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JEAN DESPREZ “BAL A VERSAILLES” REVIEWS AND CHAT FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTERNET DOWNLOADS AND COMMENTS. The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of JeanDesprez.com. They are submitted by readers or fans, and posted. If you are the author of a post and it was an unauthorized submission. Simply email us and we will remove it. The fact that celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Linda Evans and many other Celebrities haved used or use Bal a Versailles is not an endorsement of Bal a Versailles, nor is JeanDesprez.com claiming or suggesting such an endorsement exists. The new Jean Desprez fragrance has absolutely nothing to do with the name Michael Jackson, the Michael Jackson Estate, nor the Estate Representatives or any other celebrities or persons known or unknown. We hope this disclaimer will clear up any possible inferences or misunderstandings as it relates to Jean Desprez and the opinions expressed.

*****


This is from Karen Faye (Michael's long time makeup artist) regarding Bal a Versailles. She also addressed Black Orchid. There may be more tidbits - not sure, but you can become a friend on her Facebook to get them.


"I have had many requests. Like music, our sense of smell activates our memories. Michael and I discovered many years ago (30) we shared a favorite scent. Those who were able to share the same space with Michael,
BAL A VERSAILLES, by Jean Desprez, will remind you of him."

Neither Obsession or Joop were a favorite. They may have been a quick buy from his security guards because BAV was not always easy to find."
"
"
I ordered it online. I bought many bottles for him for London..."

"Michael treated the bottles of this scent like gold. He was always so thrilled to have it. He loved the big fancy bottle, and he liked to carry the tiny little bottles in his pocket. Michael Bush wasn't always so pleased when they leaked in his pocket."

"He was wearing Black Orchid, but that was because it was easy to get. He switched immediately, when I found him BAV. He would ask me everyday if it had arrived after I told him I had ordered it."

"He was wearing BAV in the last weeks of his life."

"Michael and I shared the love of this scent before we even met. It was something we discovered about each other. It wasn't one of those perfumes you find at the department store, so I was always hunting for it for him. Michael Bush would search also. When we found a bottle it was like striking gold. Now with the internet, it makes it easier to track down, but back then it was a miracle to find!
The scent was created in 1962."

"There are many "notes" to BAV. the ones that I love and linger on me are the earthy ones, amber and vanilla."

"I bought a lot for Michael...I hope I left some for all of you."

"it is best to get the smallest bottle of perfume. Perfume smells different on everyone...and the eau de toilette spray bottles seem to leak and don't smell as good as the perfume."

"We never cared if a scent was made for a man or women. Michael didn't think it was fair we got all the good smells. LOL"

"if you should order it....get the smallest bottle of PERFUME not the eau de toilette. The perfume smells better."

*****

BAL A VERSAILLES perfume by Jean Desprez, from fragrance.net
 
I have been using Bal a Versailles for 46 years now. It is the only scent I wear. I've received so many compliments it makes me feel sexy and romantic. Please don't stop carrying this scent. Written by Sharon Lee

I love this scent and I also agree - it's a lovely feeling knowing that it's Michael Jacksons favorite as well as Dame Elizabeth Taylor Written by K

This Bal A Versilles scent is stronger and not as soft as the orginal from Paris France. Written by ARS

Iam quite intrigued that it was first manufactured in the year of my birth. I love its heady sexy decadent fragrance! it is my signature fragrance and has been for five years now! Its a nice feeling sharing the same scent as Michael Joseph Jackson!. Written by Michaela

Bal A Versailles has been my favorite fragrance for years now. I always get compliments when I wear it and my husband just loves it. Although this product has been around since the early 60's I never tire of it. Lovely! Written by KCKatwoman

*****

Optical scentsibilities: Neck Rings


Who isn't familiar with the Christian Dior advertisements for their feminine perfume J'adore? Before enlisting Charlize Theron and her fabulous physique, it was Carmen Kass and her graceful East European neck who adorned the pages of glossies. The gold hoops round her neck were shining much like those on the long, giraffe-like top half of the bottle iteself, elongating it, giving it a graceful line upwards. Very innovative, right?


And yet, when one looks back on advertisments from a previous era, one sees that that this is not the case. In fact, Jean Desprez, a perfumer who launched his own creations and not under the wing of another house ~a practice unusual for the second half of the 20th century~ had used this idea for his classic oriental Bal a Versailles, back in the 1960s. The advertisment of this one is more sketchy and less realistic, but the idea remains the same. The rings around the neck, the elongated line that hints at vulnerability. An idea of woman as a constricted being who is subject to the desires of some unattainable ideal, inflicted by men. One could write a whole treatise on this alone! However to revert to more arty rather than feminist issues, every little trait of the two images conspires to show that they both drew their inspiration from yet another source; a source much more in the real world than one would anticipate.


None other than the constrictive beauty ritual of the Giraffe Women of Thailand. In a practice that rivals that of the bound feet of Chinese women (Google the term only if you're brave), those women put rings around their necks producing an effect that although more of an optical illusion than real elongating, it has the unfortunate characteristic of seriously oppressing the collarbones and ribs into an unnatural shape in the long run.
Everything in the name of an unrealistic, unattainable beauty? Putting on perfume is so much easier comparatively. The rest is up to you...as always.



Pics of ads from parfumdepub, pic of giraffe woman from paradise tour.com

******

from mjtruth.wordpress.com
Bal a Versailles and MJ
Okay so someone emailed me to tell me that MJ liked the perfume, Bal a Versailles, for himself. I’d known for awhile that he tended toward women’s perfumes instead of mens. Someone said he didn’t think it was fair the ladies got all the good scents. BAV was supposed to be his favorite, introduced to him by Karen Faye about thirty years ago.
I checked it out online and seriously dude has some good taste. I’m not a stranger to the idea of a man wearing a woman’s fragrance because your body chemistry changes it some. So while it may sound a little weird or fru fru, it actually isn’t if you get the right fragrance for your body chemistry. Since so many people thought MJ smelled great all the time, I’m going to assume they didn’t all think he smelled like a girl. My first husband wore Obsession for women. And it smelled better on him than the men’s version.
He actually had bought it accidentally but liked it so much he didn’t care that it was the women’s fragrance. BAV is pretty expensive, retails for $300 for less than an ounce, but online you can find it for around $136, so that’s not bad. The description of the various notes in the fragrance sounds exactly like something I would wear, so I will most likely try it, both out of curiosity of MJ’s fragrance of choice, and also because just reading the description of the fragrance, he clearly had very good taste.
Here is a forum post about it:
MJ Fan Club

********
 said:
that he loved the perfume "Bal a Versailles" by Jean Desprez.. and in his last weeks of his life he was wearing BAV.. when he didn't have BAV he was wearing Black Orchid, Obsession or Joop.. but his most favorite was BAV.


liberiangirl_mj


(photo provided by liberiangirl_mj and not
endorsed by Michael Jackson or his estate or jeandesprez.com)



Bal a Versailles de la Jean Desprez




Desi a fost creat abia in 1962 si este, deci, un tinerel printre parfumurile clasice, acest superb aristocrat a fost deja recunoscut drept unul dintre cei mai mari. Bal a Versailles nu-i un parfum cu care sa te joci. S-a intrupat pentru a-i fi podoaba unei femei cu simtul innascut al luxului si cu pasiunea bunului gust, o personalitate adevarata, care intelege forta subtilitatii si, mai ales, radiaza o eleganta inefabila.

