New Givenchy: Le Rouge Deep Velvet Lipstick & L’Interdit Intense Fall 2020

Givenchy is on a roll lately (check out the new eyeshadow palettes & face powders that I previously reviewed here, and you’ll totally see what I mean) and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. As to these latest launches? Well, they’re a perfect example of the saying “as beautiful to look at, as they are to wear” — ok, maybe it’s not an actual saying, but I’m going with it.

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Small things such as the top of the lipstick box being colour-coded to each shade, is a totally appreciated detail — and very helpful if you store your products in their original packaging as I do; this way, you know at a glance what you’re reaching for. I mean, who remembers what colour each lipstick name and/or number is anyway? Not me, that’s for sure.

Le Rouge Deep Velvet Lipstick (CAN $49.00/each) | Last September, Givenchy launched new versions of its iconic Le Rouge Lipsticks (reviewed here) and the Deep Velvet format was an immediate hit. Developed under the guidance of Nicolas Degennes (Givenchy’s Makeup and Colour Artistic Director), these are housed in the most luxurious velvet casing (a switch from the usual leather) embellished with a signature stud. The formula is extremely pigment-rich and contains ‘structuring waxes’ which form an ‘even, flexible and ultra-light film‘ upon application. The texture can best be described in one word: buttery, or more like creamy, delectable, velvety, whipped butter (so, more like 5 words then). The finish is equally lush and truly resembles the luxuriant patina of velvet; more like a matte with a sheen, so that it never comes off as looking flat. All bear the brand’s signature rose fragrance, but one which dissipates quickly after application, and while they do have some slip, they last a good long time and fade to a lovely stain.

Rooney Mara, the face of this new fragrance

L’Interdit Givenchy Intense Eau de Parfum (CAN $152.00/80 ml) | First brought to fame by the legendary Audrey Hepburn (this was her signature scent) — who happened to also be Hubert de Givenchy’s muse & personal friend, this fragrance has definitely withstood the test of time with each and every interpretation. The latest addition to the L’Interdit family, Intense, takes the thrill of the forbidden to new depths, deeper and darker than previous iterations …. and just Housed in a black box with raised white lettering, the interior is lined a vivid crimson and bears M. De Givenchy’s signature. The familiar bottle with its sloped shoulders is now cloaked in black (the better to entice you with) and features a matching black grosgrain ribbon around the neck embellished with the brand’s 4G logo.

Created by master perfumers Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo, and Annie Bal, this is an ode to the colour black — and all things sultry & mysterious. The white bouquet DNA of this fragrance is more hypnotic than before; the original orange blossom is now intertwined with heady tuberose, and the woody base is now made more smoky and voluptuous thanks to the vetiver and patchouli notes. Finally, a cold-extraction process used on the Madagascar vanilla beans, ensures an exceptionally pure result, while the leather and amber facets are blended with notes of toasted black sesame absolute for a finish that’s opulent, intense, and undeniably couture. Did I mention how sexy it is? Yeah … that, more than anything.

Fragrance — apart from its evocative nature, is also highly subjective and personal and that makes it tricky to review. My personal tastes run towards anything smoky, vanilla, woody and incense-like and somehow this one fragrance manages to encapsulate every one of those aspects. I also happen to be quite sensitive with scents as some can trigger an instant migraine, but thankfully that’s so NOT the case here. The opening notes are floral, but in a very covert kind of way — which quickly gives way to a weaving of something warm and moody, and dare I say, almost gourmand-like in feel. The dry down is definitely smoky and brings out the incense qualities, but done in such an understated way that each note melds so perfectly with the one before, like the most exquisite symphony. And yeah, still sexy as all get out.

With mask-wearing the norm, I do confess to having mixed feelings on reviewing lipstick, but this current situation won’t last forever so I’ll definitely be ready to celebrate with ALL the makeup when the time comes. The fact that these Le Rouge Deep Velvet lippies are as gorgeous to look at as they are to wear, doesn’t hurt the cause either — and even wearing them just around the house can be such a mood-lifter. As to L’Intedit Intense, I’m going to call it right here and now: I have found my new Fall/Winter obsession, which might very well morph into the other seasons as well.

Available at Sephora, Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, The Bay, Shopper’s

Kindly provided by Givenchy for my unbiased consideration

What are your thoughts, beautiful?

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