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Balenciaga Rosabotanica ~ perfume review

Balenciaga Rosabotanica bottle trio

I was not a huge fan of Florabotanica, the last pillar fragrance from Balenciaga, but I do sometimes like a flanker better than the original fragrance so I doggedly persist in trying them, and that’s especially true when I adore the bottle. And I did adore the Florabotanica bottle. I love the bottle for Rosabotanica, the new flanker, even more.

Florabotanica was a modern, clean, office-friendly floral, or as I put it when I reviewed it, “a modern, shampoo-ish blended-floral style several steps removed from the actual flowers”. It was essentially loud (in the early stages, anyway) without any depth or richness. Rosabotanica is advertised as “unveil[ing] a fresher territory, with a sheer, enveloping second skin character”, and yep, that’s pretty much how it works out.

Rosabotanica, then, takes the sillage of the opening down a notch, but it also spices things up a bit…

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Balenciaga Florabotanica ~ perfume review

Balenciaga Florabotanica advert with Kristen Stewart

Florabotanica is the latest from Balenciaga, and I was fully prepared to adore it for any number of reasons, not least being the presentation: I love the offbeat advertising images and that’s easily my favorite bottle of recent memory — and it’s one of those rare bottles that is even more alluring in person than in pictures (the minute I picked it up, I started calculating how much I had just spent on jeans and yoga pants and how much I could still spend that day without threatening the food budget). They brought back perfumer Olivier Polge, who developed 2010′s Balenciaga Paris, a fragrance that seemed an excellent start for the brand’s revival as a perfume house under the auspices of Coty. Florabotanica is a great name for a perfume, and I even love the design of the outer box. Designer Nicolas Ghesquière’s concept of a strange garden with beautiful flowers, but also dangerous flowers, sounded intriguing.1

The potential bad news was that it was geared younger than Balenciaga Paris; sorry, young ‘uns, but that usually — not always! — means some degree of dumbing down or fruiting up. That Florabotanica is fronted by actress Kristen Stewart means nothing to me either way; as usual, I had to google just to remember who she was, and don’t even ask me to comment on her recent “scandal”, I don’t know and I don’t care, and will only say that the increased publicity would seem a boon for Balenciaga. I found the very untraditional manner in which she is used in the advertising to be refreshing…

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