Givenchy Organza Indecence ~ perfume review

Givenchy Organza Indecence fragrance

If you have too much activity with simultaneous launches, the customer is overwhelmed and very few products will actually break through to become successful.

That's Robert Brady of Givenchy, speaking in 1996 about his company's decision to delay the US launch of Givenchy Organza so as "to avoid a packed playing field" (via Women's Wear Daily, 10/25/1996). Strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with today's fragrance, Organza Indecence, which launched in 1999 as Organza's "vampy little sister" (Ibid, 5/28/99), I just couldn't help cracking up when I read it. There were around 200 fragrance launches in 1996; this year, we're expecting some 800. Enough said.

Organza Indecence was meant to attract a younger audience to the Givenchy brand, and it reportedly did very well in its early life. As it was subsequently discontinued, I can only assume that at some point it stopped doing so very well. This year, Organza Indecence is being re-launched as part of Givenchy's Les Mythiques collection and so I thought I'd give it a shot. That I had never tried it before is something of a mystery; I've heard numerous times that it was wonderful stuff, and at least two very kind people went to the trouble to send me samples. I'd be embarrassed to say how long those samples languished in sampling-purgatory, but now that I've tried it, I'm kind of glad I avoided heartbreak by waiting until it was available to purchase.

Organza Indecence was developed by perfumers Jean Claude Delville and Norbert Bijaoui, and is described as a woody-spicy fragrance; the notes include jacaranda wood (aka palisander or Brazilian rosewood), cinnamon, amber, vanilla and patchouli. The opening is a creamy-rich cinnamon pudding underscored by deep woods; as it dries down, the creaminess fades into dry woodsmoke and ambery vanilla with the lightest little dusting of powder. If Donna Karan Black Cashmere and Fendi Theorema had a love child, it would smell something like Organza Indecence: warm and comforting but very, very sexy.

It is a moderately sweet scent, but I don't find it heavy or overbearing. Still, it is more of a winter sort of thing than not. In 1996, it was no doubt considered feminine, but by today's standards, I'd call it a unisex scent. Am I crazy, or is it almost comically mismatched with its name and its packaging? It doesn't smell like anything you'd call "Organza", and the bottle is so much more frou-frou than the juice. Ah well, unless you are willing to look for an older bottle on Ebay, you're left with the newer and much plainer packaging anyway.

The Les Mythiques collection seems to be making its way to the US slowly; so far, Nordstrom has a few of them but no Organza Indecence as of this writing.

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

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54 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I can't believe you never tried this before, R. It is so creamy, so yummy, so luscious and warm. Definitely a winter comfort scent.

    Hugs!

  2. Anonymous says:

    i can't believe it either R, and it isn't like plenty of people didn't tell me. I really don't care for the regular Organza at all, so maybe that is what put me off.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Organza Indecence is my favourite christmas scent. Yes, christmas. Why? Some years ago I was standing in the snow in the corner of the street, waiting for my boyfriend, we were going to buy christmas presents for our families. It was dark and chilly, the snow was falling quietly an th street was white, but I was warm wrapped in my coat and Organza Indecence.

    I remember this moment as joyful and somehow magical.

    …so you won't be surprised to hear that I'm very happy with re-launching of OI:) Got to buy a bottle before christmas.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a nice memory! I wonder how long Givenchy will keep the Les Mythiques collection around — I hope it isn't a one-shot deal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness. WANT.
    I've been cruising Black Cashmere, trying not to order unsniffed and just gave in and ordered a mini of Theorema so you can imagine how I feel about this one — love those notes.
    Must. Wait. To. Try. First.
    Unless of course there's a very cheap bottle on e-bay…
    Think I'm having summer backlash. Fall doesn't get to Austin until the end of October, but I'm ready for my woods/incense/amber deliciousness NOW.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don't think this one goes cheaply on Ebay, unfortunately — it is so rare at the moment. Have been wondering if the new reissues will end up at discount anywhere, but sort of doubt it.

    Hope you will love Theorema, although it is another lost cause. That one, though, is probably easier to get cheaply — don't think it was ever as popular as OI. Still, you'd do best to fall in love w/ Black Cashmere, which can be easily had!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This review made me do a (vaguely) bad thing today! Being fairly new to perfume, I had read much about OI yet had failed to try it. But today, as I managed my friends' mastiff while she was at work I noticed that she had a bottle! (It was in her dressing room, not her bedroom. Does that diminish the severity of my crime?) I put on the slightest of spritzes and thought “Wow! FlowerOriental!” OI is very, very beautiful but reminds me too much of the Kenzo (which I own thanks to you!) to make me want a bottle. To its credit, it has a wonderfully subdued-but-present sillage that is never overpowering, and it is still there after 8 hrs. There is also something SL Santal Blanc-ish about that opening; does palisander smell like cedar? And you are completely right about its resemblance to Black Cashmere, what with all that wood. I am CRAVING BC (want that pepper!) but we were in the high 80's here today so must wait longer (but, hopefully, not as long as last year!) BTW, Theorema was my first FB purchase. Can't wait for that one, either. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I also hope they keep it.. for good:)

  9. Anonymous says:

    LOL — if it actually hidden in her meds cabinet, at least you weren't snooping.

