She’s coming home… III by Givenchy The Perfumed Dandy’s Classic Collection

She could have been a studio starlet, but never a star.

She knew she wasn’t hard enough for that and that her heart wasn’t even really in it anyway.

So she packed up her suitcase and set off home for a life on the stage and not the screen after all.

In New York and then the Golden State in the years before the talkies, she could just about handle the harsh lights and heavy make up.

She even endured the chemical stench of celluloid from the vast labs on the next lot.

But when the big money came with the big men and their heavy grasping hands, she just wanted to hide.

She started to long for lamp posts, thick bitter London fogs, and near at hand damp forests with the wild hyacinths the British call bluebells.

She wanted to see small grassy meadows again.

She wanted to walk off the sound stage once and for all and into an auditorium with an audience of anything but cameras.

So she got on the steam ship and headed back home, arriving in Blue Riband time.

Back to a life of cramped soft-wood panelled dressing rooms, of repertory theatres and occasional small parts in funny films shot in studios above camera shops.

She swapped Max Factor for greasepaint smelling of tea roses and factory carnations.

Picture shows for three shows a day on rickety boards with fall down sets smelling feintly of stagehands’ cigarettes.

And she couldn’t have been happier with her small part in the world.

The delicate and delicious Givenchy III is a perfume that knows its place in the grand scheme of things and is perfectly content.

She is a spry and green take on the sharp floral chypre, with plenty of wit and hard-earned sophistication to soften what can be to some noses a slightly bitter opening manner.

She undoubtedly has a notable past and belongs to a stable of Europeans that have made their way in the wider world.

But shrewdly she decided to return to the stage before she was worn out.

She has been rewarded and re-invigorated by new applause and bouquets of hyacinths and roses.

Her later career marked by altogether richer, more fluid, better crafted performances that have deservedly won great reviews.

She may not be a scene steeler, but she is enjoying a longer and more varied career than some of those who shot to super stardom early on.

In her own way and on her own terms, she has become the star she never intended to be.

And as for the question of cross casting…

Can a woman play Hamlet? She’s all for the taking on the Prince herself.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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18 responses to “She’s coming home… III by Givenchy The Perfumed Dandy’s Classic Collection

  1. rosestrang

    I love these reviews. As perfume personalities go – she sounds a proper character, but I’ve yet to make her acquaintance; off to the perfume dept’, (though this is no doubt an elusive one). So much to sniff…!

    • Dearest Rose
      Elusive? I should say so!
      The helpful people at Harrods helped me out with this, which I think might now be an ‘exclusive to them… but there is always on line.
      She’s quite perfectly pretty in a gritty oakmoss way.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • rosestrang

        Pretty gritty oakmoss, yes indeed, I love oakmoss. But I bet you have to get it in a vintage format as I’ve heard oakmoss is restricted – why can’t they just list ingredients, like they do with dodgy pre-made meals, ne-eighed I say more!

  2. Lilybelle

    Oh, nice! 🙂 I don’t know the parfums mythiques version, only the one I had a million years ago. I’m so glad to know the old girl is still around. I want to sample.

    • Dearest Lily
      For once, the reformulation isn’t half bad.
      I grant you the oakmoss has been turned down somewhat, but what they have done is to meld it elegantly into the floral notes to form a determined but altogether pleasant accord.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Mary E.

    Great review on Givenchy III–always loved this scent from many, many years ago.

  4. brie

    So desperately wanted this one many years ago but never got a full bottle…now I wish I had!!! The oakmoss so prevalent in the older version (we can’t quite call it vintage correct? although every fragrance that gets re-formulated-and there are many of my old love which met with this demise- makes me want to call the original vintage!)

    • Dear Brie
      To be honest I think that if we’re going to borrow the term ‘vintage’ from wine, then we might as well observe the rules that oenophiles obey. Strictly speaking a vintage is a certain production of a wine from a certain year, therefore interpreted into perfume for me that means any version that isn’t currently in production.
      As such most long standing fragrances will have several ‘vintages’, just like a good claret!!
      In this case, the re-imagining, that’s the current bottle shown above, is far from bad though whether it will survive the current crop of new regulations is a different matter!!
      Happy hunting, I think this one is well worth the look.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  5. brie

    meant to say “loves” not “love” (as there are indeed so many!)

  6. A perfume I never liked nor understood, even though I have a bit of vintage parfum upstairs. It just pushes me away; that bitter, as you say, dustiness and lack of brio. Brie, there is a bottle of vintage in Kamakura I think, in that antique shop, for about 30 dollars. Do you need it? Or do you, Dandy, for that matter?

    • brie

      N- I appreciate your generous offer but I am going to be working my way through all of the vintage/classic lovelies I received from my favorite “brother” living in Japan! The Chloe, btw, was magnificent yesterday!!!
      Perhaps Mr. Dandy would like it?

    • Dear Ginza
      Do you know, I think you might actually prefer the modern interpretation to the old. It has a certain liveliness, the re-invigoration that I referred to in the review, that the old fragrance I felt lacked.I originally put it down to the natural decay of the top notes, but perhaps that sense of, if not ennui, then a longing to be somewhere else was always there…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  7. Great review, Dandy. I don’t know why but I remember an earlier version smelling sort of soapy. I trust that this one is a beautiful new fragrance. Did you say that it has Hyacinth in it’s formulation? I’m sure I would love it.
    Buckingham Palace sells the most glorious room spray I’ve ever experienced. It’s called “Royal Hyacinth.” If you’re ever in the vicinity of their gift shop go in and try some. It’s to die for, as far as room sprays go. I use it sparingly around my house when I have company. It’s wonderful.

  8. I have a very, very tiny sample of vintage Givenchy III parfum. And I love your rendition of her personality. We all know, of course, that the best artists don’t do it for money and as such are often unsullied by it. It’s good to see Givenchy IIIs purity win.

    • Dear Joan
      Absolutely, you’ve put your finger on something very important that I felt about III. It’s very much as though it’s a perfume that could have been made louder, larger or brasher to attract a bigger crowd, but chose instead to be the beautiful and subtle thing it is instead.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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