Givenchy’s Gentleman (1974)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

My working hours are 8 to 4, but almost all my coworkers’ are 9-5. My project manager, whose hours are 9-5, comes to work at 8:30 after dropping off his wife to work. He sees me in the office the earliest, and he gets the “best of me” – I mean, he certainly can smell me. Others who come to work late might not be so lucky if I am wearing a perfume that has poor longevity. (Laugh.)

Today I wore Givenchy Gentleman (1974), a perfume with a potent oakmoss base. My project manager walked by my cubicle and asked, “Is it you or the mouldy office?” Well, I work in a converted warehouse office with no windows. The roof leaks when there is a storm, but it’s ok, the rainwater will be all absorbed by the thousand-year-old carpet. This morning was rainy and humid, and the office smelled horrible. So it’s totally understandable when he asked if was me or the office. He walked closer and sniffed, “what you are wearing definitely smells better than the office.”

I got interested in Givenchy Gentleman when I read about Luca’s review of Gentlemen Only. (He didn’t review Gentleman because it’s long discontinued.) He basically hated Gentlemen Only and thought it’s incomparable to its predecessor. Gentleman smells good, but it’s old-school. I can imagine a British school principal in grey flannel wearing it. A saleswoman in her thirties, proud to have stocked a good number of Gentleman for her shop told me that it smelled like dirt. (She said it with a smile and slightly shook her bosoms in a cute way.) Now I know I shouldn’t wear it when it’s a rainy day. (You could argue it smells particularly romantic when it’s raining or foggy.) May be the perfumer got his inspiration from the old days when a man would take off his jacket and put it on top of a puddle for a lady to walk across.