Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Balenciaga pour Homme by Balenciaga

Total Reviews: 47 my top 10 fragrances...this is another case of great reviews that have said more about this fragrance than I could ever say...well , I have to throw in my 2 scents for what it's worth...I am a big longtime fan of Lapidus and Kouros and I can see why there is a lot of talk associating these 3 fragrances...each is totally unique and stand apart from each other , yet there is a common thread that is elusive and hard to pin's like they are all part of the same big family , but not close , like brothers...more like second cousins...still, i can't help but to see them as some sort of triumverate...they may be second cousins , but they party a lot together and get into all sorts of far as the scent itself , I see it as a very exotic and unusual incense fragrance...the scent goes through a multitude of changes but , throughout all of it , I get whiffs of an otherworldly incense smoke drifting in the background...opens kind of wild and probably scary for some , sour/aldehydic/vinegary effect...theres spices and herbs and woods - oh my!!! feels kind of serious and the base I also get a cherry oud M7 others have mentioned , this juice could be thrown in a fancy bottle and given a cool sounding name and sold as a high end niche scent...3 thumbs up and a solid 11 out of 10...
20th March, 2018
Balenciaga just simply could not let the old ways go, or so it seemed in 1990 when this thing dropped into stores. From the very first Ho Hang (1971), which is seen as conservative for it's day (yeah, imagine that), through to Portos in 1980, then Ho Hang Club in 1987, The folks who kept restarting the company after the death of Cristobal Balenciaga, multiple times over throughout the years, seemingly kept going back to square one with the masculine offering, which always seemed at the forefront of every house relaunch Balenciaga has had. Each Masculine seems to ignore every effort of the last one for this reason, and just makes another bold introductory statment based on whatever the fashion MO for Balenciaga was at the time. However, with Balenciaga Pour Homme, the company was not rebooting, and it was the second of two male efforts made while the company was still held by Jacques Bogart, who instigated the creation of the dark and virile Ho Hang Club. For Balenciaga Pour Homme, the first proper eponymous "for him" the label had, they spared no expense or effort with their selection of perfumer or design of package. Gérard Anthony was brought in to handle the composition, because of his seminal work with Azzaro Pour Homme in 1978. The blue faux marble plastic cap and white glass with built-in sprayer was reminiscent of a higher-class Lapidus Pour Homme (1987), and the advertisement for Balenciaga Pour Homme read "Balenciaga Pour Homme: The Power of Dreams", which was some pretty pretentious dialog, not gonna lie. Anthony must have been instructed with creating a super masculine animalic wonder juice just like the aforementioned Lapidus, or others in this special category like Kouros (1981), One Man Show (1980), Antaeus (1981), or Sybaris (1988), but with a level of class and refinement that would allow such sexual prowess to exist in an office space.. almost. This leopard still has spots under that bespoke suit.

Balenciaga Pour Homme is a masculine that really shouldn't have existed in 1990 as a new-launch fragrance, since this was the dawn of the aquatic, ozonic, and fresh fougère, with all the old powerhouses and aromatics dying away. Hell, Montana Parfum d'Homme (1989) was practically stillborn when launched, and Aramis would re-shop the same idea minus the heavy oakmoss and plus some bay rum in 1994 as Havana, but here was Balenciaga sticking to their guns in the face of certain failure and releasing another powerhouse, perhaps the last great powerhouse, when the style was already obsolete. Gérard Anthony is a master of any style he chooses to employ, as evidenced by the later Paco Rabanne XS (1993) and Homme de Gres (1996), but here was his "Antaeus" for lack of a better comparison, chock full of manliness, complexity, sensuality, yet ultimately lighter on it's feet than any of it's older peers despite clear lack of restraint. Balenciaga Pour Homme is nearly a powerhouse/oriental hybrid, and opens with cinnamon and coriander, with thyme and bergamot bringing in the fougère brightness. The middle quickly complicates things further with a slew of aromatics, including patchouli, sandalwood, a light cypress, cedarwood, and a touch of honey that keeps this more pleasant than it has any business being. The base is the real shocker: prerequisite oakmoss for the style, and oriental-grade vanilla bourbon, mixed in a boozy rich manner with amber and musk taken right out of a 70's Avon catalog, with benzoin maintaining that sweetness so a note of Oud can come through to provide the animalic growl in place of an actual animalic like castoreum or civet. If you're confused, let me read that back to you: this is an 80's powerhouse fragrance, made in 1990 by the nose of Azzaro Pour Homme, with a base note of very-detectable oud/agarwood which would presage that trend in western perfumery by nearly 20 years. I wouldn't get all crazy and call this some pioneering futuristic oud powerhouse that was flown back in time in a DeLorean to 1990 just to be forgotten, but the thought does cross the mind. What we're left with here is a fragrance that's more than just one foot in the past and one foot in the present.