Este destul de curioasa compozitia lui, daca ne gandim la succesul pe care l-a cunoscut si la devotamentul cu care i se dedica cele care il iubesc. Desi ar putea sa evoce imaginea efluviilor imbalsamate care domneau in palatul de la Versailles pe timpul regelui Ludovic al XIV-lea, primele sale adieri resping cu hotarare orice banuiala ca ar fi superficial si frivol. Chiar daca afiseaza o expresie binevoitoare si se arata inabordabil in multe privinte, il invaluie permanent o aura cordiala din care se degaja siguranta de sine si o distractie de mare rafinament. In linii mari, este o combinatie opulenta de iasomie, adusa din Italia si din Egipt, cu trandafiri din Turcia si din Bulgaria si cu flori de portocal marocan. Numai ca, in final, nu-i va fi nimanui prea usor sa identifice vreuna din aceste superbe miresme, caci peste toate e asternut valul misterios al celor mai senzuale si mai invapaiate ofrande orientale. Se inalta dominant izul de lemn de santal, combinat cu adieri de zibeta si de ambra aurie, cu aburi insistenti de paciuli, mosc si vetiver, cu arome de vanilie si rasini de opoponax, care se impletesc cu efluvii de garoafe si de acacia. Ce avalansa de miresme exotice!

Bal a Versailles este o creatie unica, plina de mister si incredibil de obsedanta. Are pretentia sa contina peste trei sute de ingrediente, asa ca nu trebuie sa ne miram peste masura cand vom descoperi ca e destul de scumpa. Insa are un efect atat de puternic si de tenace, incat un flacon de extrait sau chiar varianta eau de toilette, bine echilibrata, va dura foarte multa vreme.


text prelucrat si modificat de Dialora

またまた買ったモノの備忘録、そしてマイケル関連になりますが(興味のない方はスルーして下さいませ)、マイケル(Michael Jackson)の愛用香水のうちの2つとして挙げられていた「バラ・ヴェルサイユ」(Bal A Versailles 「ブラック・オーキッド」(Black Orchid の香水を買っていました。

マイケルが身にまとっていた香り、どんな香りなの~?と興味津々だったので、 6月くらいだったでしょうか。ちょっと奮発して入手。

特に「ブラック・オーキッド」の方は、楽天市場じゃ見つからないし高価な香水だったので結構な散財でしたが、今ではスッカリ、この希少な黒蘭を使った香水に嵌ってしまって、2つの香水を比べたなら、「ブラック・オーキッド」の香りの方が好きでした。

ジャン・デプレ(Jean Desprez)の「バラ・ヴェルサイユ」の香水

 ボトルがクラシカルで素敵です(´ω)

これは、マイケルの香水関連の話題をネットで拝見していると、「マイケルが30年来愛用してきたお気に入りの香水」とのことです。

King Of PopWeb Shopでも近日入荷されるようですが、楽天市場でも取り扱われています。
My Bal a Versailles story

I could not find the link to post my experience with Bal a Versailles, both past and present.  I just received my bottle today and had to write you a short note.

My dear mom's signature fragrance was Bal a Versailles past.  I wore it too, and, after my mom passed away could no longer find it.  I was so thrilled to find that Jean Desprez had created a new Bal a Versailles, and I ordered a bottle.

WOW is all I can say.
Just two small sprays and I felt my mom was with me again, and evoked many emotions and memories of times we spent together.  It lasted all day.  

Thank you for giving me back a small part of my mom. It is almost like she is still here everytime I smell this fragrance.  I can hardly wait for more products - I am forever a fan.  

Sincerely, Diana Smittle

Recent Comments
February 26, 2015
Great Question! It is scheduled for release the first quarter of 2011. They are using this website (jeandesprez.com) to gauge the public interest... Official Jean Desprez Blog | Jean Desprez, Bal a Versailles, Michael Jackson | JEAN DESPREZ® · 2 days ago
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posted by Marina Geigert
Bal à Versailles is one of the fragrances that the site always insists I am guaranteed to adore. Michael Edwards certainly knows best. After having been recommended this scent so many times, I finally got a sample and I do love Bal à Versailles.

Launched in 1962 by Jean Desprez, Bal à Versailles is a Floral Oriental with notes of jasmine, rose, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, amber, and civet. Those notes suggest a dark, rich, and powerful scent. And it is. What I did not expect based on that list of ingredients is how soft and strangely comforting this fragrance really is. Bal à Versailles starts with jasmine whose indolic darkness is almost impenetrable and very agreeable. I am not a jasmine lover and I usually shy away from jasmine’s indolic side, but I absolutely love it here. According to Jan Moran, three rose species were used in Bal à Versailles, Bulgarian, Anatolian, and May rose; based on that I expected the rose note to be more pronounced, and the rose
is there, but it only serves as an understated background, which allows the dark jasmine note to flourish more effectively.

The middle stage of the fragrance is sweetly woody and ambery and not especially remarkable, but it is over very soon, giving way to the most scrumptiously animalic drydown. It is resinous and pitch black and it makes my knees week and my mouth dry. What with the indolic top note of jasmine and the civet in the base, Bal à Versailles is positively
dirty. It is dirty, ravishing, sexy…and very soft…it is shocking really how unexpectedly velvety this scent is. Bal à Versailles would be a great accomplice if you wanted to seduce, stun and enslave somebody, but it would also work great as a warm comfort scent to wrap around you on a cold, dreary winter day.


For those familiar with Anne (Sergeanne) Golon’s book

Angélique and the King (or any other books in the series and/or movies based on them, starring Michelle Mercier), Bal à Versailles is a perfect olfactory equivalent of the dirty world or love, lust, and intrigues depicted in the book. Bal a Versailles would have fitted Angélique, the brave, passionate, romantic and warm-hearted beauty that she was, like a (soft, expensively perfumed) glove.
*The photo of Angélique is from
this site. You can read more on the World of Angelique here.

