RedMint's Review of Xeryus by Givenchy

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 that softened into a green fougere, and finally dried down to a rich, spicy, ambery base - it seems they have kept most of the top notes intact, but the base has really fallen off. So you're left with the 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. 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 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.

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 again, 30+ years later.

  1. RedMint

    Basenotes Member 52 From Kansas, USA
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