Balmain Body - Fragrance Event Review: Bath / Body

The New Ivoire by Balmain; A Desire To Return To The Past, While Telling An Infinitely Contemporary Story

A stranger with quicksilver sensitivity

I find that the story behind the creation of the original Ivoire…fascinating. When I first read it I can almost imagine how it is for Pierre Balmain at that time. It happens towards the end of the seventies. Pierre Balmain – the designer crossed the path of a sovereign beauty as she descended the Paris Opera staircase draped in a pale silk gown. And Balmain dedicated Ivoire to her.

One evening in 1979, an unknown but extremely elegant woman inspired Pierre Balmain to create a perfume named Ivoire. He would ascribe to her the features of a woman with her eyes hidden under a broad-brimmed hat and dressed in a silk gown with a double strand of pearls around her neck. An unforgettable image.

The original Ivoire is a scent with strong personality which was considered advanced for its time. In short it was a very aldehydic fragrance borne by fruity harmonies that was combined together.

Now let’s take a look at The New Ivoire by Balmain which was previewed to the media in January 2013.


Ivoire, legacy and rewriting

The original Ivoire was the last signature perfume created by Balmain himself back in 1979. Michel Almairac and Jacques Flori – perfume designers at Robertet was given the thrust to rewrite this signature scent. They said that their job is just to update the perfume without betraying it. In another word they wanted to put a modern twist to it. Now both of them are able to explore new olfactory territories thanks to a remarkable choice of qualitative raw materials.

To define this new Ivoire signature, we could speak of an iris-green floral chypre. A promising initial surge reveals vibrating inflections of orange and mandarin essence powdered with violet leaves. Thus aroused, the nose lingers on a carnal bouquet of jasmine, rose, ylang- ylang and galbanum with an accent on its green highlights. Full of imagination, the perfume wake unfolds the elegant seduction of vetiver and cedarwood, highlights a patchouli heart freed of its earthy accents and rounds into a precious, delicate vanilla.

The bottle design was the initial creation signed by Pierre Dinan while paying tribute to the couture heritage of the House of Balmain. The heavy and solid weight of glass an the warmed transparency of gold make up to an authentic perfume while pure lines recalling the architectural training of Pierre Balmain.

I personally like the bottle design very much. As you know I like things to be as simple as it can and the new Ivoire has all that. It’s thick, square and feels heavy on hand. The cap is a simple, clear cube that tuck in to the spray nozzle tightly. For some reason the design gave me a vintage feeling.

At the media launch we were given this flower ball to sample the scent. At first sniff I was pretty pleased. We were told that the top note is fruity that tones down to flowery scent. Honestly I cannot detect the fruity scent. All I can smell is a mixture of flowery notes! I do prefer my fragrances to be floral 🙂

A few days after that I fall sick on bed for a week. During that week and add in another 2 weeks of recovery I had a block nose. All I can smell is this Ivoire scent. I have no idea how or why. Maybe because I kept the flower ball in my room near my bed so actually I was inhaling Ivoire when I was sick on the bed which explains why the scent lingers “in” my nose for a few weeks. As my friend said “thank God the perfume smells nice”. I couldn’t agree more.

According to Olivier Rousteing, this 2012 version of Ivoire incarnates the perfect translation of today’s Balmain woman with a combination of heritage, richness, a touch of nostalgia and remarkable modernity. He also added that Balmain history is based on true luxury and French elegance with a touch of edginess, rich ornamentation and cutting Expertise.

Enough of the fragrance signature scent description. Now let’s take a look at the fragrance notes. The fragrance opens with a deliciously intoxicating fruity note of Mandarine and Orange Essence. The floral dresses the aerial heart of the fragrance while it’s woody trail sublimate the elegance and sensuality of women.

Head notes – Mandarine Essence, Orange Essence, Violet Leaves
Heart notes – Galbanum, Yalng-Ylang Essence, Jasmine, Rose Pepper, Vanilla 
Base notes – Pachuli Essence, Vetyver Essence, Cedarwood

In short if you are into floral scent with a twist, most probably you will like this one. It tones down from fruity note pretty well and it suits almost every female. I don’t find the scent overpowering even when I wasn’t feeling well. You know some perfume do give headache right? This perfume comes in EDP version so you can expect a long lasting wear throughout the day without being too strong or getting sick of it. It gave me a familiar scent but yet I couldn’t think of any near resembles.

By the end of the day my nose detect a woody trail from the base note. It’s kinda relaxing to be able to sniff the woody note towards the evening.



Ivoire by Balmain EDP is available at selected departmental and chain stores nationwide in March 2013.
Price: RM260 for 50ml, RM375 for 100ml


Disclaimer: Product was given to me as a part of the door gift during Ivoire by Balmain Media Launch. This doesn’t affect my judgement in the review in any way.


Comments (8)

  • hi.. i like the way you capture the 3rd pic (^v^)

    • Oooo, thanks hehe 🙂

  • The bottle looks like Chanel ^^

    • Similar right? Hehe

  • OMG! Balmain!!! My favorite brand!!! Not sure how the perfume would smell like, but their dresses are to kill for. Will definitely take a sniff if I happen to see it in store.

    • Balmain flew down 4 pieces of couture just for the launch :). Do take a sniff. If you like floral + woody…you might like this. I’m using another perfume for this week but somehow I strayed to Ivoire again today haha

  • Does it come in EDT? I see that your description only EDP. I scared EDP is too strong for my nose.

    • I think it doesn’t come in EDT as my press release only state EDP though. Don’t worry, this won’t be strong on your noise. On my sensitive nose I can take it just fine :). No headache, no nauseas at all. I know some woody note can be too strong. Thank goodness Ivoire comes with floral note too so the woody note was balanced out.


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