Balenciaga Pour Homme is not like a lot of things coming out and falling between the cracks in the early 90's, but rather a stylistic chimera that has one of it's heads facing the future while the other two look to the past and the now (for 1990), making this a pinnacle of powerhouse design as it not only incorporated then-relevant oriental richness (which Sybaris has attempted as well to a lesser extent), but also a type of rare aromatic wood that only in modern perfumery has replaced most need for animalic skank, as it casts a long shadow all it's own. Realistically this isn't on any kind of pedestal like my description sounds or else it might still be made like most of it's mentioned peers, but as an example of perfume as art, Balenciaga and Mr. Anthony created something very beautiful here, just with awful timing. This is sort of the younger, sweeter, more sophisticated and groomed brother to Ho Hang Club, which doesn't make it weaker mind you, just more eager to do business. You can't wear this kind of juice every day, it's just so voluptuous and busy in a good way that you almost need to take it in with little else going on around you, and it's far from work or casual use for that reason. Balenciaga PH is almost a personal vacation in and of itself when worn. It's the 80's powerhouse equivalent to that special rare mellow bottle of scotch you only take out for the best of occasions, but as a powerhouse, this will still be limited in appeal to most beyond hobbyists, so you'll want to pass on this if spicy honey-powered oud and oakmoss double-teaming on your nose sounds too overbearing. Balenciaga Pour Homme is yet another niche-quality masculine that could be relaunched as an actual niche scent to great critical acclaim in the modern era, and in smaller 1oz sizes can still be remarkably affordable despite being discontinued for so long. If this style is your thing, this might be your holy grail, or close to it. Otherwise, this is sheer terror in a bottle. Which direction you choose to run is entirely up to you.
18th March, 2018
Stardate 20180309:

I really like this fragrance. Powerhouse masculine. Seems loud but is not. The Patchouli Honey and Spices up top give it the barbershop vibe.
The Amber and Oud!? in the drydown make it sophisticated and office safe.
There are a few in this category - Davidoff, Vermeil but this is the best of them (most of the days)

09th March, 2018
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Anyone else own any masterpieces they hardly ever wear?

