Play by Givenchy Men’s Cologne Review

Another one of the recent samples, I’ve received is Play by Givenchy. It came out almost ten years ago and they describe it as a fresh woody scent. I’d actually put it more into the citrus/spice category, though. In this post, I want to give an overview of how it smells, how Play performs, and whether or not this Givenchy cologne is a buy.



Givenchy Play

Notes include: bergamot, bitter orange, grapefruit, coffee flower accord, amyris wood, vetiver

Click here to try: Givenchy Play for Men by Givenchy 3.3 oz 100 ml EDT Spray


The opening of Givenchy Play is a blend of citrus, mainly dominated by grapefruit, and a spicy pepper note. I am immediately struck by how this smells exactly like Hugo Red, if you replaced the metallic note in Red with a coffee note in Play. Seriously, these two are almost dead ringers for one another, and since I like wearing Hugo Red in the summer, I like Givenchy Play. As Play develops more, the coffee note becomes more noticeable which give it an interesting richness, that gives it that slight difference from red.

Projection wise, Play is pretty moderate, and might even be slightly weaker than Hugo Red. It’s longevity is pretty decent, around 6-7 hours of solid performance. To me, this is a spring/summer type of scent that is good for casual everyday wear.

Overall, is Play a buy? It’s a very nice fragrance but it smells like Hugo Red and you can get a larger bottle of that for cheaper. However, if you were looking into Givenchy Play Intense as well, it would make sense to grab Hugo Red and a bottle of Play Intense too. The Intense version is much more of a gourmand scent for the cooler months of the year and has way less of the citrus and more of the coffee and a tonka bean note.