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Balenciaga Paris – Paris called, she has your perfume

Photo: Paris Rooftops by

I just received a postcard from a friend who spent the last few weeks in Paris  saying how lucky she was to have spent springtime there.

Wow, did this ever trigger memories of my past trips to the City of Light – buying a dress there that I would get married in, a birthday celebration that ended with French onion soup at Au Pied de Cochon at 5:00 am, getting my long hair cut in a short gamine-style. And, of course, the smells. I can remember when spring in Paris smelled like violets, which seemed to bloom everywhere, and Gitanes, the classic French cigarette that used to be smoked everywhere.

The Gitanes have since been tamed, but the violets still have their ohh-la-la. It comes from the ionone they contain. When you sniff violets, ionone temporarily dulls your sense of smell for a few moments so you smell nothing until your nose recovers and your sense of smell returns. If you keep sniffing, the cycle repeats. This game of now-you-smell-me-now-you-don’t has earned violet frags a reputation for being ‘flirty’.

When I crave springtime in Paris, I pull out the Balenciaga Paris. A soft violet scent placed on a subdued earthy-woody base, it really is the smell of spring in the air. Fresh, floral and ethereal and like spring itself, it flirts and teases with the promise of warmer days and shorter nights to come.

It has a gentle opening of bergamot warmed with the spiciness of pepper. There is also a green note from violet leaves which gives it a slight metallic tang. As it settles, a soft, creamy violet playing hide-and-seek with carnation comes forward, but it never gets too floral or too cloying thanks to cedar and oakmoss. Patchouli and labdanum at the base have been quieted here so that they give it a gorgeous earthy-woody base that just holds and showcases the violet perfectly while never dominating it. Balenciaga Paris blooms beautifully on the skin staying close to the skin.

Balenciaga Paris is refined Parisienne chic. Quietly elegant and sheer with no hard edges, it is not a literal expression of smells of the city – no hints of tobacco, cars or dogs – just the remembrance of springtime in Paris.

Today, we're adding Balenciaga Paris our decant sample offering. Decants are $5.00.