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Thread: Ho Hang

  1. #1
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Ho Hang

    Now here's an old fragrance that's still around but no one writes about - Ho Hang by Balenciaga. Does anyone know if it's been reformulated in the past 10 or 15 years? The reason I ask is this: when I first sampled it about 14 years ago, it had an amazing green, slightly flowery, semi-soapy, chypre-like drydown. It probably had the best drydown I've ever smelled, period. About a year later (we're talking about 1995), I bought a few bottles that I found for dirt cheap at Marshalls, but I found that whenever I wore it, the drydown lacked the beauty of when I first sampled it. It had a rather astringent, bitter drydown, reminiscent of its top notes. It was true with all three bottles I bought. Just wondering if any of you have experienced this same thing with Ho Hang. Do you think I got reformulated bottles? Skunked/stale bottles? I ask this because I had first sampled it from a bottle that my father-in-law owned, which he bought brand new in France. Any input you could give would be appreciated, although I know this is a pretty rare fragrance in the USA.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    I have a bottle of Ho Hang that I bought a couple of years ago. This is in the updated packaging (red) not the original 70's one.
    The scent is very similar to what I remember from way back when but there's an accord in its heart that I remembered and love but now, I only get whifs of it occasionally. I've never gotten the vanilla and tonka in this scent. But I do get a little bit of carnation.
    However, as for the skank, I have always gotten a little bit of a sour/turned note if I wear it in the heat. This was true for the 70's formula also. I attribute this to the patchoulli (I guess in certain formulas), which does that on my skin when mixed with sweat. Civet does the same thing on my skin. Otherwise, I also get the soapiness, akin to what I get from Hermes' Equipage.
    Try wearing this in different weather--and skin--conditions and see what happens. I don't wear it often but I can't seem to be able to let go of it either.
    RM

  3. #3
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Is the vanilla/tonka accord what you remember way back when?

    Now that you mention it, I think it's the patchouli and another note (I don't know what it is) that I found intoxicating. It was a very smooth accord. Now, all I get is the sourness. I feel like a drug addict trying to chase that first high! I can't seem to recapture that awesome drydown, no matter what weather there is outside. I'm hoping it's just that I bought a few stale or fried bottles, although I'm not sure if that's possible, since they were in their original boxes (I have the clear ribbed bottles with the red plastic cap). However, I don't want to fork over serious money for a brand new bottle, just to experience the same vinegary drydown.
    Last edited by shamu1; 31st May 2009 at 05:37 PM.

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    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Ho Hang

    Wow! I haven't seen Ho Hang in a thread forever. I like it myself. I hope it never goes away. I haven't noticed any change in the formulation.

  5. #5
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Quote Originally Posted by N_Tesla View Post
    Wow! I haven't seen Ho Hang in a thread forever. I like it myself. I hope it never goes away. I haven't noticed any change in the formulation.
    Do you agree that Ho Hang has a beautiful drydown that's smooth and not astringent?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ho Hang


    As far as I can tell, there have been three formulations of Balenciaga Ho Hang. That's inevitable given that this fragrance was released in 1971. I have bottles of all three formulations. There are huge differences between the original vintage formulation and the two subsequent formulations. The two subsequent formulations differ among themselves only in terms of quality, the most recent and third formulation being a more attenuated, cheaper version of the second formulation. The second formulation is more of a woody oriental, with a subtle but rich and complex balsamic component, whereas the original strikes me as more of an aromatic fougère. I actually, prefer the second formulation over the original. You won't hear me say that often.

    scentemental



  7. #7

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    What's the difference between Ho Hang and Ho Hang Club?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    Is the vanilla/tonka accord what you remember way back when?

    Now that you mention it, I think it's the patchouli and another note (I don't know what it is) that I found intoxicating. It was a very smooth accord. Now, all I get is the sourness. I feel like a drug addict trying to chase that first high! I can't seem to recapture that awesome drydown, no matter what weather there is outside. I'm hoping it's just that I bought a few stale or fried bottles, although I'm not sure if that's possible, since they were in their original boxes (I have the clear ribbed bottles with the red plastic cap). However, I don't want to fork over serious money for a brand new bottle, just to experience the same vinegary drydown.
    Ho Hang is great. Ho Hang Club is better. Try to find a bottle of it and if you do, grab it. I definitely detect the tonka in both but there is a strong hint of vanilla in Ho Hang Club.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    I've got Ho Hang Club, and I've got to agree with Griff. The stuff is knockout. Sort of in the Antaeus-type bracket, but different.

