L’Interdit is the latest perfume edition of the French fashion house Givenchy, which appeared on perfume shelves in 2018. The new perfume was based on an old classic from 1957, made for the famous Audrey Hepburn. For several decades, L’Interdit Classic had been sold very nicely around the world and then it was pulled from the shelves in the 1990s and remained only on the European market. For the past 20 years, Givenchy has tried on several occasions to reformulate the old classics and make them more accessible to younger generations. The first (unsuccessful) attempt was in 2003, then in 2007. Will 2018 be the third time’s a charm, it remains to be seen.

The old version of L’Interdit, as well as the new one, was basically floral, with one important difference. The honey bouquet of floral notes was enriched with a dark amber, making the entire perfume composition more complex, more intriguing and mysterious. Like a smile of film divas on black and white photographs in the first half of the 20th century. By contrast, all new versions, including those from 2002, 2007, as well as the latest from 2018, are missing that depth, that something they will be remembered by. It’s not that the formulas are not good, those are cute perfumes, but that’s all. Perhaps this difference can best be seen when comparing old photos and contemporary selfies. The differences are huge. Old photographs had an atmosphere, a soul, while the contemporary ones are mostly stripped of all those, very important, qualities.


Is the reason the fact that people are different? That their lives are different? Or is it that taking photographs has become too frequent and frivolous. Hyperproduction of images, hyperproduction of perfumes. Just like photographs, contemporary perfumes became deprived of these essential qualities, properties, which the old perfumes possessed. L’Interdit is no exception.

The opening of the L’Interdit perfume is fruity. Cherry is listed among the notes but to me, it smells more like red fruits, for example, blackcurrants. Since I love this note in perfumes, I will mention several more complex and better solutions that you can try and compare: Guerlain La Petit Robe Noire and Insolence Eau de perfume, Calvin Klein Euphoria, and Thierry Mugler Angel. After 15 minutes, the dominant notes become the heart notes in form of white flowers with a touch of gourmet caramel tones and patchouli. Nice, but already seen. Countless times. Instead of L’Interdit, the better name of this perfume would be Deja Vu.

The L’Interdit perfume is like talking to a pretty, stupid girl. Pleasant, but empty and boring. Like the girl mentioned, L’Interdit has nothing new or interesting to say. While I was in the perfume shop, beside me was a 35-year-old girl who tried on perfumes. She reached for L’Interdit, sprayed it on a blotter and 1.5 seconds later she said that the perfume was beautiful and that she is taking it. Yes, 1.5 seconds, that is how long she thought this through and decided on it.  And the perfume houses know this too, they know that people do not know how perfume should be tested before they buy them and they invest everything in perfume opening. I hope that you, dear readers, as well-educated perfume lovers, will educate the people around you. Because our consumer choices shape the market and each of our purchases changes first the market and then the entire world. If we make better choices the other side will have no choice but to give us only the good and quality things, in this case, perfumes. The current situation is unbearable for all of us, except for those of us with Peter Pan and the Wendy Complex.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The price of the perfume juice itself is very cheap. Maybe one euro, two, three, no more than five. When you pay a 100 euros per bottle, you pay for the idea, the story, the design, the years of experiments and the perfume making. There is one problem, though. We’re not talking about years, nor even months of work. It takes just a couple of weeks. And then the question arises. What are we actually paying for? Certainly not for the devoted work. Innovation? Please. Ideas? They are colorful like black and white photographs. So, what are we paying for?

As for the L’Interdit perfume itself, if you ask me if I recommend it, I would say the same thing Audrey Hepburn said when she heard that her perfume would be mass marketed, and that is the name of the perfume: l’interdit ! (translation: I forbid it!). You can spend your money so much wiser.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: cherry, pear, bergamot; middle notes: tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom; base notes: patchouli, vetiver, caramel, vanilla. 

[Fragrance group] fruity floral.

Perfume creators are Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo, Fanny Bal.