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Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles and Miller Harris L’Air de Rien ~ fragrance review

Postedby Angela
Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, a fragrance named “air of nothing” and made for the breathy-voiced, hippie-chic Jane Birkin, the last thing I expected to think of was Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, a scent purportedly made of over 300 ingredients and whose bottle features 17th-century ladies in pastel dresses. But from their shared sweet neroli beginning down to their saddle leather, musk, and dirty stable dry down, Bal à Versailles and L’Air de Rien smell to me like twins separated at birth and raised in different homes.
Bal à Versailles grew up in the family that had a maid to keep the vases full and polish the furniture with lemon oil and beeswax. The perfumer Jean Desprez launched Bal à Versailles in 1962, the same year that
Guerlain released Chant d’Arômes (and that, incidentally, Jane Birkin turned 16 years old). Notes I’ve found listed for Bal à Versailles include jasmine, rose, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, amber, and civet. I also smell orange flower and leather.
In extrait, Bal à Versailles is rich with syrupy neroli that fades to a spicy blend of flowers before settling into a disturbing, yet comforting, smell of civet, old horse droppings, and leather. On me the Parfum is silky smooth, but it doesn’t have much sillage and only lasts a few hours. In Eau de Toilette, Bal à Versailles sails through the bright citrus and goes straight for dry leather and processed hay, but if you pay attention you’ll smell a bar of floral soap in the stable, too. The Eau de Toilette is more raw than the extrait, and of the two it smells most like L’Air de Rien.
The celebrity I associate most with the fragrance is Linda Evans, who played
Krystal Carrington on Dynasty. (She’s a far cry from Jane Birkin, I know.) In season one, Krystal proclaims that Bal à Versailles is her favorite perfume. In season two, Alexis lures Blake Carrington to Italy and tries to seduce him by wearing Krystal’s favorite perfume. “I doused myself with Bal à Versailles,” she moans as her advances are thwarted.

*****


Surprise of surprises. When I first smelled


By

Beth

Once upon a time,
long ago I fell madly in love (or so I thought) with a man who was by all rights completely inappropriate for me. We had nothing at all in common with the exception of the maddening chemistry that lay between us. I was obsessed with him, I laid myself bare for him in a way that I would never do again for anyone. Poetry poured out of me, journal after journal of exquisitely lovesick writing, filled with the dreaming of what I thought our passion was. We listened to old standards together and the words tore my heart to shreds, at times they still do. The senses seemed made for us, the nighttime beckoned pulling emotions out of me that I had never experienced before. I had ritual after ritual for being with him; it was an unbelievably creative yet extraordinarily painful time in my life. This man and I could never really be together, our lives were completely different. But the excitement of that was the aphrodisiac that kept me coming back for more, kept me laying myself open even wider for the hurt that was to follow. Those moments were magical, yet searing, like a hot knife edge to an open wound. I tore those wounds open time and time again trying to understand why I had chosen such an unlikely candidate for the happiness that I craved. It took me years before I finally realized that he was me.

The fragrance of that affair was Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez. I loved it, it seemed to express all of that unspoken yearning, unsuitable passion that I was feeling at the time. It is a bewitching perfume ,very very manipulative. Bal a Versaille is a perfume suited for the deep dark places… it is rich and seductive, yet supremely naughty . It was created in only 1962, but it feels so much older. I love its elegance, its opulence; it makes me think of a grand masked ball every time I wear it, an image that I always find interesting when I think of the man who I wore it for. You see, I never really knew him at all. He left me in an instant with my images and fantasies of him, in a moment lifting the mask so that I could see that who I thought he was, wasn’t him at all. It was all of it my own treachery and a dream of my own creation. I was creating the darkest sort of magic, weaving the spell that if you are very lucky will rebound on you without killing you, leaving in its wake the wisdom to never go there again.

It took years before I was able to wear Bal a Versaille’s again. That period of my life literally brought me to my knees and I am grateful to have survived it.

I woke up one morning realizing that I was still alive, that there were plenty of words still to be written, and much more love to be expressed. I also knew that if I was ever to be whole again, I needed to touch the flame of that old passion and reignite it without giving into the anguish that I had experienced for so many years and of course Bal a Versailles needed to be a part of that reemergence. What I discovered when I reopened the bottle was a riot of sensuality, symphonies of roses and jasmine, amber, wood and spice….visions of large jungle cats mating , velvet on nakedness and a deep wet kiss in all of the right dark places , the scent of heaving cleavage!

Bal a Versaille’s is the most devastatingly sexy scent that I have ever worn, but now instead of throwing me to the fates , we love to dance together. I have finally learned the steps to her tango. You see, for me the true lesson of such an ill fated and unrequited love was not of what’s been lost. What I discovered very clearly in that moment, was that everything that I had experienced, everything that I had felt that he had brought to me, was really what I was capable of bringing to myself, my truest being. I had conjured him to bring me back to me, the actual man was in reality nothing like the vision. I have found Bal a Versaille’s to be my most private, sensual self, my “holy grail” of perfumes. I think that I have said here before that I love who I become now when I wear it, how its blends with my soul. I am grateful for second chances.

I hope that you will try the parfum strength, it is wonderfully, sexy, gorgeous and lush.

Bal a Versailles is fairly easy to find on the internet, but I’ve not seen it in any stores for years.

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By

Donna

A few weeks ago I took a friend to my local “palace” of fragrance, The Perfume House. She was in search of a new perfume suitable for colder weather. Knowing some of her preferences from sharing samples with her, I made a master list of classics for her to try as a baseline and I threw in a few others in the styles I thought she would like. We went through Mitsouko, Femme, Indiscret and many other time-tested scents as well as the newer Serge Lutens and Montale perfumes. My friend prefers woody, mossy and green notes, so my selections included plenty of those, and in fact she ended up liking on of my own favorites best: Jean Louis Scherrer’s original scent, a gorgeously deep woody chypre which I had actually worn a lot many years ago and which I still love. However, one of her other “finalists” was Bal á Versailles, the legendary 1962 scent from Jean Desprez. I fell in love with it all over again myself in the course of nearly four hours of trying on scents. Well, the perfume gods were smiling on me, because I just had a birthday, and my friend surprised me with a bottle of it – have I mentioned that she is a very good friend?

In our family we have a jokingly vulgar tradition of teasing whoever has just put on perfume to go out by saying “You smell like a French wh**e!” Well, in the case of Bal á Versailles, I really do smell somewhat like an, ahem, courtesan, hetaera, gentleman’s companion, or whatever you want to call it. (In a good way, of course.) When I first tried it out of the bottle, it had been many years since I sniffed it, and in the interim I had discovered Balmain’s Jolie Madame. The first thing I thought of was: Wow, this is Jolie Madame’s naughty sister! BIG hit of “grown-up perfume” right off the bat; an impressively indolic jasmine and orange blossom opening paired with a rather sticky rose, a deliciously dirty animalic base note combination of civet, musk and ambergris and lots of sweet spicy amber. I was too young to handle this when I first sampled it years ago – and now is the time for me to embrace the authority of this big, powerful iconic perfume. Oddly, considering the notes involved, once it develops on me it never gets really huge sillage like say, Fracas, but rather it stays closer to the skin. It is very strong, yes, but it does not operate in attack mode, it just smolders and simmers and keeps it up for hours. (Mine is only the EDT and I can’t imagine what need I would have for a stronger formulation, though EDP and Parfum are available.)

