Prior to the arrival of my bottle of Balenciaga Paris:
I was excited.
The fragrance is created by Olivier Polge (son of Jacques Polge, famous for many Chanel perfumes).
It’s housed in a beautiful bottle.
And I love almost every fragrance from Balenciaga.
It seemed like the stars were aligning for a new perfume love for me.
After the arrival of my bottle of Balenciaga Paris:
My feeling is one of moderate like and not love.
The bottle isn’t as gorgeous as I thought it would be. Those lovely photos we’ve all seen online and in magazines make it seem much more gorgeous than it is.
The fragrance itself is pretty and pleasant. But there’s no sparkle, nothing special or different from other violet prominent perfumes. Balenciaga Paris simply doesn’t do anything for me.
I like it, I do. But I'm let down. I knew it wouldn’t be edgy, of course. I knew it wouldn’t be a unique statement in the world of violet perfumes. But I had hoped there would be something excellent about it. I had hoped the violet note would be especially beautiful. But the violet note reminds me of Borsari’s Violetta di Parma, which is a tad plastic-y and powdery and the base is your garden variety woody-musky-patch. It’s better than Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie, which was another fairly recent mainstream violet perfume. I guess if you hadn’t already smelled tons of violet soliflores and tons of edgy violets from indie perfumers and you were walking through Neiman’s, a perfume virgin so to speak, and just happened to sniff Balenciaga Paris you might find it entrancingly beautiful. I suppose this is who the perfume was created for – people who haven’t already smelled one hundred other violet fragrances. But me, I’m hard to please at this stage of perfumista-hood, and I’m certainly let down by Balenciaga Paris. Don’t get me wrong, it’s surely pleasant and nice and pretty...
Oh, and PS: this is by no stretch of the imagination a chypre. Not even a "modern" chypre.