Perfume Directory

Ivoire (original) (1980)
by Pierre Balmain


Ivoire (original) information

Year of Launch1980
Average Rating
(based on 185 votes)

People and companies

HousePierre Balmain
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanySelective Beauty
Parent Company at launchCobepa Group

About Ivoire (original)

Ivoire (original) is a feminine perfume by Pierre Balmain. The scent was launched in 1980 and the bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Ivoire (original) fragrance notes

Reviews of Ivoire (original)

I have a vintage bottle which belonged to my grandmother. I've never worn it as I couldn't get past the BO blast, but either I've lost my sense of smell, or some of the eau de BO has vanished with age. Trying it again after six years, I now get loads of cedar, a touch of tutti fruity, and not much else. Going to try wearing it after all these years and see how it floats. Originally, it smelled like pencil and BO to me. Now it smells mostly like pencil.
19th March, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Ivoire vintage:
The herbal opening is mixed with galbanum and bergamot to deliver a clean, green start that is powered by an aldehyde boost. It then turns purely floral, with hyacinth, carnation and lily-of-the-valley dominating on my skin, with an orris impression giving depth. This phase is not bright but a touch somber and pensive. Wood, mainly sandal on me and some moss are added in the base. The three phases develop nicely, with the prime quality of the natural ingredients being very impressive. Good sillage, limited projection and a great longevity of nine hours. A fine scent: 4.5/5
01st December, 2014
Such adjectives and descriptions as clean, fresh, bright, followed by the pine-clean scent of galbanum, and then drying down to a spicy, floral heart (courtesy of Barbara Herman), accurately reflect the journey of this scent, which I assume translates to "Ivory."

Turin gave it four stars and calls it a soapy floral, but it's more than that. Others here describe it as a bitter green chypre and an overly green floral. I don't get those descriptions at all.

It is certainly green, clean and fresh, and settles down nicely to a warm woody amber. It just doesn't impress me as a work of art. Nice, but in no way distinguished or exceptional. The dry down can become cloying, which works against the overall effect.

A scent I would have sent back to the labs with an admonition to make it better.
31st July, 2014
Genre: Green Floral

"Clean, green, aldehydic floral" sums up Ivoire pretty well. The opening is pleasantly bright and perfectly poised between sweet citrus and bitter galbanum, and Ivoire maintains this gratifying sense of balance through to its crisp white floral heart. Is it soapy? Yes, but if Ivoire smells like soap, it smells like one heck of an expensive soap.

The composition gradually sweetens as it ages on the skin, while the powdery aldehydes fade away to reveal a limpid, lucent woody floral structure that seems surprisingly modern for such an alleged period piece as Ivoire. At this stage Ivoire is a rather naturalistic cool spring bouquet, dominated by recognizable notes of lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth, and lilac. Itís still a determinedly clean scent, matching in mood, if not style, other sanitary green floral feminines like Alliage and White Linen. It is less green in olfactory hue and more overtly floral than Alliage, and entirely lacks White Linenís abrasive, sour edge. That might leave it smelling more ordinary than either, but its also more wearable and versatile.

Ivoire serves as a textbook example of a scent that offers ample sillage, but only moderate projection. It is not a loud scent, and isnít easily detected at a great distance, but it does tend to hang in the air and leave a presence (ďsillageĒ) even after the wearer has left the room. It endures quite well on the skin, moving toward a creamy sandalwood and soft amber drydown after perhaps six hours. Itís really too bad that Ivoire carries such dowdy and dated associations. Itís actually a fresh, bright scent that avoids the screechy aquatic and harsh artificial fruit notes that mar so many recent ďcleanĒ scents for women.
18th June, 2014
A choking soap carving of a lone woman. Garbo is said to be involved with this scent somehow, Balmain himself (in ad copy) going on and on about a mystery woman at an opera. A ghost is closer for Ivoire.

Aldehydes for the sake of themselves. Indulgent, careless, demanding a wide berth from passerby as a primly dressed lady on a motorcycle. In low heeled boots and a cloche instead of a helmet.

The muguet and iris are Ivoire's best classic features, and for those whose skin sing them through the aldehydic chorus, a fine scent of centeredness and old-fashioned charm this could make. The notes that I love and always will in Ivoire: chamomile and marigold--herbal, summer-meets-autumn, wistful.

Some speak of a BO note herein: asafoetida: as bad as the word itself suggests. That rot and stink beneath such a complex thirty or more note fragrance is a bit like hiding a cruel glance in the recitation of a courtly love ballad.

At first this was to be my signature. Aspirational but flawed. So aloof, so stunning, once past the prim opening: gestalt, carnation spice, patchouli and oakmoss forests. Refractions of every major chypre dazzle in this stray fake crystal pendant bedside lamp. But this fragrance wanted to be refined, wanted to be for blondes, needed to be tasteful but acknowledged. Ivoire's image and execution, all but its very, very depths and bottom notes, lacks the celebration of power that other chypres boast. It's those pesky extra few too many aldehydes.

If you have the option of trying out the vintage pure perfume or vintage edt and are a fan of chypres, get a kick out of undermining frump, and aren't afraid of soapy openings, please give this lady out of time a chance. Intriguing and a complete person unto itself. For frequent wear? This will wear you ... out and to the opera.
31st August, 2012
Alityke Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Yes this is my preferred style of fragrance being a bitter green chypre but Ivoire is so much more than just that. This review is for the original vintage EDT

The opening is still bitterly green despite the lemon having been lost a little in the last 40 years or so. It develops quite quickly into the heart and here the true beauty emerges like a butterfly from the chrysallis.

In it's heart this vintage Ivoire is plush, rich and luscious and full of wonderful buttery jasmine and iris root, spiced by dianthus and sharpened by rose and lily of the valley. Floral lovers should give this a try.

The base is salty savoury oakmoss, rounded by real sandalwood.

If you love 31 Rue Cambon or other floral chypre, you really must hunt down early Ivoire. It costs pennies on EBay (well it does in the UK) and gives the sensation of wearing real luxury
12th May, 2012

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