Attached to a backbone of honey, moss, and amber there's such an attractive subtle smell of citrus and spices dancing about this oriental. After years of smelling these things I've got to say this is one of the best... but I gravitate towards the mossy leathery chypres I've always liked for the day-to-day and have grown weary of anything with much of a honey element. There are exceptions to that last bit, especially if complex and well made, or possessing some other mitigating factor, and this is one of those. Great to have in the bullpen regardless... Put me in coach!
17th January, 2018
The perfume that everyone ask you what kind of perfume are you wearing
03rd November, 2017
A note or two is throwing off the harmony of this fragrance for me. A less is more approach might have worked better for my tastes.
02nd April, 2016 (last edited: 01st April, 2016)
Not much to add except that I don't find this dated at all and I believe it to be a MASTERPIECE.
Thank you Balenciaga!
17th February, 2016
numcks Show all reviews
United States
Perhaps the absolute pinnacle of the aromatic fougere. Certainly a challenge to Azzaro PH in this regard. More complex, bright, and mossy than Azzaro, with prominent savory lime notes infused with cinnamon, thyme, coriander, and incense and softened with a floral/caramelic touch of sweetness. The base to me is about boozy oakmoss with some camphorous patchouli and woods (sandal and cedar.) Powerful, persistent perfection.
07th November, 2015
Starts out slightly soapy (not a a bad thing ). Followed by a boozy accord with a nice green accord. For this fragrance to have so many notes, it smells great. A gorgeous barbershop vibe is the result of this this retro style gem. 8/10
29th March, 2015
Thank you so much for your review, Way Off Scenter. Having never smelled this scent before, I was sure my miniature bottle had turned when I first opened it. It smelled like the whiskey sour my older sister threw up in the back of our family's station wagon Christmas 1972. :-/ (Clearly this olfactory trauma has stayed with me.) I braved putting a little on, and was pleasantly surprised within 5 minutes. Still wondering if the juice was bad or not, I was considering returning it until I read your review, which saved the day. (e.g.: "Yikes! This stuff is extreme! It practically jumps out of the bottle with harsh greens, aldehydes, and something that smells an awful lot like warm vinegar, delivering a roundhouse kick to the sinuses.") Now I realize this is just the way BPH first opens. But once it sits on your skin a few minutes and calms the hell down, it really is pretty delicious.
14th January, 2015
On my skin this fragrance is a sort of slightly more aromatic/aldehydic and surely less baroque vintage Fendi Uomo's twin. Vintage Ysl Kouros (in its aldehydic radiancy) and the complex Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli's greenness are something else jumping decidedly on mind. A great fragrance in which the waxy type of widespread animalic-resinous soapiness (finally delicate, slightly powdery and refined) is in my opinion just a preordained quality (initially faint due the dominant aromatic elements), than neither a symbol of olfactory mess nor a collapse of real complexity and articulation (on this point I respectfully disagree with my friend Colin Maillard, one of the absolute top reviewers here on Basenotes). Balenciaga Pour Homme is a complex woody/spicy oriental (highly floral and faintly leathery) which possesses (in the first stage) the fresh aromatic Fougere/Powerhouse quality and all at once also a warmer powdery woody oriental chypre temperament. Yes, a kaleidoscopic fragrance finally really subtle. It starts by soon floral-aromatic (fresh lavender, coriander are laundry, cool and aromatic) and hesperidic with an unmistakable aldehydic-incensey-waxy spicy (cinnamon) undertone (or better, background) and a following earthy-powdery accord of iris/patchouli/balsams/soapy amber/wax/honey. Excellent phase, really freshly soapy, finally chypre in vibe, earthy and floral (in particular lily, rose and iris perform their valzer). A notable fruity cinnamon seems connected with incense, powdery iris, chypre powder and smooth ambery soap in order to provide a spicy-fruity smooth main texture. I detect the leather which is anyway not crucial or heady but just a smooth undertone. Yes there is an aromatic opening and a spicy/earthy undertone but the aroma is finally smoother and does not possesses the classic powerhouse strenght (like for instance in Trussardi Uomo or Drakkar Noir). In the final stage powdery woods are more notable and somewhat talky. The aroma owns (despite its brighteness) the internship in the clan of the hystorical finally soapy powderhouses like V&A Pour Homme, Antaeus or Salvador Dali Pour Homme (Yes Capucci is an even more appropriate reference on the side of Nino Cerruti) despite BPH smells milder, less aromatic/laundry and finally more spicy oriental (floral and sweet- and vaguely sweaty-greasy). A great fragrance, really sophisticated, classy and sexy. Better in the colder weathers.
12th October, 2014 (last edited: 17th December, 2017)
Balenciaga pour Homme is like those movie stars which end their life wasted in misery, that make you think "what a lost chance". The opening is fantastic, a unique and avantgarde cornucopia of patchouli, tobacco, incense, herbal notes, soapy flowers (a realistic, dry soap, like Marseille' soap), dense resinous-caramel notes, rose, carnation, something boozy and animalic on the base (like civet or styrax), then vanilla. Really complex, dusty and masculine but also much sweet and plushy, even fresh in its peculiar way, a colourful breeze perfectly mixed with the base darkness of earthy-animalic notes. The incense note is woody and dusty (on the cedar side), beautifully enriched by spicy-resinous notes. In short a really peculiar, modern, vibrant opening, miles away from most of the clichés of masculine scents back then – less austere and dark than Italian fougères, more playful and warm than the classic Frenchies, a unique take on men's scent. But... "not everything turns out as it should". After a short span of time (within the first hour) it already starts "collapsing" here and there, it gets confused, becoming a messy soapy-spicy-resinous concoction, cloying and sweetish, with metallic and camphor nuances. It's like if all "good" notes were instantly replaced by their evil alter egos – or like if you accomplished a great painting and you pour alcohol on it by accident, and all colours melt and vanish away. A shame that makes this a discontinued scent we won't really miss.