    Really — it didn't remind me of the Kenzo at all; now I'll have to try them together. Don't think palisander smells like cedar, but probably there is cedar in OI. You have a great weekend too!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Robin, this makes TWO fragrances you and I like (the first was Shaal Nur).

    I agree with you with regards to the “disconnect” between the name, the packaging and the actual scent. But what I like most about this fragrance is that it is so uncomplicated and easy to wear. There are no sharp edges, and it's sweet and comforting without being foody. I'm so glad they're re-releasing it and hope they haven't changed the formula.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am sure there are THREE — we just have to find out what the other is!

    I do wonder if lots of people (like me) didn't try it because of the name & the bottle. Think they need to bring it back repackaged — I'm shocked this doesn't sell like hotcakes.

    And hopefully it is recent enough that they didn't have to tinker w/ the formula much…

  12. Anonymous says:

    BC and Th lovechild??? OMIGOD. Sounds utterly irresistable — no, wait, that's another Givenchy scent. Anyway, I hope it comes allll the way up to Vancouver! I'm itching to try it. And speaking of this house, I wonder what's happening with Ange ou Demon? I love it, but I see shelf space devoted to it is already dwindling. Oh, and anyone: would you tell me if there's a less-expensive smell-alike to Armani Privee Bois d'Encens? I have fallen in lust but can't afford $235Cdn before taxes for 50ml. Thanks!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    No idea on the Ange ou Demon. Don't know if it is selling, but they did just release some new refillable bottle at Nordstrom (you can see it on their website if you go to Beauty & click on what's new).

    On the Armani, I've always wondered if you couldn't approximate it by layering Comme des Garcons Avignon and Christian Lacroix Tumulte Homme, but I'm out of Avignon so can't test that.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, R. Unfortunately, neither Encens-ish fragrance is available here in Vancouver for cross-pollenational experimentation, so will just have to dream on. Thinking of auctioning my wine collection and turning the proceeds into a fragrance fund. . .!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, this could be the only scent we could both love. You have to try this. Black Cashmere is way too sweet for me; this has all the lusciousness of vanilla AND spices AND woods without the overpowering sweetness.

    Butt-ugly bottle, though, and the Bene Gesserit headdress tips it over.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ack, it all adds up, doesn't it? Might be cheaper in the end just to buy the darned Armani.

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Bene Gesserit headdress” – that's hysterical. I'm struggling not to descend into nerdiness here by making some kind of SciFi fan comment.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well, Givenchy were one of the first to start the phenomena of so many launches and flankers…They invaded the asian market with version of the masculine Insense that only Lynx/Axe could rivalize for the number. :)) the delay for the US market was not for what they claimed…. but for a production problem. a total different story. don't forget that the formula of Organza is one of the longest in the world… so many pages, like an entire novel.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Really, I had no idea Givenchy started the avalanche! They are certainly still doing lots of flankers, but they hardly seem like the worst offenders at this point. Interesting.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Y'know, Robin, sometimes it all kinda evens out. It's insanely priced, but if nothing else does the same trick. . .It's all in my head, because it's not as though I HAVEN'T spend a total of the same amount on a three or four other different scents without balking. I think I need to maybe see if I can track down a sample of Apres L'Ondee, since that's the other fragrance, along with Therese, that seems to come up again and again in must-have lists among your comments. . .

  21. Anonymous says:

    I'm lucky — I like the CdG & Christian Lacroix better than the Bois d'Encens anyway. You do need Apres L'Ondee though!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Well, then, I must track it down!! Thanks, R.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I smelled this today for the first time.
    Wow.
    LOVE.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Glad it's found another fan — it needs all it can get :-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    My mom gave me a bottle for Christmas when it came out and I still have it. I'm using it verrrry slowly. Funny, I was just thinking about trying a new winter fragrance – something that wafts up from my cashmere sweaters and scarves. Last week I was at a conference and a woman was wearing Flowerbomb and it smelled so amazing on her that I thought “this is it!”. But you know, going back through the perfume reviews has made me think I should be wearing OI this winter. It definitely weaves itself into wooly winter clothes and makes you feel delicious!

  26. Anonymous says:

    That suddenly made me wonder how Flowerbomb would layer with OI? Might help cut down the sweetness in Flowerbomb. Or, it might be a disaster :-)

  27. Anonymous says:

    Are there 2 different Givenchy Indecence fragrances? My colleague told me the Organza Indecence is a floral scent which she can't wear; but the Indecence is a spicy scent which she loves but can't find anywhere.

    Is she right? Is it impossible to find Indecence?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Organza is the floral, Organza Indecence is the spicy scent. She can order some at Dillards online.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I am so glad I read through the comments to see yours. This is the only way I found out that Dillards has it, even after doing a long internet search for purchase. I love Givenchy

    Indecence! Thank you so-o-o much!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Just tried this sample for the first time today… it's snowing but I feel so warm. Spice and woods… and to think I “KNEW” I hated patchouli! Am buying this stuff pronto.