This is one of those bold Floral-Oriental style scents that walks the fine edge between classy and a bit too much, and I think it does that perfectly. Naturally, one must choose a scent carefully as the occasion warrants, and I would not personally wear it to a job interview. However, though it is clearly intended to be an evening perfume, I have worn it for day and I did not feel that it was too much. I would refrain from wearing it if I were going to be in a very small room with other people, unless that room happened to contain candlelight and wine and a dark-eyed handsome man.


Bal à Versailles is also one of those perfumes that brings back a lost world for those old enough to recall it, a world of where going out at night for a special event meant putting on red lipstick and jewelry and your best dress, and your man wore black tie or at least a really nice suit, and perhaps opera gloves were even involved. (Am I the only one who wishes that the latter were not relegated mostly to the realm of stage costumes or dominatrix porn these days?) Putting on a strong “statement scent” like this that makes you feel more than a little bit dramatic can almost make you think those days never went away. Of course, there is really no such thing as “the good old days”, but parts of them were worth keeping. I have been to gala concerts in very nice halls where people in the audience wore flannel shirts and jeans and even brought in boxed pizza. Is it really that hard to make an effort to look nice, or behave as though something special is worth one’s complete attention? For me, wearing a perfume of this deeply womanly style makes me want to live up to it somehow. Yes, I wear fragrance for myself, and I frequently wear it even when I am home alone, but when I am getting dressed for battle, so to speak, it helps to have the right armor. Bal à Versailles fills this role to perfection – slinky yet elegant, highly civilized yet with a feral undertone, it’s for women who know who they are and what they want, and if that includes vamping it up in a sexy dress and your very best come-get-me shoes, so much the better. Okay, so I don’t actually own a pair of shoes like that, but wearing this perfume makes me feel as though I do.

Bal à Versailles is widely available in better perfume shops and on the Internet, and comes in Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum, Parfum, shower gel, soap and more. It can easily be had for a discounted price. Its exact list notes seems to be a closely guarded secret, though many of them are quite obvious.

Image credits: Bottle from beautique.com. Undated photo of supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri from For The Love of Opera Gloves.


Labels:

Donna, Jean Desprez

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Michael Jackson’s favorite fragrance

I am a huge Michael Jackson fan and like the rest of the world, was devastated when we lost him this June. As I was looking on the internet after his death I saw that this fragrance was his favorite and he wore it all the time in the perfume version. Because I am such a huge fan of Michael’s, I had to try it, I ordered a bottle of it, and I can see why Michael loved it so much. It’s become one of my favorites as well now too and it’s so nice that I like to wear it a couple of times a week at least.

It’s subtle but full bodied and the fragrance is long lasting. It’s very,very nice and it would smell as good on a man as on a woman. If you like musk, you’ll love this fragrance. It’s not strong like some perfumes, it doesn’t smell flowery or feminine like some women’s fragrances do, you just smell really nice when you wear it. Not only was Michael handsome, talented, loving, and kind but he had wonderful taste too.

I tried looking for this fragrance in the store but the only place you can get it is through mail order. Michael got his through mail order as well.
So,for any female fans of our precious Michael who have heard that this was what he wore all the time and if what it smells like, order yourself a bottle of it. You won’t be disappointed. Rest In Peace darling.

The best perfume there is!!!
I just love this perfume. I first found this fragrance while looking through my grandmothers 150+ perfume bottle collection, some 27 years ago. I was looking for a gift for my new girlfriend who I wanted to impress. When my grandmother handed me Bal a Versailles I knew it was the one. And it’s no granny fragrance. Elegant and deep. The girlfriend became my wife and I makesure she always has some on hand and all the rest of her. It sure helps to keep the passion alive after 21 years of marriage!

You have to buy this one!

Bal A Versailles by Jean Desprez for Women
I purchased this cologne because I learned that it was one of several that was used by Michael Jackson and I was curious. This may sound odd but I was always curious as to how he smelled. I’d read that some people referred to his scent as soft or light and pleasant. I was surprised to find that this is not soft, in my opinion, but it is a fragrance that I enjoy. It is similar in quality to a lighter version Tabu which I wore for many years and loved. I would recommend this to anyone male or female. I love that I am able to wear something that he really enjoyed.

WWW.BASENOTES.NET

BayKAT


United States


A week ago I visited a friend in Chicago, and she took me to a performance of the top 10 winners of a summer reality show.

Now I don't have a TV, and had vaguely heard of the show. When it started each of the ten acts was flashed across the big sreen, but one performer in particular caused the crowd to go nuts. Let's just say that when you have no preparation for Prince Poppycock, your mouth hits the floor and you jump out of your seat for a standing ovation along with everyone else. Likewise, Bal a Versailles is best approached wiht no preconceived notions. I think it's image gets in its way, and if you didn't know any better you'd say to yourself, "My, what a lovely, soft powdery floral." This scent is oddly addictive. When i stick my nose in it I get this strange spice note that is course and off putting, but when I smell the sillage It's so unusual I can't 'sniff away.' I found myself chasing after my own scent trail, for no other than reason than morbid curiosity. There's just nothing like this out there. My version is from the 70's era, and I appreciate it more than the EDC I tried last year. It's smoother and more refined. A standing ovation for Bal A Versailles!

31st October, 2010.


GelbenDomino


Argentina


I got a bottle of vintage Eau de Cologne which I decanted into a little spray bottle.

Upon first spray, BaV smells very dirty, pungent, indolic and animalic. It makes me think of a dog or a dirty cage.
As soon as the dog note calms down; rich orange flower, honey and musk take stage. The scent melts into the skin and I am left with a gorgeous golden halo that is comforting yet sexxxy at the same time. The name is more than fitting. BaV is a decadent beauty that will not appeal for the masses in this era of scrubbed-clean detergent smell alikes. I like my scents more dirty than clean. I think this can easily be worn by a man too.

