Givrine by Evelyne Boulanger for E.Coudray (1950, 2004)

Guest post by Madeleine

Hello APJ friends! Hope you’ve all been well over the past month and enjoy today’s post on a recent discovery of mine.

I am hoping for a long, hot summer down here in Sydney. Judging from the wet, cold and dire spring weather we’ve had over the past few weeks, I’m afraid my hopes might be in vain, but that doesn’t mean my olfactory choices can’t reflect a sense of optimism.

I’ve therefore been compiling scents for sweltering and humid conditions as summer temperatures can sometimes reach the high 30 or low 40-degree celsius mark come January. When you have had a long day, all you want to do is peel off damp work clothes, have a cool shower, turn up the air conditioning and slip on a soft cotton t-shirt and shorts. On days and nights like these, I want my perfume to be light and fresh, but still devastatingly feminine and pretty.

Givrine by E.Coudray (1950, 2004)

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Kumquat, bergamot and watermelon
Heart: Peony, gardenia, violet and lily-of-the-valley
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, musk and white woods.

Enter Givrine by E. Coudray, a soft floral citrus perfume that sounds like the perfect thing for such needs. Les Senteurs even describes it as “the perfect summer holiday perfume – fresh and carefree and exhilarating”. The scent was originally launched in 1950 and then reissued in 2004 by perfumer Evelyne Boulanger. There’s very little information about Givrine, and discrepancies in notes lists. I was expecting a scent that was soft and clean. I was, however, thoroughly unprepared for Givrine’s supreme elegance and classical beauty.
It opens with a vibrant accord of mandarin and bergamot, so rich and lush, it speaks of old-school sophistication and grand chypres of yesteryear. The rose then comes to life – a rich red rose – with the citrus notes making it velvety and bright. The citrus fades rather quickly and the rose note is then underscored by powdery violets and peony. The florals here are all boudoir: a ballgown on a chaise longue, silk stockings, softly lit dressing table, crystal perfume bottles and jewellery boxes filled with strands of pearls.
Photo Stolen visit-the-farm
The effect also recalls the times when perfume rituals were taken seriously and women bathed in bath oil and sprinkled talcum before dabbing on the matching parfum. The result is a fragrant mille-feuille of dozens of soft petals gently caressing warm skin. The petals aren’t the colours of a vibrant rainbow, but the most delicate lilacs and pinks of a Monet painting. The rose-violet accord is accentuated by a hint of gardenia, the dry down a mellow skin scent of soft woods.
Givrine brings back memories of when I was a teenager. I was obsessed with fashion and would spend my pocket money on huge tomes of sea-freighted US Vogue, wide-eyed over the Chanel ads and pictures of Linda, Christy and Naomi. My parents, for various Christmases and birthdays, also bought me all the books in the Vogue “decades” series: “The 1930s in Vogue” and so on. Givrine to me is the “The 1950s in Vogue”. It’s not a femme fatale of the era like Jane Russell or Marilyn Monroe, but rather the smooth, feline curves of a Hitchcock blonde.
Photo stolen sensibility
Givrine is also the demure little sister to the pin-up diva of Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. Both feature a central rose-violet accord, but the grapefruit and vetiver in Lipstick Rose gives it more lushness and vibrancy. Givrine’s powdery woodiness is somewhat more sedate and refined.
It’s not my first choice for a “t-shirt-after-a-shower” fragrance but would help me keep my poise during a blisteringly hot work day.
For more reviews, please see Fragrantica and Now Smell This, which reviews the original version.
Givrine is available at Les Senteurs and at Madame B in Melbourne as well as many other places worldwide, according to the E. Coudray website.
Samples from Les Senteurs are £5, while the 100ml EDT is £63.
Have you tried Givrine? What’s your favourite rose or violet fragrance? What’s your perfume of choice when the heat just gets that little too much?
With much love till next time!
M x

18 comments on “Givrine by Evelyne Boulanger for E.Coudray (1950, 2004)

  1. sinnerman01 says:

    I to went through a stage of collecting vogue magazines, I loved the Italian Vogues through the mid 90s! So creative,
    I have never heard of this fragrance so I will be keen to read further about it ! The opening sounds blissful ,
    Great review.
    I love it up to about 35 • c , anything over that I’m in the pool !

