Genre: Floral Oriental
Inside that pretty blue bottle, Byzance is a mildly startling pastel violet liquid. Don’t get too much of this stuff on your light colored clothing! A purple potion it may be, but the opening notes are white flowers, including jasmine and some rose, which for some reason call to mind a warm night on a tropical Pacific island. There is vanilla in the blend as well, along with some white musk that underpins the middle notes. A touch of wood and dry spices hone just enough edge on the central accord to keep it from straying into banal, overly sweet vanilla oriental territory. The drydown is moderately lasting and consists largely of musk and vanilla, with lingering traces of the flowers cropping up from time to time.
Byzance is quietly seductive, without being distracting or randy, as some heavier oriental scents can be. It is pretty, well crafted, and adaptable to many moods, environments and seasons. This is a good all-rounder that’s individual enough to avoid mediocrity without being too outlandish for everyday wear. Nice.
One of my all time favourite winter fragrances - I love this!
Yes, it is soapy and lemony at first blast, but then a much more complex woody/musky note creeps in, which turns it into something far more interesting. The overall impression is of soft incense and candles burning in a dark church, right down to a hint of molten wax in the drydown. Softness, warmth, comfort, it's the perfume equivalent of sitting in front of a log fire on a cold day. I haven't seen this on sale in ages and do hope they haven't stopped making it!
"An Ode to Perfection..."
Oh my Sister,oh my Bride,
thou art a garden barriered...
A mystic wave,a fountain sealed...
Thy bosom,there it lies,
a turkish rose heaven...
Fruited and heavy with the most
delightful scented wonders...
Aye,with heliotrope and musk...
With cardamom and basil...
With every sort of jasmine sighs...
With cedar and with tuberose...
And all the sweetest balsam trees...
Oh fountain of my gardens,
thou art a singing spring
flowing thy lilting path
from the Cappadocian mountains...
Colours of sea,colours of sky
with golden sun embellished...
Constantinople bows with awe
before thy divine beauty...
16th March, 2013 (last edited: 23rd October, 2014)
Byzance is almost the perfect olfactory equivalent to Byzantium, a poem by William Butler Yeats.
It captures the essence of a long lost city, ancient and artistic. Byzance opens with heady florals, exotic spices, zesty lemon and powdery aldehydes. This opening is very strong, very 80's and very me.
Towards the heart, particularly with the entrance of the white florals, Byzance reminds me somewhat of Passion by Annick Goutal. Byzance is however, more powdery and more lemony.
As the heart settles, the florals, most notably the jasmine, become cleaner and slightly soapy. Due to this fragrance's ever-changing nature, I'd say that Byzance is quite complex.
This fragrance is very feminine, without a doubt. However, with that being said, this fragrance is womanly in an old-fashioned, bouquet of flowers, cooking spice and church incense sort of way. Byzance is essentially the scent of a woman from the ancient times - perhaps even the fragrance of Cleopatra herself, if I let myself dream so.
It is a pity that this fragrance is becoming increasingly harder to find these days. I will be truly disappointed if Rochas decide to pull this fragrance from the market.
Once upon a time this was a powerful, ambery floriental with a great hit of incense and tuberose in the grand 80s style. Today it seems to have been thinned out to be a soapy shadow of its former glory. I've given it 4 stars for nostalgia, but at present it's really only a 3-star fragrance.
On the plus side, you can still get a hint of what it used to be like from the current juice and it's very cheap to get hold of.
Byzance and Cinnabar used to be my perfumes of choice in my rocker girl days. It made me feel sexy and exotic, made a strong statement, and was unique. No one else wore this perfume... back in those days, lighter and fruitier scents were all the rage. It smelled good on my skin. I always had compliments on it. But then, my lifestyle changed, and I stopped wearing it.
The other day, I got hold of a bottle of Byzance and decided to wear it out to a rock club. And it smelled just as good now as it did back then, even without the leather bike jacket!
I'm sure you can wear this perfume without a leather bike jacket and boots, but I think a strong, rock chick or goth queen attitude needs to come with it. It's feminine, spicy, strong and sexy. Not shy in the least, and ready for all comers. It lasts and lasts... I dabbed on a bit yesterday and it still is faintly on my pulse points.
Not to get too overblown on the poetics, but the incensey spice and rose smell like you'd hope a gypsy fortuneteller might smell before she read your cards. It's what Carmen of the opera would wear. Not for the office, this perfume, and definitely not demure.
My stepmother used to wear this in the late 80s and I loved the way it smelled on her! It was heavy, warm and delicious with a soapy opening. I was only a teenager then and understood that it was too heavy for me. Recently I bought a bottle for myself, thinking I might be able to pull it off now - but sadly it's not at all the same scent. It has been reformulated and smells completely different from what I remember. Luckily, it is still avery good scent. On me, this is incense, incense, incense - but a very soft and exclusive incense. Hints of amber and soft musk come and go, and there might be some wood in there. A wonderful cold weather scent - but I miss the original Byzance.
Five stars are not enough. I love the spicy complexity of this. It does not seek to please, but to pique. Sort of like Niki de Saint Phalle with a conspiratorial smile.
A little harsh in the opening notes, but dries down to a light lemony/cardamom/incense style of vanilla. Not leathery or powdery like a Cabochard style chypre. A happy everyday wear to work sort of scent, which would make a good change from my usual strong weird direction (Bulgari Black, Bandit) without veering into candypopfloweryfakemelon
Byzance is the epitome of the "floriental" class. Unctuous and complex. Love it, and yes have even worn it, if only rarely.
06th June, 2008 (last edited: 25th August, 2009)
Loved it over 10 years ago, then it seemed too sweet. Now I try and love again! sim to Boucheron but less loud, mello wood helps it. fits well. My choice for big powdery Amber/vanilla scent.
I would describe this as quite a "sweet" perfume, and it can get a little bit strong. It doesn't last on me as well as some others, but I still love it!
Wish they'd come up with a men's version of this sultry classic -- what a nice Oriental that would make! (Unlike the androgynous Shalimar, no guy I know of -- save perhaps RuPaul -- could pull this feminine gem off.)
But, alas, perhaps we'll just have to settle for the EDP version of Opium Pour Homme, or (even better yet) the Eau Extreme version of L'instant by Guerlain.