Prim And Proper- Review: Balenciaga Paris

Balenciaga Paris, a floral chypre, is the first Balenciaga perfume launched under the creative direction of Nicolas Ghesquiere (whose style and design I personally admire), it was created by perfumer Olivier Polge in 2010. Notes include bergamot, spices, pepper, violet, carnation, oakmoss, cedar, vetiver, patchouli and labdanum.

It smells like a soft, slightly powdery violet over musky woods (or woody musks ;)). In its ancestry there is undoubtedly Aprés L’Ondée.

Balenciaga Paris is relatively linear, no great developmental surprises, I do not like the late drydown so much, though, it gets a bit too soapy-musky then.
Balenciaga has a surprising presence when I wear it, which I love, without leaving too much of a trail. It is nice and round and thoroughly dependable in its conservative elegance and loveliness.

It is understated but not invisible, elegant but not boring, conservative but not old-fashioned. Designer fragrance but no fruitchouli.

It smells very different from what we expect a designer fragrance to smell like, from the experience of the last years,  that is a refreshing change.

It reminds me of Prada Infusion d’Iris or L’Eau Ambrée, not in smell but in style. All three are discrete and elegant with a presence that belies their gossamer lightness.

In smell I am reminded of the already mentioned Aprés L’Ondée as well as Malle’s Dans tes Bras. It is a cleaned up, prim and proper version of the latter.

For some reason (it is probably the cleanliness of the scent, which I mean in feel, not that it smells like laundry detergent!) I imagine those violets to be white not purple, almost translucent and somehow crystallized, like under a thin layer of ice.

I like this perfume, it doesn’t floor me, but it is nice and that is more than many other department store releases can say for themselves.

Also, I like the bottle quite a bit. 😉

Picture sources:, White Violets by Tiger Lilly Shop on Etsy via

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12 Responses to Prim And Proper- Review: Balenciaga Paris

  1. Tara says:

    Hmm, Apres L’Ondee’s grandaughter – well the bottle sure is lovely LOL!

  2. vanessa says:

    I feel the same as you about this one – it is like Parisienne’s brainy older sister. And the cranial top is the business!

  3. deeHowe says:

    Still haven’t tried this one! I attempted to at least twice, but the counter didn’t have it both times—it was just after the release, so I suppose I’ll have better luck next time 🙂

    Violet and I have no love for each other, but my best friend is a violet lover, and I think that this might make a nice gift for her (still got to test it first though!).

    I like that you’ve compared it to the Prada’s, because I very much like the Prada’s. They don’t knock your sox off, but they’re reliably good, and that’s something! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I am sure this would make a good gift (especially for non-obsessed people). I really like the Pradas too, the original for sentimental reasons as well as because it is a nice amber. 🙂

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  5. Tarleisio says:

    I’m with you on this on, B. Although I don’t much care for the Pradas (mainly because I can’t get anything but hairspray with the IdI, and bug spray with the EdA, so unfair!), and I loathe Parisienne, I did like this one, and I’m not the world’s biggest violet lover. So nice to find something that isn’t a fruitchouli, for a BIG change…;)

    Oh, and the bottle – is gorgeous. Classical-retro and futuristic at one and the same time – and how cool is that? It gets better – this is nice…. Restrained, refined – a bit like the line in Christobal Balenciaga’s day, and not what I could have expected from Ghesqiuère.

  6. JoanElaine says:

    Sounds like a very polite, safe floral chypre. I like mine to have a a teeny tiny bit of an attitude 😉
    I must say, I LOVE the bottle.

  7. Pingback: Balenciaga Paris EDP Perfume Review | EauMG

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