Skip to content

Florabotanica, Balenciaga: Fragrance Review

March 19, 2013
About the stunning packaging Balenciaga says; "Couture bottle that completes the “Florabotanica” experience: oversize tube with bold lines which plunges into the floral perfume like a laboratory test tube looking to capture the secret essence of flowers."  AND HOW!

About the stunning packaging Balenciaga says; “Couture bottle that completes the “Florabotanica” experience: oversize tube with bold lines which plunges into the floral perfume like a laboratory test tube looking to capture the secret essence of flowers.” AND HOW!

When I think of ROSES as a flower I think of English country gardens and tightly buttoned Victorian things.  Roses say romance like spaghetti says Italian.  Everyone knows what they should smell like.  They can be corny or classic depending on the styling.

fresh_roses-normal

Fresh roses: bury your face in those petals and inHALE

As a wearable scent, my mind goes to two divergent places: a sun-drenched garden in bloom or noxious room spray that you could strip paint with.  (Kids of the ’80’s remember the ominous bowl of rose scented potpourri your mom had in the bathroom? That was not a good thing.)

The smelly ol' days of potpourri as a fashionable bathroom accessory

The smelly ol’ days of potpourri as a fashionable bathroom accessory

Many perfumes are dedicated to rose as a main note, and many more use it as a contributing note.  (It’s featured subtly in one of my personal faves Coco Mademoiselle, and I would never think of it as “rosy”.)

Good ole' Coco Mademoiselle. Despite my love of niche fragrance, this is the scent I get the most compliments on.  Notes are: orange, mandarin orange, orange blossom and bergamot; middle notes are mimosa, jasmine, Turkish rose and ylang-ylang; base notes are tonka bean, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla, vetiver and white musk.

Good ole’ Coco Mademoiselle. Despite my love of niche fragrance, this is the scent I get the most compliments on. Notes are: orange, mandarin orange, orange blossom and bergamot; middle notes are mimosa, jasmine, Turkish rose and ylang-ylang; base notes are tonka bean, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla, vetiver and white musk.

I adore floral scents and as I’m always interested in trying something new I leaped at the the chance to sniff FLORABOTANICA by Balenciaga, Paris.

I love the name and the packaging is absolutely gorgeous.  The box covered with ornate botanical drawings of slightly sinister looking foliage that resemble Dionaea muscipula (Venus Fly Trap) is  eye-pleasing contrast to the modern striped bottle. It’s beautiful, trust.

The artwork on the Florabotanica Box - creepy yet inviting.

The artwork on the Florabotanica box: creepy yet inviting

Dangerous beauty: the Venus fly trap draws in unsuspecting insects with its ruby centres promising sweet nectar. Hairs prevent the landed fly from being able to walk out as the trap slowly closes in for a full-on juicing, not unlike Kristen Stewart's vampire flicks

Dangerous beauty: the Venus fly trap draws in unsuspecting insects with its ruby centres promising sweet nectar. Hairs prevent the landed fly from being able to walk out as the trap slowly closes in for a full-on juicing, not unlike FLORABOTANICA’s face, Kristen Stewart, and her vampire flicks

But what does it smell like you ask? Balenciaga’s concept is:

“an experimental rose that has the power to endlessly charm • Two architectural notes: a fresh floral facet and a mysterious green facet • Imaginative name which evokes the 18th century botanical gardens in which the most exotic and rarest plant species were displayed.”

Conceptually, I’m all over this.  I’m imagining rose but fresh because of this mysterious green element.

FLORABOTANICA is indeed very rosey, but the mysterious green element is a sort of sharpness.  The notes are mint, carnation, hybrid rose, caladium leaves, amber and vetiver.  My first thought is, “Wow! This reminds me almost exactly of Rose Ikebana by Hermès. Created by parfumer extraordinaire,  Jean Claude Ellena, Rose Ikebana is rose and rhubarb and has a similar acidic quality.

Rose Ikebana by the legendary Jean-Claude Ellena

Rose Ikebana by legendary perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès

I can smell the rose and vetiver and the mint in FLORABOTANICA, and I think it would be best categorized as a “fresh, green, floral”.  While FLORABOTANICA is initially very green, the dry-down is soft and very rosy. Also, of note, this fragrance is built to last, at 6 hours after my initial spray it was still going strong.

Ladies, I’d recommend a single spritz.  If you like rosey scents but want something young, this might be worth a sniff.

Kristen Stewart of vamp fame is the face of FLORABOTANICA

Kristen Stewart of vamp fame is the face of FLORABOTANICA

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: