Le Dix (1947)
    by Balenciaga




    Average Rating: 4

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    Le Dix Fragrance notes

    Aldehydes, Bergamot, Lemon, Peach, Coriander, Rose, Lily of the valley, Lilac, Jasmine, Osmanthus, Champaca, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Musk, Amber

    Le Dix information

    Le Dix is a women's fragrance by Balenciaga. The scent was launched in 1947 and the bottle was designed by Davsen

    Reviews of Le Dix


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    Showing 1 to 6 of 20 reviews.

    BlueHillsgal's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am wearing the original parfum today. A sample from the Perfumed Court. I have to say that on me, in 78 degrees, the base notes precede the top notes. Is this unusual in a vintage parfum? The civet and musk act as top notes; the violet does not appear until 10 minutes after applying. Help.

    24 March, 2012 (Last Edited: 06 April, 2012)

    le mouchoir de monsieur's avatar

    France France

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    (non-re-issue)In the 50's, Cristobal Balenciaga was considered to be the greatest Couturier who ever lived. Christian Dior himself called him "Father to us all." The tag line for "le dix," when it was launched, merely read: "His Creation." Many today have a difficult time imagining the grandeur of Balenciaga. Diana Vreeland wrote: "If you were at a party, and a woman walked in wearing Balenciaga, no other woman existed." As fascinating as his clothes, "His Creation," le dix, is equally compelling. Balenciaga was the first couturier in history to sublimate ugly women, whose allure he preferred to the merely beautiful, whom he considered common: His salons were regarded with the reverence of a church, and quite simply were not open to the public: One had to be presented, put up for admittance, as it were, and references were required. Once invited, if the severe, gatekeeping "directrice" didn't like the look of any new potential client, access was denied, and she was summarily dismissed. Balenciaga had a fondness for a slightly hunched back, and so he cut all the collars of his jackets several centimeters away from the neck in order to make the feminine silhouette appear as if it were bent: He instructed his models to hold their head forward, their hips out, and to never smile or make eye contact with anyone. Fittingly, "le dix" is a study in perplexed notions of beauty. Its opening is frankly bizarre. It was said at the time that it smelled like vomit, and indeed there is a strange bodily excretion aura to its flight that lingers long enough to be well examined. With le dix, we witness what very possibly could have been the world's first "Indie" scent. Naturally, by the mid 50's, there had been many fragrances that could be considered eccentric: Ernest Daltroff's entire range, for example, or Guerlain's Djedi. Patou's "Que sais-je?" Yet all of these were strange in a very specific manner, exhibiting a purposeful rejection of accepted social codes, where le dix explores the outter reaches of sensibility in a secretive, furtive way: One is never sure if the scent is perfectly lovely, or outright foul.
    A cunning composition of violet stems, woods and musks, it has only Jean Kerleo's magnificent "1000" as a peer: It can be inferred that Monsieur Kerleo was a fan of le dix. It may also be inferred that Monsieur Balenciaga was a fan of "Je Reviens," as le dix shares a certain high pitched and lofty distance with this masterpiece of structure from the 1930's, but hasn't a hint of its comforting and very singular loveliness. Le dix can not be compared to any fragrance in a literal sense: It stands alone, and never allows itself to be read clearly. Much like everything else associated with Balenciaga himself, there is an austerity about it that approaches the Biblical: It speaks a language of Heaven and Hell simultaneously, and never teeters off to either side: walking the split straight down the middle of it the whole way down from flight to base. Comparisons others have made to Chanel No5 are lost on me, as I would equate these to comparing the scent of a street-walking two penny harlot to that of a sovereign. Cristobal Balenciaga and Gabrielle Chanel should theoretically not exist in the same discussion, though it is a fact that the two of them were close friends. In the realm of fashion and fragrance, Comparing his taste to hers would be like comparing chalk to cheese. Le dix is a grand perfume. It stands up to any guerlain, any caron, or any patou. What's interesting about it, is that it staunchly refuses comparisons, loudly declaring itself "hors concours." Just as did Monsieur Cristobal Balenciaga himself, it is in a league of its own, isolated, away from the crowd, and silently observes, never smiling, never making eye contact. An intellectual composition perfectly suited to any woman or any man who considers that no perfume on earth could possibly express their personality, requiring one that merely poses questions, without ever hinting at answers. Balenciaga never gave an interview to the press, and fashion journalists were unwelcome in his salons. Following the violent student uprisings in France during the Sping and Summer of 1968, Cristobal Balenciaga shuttered his house, with only this explanation: "The world is no longer a place for my creation."

