A young counterpart to the original Xeyrus. Packaged in a bright red box, and a deep red bottle. This fragrance contains cactus flesh and kumquat. Surely a good sign!

Xeryus Rouge fragrance notes

  • Head

    • kumquat, cactus, tarragon
  • Heart

    • cedar leaf, red pepper, african geranium
  • Base

    • sandalwood, cedarwood

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Latest Reviews of Xeryus Rouge

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I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews for this one. I wouldn't rank Xeryus Rouge among my absolute favourites but I do like it a lot; the earthy, unusual cactus is unlike anything else in my collection.

I can't see it appealing to young men but this fragrance exudes quality and sophistication.
4th September 2022
While this is not inherently bad-smelling, there is nothing about it that draws me in for a second wearing. The cactus fades into a powderyness that comes off a bit dated and "old-mannish". And the pimento isn't quite as spicy or distinct as I was hoping. Maybe it needs amber or something a bit heavier to hold it together.
28th July 2019

Givenchy's Xeryus Rouge is a masterpiece if you're prepared to accept a few caveats.

It's not for everybody. Xeryus Rouge has one of the sharpest, most pungent openings of any fragrance I've encountered. It's likely to offend those with olfactory sensitivities in way quite similar to Fahrenheit. Cactus and tarragon dominate the top notes.

It's fickle. Applied sparingly, Xeryus Rouge is a luxurious and unique scent that possesses a round, synthetic, fruity opening that quickly dries down to sandalwood-dominated base notes with an occasional waft of cedar. Applied generously, it turns into a mess of synthetic geranium with very little of the red pepper accords. It can get very cloying very quickly. This is a two-spray-max sort of fragrance.

I cannot detect the citrus or musk notes that some other reviewers do: they're simply not part of the formulation.

I procured a sample of Xeryus Rouge as a teenager in the mid-90s. I remember it being magical and I often wore it to bed for comfort while reading on rainy nights. It's certainly capable of eliciting wonderful memories and associations; it's not a scent that you'll easily forget. While I give Xeryus Rouge an unequivocal thumbs up, be aware that you must apply it judiciously and it is definitely NOT a safe blind buy. However - perhaps due to a certain degree of nostalgia - this strong, fruity, flowery, and woody fragrance holds a special place in my collection.

Sillage and longevity are above-average.
22nd November 2017
Not sure about this one.

Initial blast is stunning. Very unique and very exotic smelling. The dry down is something altogether different. It starts to smell cheap, boring and fails to retain it's unique characteristics.
2nd May 2017
This scent has delighted me for years, and is still a go-to for me. Xeryus Rouge is a tangy, woody fragrance that has a youthful character (read: may not suit all ages), but for me in my 40's I still enjoy it.

And you can't go wrong with kumquat and cactus! ;^>
16th December 2016
In this review I am going to do a head to head comparison of Ouragan and Xeryus Rouge because they are so similar.

The departures are essentially the same, Orange Tango; pimento, thin exotic fruit and citrus in XR, and OU has bergamot, mandarin and orange, and some sharpness, but here it's more restrained.

There is the same formica-like, clear, sour, woody-plastic off note in both of them.

Both also have a herbal-aromatic component, but Xeryus Rouge is dryer, more acidic and spare, and has better definition. Ouragan leans more towards the aromatic and then gets sweeter and more floral as time goes on; spreading wider, getting softer, and becoming warmer with spice.

OU evolves in the direction of sweetened geranium. This makes for a decent transition which moves the profile through citrus down to the sweet ambery powdery base.

By contrast there's a problem with the central section of XR. Its a version of Xeryus, but the woody-musky heart is far back in the mix and reads only as a weak floral. Although its detectable on paper, in practice the heart stays very much in the background, as a consequence the profile feels hollow. In XR, there is only this recessive mild floral and sweet woody musk to connect the pimento top with the powdery vanillin and balsamic base.

The two works prioritise opposite ends of the formula. XR spins out the long lasting trim head, pulling it down over the sweet fluffy woody core, and there's really no base to speak of.

OU diverges from this pattern because its a regular three part structure with a fully worked out base. The base is where OU reaches its climax, a dark woody sandal and amber overlay accompanied by a strengthening warm spicy note. There's also possibly vetiver to give an extra demerara sugar fullness to a much richer and more successful drydown.

The heads are different in detail but broadly similar in outline: piquant orange citrus. From below the top and down to the base the central core of both works is very similar, except that OU has been given some extra padding. Its only in the base that they really diverge.

So it seems that OU was - shall we say - inspired by XR. One is more powerful, piquant and spare, the other a sweeter, bland and fuller version of the same subgenre, namely Woody Citrus (powdery).

One point of criticism; the off note is present in both formulae but in XR its more intrusive, stronger and longer lasting. There's no place for the off note to hide in the compact profile of XR, but the broader and more fluffy body of OU manages to cover it up sooner. And so, to be consistent I've had to mark XR down.

Another point; Ouragan is available in supermarkets and costs a third of what Xeryus Rouge was selling for in the perfume shops.

In summary; OU is the more mainstream, safe, fuller and more natural smelling of the two, while XR is more adventurous, more aggressive, more spare and definitely more synthetic.

Today XR could be read as a signpost saying 'Sauvage this way ---> 11 years'.

Xeryus Rouge - Givenchy 1995 **
Annick Menardo

Ouragan - Masculin by Bourjois 1997 ***
François Demachy
2nd December 2016
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