17th October, 2010.


lilybelle


United States


Mine is the white glass bottle with a gold plastic cap and gold lettering on the bottle, the eau de cologne. I found it at Marshall's for $7. I love this formulation and highly recommend it. It is a bit powdery at first - aldehydic - and the orange blossom is sweet. It gets sweeter and more civety and muskier smelling as it dries down, maybe even a tad incensy. I can't keep my nose away from my wrist when I wear it. I've also tried the parfum, which is divine stuff, but I really enjoy this little bottle of edc more. I don't know the other formulations. For me, Bal à Versailles evokes a nomad bohemian vibe - not hippie, more true bohemian - the one who is free of class or social constraints (by the time I was old enough to recognize a hippie, they seemed more bourgeois to me). I don't know why, maybe just my overactive imagination. :-) If you like civet you should definitely give this old gem a try.

12nd October, 2010.



CoL


United Kingdom


(From Fragrantica)

Top notes are rosemary, orange blossom, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, rose, neroli, bergamot, bulgarian rose and lemon; middle notes are sandalwood, patchouli, lilac, orris root, vetiver, ylang-ylang and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are tolu balsam, amber, musk, benzoin, civet, vanilla, cedar and resins. I'm amazed at this perfume. Made in 1962 yet doesn't smell dated. The great thing about womens fragrances from that era is they are now so unisex! I just adore this stuff!

10th August, 2010.


Slane


United Kingdom


 

There can be no doubt that this is a "French" perfume! Opulent, regal, and unapologetic! This is how French Royalty and the Aristocracy, men and women would have smelled even on their way to meet Madame Guillotine! And like Louis XVI And Marie Antoinette may Bal a Versailles always be remembered (and available to buy). Not just a classic but a legend IMHO.

13rd June, 2010.


Le Grand Duc


Denmark


 

After finding out, that this was Joan Collins signature scent, I wanted to try it out badly, so, a fellow BNer send me a big decant, and, oh my God, this is so good. It's alsolutely as decadent, sexy and vulgar as I have always imagined a ball at Versailles hosted by Marie Antoinette would have been. This seems to be loved by many celebs too, known users incl.: Joan Collins as mentioned; Elizabeth Taylor; Michael Jackson; and Queen Elizabeth II herself! Two thumbs up.

1st June, 2010.



Un profumo affettuoso




A fine perfume with a lot of body and substance. Very good choice for everybody who loves the "volupté" of Shalimar, but craves for some muskier aspects. Bal a Versailles doesn't focus on the "creme brulée aspect" of vanilla, but concentrates on civet and orange oils. Perfect!

23rd March, 2010.


Ireland

The opening blast reminds me of a much more animalic Vol de Nuit that morphs over time to a very heavy scent that's typical of its era, being driven by its very heavy musks,and ending on something that reminds me of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme -with its relatively dry, soapy, and heavy musks that could be overpowering if not applied judiciously. There's no escaping the prominent civet note, which doesn't strike me as particularly dirty, although it does help to give the fragrance its depth. This is not a very expensive perfume, and while I can't say it smells cheap, it's not quite as luxurious as I would like for a heavy oriental. It's still a good perfume.

I've only tried the parfum.

5th February, 2010.

tingkie



 

i love the smell. its romantic and classic i love it....i smell like michael jackson

11th December, 2009





misscasey


United States


Mmmmm. Perfect! An ambery floral with a chalkdust note that softens the sharpness. An elusive peachy fruit note makes this pleasant and wearable.

If there is musk, it is not the sweet juicy white musk I'm used to smelling in newer frags (I don't like that kind of musk). It is dry and dusty but not too much so. There is a vague sweet richness which is delicate and hard to define. For some reason Bal a Versailles reminds me of old books and paintings, the historical buildings on my college campus, and the beautiful intelligent people who inhabit them. A smart scent in my mind. I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF. !!

7th August, 2009.

Goldaline


United Kingdom


Bal a Versailles has been a favourite of mine since 1977, when I moved to it from Opium. I wore it for a few years until it became almost impossible to get in the UK. Now it is only available - and only infrequently - at limited outlets like Harrod's 'Urban Retreat'. My current bottle was purchased in Boston, USA.

According to an article in British Vogue, B a V was reformulated around 2002. This must be why my current bottle smells slightly different from my earlier ones. It smells more musky and animalic. I prefer the original, which was truly delicious, but the reformulation is also very good. Bal a Versailles is a magnificent, complex, and intriguing scent, which comes in a beautiful bottle. It's also a reputed favourite of Queen Elizabeth II. Like Jackie Onassis, she has excellent taste.

9th May, 2009.



xmen


Singapore


I was ready to dislike this. It can be had cheaply and the rather girlish bottle potents something cloying and outdated. Well, I was wrong. While I wasn't completely wowed over by the rather fascinating light oriental floral of the eau de cologne, the drydown is one of the most ravishing I've smelled for a while. Really beautiful. Cheap and beautiful- yes, that is possible!

10th April, 2009.



lunaluchia


United States


I have liked this fragrance for many years, since the early 70's, when I discovered it working at a perfume counter in a big department store. I worked in men’s cosmetics, but I tried as many ladies perfumes as I could and this was my favorite. I think that the perfume smells much better than the edt though. There is a rather shocking sharpness in the edt that does not seem to be in the perfume. After the initial unpleasantness, it mellows out quite a but. The perfume has a nicer sweetness to it and brings a richly romantic overindulgence to mind, like dangerous liaisons or something. I wish there were more Jean Desprez perfumes available.

14th March, 2009.

************

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles
Our windstorm blew in snow (fun) and then freezing rain (not so fun.) The electricity repeatedly flickered and shut down, and each time popped on again within minutes, luckily enough. So we were able to run around outside playing in the snow knowing that we could always retreat to the comfort of a warm electrically heated house. We so rarely get snow here in the Portland area that it was a real treat.
I’m going to put off talking about S-Perfume Lust until later, because this windy weekend I have been almost exclusively wearing Jean Desprez’s Bal a Versailles. It’s the subject of a post made a little while back at Perfume-Smellin’ Things, and that post reminded me just how much I love wearing it. It may not have the cool cache that some of the more modern fragrances seem to carry, but Bal a Versailles will forever be chic.

Desprez is said to have used more than 300 ingredients to construct this scent, which sounds like a “hey, let’s just throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks” apporach to perfumery, but the result is a steady, smooth masterpiece. The construct is formal, but never stiff or unfriendly. It gilds the senses in its golden glow, and indulges the nose with a refined vision of earthly delights.
My favorite aspect of Bal a Versailles is its circular quality. As the fragrance develops, notes seem to fade off, only to rise again. To experience it is to open a travel brochure of smells. Roses, orange, orange blossom, and jasmine fill my nostrils with the first spray. Then warm woods with soft balsalmic spices push forward into vanilla and patchouli . Broad notations of amber and incense, musk and more musk, unfold. And then we start all over again, surreally spiraling amongst the flowers and trees, riding waves of indoles and ketones. It is sexy, but not vulgar; Rich, but not gaudy.