    04 September, 2011 (Last Edited: 27 September, 2011)

    tamashek's avatar

    United States United States

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    (this is for the reissue) I find Le Dix soft and slightly powdery. I get the bergamot and lilac at the opening while the rose becomes more apparent as the fragrance wears. It's feminine and totally wearable. Elegant

    22 April, 2010

    Jean Patou Fan's avatar



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    I first smelled Le Dix in 1984, when I bought a bottle on a cross-Channel ferry; in those days 4.25ml of Parfum cost £8.50! I loved Le Dix from the moment I tried it; the fragrance from this first bottle was an elegant, soft powedery-violet perfume, with no obvious aldehyde notes. At this time I didn't actually like violet (and my favourite perfume then was No5), so my liking Le Dix was quite amazing; however, I came to like it even more than my beloved No5. This bottle was a tiny version of the classic Balenciaga parfum flacon, with a gold coloured screw-on stopper, in the shape of the glass one on larger sizes.

    After this first bottle, I didn't buy it again until about a year later, when I purchased a 7.5ml parfum. I think this was possibly old stock, as it smelled of pure aldehyde (like No5++!) , with very little violet in evidence. I was very disappointed, and this bottle put me off Le Dix for a number of years.

    After 15 years, I bought Le Dix again, and discovered this bottle to be a very pleasant balance between the powdery violet notes of my first bottle and the aldehydic ones of my second.

    For me Le Dix is the most elegant Balenciaga fragrance, which is equally suited to day and evening wear.

    28 February, 2010

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    I came by a mini bottle of the vintage parfum for a song. I'm afraid the top notes have burned a little, so this review may not be accurate to what others experience with the fresh juice. I get no lemon or peach in the opening; instead there is a "burned sugar" note that seems to be common with older parfums that have gone off. So from the beginning this is rather heavy -- caramel, smoke, and violets. The feel of it is formal and dramatic -- a swooning Southern Belle type of violet.

    The scent does freshen a little bit in the heart with a very pretty jasmine, which I'm guessing is what draws the Chanel no. 5 comparisons. But Le Dix still retains a lot of formality and a sense of confinement, whereas to me the magical quality of no. 5 is it's easy naturalism. If I picture no. 5 as a pretty girl lounging outside on a warm spring day with not much on, Le Dix is dressed for a dinner party in purple taffeta.

    The violets are strong and sweet (on the verge of stuffy, but not unenjoyable to me -- I love violets in their various manifestations) and hang in all the way to the drydown, which is violets over a strong, dirty-but-quality vanilla that reminds me of Shalimar.

    Interesting and impressive. I hope to compare it to a recent version, or a more jealously protected vintage, someday and see how much of the smoke and caramel and swoony weight is the real stuff and how much is simply the result of age.

    09 February, 2010

    djolney's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Le Dix is an elegant and charming fragrance.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to sample a vintage version, but am perfectly happy to smell the current EdT formulation—which I would describe as being in soft focus.

    I smell violets, aldehydes, green jasmine, iris, and what I think might be orange blossom. Le Dix settles down quickly and produces moderate sillage for around five hours. I don’t smell anything specific in the base (before it fades away) beyond some powderiness from the iris.

    It has some similarities to Chanel’s No. 5, but is, to its credit, more interesting and less formal than No. 5.

    As a huge violet fan (I regularly wear Green Irish Tweed and have a soft spot for Montale’s Louban) smelling Le Dix makes me smile. I would recommend Le Dix to any woman who likes violets and elegant fragrances.

    28 September, 2009

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