I'm experiencing a true love/hate relationship with this fragrance. At the time of writing my first review, I just couldn't get along with the perfume. Wanted to love it but had to conclude that I didn't. Then, lo and behold, I tried it again and loved it (see below).
Now I hate it again. The violets jump out at me and the perfume seems brash, awkward and just unpleasant.
Sadly, have to relegate this one to the swap list. I can't wear something that seems so changeable! It's one thing to have a perfume evolve on the skin, changing over time to reveal its various elements, but quite another to have it send me running for the soap one day only to seduce me the next!
Sadly the bottom line is that this is now a scrubber for me. :-/
Oh, how wrong I was... I do indeed ADORE this perfume.
I tried this scent again, this time making sure that I washed the skin first to remove any trace of body lotion near my wrists. The lotion I use is unscented but I read somewhere that even an unscented lotion can interfere with perfume. I also tried it when my nose was fresh, rather than after smelling a few others in the store.
The scent opens with a fresh citrus zing, but not as sharp as it seemed last time. The sweet floral accord is smooth, sultry and superbly feminine. I feel seduced and mesmerised by Bal d'Afrique. The sweetness is never cloying as it can be with gourmand or vanilla-type perfumes, it is fresh and subtle, suggestive of the fruits I mentioned in my earlier review. It also has a slightly salty, cool accord - it's not always obvious but it's definitely there somewhere.
Good longevity, lasting at least six hours on my skin, days on clothing. Projection seems fair, but I find that very difficult to gauge, so your mileage may vary.
The understated sensuality of this fragrance makes it ideal for any time of day or night.
I've been wearing this for a couple of days and it is my new signature scent. I am delighted. I'm so glad I decided to try this perfume again. Had I missed out on this dream of a scent it would have been a minor tragedy.
I simply can't stop smelling my wrist and my boyfriend adores the perfume as much as I do. It smells very similar to Clive Christian's X for women but is less scandalously priced!
Superb fragrance, cannot say enough good things about it.
***YET ANOTHER EDIT***
I'm starting to suspect that my opinion of this depends largely on how liberally I apply it. If I apply sparingly, I find it far more pleasant than if I'm heavy-handed. When I apply too much I get those horried violets that I despise so much. With just a couple of sprays I end up with the lovely salty, slightly cool and androgynous scent that I love :-D
At first sniff I thought I adored this fragrance, but grew tired of it very quickly. Upon application there was a momentary dash of sharp lemons, followed by a couple of hours of what I thought were fruits, so I was surprised when I read the fragrance notes here and saw that the only presence of fruit is in the citrus top notes. I thought I was smelling berries and perhaps peaches, but evidently not! The fruits were sweet and juicy which I loved at first, but was disappointed when the scent developed into a rather banal floral base. I had hoped for something richer, warmer and deeper. Perhaps the vetiver and cedar come to the fore for others, but not on my skin. I smelt no trace of amber whatsoever. I would have given a great deal to smell the heavier, grounding scents of vetiver and cedar but alas, they never arrived.
It reminds me of the sort of perfume I always try to avoid in department stores - generic, feminine (bordering on girly), floral, but pinkly sweet and lacking any development.
I hasten to add that I acknowledge perfumes develop differently on different people, but this one is definitely not for me.
The search continues for my new Signature Scent.