Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Miss Balmain by Pierre Balmain

Total Reviews: 17
I dislike Bandit, but I love Miss Balmain. There is something in this one (coriander? carnation?) that allows some light to enter the darkly leathered picture and softens the ice-pick-to-the-nose attitude that leather chypres can exhibit. Miss B is still bitter and mossy and smokey, don't get me wrong, but there are moments of florality and citrus here that make her shadowy, rather than pitch black. I find the combination of rough leather and cigarette pack both mysterious and sophisticated in a rather worldly and sexily androgynous way. Yum!
17th August, 2018
EDP from 1970.
Well, here you go with the beautiful butter of Oakmoss.
The Adelhydes, Citrus and Florals provide a landscape which leads to a soft Feminine Leather , nicely powdered up with Tonka and Amber.
Some say similar to Cabochard. Maybe, however the Cabochard Vintage leans a little more Masculine. Miss Balmain is very nice for the girls.
20th June, 2017 (last edited: 21st June, 2017)
On my skin, way too much leather and too one dimensional. Could not get 'English Leather' out of my mind. Only after 6 hours do the somewhat less aggressive notes come through and does it become a more restrained, feminine scent (at least on me). Much prefer my spicy florientals. Will not buy again.
02nd November, 2015
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
From the first moments of the opening blast this draws me in: a gorgeous triad of leather, oakmoss and coriander greets me: the leather is rich, darkly glowing, sweetish-waxed like the best saddle leather. A particularly beautiful treat is this oakmoss: well balanced in gentle sharpness with a wonderfully natural mossy aroma. This all is underlined with a healthy lashing of aldehydes.

The miracles continues in the floral-centric drydown, where carnation dominates, flanked by narcissus, jasmine, a dark Bulgarian rose and hints of hyacinth. The sweetness is of discrete elegance. The base returns to the leather that really never went away in the first place, adding a delicious gently shadowy patchouli, enhanced by mild vanilla dressing and a delicious amber impression that remains until the end. Just delicious from the beginning to the end!

And this end takes a while to arrive at: with moderate sillage and very good projection combined is a phenomenally outstanding longevity: sixteen hours!!

This is an amazing scent: beautifully smooth of refined texture, well structured and extremely well blended - and all made of ingredients of the very highest quality. One of the great masterpieces of the time, and one of the finest products of this great house. 4.5/5
11th September, 2015
Miss B's charm comes from a slapdash composition and that succeeds.  It conveys an honestly straightforward approach, and the result is a charming perfume with character.

Forget any discussions of buttery Italian leather, sophisticated Russian leather, discrete French glove leather.  Miss B is A stiff coat leather with a note of cheap compact-powder florals. Both ranges of notes, the leather and the compact, tell you to take it or leave it.  There's something wonderfully practical about this perfume. It doesn't suggest that you contemplate it in search of meaning, intent or mood. It has that sort of checklist femininity: hair, makeup, purse, dress, shoes. Walk out the house, never give it another thought. For some people this approach could be a a pile-up of mismatches.

For the right person though this approach can read as Just Right, and demonstrate a strong sense of self possession.  Miss Balmain is for a person who likes its dichotomy of notes and is smart enough to recognize it connotes an easy execution of gender more than a belabored performance of it. For the person wearing Miss Balmain, perfume isn't a giveaway of your personality or desires, it's merely a fragrance that s/he likes to wear. Try too read further into it and you'll be barking up the wrong tree.
19th June, 2014
This is an excellent dry chypre, light, restrained and sophisticated. It reminds me very much of Gres' Cabochard, my favorite chypre.

Having said that, the name is quite odd, leading one to think this to be a light floral, fit for a teen-aged girl or a young woman. It would be properly named Madame Balmain, as another reviewer here notes, because this is meant for a mature woman, not an inexperienced girl.

Barbara Herman notes it reminds her of a light version of Bandit, but I find that scent to be far too harsh to agree. She does also note that in the dry down, greens and florals emerge, which I find to be the case.

Turin describes this as an "herbal leather," which I also find acceptable, reminding him of leather, cigarettes, powder.

Top Notes: Coriander, Gardenia, Citrus, Thujone
Heart Notes: Carnation, Narcissus, Orris, Jasmine, Rose, Jonquil
Base Notes: Leather, Amber, Patchouli, Castoreum, Moss, Vetiver

If Cabochard ever disappears, I may switch to Miss Balmain.

07th June, 2014
this smells like Madame not Miss, amazing fashion change :)

opens up bitter spicy,and almost raw moss, complex passing through bitter sweet phase into nice leathery smokey scent of old school, with complexity , where it resembles to Bandit.