    • Madeleine says:

      Hi Tim!

      I loved Italian Vogue too! Actually got a whole set of them from a friend circa 1992-but stupidly didnt end up keeping
      them. The photography was brilliant.

      Do tell me if you try this. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

      Ah, yes! Should have said swim in pool, shower and air con! 🙂


      • sinnerman01 says:

        EEEK ! I threw mine out too, I could cry. I had so many – I didn’t see the value in them and now I yearn for all the shoots and old campaigns! I remember the look around 1999 was this freaked up Hollywood house wife glamour! The hair and make up was so amazing ! Plus all the heroin chic in the early 90 gone to the land fill (weeps*) !!!!

  2. Another excellent offering Madeleine. You are so good at Frag Blogging and we are super glad to have you twice a month now on Tuesdays..
    Portia xx

  3. Katrina says:

    It should reach 32 deg in Brisbane tomorrow – I’ll be turning on the air-con and wishing I had this wonderful perfume. Great review! Katrina x

    • Madeleine says:

      Thank you Katrina! Enjoy the heat today – what fume will you wear?

      Madeleine x

      • Katrina says:

        It really is hot and I just picked up my new bottle of Justin Bieber Girlfriend so that is what I’m wearing and it turns out to be a great summer scent.

  4. poodle says:

    Great post. It’s in the 30’s here too. Only that’s farenheit not Celsius. Which means its cold and at the moment it’s snowing. I can only dream about warm temperatures right now. This fragrance does sound like a great warm weather scent.

  5. Madeleine says:

    Hi poodle!

    Thank you! I hope you are wearing something that can warm you up! Givrine is a lovely scent and one of those really unexpected chance finds for me.


    Madeleine 🙂

  6. Madeleine says:

    Tim, I am weeping with you! Why, why, did I chuck mine? They just don’t make them like they used to!

    M x

    • sinnerman01 says:

      They really don’t ! , I was such a sucker for a great cover shot ! And that dam air freight sticker just made me want them even more.
      Sometimes I think it such a waste for all that creative work to remain closed and unseen with in the pages of hard cover books and 400 page magazines! They seem to sit idol and you have to seek out the beauty buy taking time to open and peruse the pages, maybe that’s why I threw mine away! They just didn’t give me the love i needed. Perfume on the other hand is totally different! Would u agree?

      • Madeleine says:

        I totally agree on both points!! I think that’s why I got rid of mine too….perfume is totally different – it always gives me love and happiness, even if it is something I don’t like. I always get a kick out of smelling something 🙂

  7. Madeleine says:


    Haven’t tried Girlfried, but enjoyed reading about it in your post yesterday. I love orange blossom – is it prominent in this?

    M x

  8. Ruth says:

    Great review Madeleine, it sounds beautiful. I’m in Sydney too and the humidity is really setting in. I’d like to be wearing Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia if I owned a bottle, I’ve been tossing up between that and Songes by Annick Goutal. I usually go for more wintery spicy/ oriental scents but have been craving something floral this spring. The gardenia bush at my front door has exploded with flowers just this last week, it’s amazingly fragrant.

    • Madeleine says:

      Hi Ruth,

      Thank you! Yes, I think the weather changed when I submitted this to Portia, so the universe must have been listening!

      Oooh, I’d be wearing ELPTC too if I had a bottle. Songes is exquisite – very creamy frangipani, ylang ylang and vanilla. That’s a hard choice!

      Gardenias are my favourite. Still have to find a fragrance that captures them fully

      🙂 M

  9. Natalie says:

    You make this sound absolutely delightful. I am going to find a sample, stat. Gardenias are my favorite too (per your note to Ruth above), and I agree hard to find that ultimate perfect gardenia. But it seems gardenia is “having a moment” right now (I’m going to be posting about this soon), so a few are coming close. Have you tried the new Puredistance?

  10. Madeleine says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Thank you! I really like your blog too BTW, been reading it for ages. I do hope you enjoy it once the sample arrives.

    I haven’t tried the new Puredistance yet, but I do love Antonia – such a beautiful green floral. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d have a full bottle! In the gardenia department, I am loving my sample of Une Voix Noire and awaiting a sample of the sadly discontinued Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia.

    I can’t wait to read your post!

    M x

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