So many of the newer oriental fragrances seem to be playing in an AM station monotone.Yet here is old Bal a Versailles, an oldie from 1962, playing in Dolby Digital surround sound. But it never overwhelms, and never blasts too loud. This scent endures as a classic, yet it is timeless. I don’t feel like I’m wearing an antique when I don my eau de toilette. In fact, I feel hipper and certainly more sensual wearing Bal a Versailles than I did when I was testing out, say, the newer Calvin Klein Euphoria. Catching lucky stray whiffs of my own sillage every now and then only adds to the sensation of glamor.
Bal a Versailles is available in many concentrations, and you can’t go wrong choosing it in any form, depending on preference and budget.
Top image of Bal a Versailles by Janine Wesselmann, from dcrpublishing.com. Second image of Lulu by Richard Ely.
Written by Scentzilla!

****************


Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles and Miller Harris L’Air de Rien ~ fragrance review

Posted by Angela on 5 September 2008


Surprise of surprises. When I first smelled Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, a fragrance named “air of nothing” and made for the breathy-voiced, hippie-chic Jane Birkin, the last thing I expected to think of was Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, a scent purportedly made of over 300 ingredients and whose bottle features 17th-century ladies in pastel dresses. But from their shared sweet neroli beginning down to their saddle leather, musk, and dirty stable dry down, Bal à Versailles and L’Air de Rien smell to me like twins separated at birth and raised in different homes.
Bal à Versailles grew up in the family that had a maid to keep the vases full and polish the furniture with lemon oil and beeswax. The perfumer Jean Desprez launched Bal à Versailles in 1962, the same year that
Guerlain released Chant d’Arômes (and that, incidentally, Jane Birkin turned 16 years old). Notes I’ve found listed for Bal à Versailles include jasmine, rose, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, amber, and civet. I also smell orange flower and leather.
In extrait, Bal à Versailles is rich with syrupy neroli that fades to a spicy blend of flowers before settling into a disturbing, yet comforting, smell of civet, old horse droppings, and leather. On me the Parfum is silky smooth, but it doesn’t have much sillage and only lasts a few hours. In Eau de Toilette, Bal à Versailles sails through the bright citrus and goes straight for dry leather and processed hay, but if you pay attention you’ll smell a bar of floral soap in the stable, too. The Eau de Toilette is more raw than the extrait, and of the two it smells most like L’Air de Rien.
The celebrity I associate most with the fragrance is Linda Evans, who played
Krystal Carrington on Dynasty. (She’s a far cry from Jane Birkin, I know.) In season one, Krystal proclaims that Bal à Versailles is her favorite perfume. In season two, Alexis lures Blake Carrington to Italy and tries to seduce him by wearing Krystal’s favorite perfume. “I doused myself with Bal à Versailles,” she moans as her advances are thwarted.

If Bal à Versailles grew up well to do, L’Air de Rien was reared in a more bohemian household. Lyn Harris created L’Air de Rien in 2006. The Miller Harris website says that Jane Birkin worked with Harris in the laboratory on the scent (their “love child born of the mutual admiration” they hold).
This is how I imagine it: Birkin comes to the laboratory and sits on a stool with a dozen or so Birkin bags in various colors at her feet, and she talks about “her vibrant lifestyle” (macrobiotics), “her passions” (
Serge Gainsbourg’s prowess in the sack), and “her time spent in France” (more macrobiotics and Serge). Meanwhile, Harris darts around in what looks like a mad scientist’s laboratory crammed with burbling beakers and tubes full of steam running here and there, and she dips a sample card in a beaker every few minutes for Birkin to smell. After a few hours and a bottle of Pouilly Fuissé, voilà, L’Air de Rien. Or maybe it didn’t happen that way.

Osmoz lists L’Air de Rien’s notes as French oak moss, Tunisian neroli, sweet musk, patchouli, amber, and vanilla. To this I’d add leather and dried horse droppings. As L’Air de Rien unfurls, its neroli top loses its citrus quality, but the sweetness remains so that when the fragrance dries down it feels like a layer of confectioner’s sugar sprinkled in the barnyard without a lot of the middle notes many perfumes show. If Bal à Versailles is a bar of floral soap in the stable, then L’Air de Rien is a thickly frosted cupcake in an adjoining stall. L’Air de Rien is an Eau de Parfum, and a few spritzes last all day.

Side by side, Bal à Versailles and L’Air de Rien smell startlingly similar, and they’re both dirty, warm, and easy to wear. However you like your stable — bourgeois or boho — one of the two is sure to appeal.
**************
Perfume Review: Bal a Versailles, or Hurrying Time
January 26, 2010 by malsnano86



Perfume Review: Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles Date released: 1962 Perfumer: none listed Sample provenance: parfum bottle won summer 2009 in drawing from parfum1, parfum de toilette mini bought from eBay 2009 (labeled vintage, but who knows for sure?)
The CEO dislikes Bal intensely in its early stages, and I understand why. It smells, mostly, of heavy floral perfume, and reminds him of the elderly ladies at church during his 70′s childhood. Bal is the epitome of what I think of as “French cathouse.”

You know,
French cathouse – like when teenage you goes out with some friends, wearing your tastiest clothes and a generous swipe of Cheri’s plum eye pencil, not to mention Carlynn’s coral lip gloss and Kelley’s Sand & Sable, and your father stops you at the door and gives you The Look. “Young lady,” he says, “you’re not going out of this house like that. You look like a clown, and you smell like a French cathouse. Get back in this house, go into the bathroom, and wash that stuff off!” You roll your eyes, but you comply, dabbing off the lip gloss and the eye makeup with tissues and muttering under your breath, “He just doesn’t understand… there’s nothing wrong with it… I don’t know what his problem is.” You swipe at your neck and wrists with cotton balls soaked in rubbing alcohol. You sniff back a tear or two, then re-powder your nose to cover the pinkness, and march out to the front door again. You pass inspection. You receive the reminder of curfew without rolling your eyes, and you escape. Twenty minutes later, you’re again bedecked with the bounty of Cheri, Carlynn, and Kelley, making a mental note to hide the evidence before you go home from the skating rink.

Yeah, that
“French cathouse.” The smell that is almost toooooo much. It’s a heavy, rich smell that opens Bal a Versailles, and it is somehow, quintessentially, French.

I recently read a review of
Teo Cabanel Alahine by Brian at I Smell Therefore I Am, in which he compared Alahine to Bal a Versailles. I didn’t get it then; I don’t get it now. Alahine is pure happiness to me, while BaV is the kind of scent you wear when you don’t want to go home alone, shall we say. They’re completely different in feel, as well in actual scent.