    Oh and Ho Hang and Ho Hang Club are different. I guess that's already clear though.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    I recommended Ho Hang to a co-worker a few years back, thinking it would be the perfect fit for his style, and his preferences in clothing and scent. He just couldn't get past the name. "What if I slip up" he said "and say that I'm wearing How Hung!" Silly man.

    I think the fragrance end of Balenciaga has been very neglected in recent years. It doesn't surprise me at all that HH has been cheapened or watered down. Sometimes you see Ho Hang soap for sale on a discount website - snap it up, because it probably pre-dates the third reformulation, and soap is one form of fragrance that doesn't suffer too much from long aging.

  11. #11
    Dependent

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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Ive never heard of this prior and i have to admit, the name's quite funny

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Believe Ho Hang's meaning is "good fragrance", roughly. Someone whose Cantonese is better than mine can confirm.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    How nice to find other people who appreciate this. It was a childhood memory and I recently bought a bottle of it tigether with other "memory" scents (Fendi Uomo, Krizia Uomo stuff like that). Of course the memory is always better than the real thing but reading about reformulations makes me think that maybe it is not just the "good old times" effect.

    I am still trying to find a reasonably price bottle of Eau Cendree and a bottle Krizia Spazio

  14. #14
    Basenotes Member RoRo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post

    As far as I can tell, there have been three formulations of Balenciaga Ho Hang. That's inevitable given that this fragrance was released in 1971.... I have bottles of all three formulations.
    Hey Scentemental, do the 2nd and 3rd formulations differ in appearance (bottle, box)? If so, can you describe some of the tell-tale signs that distinguish the two? And while I'm here, I suppose I could post a pic and see what you think -- assuming you even see this post!


  15. #15

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    All incarnations of this scent are great IMO.

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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Powdery patchouli. I have it, but rarely wear it, as I feel like I need to be wear a suit or tuxedo whenever I do. Very formal.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Somehow Ho Hang and Moustache by Rochas are linked in my mind as members of the same family, although Moustache has more of the "barbershop" accord to it. I do remember splash bottles of Ho Hang, probably in the first or second incarnation of the scent. Those were the days, weren't they - 6 fluid ounces of superb fragrance to briskly slap and pat on by the handful!

  18. #18
    Basenotes Member RoRo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Quote Originally Posted by stevolution View Post
    Powdery patchouli. I have it, but rarely wear it, as I feel like I need to be wear a suit or tuxedo whenever I do. Very formal.
    Yes, this is one reason I have hesitated on Ho Hang up til now. It would be a blind buy, which I imagine is the norm for a somewhat obscure fragrance like this. And while I trust that it is a fine scent, based on the praise it receives here, I fear it will be one that I'll very rarely wear.

    By the way, I was just visiting my folks in Spartanburg recently. Just down the road from Rock Hill.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Somehow Ho Hang and Moustache by Rochas are linked in my mind as members of the same family, although Moustache has more of the "barbershop" accord to it. I do remember splash bottles of Ho Hang, probably in the first or second incarnation of the scent. Those were the days, weren't they - 6 fluid ounces of superb fragrance to briskly slap and pat on by the handful!
    Interesting, as I personally find Ho Hang and another Rochas to be same members of a family....but for me that Rochas is Monsieur Rochas Concentree. Different senses of smell perhaps. I was sorta dissapointed in Ho Hang, as I thought it was going to be a Ricci Club type of fragrance.
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Jil Sander Feeling Man, Cacharel Nemo, Bijan for Men EDC, Lanvin for Men, Giorgio VIP, Il Lancetti and other old school frags ....etc. I have samples to swap.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Ho Hang

    Just found a splash bottle of 1971 HoHang ...and it smells completely different from the year 2001 (the last) spray version I previously had.
    The recent one is heavier and dense, while the vintage is very, very smooth. I wonder if there was some (a lot?) evaporation
    Anyway, both versions are completely different from Moustache by Rochas (this is an animalic scent; HoHang has no animalic notes)

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