Since I’m on a new-releases kick lately, I figured I’d review B. by Balenciaga, another late-2014 release. While their Florabotanica is one of only a few that make me wrinkle my nose and go, “Oh, god, no,” Balenciaga Paris and Balenciaga Paris L’Essence are both quite lovely, I thought it was worth checking into their newest release.
B. opens up with violet leaf, lily of the valley, and a slightly odd green note that I had a hard time pinning down, except “green with a little bit of a buttery undertone.” The official listing says it’s edamame, which I’d never have thought of putting in a fragrance, but it smells more grassy to me than anything. The heart is soft cedar and powdery, earthy orris root, and the base is cashmere wood and ambrette seed.
I always find it interesting when green notes take on that slightly buttery tinge. More than anything, this reminds me of the super-green Madison Square Park by Bond No. 9, which costs at least twice as much even after discounts. Like MSP, though, the longevity on it isn’t great. It was a skin scent of wood and earth by three hours in, and I had to reapply at lunch. I hesitate to speculate on how long this would last in warmer spring weather, though that’s when the notes would truly shine. The scent itself is very interesting, but I doubt I’ll be buying a full bottle when the rollerball I have is finished. I really like how it smells, but it just doesn’t hold up enough to give a good rating.
The technical stuff:
Release date: October 2014
Availability: Department stores and specialty retailers
Perfumer: Domitille Bertier
Overall rating: 5/10