However, I would call both of them symphonic – very richly compounded, very layered and complex, greater than the sum of their parts. Maybe that’s what Brian was getting at. (I should ask him. And while I’m at it, I’ll put in a plug for ISTIA. Great writing by two people who love perfume, go check it out.)

March at Perfume Posse calls Bal, in parfum, “candied incense,” and I don’t get that either. **But her take on the edp (similar to my pdt concentration) is “floral sex,” and that is spot-on. Spot. On. Big florals, with something honeyed and rich, followed by warm skin that is not quite sweaty… I’d say Bal in parfum is “floral sex, with candles burning.” Maybe my “candles burning” is March’s “incense.” And candied? Well, I just said “something honeyed.” Maybe I’m closer to her description than I thought. (** It’s in the comments of a recent post which wasn’t actually
about Bal, and if I can find the darn thing, I’ll post the link.)

If I were to compare Bal a Versailles to any other perfume, I’d say Balenciaga Rumba. Rumba is similarly dense with complex florals and honeyed fruit, and contains a beautiful note of burnt dust that I for one find very pleasant. It’s not exactly the candle wax of Bal, but in both scents there is that hint of heat and consumption – the dust burns, the candles melt, and underneath it all is the smell of warm skin and hurrying time, with a faint reminder that death waits for no man and decay will someday take this warm flesh.

Let us roll all our strength, and all Our sweetness, up into one ball; And tear our pleasures with rough strife Thorough the iron gates of life. Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run. (from To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell)

That breath of mortality is something you won’t find in many modern fragrances. It makes me want to seize the moment, because I suddenly remember that my moments are not infinite. It’s genius, it’s philosophy in a bottle. It’s why I forgive Bal her French cathouse florals, and wear it again and again.

Notes for Bal a Versailles – an “everything but the kitchen sink” recipe if there ever was one: Top: Rosemary, cassia, lemon, bergamot, mandarin, neroli, orange blossom, jasmine, rose, Bulgarian Rose. Heart: Lilac, ylang-ylang, muguet, sandalwood, patchouli, orris, vetiver. Base: Tolu balsam, amber, musk, civet, benzoin, resins, vanilla, cedar.

Notes for Balenciaga Rumba, just so you can compare: Top: Orange blossom, plum, raspberry, peach, basil, bergamot Heart: Honey, magnolia, carnation, tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, orchid, marigold, heliotrope, muguet. Base: Leather, sandalwood, plum, amber, tonka bean, patchouli, musk, vanilla, oakmoss, cedar, styrax.

14 Responses
January 26, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Reply
on


  • Remarkably, this is the one and only civet-containing perfume I like, and even own a bottle of. I completely agree with the description of it as "floral sex", and can only surmise that I like it as much as I do because the other notes are amongst my very favourites!I have to be in a very robust and expansive mood though, to apply it even in moderation…
    flittersniffer
  • January 26, 2010 at 3:26 PM | Reply
    on

  • I also think it is nothing like Alahine (in terms of how it smells, certainly).
    flittersniffer
  • January 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM | Reply
    on

  • Flitter, I'm finding that I actually like a *bit* of civet – Parfum Sacre and Climat contain it.To be honest, I don't like the first half hour of Bal. It's sooo… busy. But after that I love it.
    Mals86
  • January 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM | Reply
    on

  • Interesting – a decant of Parfum Sacre is currently on its way to me from NY, so I will see if I detect it. I believe there may even be some civet in Coco, though if so, that is also fine.Like you, I prefer BAL after it has settled down, and the skank is just a warm background hum.
    flittersniffer
  • January 27, 2010 at 1:16 PM | Reply
    on

  • So I'm torn about this one. First off– loooove the review. "The Look….Young lady….French cathouse…skating rink" Hah!! I wish I had driven my dad that crazy…Now, I love the idea of smelling like a French cathouse– in my mind. I think the reality is awfully scary, though. I keep thinking that one of these days one of these vintage bombshell scents is going to reach out and grab me and then I will become, like a whole other person– Rita Hayworth maybe? But I haven't found The One yet. I've read about BaV, like, three or four times this week, however. Clearly it is calling my name…
    The Left Coast Nose
  • January 27, 2010 at 2:04 PM | Reply
    on

  • LCN, it is a must-sniff, at least. And do note which concentration you're trying: I've heard that the edc, particularly in the vintage, is the dirtiest thing ever (March calls it buttcrack), the edt is a bit more polite (i.e., the least interesting), and as you go up the concentration ladder it gets more smooth and incense-y/candle-waxy.That vtg pdt of mine, though… whooeee. I mean, it makes you imagine those big Georgia O'Keefe flowers gettin' DOWN.
    Mals86
  • January 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM | Reply
    on

  • Oh I say, Mals – I have the EDC, though I don't know if it is the vintage or not. A white cylindrical plastic bottle with gold lettering. Funny to think I may have hardcore taste in this one isolated case!
    flittersniffer
  • January 27, 2010 at 9:30 PM | Reply
    on

  • Woo-hoo, gimme that French cathouse smell anytime! (hee) To my nose, Bal a Versailles, one of my favorites, doesn't smell like floral sex or candied incense – it smells like horse stable. And that's OK with me! Horses, saddle leather, sweet hay – and a few indoles tucked underneath. Mmmm.
    Patty
  • January 27, 2010 at 11:12 PM | Reply
    on

  • Patty, I must know – which concentration do you have?
    Mals86
  • January 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM | Reply
    on

  • I have the EDT concentration. After reading your comment that the EDC is even skankier, I think I have to find some! I used to have a small decant of the extrait (used up now) which originally turned me on to this fragrance. So far, I haven't had guys trying to follow me home when I'm wearing it (drat!). I'd like to get more extrait someday, or maybe I'll try to find that PDT on eBay.
    Patty
  • January 28, 2010 at 4:08 PM | Reply
    on

  • "…those big Georgia O'Keefe flowers gettin' DOWN"!!! You
    slay me!! You have given me a whole NEW image going on in my mind!!
    The Left Coast Nose
  • February 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Reply
    on

  • [...] Desprez Bal a Versailles, in pretty much any concentration. Reviewed here. Another rich, busy scent that dries down to a gloriously warm, incensey-musky base. Smells like a [...]
    To Sleep, Perchance to Dream (of perfume…) « Muse in Wooden Shoes
  • September 29, 2010 at 7:03 PM | Reply
    on

  • Dear Muse,
    I absolutly love Bal, and have just started wearing it again. I was hunting for a similiar product,stumbled across your blogg then got waylaid savouring your insights. I was suprised to find 2 more of my favorite things…ANdrew Marvel’s Poetry and Rumba. I have been wearing Rumba for many years and am now able to understand why I love both these perfumes. I teach literature and love studying the Romantics-it all just makes alittle more scents!
    dEBorah P.

