balenciaga: 10 posts

B. Balenciaga : Fragrance Review

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As I take whiffs from a blotter of B. Balenciaga, I think of curves. Or to use French perfumery jargon, gras. Call it whatever you want–richness, unctuousness or fat, it denotes a certain voluptuous quality. Chanel No. 22 has plenty of it. Robert Piguet Fracas is positively wallowing in opulence. Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum, to use a recent example, has a discrete but well-judged dose. By contrast, B. Balenciaga is a slender creature.  Not many curves on it.

balenciaga

The lack 0f curves in B. doesn’t entirely detract from its charm. It’s true that many big launches are so market tested and panel judged that by the time they hit the store shelves, they’re nothing but pale bones. (If you want gras, then you have to explore boutique brands, but that, forgive the pun, requires a fat wallet.) B. is much better than most. Yes, it’s sheer and mild mannered, but it makes up for the lack of lush, soft layers with sparkling accords of green buds, spring blossoms and crisp amber. It has a contemporary radiant aesthetic, and the kind of versatility that makes B. suitable for all sorts of occasions.

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Chloe Roses de Chloe and Balenciaga Rosabotanica : Perfume Reviews

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Lots of roses ahead! Today, Elisa reviews two recent rose-centric flankers, Roses de Chloé and Balenciaga Rosabotanica. For more on flankers in general, check out “Flankers 101.”

Chloé Roses de Chloé 

By all rights, Roses de Chloé is what the first Chloé release should smell like. The original Karl Lagerfeld Chloé from the mid-70s was a voluptuous white floral, but Chloé relaunched it as a clean rose in 2008. The problem is, it’s too clean, with so much white musk overwhelming the formula that it smells far more like a laundry room than a rose garden.

rose de chloe

Last year’s L’Eau de Chloé, a greener version with more patchouli, was an obvious improvement – and so is this one, with its clearer, more realistic floral accord of tea rose with gestures toward springtime-y linden and lily of the valley. There’s nothing particularly unusual about it (this is a rose soliflore folks, not a moon walk), but it smells fresh, young, and pretty without smelling faux-fruity (though I do pick up a crisp apple note) or cheap. In fact, it reminds me at times of pricier niche scents like Annick Goutal Rose Splendide, Parfum de Rosine’s Rose d’Été and Yosh Sottile. If you’re looking for a simple rose scent at Macy’s or Sephora, you could do far worse and these days, couldn’t do much better.

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Spring Roses Perfume Reviews 2 : Cartier, Balenciaga, Van Cleef et Arpels

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Yesterday, when reviewing Valentino Valentina Acqua Floreale, Kenzo Amour I Love You, and Juicy Couture La La, I promised three more sheer spring roses.  The fragrances chosen today, Cartier Eau de Cartier Goutte de RoseBalenciaga L’Eau Rose, and Van Cleef et Arpels Féerie Spring Blossom set rose into a frame of woods and amber. In contrast to yesterday’s selection, this group is crisp and sharp, rather than soft and romantic.

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Cartier Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose

Quality is never an issue at Cartier, and with Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose you’re getting a well-made woody rose. The floral accord that feels rich despite being crystalline and luminous is superimposed on the dry amber base. The original Eau de Cartier is a peppery cedarwood with a wistful leafy note, and Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose retraces some of its austere form. A touch of sweetness from rose is an interesting touch. Even vanilla feels crisp and crunchy in this perfume.  Of course, you can find many great amber roses at a lower price point, such as the fabulous Yves Rocher Rose Absolu, but Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose is a worthwhile option. Continue reading →

Balenciaga L’Eau Rose : New Perfume

Balenciaga is launching its next fragrance, Balenciaga L’Eau Rose, in March, following Balenciaga Paris, L’Essence and Florabotanica.  Created by perfumers Olivier Polge and Domitille Bertier, it’s a variation on the original Balenciaga Paris. The violet motif of the original is accented with pepper, violet leaf, blackberry, rose, patchouli, cedarwood and vetiver.

balenciaga

L’Eau Rose Eau de Toilette will be available exclusively in Balenciaga stores from February 1, while the global launch will take place in March. 50 ml spray/$90; 75ml/$115. Via press release

Balenciaga Florabotanica : Perfume Review

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Wishing that all of my US friends stay safe, dry and prepared as the storm approaches! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be ok. I’m thinking about you!

Florabotanica is a good illustration of where most big brands, even those that start out with good intentions, end up as they chase market success. The first launch by Balenciaga, Balenciaga Paris, was a transparent violet leaf composition that wouldn’t be out of place in the L’Artisan Parfumeur collection. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take off that well. People need time to appreciate something unfamiliar, and the only way to do this is to support the brand and spend resources on educating the staff. In other words, you need time, money, and some new marketing tactics, all of which are in short supply at most fragrance houses today.

So, after the perfunctory flanker to Balenciaga Paris, L’Essence, we  have Florabotanica. It was composed by perfumers Olivier Polge (who also created Balenciaga Paris) and Jean-Christophe Hérault. The inspiration behind Florabotanica is described by Balenciaga as “not just a pretty flower, but a pretty dangerous flower.” This time Balenciaga took no risks. If you find transparent roses dangerous, then yes, I suppose that Florabotanica is right on the mark. I found it just pretty and meek.

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