Balenciaga Cialenga ~ fragrance review, with an aside on green chypres

Balenciaga Cialenga advert

Beginning in the mid-1960s and hurtling through the next decade, green chypres were all the rage. Every perfume house seemed to have one, starting with Yves Saint Laurent Y (1964), then on to Paco Rabanne Calandre (1969), Chanel No. 19 (1971), Estée Lauder Private Collection (1973),Revlon Charlie (1973), Christian Dior Dior-Dior (1976) and Rochas Mystère (1978). I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Balenciaga’s contribution was the short-lived Cialenga.

Perfumer Jacques Jantzen developed Cialenga, and it launched in 1973. Its notes include citrus, black currant, green notes, iris, jasmine, ylang ylang, clove, rose, lily, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss and Virginia cedar.

The 1970s green chypres ranged from herbal to floral and fruity to dry…

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Holiday fragrance gifts 2014, part 1

It’s Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day — but either way, window shopping never hurts. We’re kicking off our annual string of holiday gift posts with scented bath & body products. More to come over the next few weeks!

Dries Van Noten Par Frédéric Malle Body Butter

From Frédéric Malle, Dries Van Noten Par Frédéric Malle Body Butter: “This unique perfume of natural sandalwood, saffron, vanilla, Peruvian balm, and patchouli heart lends itself well to the form of an extra rich body cream, rich in shea butter and beeswax. This extraordinary comfort and silk like richness encapsulates the vision of Dries Van Noten’s world.” At Barneys, $185…

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B Balenciaga ~ perfume review

B Balenciaga adverts

Since we last heard from Balenciaga, fragrance-wise, Nicolas Ghesquière has left the brand.1 Alexander Wang reportedly started working on the new B Balenciaga as soon as he became the house designer in late 2012 (Rosabotanica came out in the interim, but was apparently outside of Mr. Wang’s purview). Wang said he wanted his fragrance to be timeless, and he picked lily of the valley because it wasn’t overpowering, and an edamame accord because he likes green notes.2

The opening is bright and citrusy, and it is green, but it’s a very soft, dewy and pale sort of green (it reminded me a bit of the Martin Margiela Untitled scent) with plenty of violet leaf (which reminds me of too many fragrances to list). On paper, the green opening lasts for ages…

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