26th July, 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

Yikes! This stuff is extreme! It practically jumps out of the bottle with harsh greens, aldehydes, and something that smells an awful lot like warm vinegar, delivering a roundhouse kick to the sinuses. All of this settles down within moments to reveal a fascinating, nutty accord of artemisia, anise, vetiver, and leather. Balenciaga pour Homme immediately aligns itself with scents like Antaeus, Van Cleef and Arpels, R. de Capucci, and even Yatagan. Only tough boys need apply.

Balenciaga continues to pump out anise, aromatics, and leather for quite some time, though the projection and sillage seem to diminish rather quickly. This is not all bad, since it makes Balenciaga a bit more wearable. The principal accord also sweetens quite a bit as it develops, as amber and an elusive floral note join the blend. As time goes on a very suave sandalwood emerges and melds into the blend, softening the overall effect without elbowing out the still vibrant anise.
09th June, 2014
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Like Scooptn I read Jack Hunter's review and was intrigued. First blast reminded me of the smell of Noxzema ointment. It then bursts into a kaleidoscope of scents and flavours much like the pyramid above. I agree with Hunter, it is a brilliant blend. I love it!! My girl hates it! I wear it when alone for my own pleasure.
The Moss in Vintage is exquisite and provides a textured Landscape that speaks of ancient battles in deciduous forests.There is a finish that is related to the perfume of caramelization of the lactose in butter.
31st March, 2014 (last edited: 18th May, 2017)
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Balenciaga pour Homme opens with an aromatic lavender, carnation and rose floral accord with supporting green oakmoss rising all the way from the base. As the composition enters its early heart the floral trio and oakmoss remain, now joined by a very strong patchouli, cinnamon and leathery styrax starring trio with the composition turning slightly sweet, primarily derived from supporting honey and tonka bean. During the late dry-down the floral aspects and patchouli gradually dissipate as creamy, slightly sweet sandalwood joins supporting slightly powdery mild vanilla from the base, with traces of the earlier cinnamon remaining in additional support through the finish. Projection is outstanding and longevity average at 7-8 hours on skin.

Balenciaga pour Homme is a powerhouse lover's dream come true. It has all the hallmarks of the great 80s compositions (though it was actually released in 1990). Powerful projection, check, strong patchouli and spice-laden floral heart, check, plenty of oakmoss, check... The list goes on and on. I absolutely adore the stuff, finding it one of the best compositions I have sniffed from the 90s. Despite its genuine powerhouse credentials, somehow the late dry-down pulls in the reigns as the composition becomes much more controlled and tame. That said, even the more subdued late sandalwood and spiced vanilla driven dry-down, while probably my least favorite aspect of the composition is amazing in its own right. The bottom line is the sadly discontinued but still available on the aftermarket for about $1 per ml Balenciaga pour Homme is a masterpiece caliber composition by the great Gerard Anthony that demands any powerhouse lover's attention, earning a 4.5 star out of 5 rating and an extremely strong recommendation.
26th January, 2014
I made a blind buy based on Jack Hunter's review and comments in the forums and I'm so glad I did! I can't really put it any better than Jack, but I will say after one wearing, I have bought a backup bottle.

