Thursday, October 31, 2013

Balmain Eau d'Ivoire Eau de Toilette review

Balmain Eau d'Ivoire Eau de Toilette
From looking at the classically-structured Balmain glass bottle alone, you might not guess this is a sporty, fresh and almost girly fragrance. (In fact, I couldn't resist doing some “antique” photo effects with that beautifully-simple bottle.)

Here's the official visual.
Balmain Eau d'Ivoire posed with classic the Balmain print
Scent wise, it’s quite minimalist but incredibly easy to like. Actually, on first sniff, it brings to mind not one - not two - but several “pink” colored perfumes.

Dior Addict Eau Fraiche and Gucci Eau de Parfum II

Scent Breakdown:
It starts out fresh and juicy, then blooms into a clean white floral, before a very green/minty base.
  • Top notes: Bergamot, red currants
  • Heart notes: Magnolia, osmanthus 
  • Base notes: Patchouli, ambrette seeds
I smell predominantly mouthwateringly tart red currants and a shower-fresh magnolia. It invites people to take deep breaths on warm days. (I would love my shampoo to smell like this.)

Then it slowly warms up and becomes more unique as the osmanthus comes in, a floral note I adore and think should get a bit more airtime among perfume lovers. For those living outside of east Asia, osmanthus is a flower with a beautiful fragrance that’s (to me) somewhere between honey and tea. In fact, it’s often candied in syrups, and used in sweet herbal teas and desserts, the way violets are used in Europe.

If you don’t like the sometimes sharp and musky scent patchouli has, don’t worry. It’s very soft in Eau d’Ivoire. In light doses, it smells just fresh and minty. Here, it combines with the herbal buzz of ambrette seed just to add a little texture so the fragrance doesn’t just smell completely like expensive shampoo.
Sounds weird but smelling Eau d’Ivoire makes me salivate. I think of fresh, ice-cold lemon tea on a warm day. It has the tart, refreshing fruitiness, the delicately sweet body, and the slight after-bite of good strong tea. 

Lasting power:
So-so; 3-4 hours (again typical of most fresh summery EDTs).

One minor gripe:
The white neck isn’t stuck on tight and often swings out of alignment. Not a big deal but an annoyance for OCD people. Still, I can hardly complain because Balmain is one of the more affordably priced and accessible fragrance lines by a design house.

Pricing and Availability:
Balmain Eau d’Ivoire is available from SGD65 in Singapore exclusively at Metro department stores until end-Oct, after which it will be available at Tangs and Robinsons.

 £46 from House of Fraser, Seldridges, or , from AUD65 from Myer. Unfortunately, it’s quite a bit harder to locate in continental USA and Canada. I’ve seen a single bottle on Amazon from a German perfume outlet, and none on eBay so far. (If you’re really dying to try it, you can email to see if they might be able to bring in some since they stock another classic from Balmain, Ambre Gris.)


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