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.
The initial blast is marvelous - a light tuberose, jasmine, rose floral with a strong warm base of sandalwood, vanilla, musk, cardamom and amber. I sampled the vintage edp.
Unfortunately, on me it lasts no more than a half hour before needing re-application. Other than that, it's a very nice floral oriental.
If only the strength of that initial blast had lasted over hours, like the power of Madame Rochas, it might have been higher up in my esteem.
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!
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
"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.
Big soapy aldehyde. So disappointed. Beautiful bottle though.
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.
There seems to be a wide range of notes that different folks get here...so maybe they have reformulated this? To me it's a sweet soapy floral lily musk. It seems to find it's sweet spot about 10 minutes in and then falls into a tedious mess. If there is vanilla..I don't sense it. If there is some ballast to it, it never comes for me. It's just a bit screechy and floral for me.
My decant is from a reputable swapper, but my impression is so different from everyone else here. The lavender-colored juice smells fruity-sweet and blah. It wasn't a scrubber, but I don't care to wear it again.
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.
Byzance opens soapy, aldehydic and with a big perfumey blast that characterizes olfactory decade of the 80’s with an obvious wink towards the floral aldehydes of the 20’s. A big tuberose comes through right away with a heady bitter-sweetness and a touch of greens. Underlining base notes of musk and amber make themselves immediately apparent as well. And a spicy yet balsamic warmth of cardamom makes for a slightly exotic opening. It settles into a green yet sweet tuberose for quite some time. The dry down reveals more of the woods as well as vanilla, and sweet berry-like undertones which reminds me of the final dryout of Ivoire. And there is always a sense of sweetness about it – although not as overbearing as the first few moments.
Byzance interestingly has some characteristics of a chypre (perhaps the juxtaposition of potent florals with greens creates that illusion), but it is not. It is a flamboyant, outgoing floriental.
I am still trying ot figure out what is the connection to the name though. It does not smell particularly typical of the region or the religious connotations of the Eastern Church. The bottle design is the only point of reference I can see (the circle being reminiscent of that found inside the basilicas in Turkey). It also reminds me of the bottle design of Soir de Paris.
A sweet, soapy, musky floral. I do not get a lot of vanilla or spice, just a lot of musk and flowers. Perhaps a little smoky or incensy. I like the overall effect, but it's not for me.
17th May, 2009 (last edited: 31st July, 2009)
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.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
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.
Like "takemyhusbandplz" (great name, by the way), I love Byzance's packaging and opening fragrance notes -- but the drydown is musty on me as well. I have a friend on whom this melts down into a scrumptious vanilla/incensy accord, and I was hopeful it would do the same on me. Oh well.
Byzance comes in a pretty little cobalt blue bottle with gold lettering. Oh, how I wish the first stage of Byzance lasted- a perfect combination of citrus, vanilla, musk, and white floral notes of jasmine and lily of the valley. After wearing Byzance for 10 minutes the musk overtakes every other note and to me smells like a musty wet chalkboard. Some types of musk always turn on me I'm afraid. I will give this a neutral because on the right person this would be very elegant and sexy.