When I received these latest launches from Givenchy to try out, and I immediately dove in. First of all, as a long-time fan of this brand, I had a gut feeling that I wouldn’t be disappointed and spoiler alert: I wasn’t.
Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Matte Foundation (CAN $62.00/each) | I absolutely love the Glow version of this foundation that was launched last year (reviewed here) and couldn’t wait to compare it to this one. Housed in the same bottle but in frosted glass as compared to clear, the formula is comprised of 97% ingredients of natural origin (the remaining 3% helps preserve the formula) and combines a long-lasting finish (said to last 24H, not that I ever intend to wear foundation that long — but it’s good to know it has strong wear) along with complexion correcting properties, a soft-focus ‘blurring’ effect, and provides continuous moisture. While the name says “matte”, the finish is more along the lines of a luminous velvet, meaning it won’t look unnatural or flat upon the skin. The texture is incredibly lightweight, allowing the skin to ‘breath’ and never feel suffocated throughout wear. Containing Nasturtium Extract, the signature ingredient of the brand’s iconic Prisme Libre powder, this “stimulates a revival of the skins’ natural radiance. At the same time, pink clay, known for its softening and purifying properties, and annatto extract help tighten pores, reduce imperfections and improve the complexion. Finally, emollients keep the skin hydrated“. For application, you can use either a brush, fingers or a sponge — I found the latter provided the most even coverage, and you can even easily layer it up on areas that might need a bit more, without disturbing what’s underneath. The finish looks amazing right from the get-go, and only continues to improve with time as it melds with your skin’s natural oils and warmth.
Available in 35 shades with a good range of undertones
- 2-N120 | light with neutral undertones
- 3-N250 | light to medium with neutral undertones
As I have the same shades in both finishes, I was able to do a proper comparison and I’m not sure if it’s because the formula differs (Glow vs Matte) or because the Glow versions I have are a year old, but you can clearly see a shade difference. Nothing major and once blended into the skin these differences are negligible (see below), but it’s interesting to note just the same.
L’Interdit Nocturnal Jasmine Eau de Parfum (CAN $130.00/50 ml, 1.7 fl. oz) | Originally launched in 1957 and made exclusively for screen legend Audrey Hepburn, L’Interdit was reintroduced in 2018 (reviewed here) followed by several iterations since (also reviewed here & here). This newest version which is housed in the same round-shouldered bottle but bears Hubert de Givenchy’s signature in red on the label, takes the original composition and throws in jasmine for a sultry effect. This particular Grandiflorum Jasmine is picked in India, in the Coimbatore region of Tamil Nadu and is sourced from a harvest exclusively dedicated to the Givenchy House. Characterized by a unique olfactory signature, it is completely traceable from field to bottle. Another fact that sets this apart is that usually Grandiflorum Jasmine flowers are harvested in the early morning while in full bloom, but the nocturnal version selected for this Édition Millésime is picked in bud in the afternoon; this ancient, time-honoured practice ensures that all of the intense olfactory richness of this exceptional harvest is captured at the very heart of the flower. It is only revealed when the buds bloom at nightfall. At this very moment, the flowers are processed to extract an absolute with a highly distinctive olfactory profile. Through this specific extraction process, the Grandiflorum jasmine uncovers new, even more sensual and daring facets, also unveiling rich yet fruity notes of apricot and spice, making it more intense than ever.
The press release says it way better than I ever could: “Coupled with orange blossom and tuberose, Grandiflorum jasmine is at the heart of a bouquet that is more carnal than ever. But this floral power doesn’t give itself away too quickly. In the first few seconds, green tea, bitter almond and ginger are immediately distinguishable: these fresh, lively notes counter the intense voluptuousness of the floral heart that is subsequently revealed. The base notes of ambroxan, patchouli and vetiver intensify the sensuality of night jasmine, taking the imagination on a forbidden journey“. Interestingly, while the name conjures up something deep and intense, it’s actually incredibly wearable even during the day and luckily for me since I adore sultry scents, it’s also not headache-inducing. All in all, I’d say that this might be my favourite version yet.
Gentleman Givenchy Réserve Privée Eau de Parfum (CAN $145.00/100 ml, 3.3 fl. oz) | Originally launched in 1975, the fragrance was reinvented in 2017 and has since gone on to produce several interpretations. Created by master perfumers Nathalie Lorson and Olivier Cresp, this version is housed in the same slope-shouldered bottle but given a smokey new look via its amber ombré colouring, and draws inspiration from the world of exceptional whiskies. In fact, a specific whiskey was created in Scotland for this fragrance, then sent to Grasse, France (aka: the perfume capitol of the world) where it was transformed into an absolute — giving this a unique olfactory signature. Considered part of the woody/floral/amber family, Réserve Privée takes the iconic iris heart of this range, and adds to that a boozy lushness that instantly calls to mind speakeasies and old-world clubs. According to the press release: “the first olfactory notes of Gentleman Givenchy Réserve Privée are full of promise. Coriander seeds and bergamot create a fresh, aromatic accord that conceals the warm sensuality at the heart of the fragrance: powdery, slightly woody iris mingles with the sweetness of Siam benzoin and chestnut to highlight the ambery, liquory facets of the whisky absolute. The experience ends with an intense trail, where cedar, patchouli and vetiver essences blend and are rounded by a balmy note: the evocation of woody, ambery, textured notes echoes the olfactory notes of century-old casks where exceptional whiskies are aged“.
Personally, this fragrance may be targeted to men, but it has all the notes that I look for; I’ve yet to meet a boozy scent I didn’t automatically love. I was intending to gift it to my husband, but I may just keep it all to myself. Or gift it to him and then borrow it. A LOT.
Givenchy is a brand that I’ve trusted for years and the reason is clear: the products deliver. This foundation provides beautiful luminous coverage without any of that usual drying matte effect, and also plays beautifully with any makeup applied on top. Both fragrances are easy to wear (yes, even the Réserve Privée) and will be wonderful additions to your scent library (it’s a thing, trust me). Well done, Givenchy … well done.
Available at Givenchy counters nationwide
Kindly provided by Givenchy for my unbiased consideration