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Thursday, December 09, 2010

On a Scale of One to Ten: Random Choices

By Tom

Well, today I did the Mall. It's the weekend after Black Friday so I thought it wouldn't be too crazy, and since Judith Brockless at Basenotes wrote a fun piece about pink perfumes in general and Givenchy Play in particular I thought I would drop into the Sephora at the Beverly Center to see how bad it could be.

Pretty bad.

It's not just that it's another too sweet juice-by-committee. It's not just the pink faux iPod-looking packaging manages to look cheap, stupid and yet severely dated, like a balding 45 year old trying to rock 7 jeans, Uggs and an Ed Hardy trucker cap. It's not even that there's an even worse version called "Play Intense for Her" that dials it up to 12. It's the degradation of the Givenchy name. This crap takes the whole Givenchy ethos, sets it on fire then pees on the ashes. Sad.

ScentBar had the newest Montale, Aoud Musk, which manages to smell shockingly close to Nasomatto Duro. Really, it's almost a clone. This would be a scandal were it not for the fact that Aoud Musk is both cheaper and readily available (Duro isn't on the website anymore).

I suppose the big news is that Knize Ten is now available and selling very well. I already have a bottle and could compare the old and the new, and there's no difference at all. Which is a great thing: the plummy leather Marina wrote of as "her favorite leather scent in general" and I concur. It's one of my favorites as well: it's a butt-kicking leather with a hint of stewed fruits, tangy citrus opening and vanilla finish. For those of you in mourning over the reformulation
Tabac Blonde went through, this one should be on your list.

The Givenchys are $68 for 1.7 oz at Sephora.

Aoud Musk is $120 for 50 ML, Nasomatto Duro is $130 for 30 ML, Knize Ten is $65
for 30ML and $125 for 120 ML at ScentBar. My Knize Ten tester was mine

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing is so restrained in this piece, I couldn't tell if you liked Play or not....Seriously, it's good to read an honest review--your imagery is evocative and totally appropriate, and it's happened to many houses, not just sad.

1:18 AM EST  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

And the ads - the ADS! So dingdong awful. The people in charge of the fragrance marketing for Givenchy must be on a different planet (at the very least, a different continent) from Riccardo Tisci and all his acolytes at the fashion studio. It's bizarre.

9:14 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It has and it is sad. I kept looking at the bottle and sniffing the card and thinking "poor Audrey Hepburn is spinning in her grave"..

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


bizarre is the word for it..

12:14 PM EST  
Anonymous March said...

Lol what Marla said, so, did you like that Play? ;-)

Thrilled about the Knize, although jeaous as hell that you can pop in there regularly. I think you should whine at them for Knize Sec, it's all kinds of strange in the way Ten is, only incense rather than leather.

2:27 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Consider the whining commenced.

2:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

LOL, I totally agree about Play - the Givenchy fragrance line and ad series have been on the decline in recent years, now they have totally gone off the cliff. Very unfortunate, especially when I sniff my little bottle of vintage Givenchy III and remember what they once were. (The new G-III is a joke too, sad to say.)

Knize Ten is back though - there is hope!

4:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Tom, I laughed out loud reading this review. Perversely, you've made me curious to smell this thing! Then again, I did not have many hopes for it to begin with...

6:09 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Knize Ten gives me hope as well, especially since I was told it was selling like hotcakes..

10:02 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Be my guest! It's not like it's truly ghastly, it's (compared to scents like L'Interdid) is like cheese whiz to fine aged brie

10:04 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

Why would someone market perfume in "faux ipod-looking packaging"? What am I missing?

10:21 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It's not what your missing, it's what they're missing, and that would be good sense.

11:22 AM EST  
Anonymous eleven european mystics said...

dear tom, here i am, to pester you again with my love of your writing. Write write write, on whatever. and on fragrance, of course. Knize Ten is one of those gods one's olfactory altar shows under a very special light.

4:54 AM EST  

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