which pushes up the heat in the dry down pumping off in that phase the coolness provided before by cypress, aromatic notes, fruit and citric lavender. The beginning is all watery citrus, basil, grapefruit and sage and is wonderful because, while forseeing the following depth, exudes woodsy aromatic, herbal, sufficienty cool and mentholated notes before the dark-grey warmth starts to rise up from the background. As well as the woody-spicy-mossy density by cypress and cypriol starts soaring, the aroma keeps becoming massive and enveloping the initial citrus fluidity. These woods are resinous in my opinion and this is the reason of that tarry, nearly gummy trait dominating the final outcome. Some flowers as dry geranium and jasmine ( i detect violets and may be rose) exude moody and obscure botanical refinement in the middle of the development before the fragrance settles in to a warm sandalwood, incense, amber, rubber  base smoothed and encompassed by musks from the forest. There is an hint of vetiver in the base but not so marked. I've heard the new version is a better stuff
because is airier, fresher and subdued in musky density. May be but i would not swear about. The longevity is strong while sillage is medium bodied.

Please, let me clarify, This review is for the reformulation of Xeryus in the plain ugly bottle- Not the wonderful original fragrance in the Shiney Mirrored Black Deco bottle.
Finding Xeryus again after many years , I thought, was going to be a pleasant surprise.
Why this was reformulated is beyond me. The Original was a rich and classic fragrance that was formal and memorable...dry down was a masculine powder that evoked many complements.
This new formulation is a spicey mess that induces a headache. One dimensional and quite awful. I purchased two bottles at two different stores hoping the first bottle was a bad batch. It wasn't. I gave one bottle to a friend that also previously owned the Original black bottle version.
They asked me if I was joking-that this smelled nothing like the original.
It has been, to this day, the biggest disappointment in my fragrance collection.
Shame on you Givenchy for destroying the original and pasting it's name on this headache bomb!

I liked the top but then I realized that the particular type of musk in the base feels archaic and feminine to me, and I'm not sure a shiny but tacky old leather jacket that someone thought was stylish when it was new. I probably should have been more patient with it, but it was suffocatingly heavy at times so I just let it go. This was in the old grey monolith bottle (which BTW I think is an awesome monument of 80s memorabilia) and I don't know if it was reformulated when the bottle was changed.

This is a quality scent. Exotic and woody it was one for the times; I wore it in the eighties. Apply sparingly - 2 sprays max and you can wear it on any occasion during the colder months. Good value if you can find it discounted.

Xeryus is interesting, very interesting. I like the exotic woods and the artemisia. They give a very exotic, slightly bitter-woodsy character. Ultimately however, the amber gives (to my taste) a too much powdery sweetness. Worth sampling, it is different from much of what is out there.

Another fragrance my brother bought, when he was finding his fragrance style.The fragrance has a citric start with grapefruit notes, traces of lemon and lavender could also be felt. The middle note has some berries, plus kitchen like notes of tarragon and coriander, and something I didn't like, surely sage. The final notes gives it an oriental flavor, something like chinese woods (ok, it sounds weird, but it gave me the image of something at China), and some green notes of vetiver.Fresh and woody, with bits of fruit like berries, and the old chinese sensation. For office and daytime use, maybe night. Suitable for a range of age between 25 and 40 years old.

I blind bought for the baron de charluswell after this and smalto pour homme, which I also blind bought for the baron, & which smells pretty similar to me... I told myself:By all means savor the baron's proseBut baby don't you trust his nose!Which is only to say that naed and I seem to be on different paths much of the time (although I'm just starting to step out).But all I have to say to him is . . . like that orchid theif guy in "adaptation" said:Never let anything get between you and your flower, Deano!

Xeryus starts off okay for me - smells like a lot of other fragrances out there (or maybe they smell like Xeryus, since this is 20 years old now), which leads me to agree that it's "in the middle." It smells pleasant enough in the beginning, then it dries down to very dry and faint woodsy scent on me. I don't get amber at all. It disappears rather quickly too. Finally, there is something about it that irritates my eyes, so I don't feel I can be completely fair in my evaluation. All-in-all it's nothing special and even without the slight allergy to one of its components, I doubt I would find occasion to wear it often.

I've never had too much to say about Xeryus. I prefer it greatly over Xeryus Rouge. Xeryus is kind of a typical 80's fragrance. A mostly woody fragrance with floral notes. This is a bit more linear and one dimensional than a lot of other 80's fragrances. I consider this one mediocre.

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