To me Bal d’Afrique is immediately about assiduously cared for skin. From initial associations of sun tan lotions with a hint of coconut oil, I plump for a more non-specific impression of skin caressed by unguents and soothing oils which later on reveals its musky character. This is skin one wants to touch and be touched by, and it gives Bal d’Afrique a warm, inviting personality.
Upon this floats a melange of lightly handled notes – the blackcurrant-like buchu, honeyed neroli and jasmine given a fruity aspect by citrus, the greenish, almost herbal scent of marigold.
Others have commented on a similarity to Hermes’ Vetiver Tonka and I too perceive it in an almost cocoa-like depth to this creation, but the fruity, musky tones are all its own and make it sufficiently different. The later stages get woodier, a grown up cedar-vetiver accord that remains creamy rather than sharp.
A perfume of gentle sensuality, with a certain elusive quality (the notes keep shifting), I find Bal d’Afrique confidently understated.
Too variable for me to be willing to spend time or money on. Sometimes it hints at a lusciousness and sensuality that is attractive; other times it has borderline offnotes and doesn't hang together. But there is always a dark berry note I don't find especially pleasing as it always stands out and doesn't quite meld. I think I'm reacting to that berry note, which is one I'm fairly allergic to. It pretty much destroys any fragrance it's in for me. It's not listed, but then, how many notes are?
This fragrance is absolutely beautiful. At first spray I smell lots of citrus, vetiver and orange flower. Dried down to a soft and comforting musky, black currant (just the right amount) and violet. These ingredients together are magical. To me Bal D'Afrique smells clean and it's just a happy scent. It lasts a very long time on me.
Wow. I went into Skins looking for yet another Citrus and ended up with this on a random try. Very fresh and fruity to start with, turns into a delicious cocktail-y scnet after half an hour or so.Very long-lasting, though sweet and fruity, I cannot help but get a lot of blackcurrant there. No blackcurrant in the frangrance components at all. Probably the Neroli? Not much to do with balls or Africa, but nice enough nevertheless to get out the VISA and spend 96 EURO on it.
This was my initial review:
This would be fabulous on a man (which I am not). It smells clean and expensive and interesting, unlike so many men's colognes imho. This my first encounter with Byredo, and while I've had a number of "you smell nice" comments since trying out this sample, every time I smell my wrist I think of a guy I knew in college (granted, he always smelled good).
The sillage is nice - not too loud, not too quiet. The longevity is ok, although I've been dabbling in CB I Hate Perfume, so I'm probably being generous here.
It's fruitier than I expected. It's like a manly pina colada from a really nice bar.
I would like to try more from this line, but this one is not for me.
I'm not sure what happened here, but I tried this again and I LOVE it! It looks like some other reviewers have had the same experience. The basenote of something I associate with men's cologne (particularly Grey Flannel) has vanished. If this fragrance was a mood, it would be *happy*! It's just so positive and delicious. I'm going to try one more sample but this might be a full bottle splurge for me.
04th March, 2014 (last edited: 18th March, 2014)