From the house of Balenciaga comes the fresh spring scent of Paris perfume, bringing with it thoughts of warm sunshine on an early spring day, when romance blooms anew with furtive glances and coy half-smiles. Launched in 2008, Balenciaga Paris is the first major fragrance from the brand since Cristobal debuted ten years earlier in 2998. Developed under Balenciaga’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere, perfumer Oliver Polge described the floral fragrance as “present.”

Although Polge’s description is rather vague, it is also fairly apt. The muted scents are minimalist and stark, almost forcing the wearer to be in the present. There are no classic combinations in Balenciaga Paris perfume, with the exception of a subtle tip of the hat to Balenciaga’s classic scent Le Dix when the violet softly wafts to the surface in the heart notes. In addition, there is no futuristic disharmony in any of the blends that might be construed as mysterious or confusing.

The scent is urban and modern, and not at all a feminine floral fragrance. However, it is elegant, with a sophisticated maturity that resonates with high-class simplicity. This is not a fragrance that is designed for young women or teenagers. Rather, it is very grown up and subtle, perfect for the mature woman who is looking for a fresh and clean scent to wear on mild spring days.

Balenciaga Paris Perfume Notes

The Balenciaga Paris perfume opens with the freshness associated with a newly-picked bouquet of violets. It begins to feel almost old-fashioned, like petals preserved between the pages of an old book, but then a burst of peppery accord pulls the scent back into the present. The fresh and watery opening has hints of fruit that mimic the orchards of early spring and feel like a walk through a park on a breezy day. The slightly powdery, slightly metallic heart continues to showcase the violets, perhaps as the dainty petals shimmer under an April rain shower.

The base is warm and creamy, with hints of oakmoss, carnation, cedar, bergamot, vetiver, labdanum, patchouli, and spices. Throughout the entire dry-down period, violet continues to linger, bursting through to the surface when least expected. The longer the scent remains on the skin, the earthier the base becomes. The patchouli is muted, but still reveals an inviting undertone that is both welcoming and softly elegant.

Balenciaga Paris PerfumeThe Balenciaga Bottle

As with the simple combination of basic fragrances that make up the Balenciaga Paris perfume, the bottle is similarly unadorned, without embellishments or engraving. It is clearly from the house of Balenciaga, with its elegantly blown glass body and ivory cap. The amber-colored perfume is visible through the transparent bottle, like a promise of what is to come with the fragrance is finally released from its gorgeous container.

The shape of the bottle is not smooth, nor is it sharp. Its rounded edges give the container a traditional, yet urban feel that follows no rules but still respects the past. It is reminiscent of an 18th century vase with an ivory stopper that deftly conceals a treasure within. The concept of the shape reveals a head, shoulders and a stable body in an effort to give character to the fragrance inside. Balenciaga Paris is available in 30 ml, 50 ml and 75 ml bottles.

Tantalizing Reviews

For the most part, reviewers have favorable opinions of Balenciaga Paris perfume, with one reviewer calling it a “masterpiece,” and another saying it is “one of the most elegant and luxurious scents I’ve ever known.” The overwhelming consensus is that anyone who wears Balenciaga Paris must also love violets, as that is the primary scent that follows the fragrance throughout all phases of the perfume, from the top notes to the base notes.

Some of the other words that have been consistently used to describe this perfume are “sophisticated,” “powdery,” “fresh,” “classy” and “elegant.” Although some people find the fragrance to be feminine, with the burst of violets and sensual dry down, some other reviewers thought the scent could be unisex because of the slightly masculine base. However, all reviewers that enjoy the scent of violet said they would keep Balenciaga Paris perfume in their collections and use it for daytime events and mid afternoon gatherings.