Cranation is very prominent with its spiced sweetnes at the begining, giving it that old fashioned style vibe, after several hours it turns completely into leathery smokey scent and stays like this for ever.

it smells like 50% naturals beautiful perfumery of old school and when perfumes were allowed to use the best of nature

this is for the vintage perfume review
22nd March, 2013
This is stunning. I love it. My favorite of all the Balmains. Makes an amazing don't be afraid of the pink bow on the bottle.
23rd April, 2012
One of the great leather chypres, and one of my favorites. One little drop of the parfum goes a long way. Was it only released in 1967? It seems to have more in common with scents from the 1940's, like Rochas Femme. Superb!
18th September, 2011
Sublime! I wear this as a masculine and I find it the ultimate scent. The best I can imagine. It took some understanding at first, but I knew from the offset there was something special for me here. For something so big, so powerful, I find it great to wear on a sunny day. I have no idea why this is. All I can say is try it, try it, and try it again. The more familiar it becomes, the bigger it gets.
01st May, 2011
If you like contrast or to compare Leather Scents
Gres Cabochard and Miss Balmain are perfect examples Miss Balmain is Prim
fruity sweet bright naive lively a Good
Girl scent Feminine and Represents
Daytime. Cabochard is dark rebelious
masculine mysterious woody sexual
vampish bad girl smokey tabacco
and represent the Night.

this is a nice scent but does not grab me like Cabochard. i think there is too much Coconut mixed with Leather is a
bad idea but whould'nt buy it again.
09th October, 2010
Mmmm I love this! So green and mossy and rich and delicious! I like to wear it while sipping rye on the rocks and pretending to be Lauren Bacall. I think it would go nicely with the smell of pipe tobacco, and could work as a masculine, though the name and old-fashioned would scare most guys off. I would love to smell it on a guy or girl of any age, but I probably never will... sadly. Maybe if was renamed and marketed as gentlemanly... in the 1940s.
26th June, 2009
JDBIII Show all reviews
United States
This stuff smells great on me. Where it touches my skin I get an almost immediate drydown and I mean DRY. The smell is leathery and a bit harsh. However the liquid on my hair and clothing retains a rich floral integrity. Together they are yummy. I would imagine this smells a bit dated on women, however. I would change the name to encourage a more unisex interpretation of this gem
12th June, 2009
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This review is based on my vintage [B]Miss Balmain[/B] extrait, of which I wore a small drop today. This is a just-up-my-street kind of chypre, and so confidently and skilfully complex that it is a real joy trying to pick apart its notes. All hail the great Germaine Cellier!

Couldn't quite recall why I hardly ever wear this scent ... But then, just a half-hour later, I remembered -- IT HAD GONE! Escaped from my skin in moments like an elegant, but blase, woman, who dazzles briefly with her presence, then turns her back, leaving only a mocking, scented trace.

Such scented encounters can often be alluring, but this almost enraged me, and left me feeling slightly disdainful! Miss Balmain is all top, with a bit of middle, but has no bottom!
08th May, 2009
A distant relative of Bandit and Cabochard, more "watery" and cool than any of them, a little flatter and more plasticky/soapy/perfumey. The cumin is rather interesting and subtle enough not too disturb, and there seems to be a warm wood note somewhere underneath the cool greens. As a vintage chypre it's ok but not one of the best.
12th March, 2007
Quarry Show all reviews
United States
I understand you now, Miss Balmain. It took some experimentation, but I have found the ultimate perfumey pleasure with you. The secret is to keep you off my skin and sweeten you with Jo Malone's Orange Blossom. Then! Ah! Extraordinary delight overwhelms me. I think the coriander is what makes a bitter impression on the skin, but spray Miss Balmain on an envelope, and the recipient will swoon. Put her on a pillowcase, on the shoulders of your blouse, and she will put Cabochard, her nearest smell-alike, to shame. Again, add Orange Blossom, and I can virtually guarantee an orgasmic experience. I may never know a more beautiful fragrance experience--how's that for a testimonial?
28th August, 2006
bugs Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I so want to love Miss Balmain - the bottle, the design, the name, the history - all make me think of Lesley Caron in An American in Paris. However, I have to agree that it is rather flat. There is also something strange about it that makes me think that i'm smelling something unidentifiably bad - this effect doesn't hit you in the face, it's too bland for that, but it's definitely there, lurking uneasily at the bottom of the scent.
01st August, 2006