  31. The Hat Lady says:

    The “Mythiical Fragrances” version of Indecence which Dillard’s now carries in the re-designed 3.3 oz. bottle is NOT the Indecence we know and love. It has a sickly-sweet aroma which ruins the dry wood and spices from start to finish.

    • Robin says:

      Oh dear, sorry to hear that!

  32. smellsgood says:

    Hello my first comment after lurking for over year! Got my mini OI from ebay this week – WOW – love it! Its so beautiful warm and sensuous. Trying to figure out how to get the ££££’s for a full bottle of the original, sounds like the re-launch isn’t hitting the spot…….. I thank you for a beaufiful review that made me buy the mini, my DH will not thank you when I purchase an original! LOL

    • Robin says:

      Hi and welcome! So glad you love it. I’ve still never seen the Les Mythiques version here anyway, but I hope they’ll keep making the original.

  33. The Hat Lady says:

    I wrote to Givenchy about the change, and they state they replaced one of the natural ingredients in Indecence with a synthetic. They stated this was the result of changes in Eurpean and International Fragrance Association (IFRA) norms, them go on to say the formula remains the same. How both can be true is an interesting question!

    • Robin says:

      Yes…see, if they substitute, say, one musk for another musk, they’ll tell you it’s the same formula. Same holds true if they substitute fake jasmine for real jasmine, & so on. Fragrance companies do NOT like to admit that they reformulate.

  34. mariannejeano9 says:

    I have been wearing Givenchy Indecence since 1999. It is my signature fragrance. Through the years my friends and family refer this perfume to me. I have had so many compliments wearing this scent. I absolutely love this fragrance. My husband first fell in love with me, he said it was because of my perfume:)) I never want this discontinued, an I am alittle afraid of the change in scent( I truly hope there isn’t a change).

    • Robin says:

      Sounds like it’s already changed, at least slightly (see comment above).

  35. one56day says:

    I have been wearing this perfume since the late 90′s any updaes, and is it still available at Dillards. I am getting desperate and tired of paying $125 a bottle on ebay.

    • Robin says:

      It’s still at Dillards…$89 for 100 ml.

  36. moviegrrl says:

    Tried this today for the first time. As I type it is snowing outside and this seems to me to be the perfect winter scent.. The vanilla and cinnamon in this give it an incredibly warm feeling, like the first sip of a really good cup of hot chocolate.
    This is fantastic, heady stuff, I can see me buying more very soon!

    • Robin says:

      So glad it’s found another fan!

  37. jwega76 says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this scent but am now not able to find it other than on Ebay. Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternate that is at all similar to Organza Indecence???

    • Robin says:

      Ulta & Dillards both have it, and possibly others (try a google search).

  38. Avalon11 says:

    So, so, so disappointed!!! I’ve been wearing OI since late 1999 and absolutely loved it. The new version is close, but there is a difference! And to make matters worse, I find that the new synthetic ingredient is irritating to my skin. Has anyone else found this to be true?

  39. 72Amy says:

    Sadly, my bottle of Indecence broke some time ago and I’ve been searching for where can purchase another bottle. So hard to find since it’s been discontinued.

  40. nightwisp1957 says:

    I bought a bottle of this wonderful perfume in colongne form several years ago, and I still have about1/4 of the bottle left, and it smells as good as the day I bought it! It was kinda expensive but well worth it. It is indeed a sexy scent!

  41. Sapphire says:

    Robin, I am brand-new to commenting, but really want this perfume. Have you tried the Parfums Mythiques version? If so, is it similar enough to consider buying it at $95 for 100ml, or would I be better off paying more like $150 for 50ml on e-bay?

    • Sapphire says:

      Oops. To clarify, am I better off paying more for the original?

      • Robin says:

        I am afraid I have never smelled the PM edition, so can only say that I have heard it is good, if not perfect. But so far as I know, it’s your only choice unless you’re willing to buy vintage.

        • Sapphire says:

          Thanks, Robin. I did manage to find a 50ml bottle at the Posh Peasant for $109 (a relative bargain) that is now coming my way. After that, I will take my chances on the PM version. My local Dillard’s has one of the vintage testers that is about 2/3 to 3/4 full. I have asked about buying it, but none of the SA’s will budge. They say it’s the property of the vendor. Have thought about calling a manager, but might be wasting my time. I have only come across a tester for the PM version once at one Dillard’s (none of the rest have a tester–I guess they don’t sell enough of this to warrant one) and it seemed fairly close, but hard to tell since I couldn’t check side by side. I still may buy it later as a backup bottle. Don’t want to wait too long or they’ll stop carrying it. That would be just my luck. Thanks!

          • Robin says:

            Glad you found an older bottle, that’s perfect. And too bad about the tester…don’t see what good it does them to hold on to it.

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