Balmain de Balmain
Top Notes: Bergamot, Galbanum, Pepper, Cassia Buds
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Rose, iris,
Base Notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Vetiver
A very green spicy top sets the tone for this revival of the classic chypre style. The innovative stroke here in the green chypre sub-genre is the inclusion of cassia buds to provide an aromatic woody-spicy note in the top. The floral bouquet in the heart is not novel, but seems to me to be remarkably well-balanced. The classic chypre triad bergamot-oakmoss-patchouli gives this a truly classic profile, and the inclusion of sandalwood and vetiver in the base reinforces the woody hint first given in the cassia buds. All in all, very classic, yet satisfyingly updated with a bit of zing. Luca Turin says this is a man's chypre, and I think I agree. At least one woman reviewer on Basenotes does too. By now, the floral accord in the heart would be no surprise in any men's fragrance. I like this for cool to temperate days or summer evenings, but it works pretty well in any weather.