Still taken with this fragrance, and I have increased my stock to 150 ml all at a reasonable price.

25th January, 2014 (last edited: 14th March, 2014)
This is a magnificent fragrance that has a symphony of notes of the highest quality. It is a real beauty and a pleasure to smell.

It opens with the smoothest best quality incense I have smelled in a fragrance coupled with patchouli. This is backed up with citrus notes.From this opening it smells like a spicy apple cider aroma but in a really good way.

This is quickly followed by a sweet lavender note as well as cinnamon. As time passes you can pick up leather and floral notes all mixed in with the patchouli and incense in a olfactory smelling harmony.

I get a amazing sixteen hours longevity with above average projection. I have to say I have never smelled anything like this it is quite unequal.

Hand on my heart this is one of the very best high quality fragrances I have ever smelled. It's a pity that this was discontinued in the late Nineties as it is Magnificent.

A perfect 10 out of 10.
18th January, 2014
This is a powerful fougere, beginning with a minty menthol blast, followed by the classic combo of lavender, oakmoss and bergamot, rounded by a bit of thyme and cinnamon. It then places these notes in the background, but ever there, as it slowly dries down to a sweet evergreen forest (heated by the sun, then cooled by a breeze). At least this is what comes to my nose.

There are many additional notes (middles of Muguet, Jasmine, Caramel and Honey and bases of Patchouli, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Cypress, Cedar, Musk, Styrax, Benzoin and Civet).

This creation took a great deal of care and skill and is to be highly respected. It is a shame that it is discontinued. One of the best fougeres ever created.

07th November, 2013
Put on your seat belt, you're going for a ride!

Hello Gents,

This fragrance is not for the faint-of-heart! This fragrance is not only unique, but it transcends the boundaries of olfaction by leaps and bounds. For starters, my nose is nowhere near as well-trained as some here on Basenotes, but here's my take...

The initial blast is that of Bergamot, Coriander with a nicely done dash of cinnamon. In the mid-notes, I get a substantial wood-oriented influence, namely sandalwood and cedar. In the basenotes I get a rich velvety oakmoss that is wrapped with a vanilla, musk and amber bow.

It's one of those fragrances that I probably don't wear often enough, then again, I can honestly say that my daily life doesn't warrant me wearing an elixir of such magnitude. I reserve this fragrance for when I am looking to impress or really want to differentiate myself "fragrantly" from those in a crowd. Like I'd said in my opening, this is absolutely not for the faint-of-heart. This is a fragrance that exudes confidence, class and distinction. If you're not prepared for this one, you won't wear Balenciaga PH, it'll wear you!

I only have one word of caution, or consider it a piece of advice... Apply this one sparingly, otherwise you'll be transported quickly from captivating to overbearing in just one spray.


Pros: Complex, unique, distinguished
Cons: Can be easily over-applied if you're not careful"

25th September, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A first-class experience

Bergamot, lavender and coriander make for an impressive opening blast, that is soon joined by a softer jasmine note of rare quality.  This is very well done, but quite traditional though.  The drydown raises the bar dramatically: a delicious boozy honey note, intensive but not too sweet, that dominates for several hours, combines with caramel and counterbalancing sandalwood with patchouli to form quite a unique combination.  After a few hours a delightful and rich new pipe tobacco note arises, that is followed by tonka - again not too sweet.  After about four hours the scent retreats to be closer to my skin, but is always still there - definite but not intrusive, and never overbearing. After about six hours a beautiful fougere-style oakmoss aroma predominates, classic and deep, but not very dark.  This all is exceptionally beautifully blended and of the highest quality.   Silage and projection are good, especially in the initial hours, and the longevity is phenomenal - I get around fifteen hours.  First class all the way, a singular masterpiece and Balenciaga's finest for men that I know. 

