Fragrance Review – L’Essence by Balenciaga
Fashion and fragrance have a long entwined history and many iconic fragrances were born from equally prolific fashion houses, like Chanel, Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent to name a few.
When it comes to perfume, I never assume that a high-end label will equal quality. It’s hit and miss. That being said, I don’t profess to know anything about fashion or its history, I just love smelling good! And in the case of L’Essence by Balenciaga, I’m pleasantly surprised.
L’Essence is an updated version of an earlier scent, Balenciaga Paris. Right off the top, I love the green bottle; something about it says it’s a “mature” scent. It looks like some kind of dark jewel, elegant and sophisticated in its simplicity and atypical bottle colour. Green fragrances are typically male and the bottle is not girly in the slightest. It looks mysterious, like a sinister potion you might find on the armoire of a gorgeous villainess.
The main note I smell is powerful violet. However, it’s not the flower I’m sniffing but the fragrant violet leaves. They take the violet smell and add a green brightness, and a vetiver note adds to this. The scent is very intense but not cloying.
There is also a mossy element that makes me think again of a dark, woodland theme. But this is not a perfume for Snow White to wear, oh no, no! This is the fragrance of a sophisticated creature, who is herself complex and beguiling like a fairy tale forest. Be warned that should you be brave enough to wander into the woods to get closer to the vixen, she may just cast a spell on you.
VERDICT: I like this fragrance a lot and it appears to have good staying power. The dry down is very clean and almost soapy smelling. L’Essence by Balenciaga would make a perfect fall into winter fragrance, not just for glamorous forest witches.
Bonus clip: the making of the advertising campaign featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Balenciaga Creative Director, Nicolas Ghesquière