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This perfume, Balenciaga l'essence, is one which I discovered pretty much by accident as I received a small sample bottle of it in a goodie bag from a department store due to spending a certain amount on their store card. I did not know anything about this fragrance and it took me a while to get around to even trying it as sometimes I am reluctant to try something new and be stuck with it all day at college if I don't like it, but I needn't have worried here because when I did first try it I really really liked it!
--- Packaging ---
First of all the presentation of this perfume is just gorgeous. The bottle is simple but I think it's lovely. It is quite a heavy glass giving a feel of quality, and is a sort of bird cage type shape with a pale aquatic green tint to the glass and a black stopper. My little bottle was not like this and just looked plain, but I have looked at the proper bottle and I now want to buy a bigger one with the proper bottle. I know it's not all about the packaging and the scent is more important, but this is definitely one I would be glad to have on display in my room as its my favourite colour and, unlike a lot of modern perfumes, there is nothing over the top or tacky about it at all. It looks so nice - its a shame the DooYoo picture is wrong!
--- Scent ---
This scent is quite an unusual one and won't be for everyone, as shown by how negative the other two reviews on here are! However, I love it.
To sum it up briefly I would say it is a very green fragrance which is woody but still very fresh. It does not have that slightly dirty earthy smell that some green fragrances can have, and it is not really musky at all until it dries down, and then it is a soft sweet musk which is delicate and subtle. It is crisp and clean. It also has quite an aquatic feel to it to. The colour of the bottle really corresponds well to how this perfume feels to me. Green smelling perfumes are generally seen as quite masculine, and I would say this perfume does have more of a unisex feel to it than most perfumes I wear, but technically it is a feminine perfume according to Balenciaga, and the lightness and freshness makes it very nice for a woman to wear.
One of the main components of this fragrance is violet, but rather than using the scent of the flower itself, they focused more on the leaves to give it that green twist. I really like that, as it makes it more unique and I am personally not too keen on actual violet flowers as they can be sweet and cloying. As well as the violet leaves, it also has cedar, vetiver and patchouli. Personally I could detect something that came across slightly minty after a while, though I'm not sure what that is.
The sillage (i.e. how far the scent reaches) of this fragrance is good but not huge. It is not a whisper of scent that no one can detect unless they literally sniff your skin, but nor is it probably going to turning any heads the moment you walk in. I think it has a good level of sillage as people next to you can detect the freshness of it and it won't be giving anyone any headaches.
The lasting power of this is good. It does become more delicate and subtle as the day goes on and the base notes come out, but it does not disappear too quickly. The main fresh, green, woodiness of this scent lasts for a good 5 or 6 hours on my skin. This could obviously vary from person to person and be affected by things like the temperature.
This was launched last year in autumn 2011 and I feel that the crisp greenness of this makes it feel outdoorsy and fresh, and I can definitely see why they put it out there as an autumn fragrance. I think it would also be ideal for spring, but really you could wear it at any time of year. I would consider it more of a day time scent but I think it is sophisticated enough to be worn at night time too.
Overall I just love it! It makes a lovely change from the perfumes I normally wear, which tend towards more classic florals. It is a different scent so maybe it requires some confidence to wear, and is not for those who feel worried at the thought of it being too masculine, but if you like the sound of the description then you should definitely give it a spray next time you are at a perfume counter and just see what you think.
--- Price and Availability ---
This is quite an expensive perfume. It is currently reduced by 10% at Debenhams and John Lewis, making the price a bit more in line with most popular designer perfumes, and with this reduction it now starts At £39.60 for the small 30 ml bottle. The 50 ml is now £53.10 and the 75 ml is now £67.50. You can get it at most bigger department stores on online. It is also stocked by Amazon.
Bearing in mind the price and the fact this is quite unusual and will split opinion, this is definitely one you should test before purchasing, but for me it is a winner and therefore I give it 5 stars.
I`m afraid this is going to be a review where good words are rare and negative words are more common, this Balenciaga fragrance not just for me, but I cannot imagine who it would work for at all! This is a very strong, synthetic, intense perfume, all the while quite tame in its scents and smell combinations... This perfume was way too heavy for me, and it gave me an headache after I had wore it for about an hour. Even though it`s very strong and intense, it also needs "respraying" very often, almost every two hours, which simply isn`t good enough.
Truthfully, the only thing on the positive side I can say, is that I quite find the bottle looking nice, but that`s sadly it! This fragrance, to top off the misery, is also very expensive, as I paid 56.99 for a 50 ml bottle, which is way too much for a fragrance that doesn`t offer a good combination of scents, and is very difficult to enjoy wearing, as I immediately become quite ill when wearing it... The oonly sensable thing I can say about the fragrance, is that I think I can notice the smell of musk and perhaps vanilla in this perfume, but that`s pretty much it... It smells strong, intense and just not appealing!
Zero points, I`m afraid!