Pros: Longevity

25th June, 2013
The only thing I can say about this scent is that we have a Masterpiece in front of us. A real caleidoscope of different vibes, a monster longevity >12 hrs, without being rude as classic powerhouses usually do...and one of the best drydown ever. Discontinued in 1999, if you find a bottle grab it immediately.
It starts where Kouros ends, and goes beyond the stars.
two thumbs up are not enough.
30th April, 2013 (last edited: 22nd April, 2014)
A kaleidoscopic fragrance. What opens like a sopay, clean and sparkling fougere (lavender, citruses, bergamot), evolves with time into a woody oriental of great complexity and depth. Spicy, incensey and woody with subtle gorumandic facets and an overall balmy quality. Powerful yet not overwhelming, perfectly sized and distinctive. A very good masculine.

Old school without smelling dated.
26th December, 2012
I love the 80's power-house genre. However, Balenciaga is just too "over-the-top" for me. Normally, even with an 80's power-house, I can enjoy a couple of sprays to the neck and maybe one more to the chest for good measure. In the case of Balenciaga, even one spray to the chest is too much for me. It reminds me quite a bit of Lapidus (sans the awful pineapple note) and is not a bad fragrance...It's just TOO powerful for this power-house lover...

EDIT: I've learned how to apply Balenciaga, and hence I've changed my rating to a "thumbs-up". Moderation is the key. The vaporizer releases a large amount of juice when actuated. If you just partially depress the actuator, precisely controlling the amount released, it can be applied moderately...And what a difference moderation makes with this fragrance!! When applied carefully, this really is a very appealing fragrance.
15th December, 2012 (last edited: 11th January, 2013)
Epic bottle of juice that is sadly long gone. Balenciaga Pour Homme will always be in my Top 5 fragrances - it is meant for only those who understand it. A powerhouse that is refined and the composition so unique. A masterpiece of taste and sheer strength - nothing like it exists. The other reviewers on Basenotes cover this well. I just wanted to add another positive note without trying to write a review that even the most colorful adjectives, metaphors and superlatives could not come close to actually describe. Personally, I don't get the "honey" note and it is one I am sensitive to - but this magnificent bottle does have that infamous feel of a Balenciaga. What is missing from the note pyramid are two rich resins that give this bottle and many others from Balenciaga that incredible richness - styrax and benzoin. Together, they create that "Balenciaga-vibe" and warm body - it is more of an accord that one gets with the incredible depth of this composition, in my humble opinion. But, it is important to note just how incredible& rich this acknowledging those resins is key to understanding how this depth is created. It doesn't matter as much to most people who are lucky enough to even smell Balenciaga Pour Homme - this is sheer brilliance that creates awe when you wear it (or you adorn it, better said).

Grottola's review is very accurate in both description and vibe. I am blessed to have this in my collection. It is Gerard Anthony's genius captured in a bottle.

As per the official scent pyramid (which I find, to my nose, to be correct - but missing a few key notes):

TOP: Ceylon Cinnamon; Italian Bergamot; Coriander; Thyme

MID: Patchouli; Sandalwood; Cypress; Cedar

BOTTOM: Yugoslavian Oakmoss; Vanilla Bourbon; Amber; Musk

This is not fragrance - it is olfactory perfection in a composition. 10/10.
28th April, 2012 (last edited: 12th February, 2013)
mikesc Show all reviews
United States
My all time favorite. Words cannot describe the effect this cologne has on me. It's like a time portal when I smell it. I still have a 1.7 oz bottle and never want to use it since it's discontinued. Has anyone found anything similar to this scent? I am on the constant search for a replacement.
24th December, 2011
Okay, if Kouros is still around, then why can't Balenciaga Pour Homme make a return?

Seriously! This really is one of the best masculine fragrances I've ever smelled. It's a powerhouse and it's not offensive or urinous at all. From the beginning to the end, I get cinnamon, incense, aldehydes, a lot of patchouli, and some warm fruity boozy leather to balance it out. This is definitely one of the most unique fragrances I've smelled, as well. I can't exactly think of a fragrance that is similar per se, but the overall "feel" reminds me of Donna Karan's original Fuel for Men, along with hints of Kouros and, even a few Anise/Tea/Gourmand scents like Yohji Homme and Gucci Pour Homme II. There is no unpleasantness or cloying/overbearing nature to Balenciaga Pour Homme; it is just smooth all-around.

The bottle is amazing too. Tall, stoic and utterly 1990 without being cheesy, bearing an amazing green-marble finish on the sprayer.

Balenciaga Pour Homme projects extremely well, but it's not invasive. It lasts a long time, and it's so good. Besides Patou Pour Homme, this has become my favorite 80's/pre-aquatic 90's powerhouse so far in my fragrance journey.

Anyway, I'm glad to have found a bottle of this thanks to a very generous Basenoter. Unless Balenciaga comes to their senses and gives Balenciaga Pour Homme a relaunch, then I suggest you get to it before you can't. Thumbs up, five stars, and my most sincere recommendations.
22nd April, 2011 (last edited: 23rd April, 2011)
Wow. I think one of the finest male fragrances ever created. Clearly a masterpiece, that should never be in doubt. If Patou PH is as good as this, I need some! It's depth, beauty and sincerity leave me speechless. The only question is, am I good enough to wear it!
10th April, 2011
Powerhouse Fragrance? Check.
Monstrous sillage? Check.
Outstanding drydown? Check.
All-day longevity? Check.

Oh, yes, and one more thing:
Smell good? Check.

Balenciaga PH is one of those "old school" fragrances that have been abandoned in the current mindset of so many parfum houses. It's an all out, full bore, pedal to the metal masculine scent - no mistaking this for some weak-kneed "fresh" fragrance. Right out of the bottle, it overwhelms with a multitude of spicy essences. (Careful!! Do not overapply!). Then it starts to settle down and becomes a gentler, sandalwood dominated affair, enhanced by just enough amber and oakmoss. Very distinctive annd certainly worthy of my upward-pointing thumb.
29th January, 2011
I spotted a small (30ml) bottle of this in a perfume store in a mall a few weeks ago whilst on holidays in California. I remembered that it had gotten a good rating on Basenotes, so I took a flyer and bought it blind. I fell instantly in love. This is truly spectacular. A powerhouse 1980s scent tempered by a sweet core that its contemporaries lacked. My initial feeling was that if you imagined a triangle with Azaro PH, Zino and Fendi PH describing the corners, with DK Fuel for Men and a touch of Havana and something sweet in the centre, you would be close to it. But it has a shape-shifting ability that means that each time I apply it I smell something new in it, so I have abandoned the idea of trying to describe it. It has instantly risen to be one of my favourites, along with Teck and Yatagan.

To give you some idea of the complexity of Balenciaga PH, here are the official notes:

TOP: Ceylan Cinnamon; Italian Bergamot; Corriander; Thyme

MID: Patchouli; Sandalwood; Cypress; Cedar

BOTTOM: Yugoslavian Oakmoss; Vanilla Bourbon; Amber; Musk

If I could I would give it five thumbs up. I agree that it is criminal that Balenciaga discontinued this scent, and feel it would do well in a modern reissue similar to the current Aramis collection (Havana/JHL/900/etc)

EDIT: After prolonged use I must say that this is my favourite fragrance of all - and I have perhaps 300 bottles on my shelf. There is something so rich, so complete, about it that I find myself almost swooning when I apply it. This truly does need to be reissued, and now that Balenciaga is ramping up its women's perfume line, perhaps they will bring this back for us blokes.
18th January, 2011 (last edited: 15th October, 2011)
A masterpiece of the perfumery. BPH was the first scent that seduced me and one of the first I bought when I was 18. It wasn't a young juice but it was my first love. I miss you and when I go to my mother's house I smell an empty bottle that I conserve as a treasure. Come back, Balenciaga!
12th October, 2010