      • Welcome, Deborah! I do love Marvell. And Bal… hey, it’s getting cooler again, I can wear it in this weather.
        I just decanted a bit of Rumba for a friend recently, and it sure smelled up the house for hours. Those are such big, expansive, kitchen-sink fragrances. I think I mostly love the drydowns, but they’re definitely not for the fainthearted.
        malsnano86
      • ***************************
    FRAGANTI

    FruitDiet

    Gorgeous, cheap unisex classic. I wore it to jail when I got a DUI and didn't regret it. The EDT has enough well-blended poopy skank that it gives off an aura of sophistication and wordliness without descending into vulgarity. Not that I have any problems with descending into vulgarity- I wear Giorgio! But Bal is a classic that is truly representative of its time- it beautifully anticipates the coming fashion, tied in with the sexual liberation movement, for single-note animalics, and wouldn't be out of place on Brian Jones or Mick Jagger.

    The bottle, with its Marie Antoinette-through-a-sixties-filter maidens and whiskey flask shape, is PURE, HILARIOUS GOLD. It's a great summer fragrance, you can really bathe in it without offending anyone, but is probably too thin for winter. I look forward to trying the extrait.
    11/15/10 18:24:28

     

    spookyjan

    I usually like older type perfumes theres something classy about them,however this perfume has none of that class.It is overwhelming in a cloying way i can smell the skanky note,an i would not be wearing this again.
    11/05/10 10:02:01

     

    Britney_Spears_Fragrances

    i HAVE A huge BOTTLE OF THIS BUT i AM GOING TO GIVE IT TO MY mOM. i LIKE IT BUT IT'S TOO STRONG ON ME.
    11/05/10 01:30:39



    Kterhark

    A week ago I visited a friend in Chicago, and she took me to a performance of the top 10 winners of a summer reality show.

    Now I don't have a TV, and had vaguely heard of the show. When it started each of the ten acts was flashed across the big sreen, but one performer in particular caused the crowd to go nuts.

    Let's just say that when you have no preparation for Prince Poppycock, your mouth hits the floor and you jump out of your seat for a standing ovation along with everyone else.

    Likewise, Bal a Versailles is best approached wiht no preconceived notions. I think it's image gets in it's way, and if you didn't know any better you'd say to yourself, "My, what a lovely, soft powdery floral."

    This scent is oddly addictive. When i stick my nose in it I get this strange spice note that is coarse and off putting, but when I smell the sillage It's so unusual I can't 'sniff away.'

    I found myself chasing after my own scent trail, for no other than reason than morbid curiosity. There's just nothing like this out there. My version is from the 70's era, and I appreciate it more than the EDC I tried last year. It's smoother and more refined.

    A standing ovation for Bal A Versailles!
    10/31/10 14:04:21



    iMaverick
    As a kid I used to shy away from its smell, being that my nose didn't really appreciate musky scents. Now, in the present day, I can appreciate its warm sensuality, the civet is now alluring, and its ambered base is intoxicating. The orange blossom opening is a bit overt for my taste, but it does settle into something exquisite.

    I no longer find it anywhere except on online websites. I'm not quite sure if it is now only available on drugstore shelves, like Je Reviens, and L'Air du Temps. Sad story indeed.
    10/27/10 14:18:00



    awesomeness

    Beware of this powdery & dusty monster, at least on me. I find BAV most comparable to Giorgio Red, but with powder and without aldehydes on steroids. I'm lovin' it.

    I don't get the skanky references or the sultry ones. To me, BAV is more "vintage" than anything else - vintage in the sense of a true classic that's just been dusted off when it's taken down from the top shelf. And this classic is made for women, not little girls. Very French.
    10/27/10 12:49:36



    elusivek

    How very very interesting. I truly did not know what to expect even with all the reviews, especially the “skanky” element that people mentioned.

    When I first put this on it smells musty. As in an old building that may have been a jewel in it’s heyday but now is neglected and aging. The original clientele may not frequent anymore (or not in the proper or accepted way as when it was in its heyday) but some of the scents linger in the walls/furniture/draperies.

    I picture a dark smoky basement club with burlesque dancers and cigarette girls who use their feminine wiles, while some desperately cling to their fading looks and hopes. The men come to find an “adult” show and seek out pleasures from “worldly” women. It smells musty with lipstick, smoke, dusty floral, BO and undoubtedly, lust.

    It’s debauchery in a bottle. At first I was like there is no way I would ever wear this but I realized it would be perfect for costume parties, as it is very retro. It would also be good for um, dress up (wink wink). I will admit to feeling a bit wicked when it’s on and I think I might put it on once in a while and go out just to see what kind of reaction it gets because it’s a very specific scent that gives you quite the visual. Pretty powerful imo and one of those scents that can transport you, so I recommend trying it for just that reason.
    09/27/10 16:49:21

     

    hippychick
    I just bought this fragrance off a friend and I love it.I'm going to road test it for awhile and let you know!!!
    09/17/10 18:19:07



    milena
    WOW. A very warm musky and a little vanillic scent.I am in love with this. I've received this perfume today and immediately put it on . The beginning a little unusual dusty smell but the real treasures of this perfume are the next phases.Sexy sultry sensual a real feminine smell need I say more. Class all the way.Elegant and sophisticated.
    09/16/10 02:54:53



    eilismaireg

    I only bought the EDC concentration for a very reasonable price and I must say that I am very pleasantly surprised by the immense sillage of it. When I put it on, it immediately felt familiar and then I realised it reminds me very much of my Shalimar EDP but with a layer of langour rather than elegance in the drydown maybe due to the civet. It smells a little of indian spices and incense and I think, has a definate 'hippie' vibe, which for me is always a good thing. I shall be wearing this beauty in rotation with Femme and Theo Fennell as a sexy Autumn/Winter scent, as comfy as a cashmere blanket. As an aside, I find BaV less skanky than the other two and is more wearable for day time in my view.
    A warning, the longevity is really only any good on fabric- it almost disappears from my skin within half an hour!
    09/11/10 05:36:05



    rainydaze

    I have an aversion to most scents described as 'skanky' or animalic, but I really like this one, it doesn't smell too dirty and I don't find it skanky at all, not 'slut' fragrance,, NO WAY, not 'old lady' either...probably an opulent and clean sort of dirty? lol...Even still, if Audrey Hepburn had ever worn this, eyebrows would have raised, she's classy, sophisticated, a style icon, but she's also too 'clean', cool, and put together that even a drop of this would smell out of place...heady and pure white florals or trendy (at her time) aldehydes may have been more her thing. On the other hand, this would have been silent actress Theda Bara's magic potion...imagine a classy but mysterious sort of vamp-ish woman using this one as her signature scent. While I love this perfume to bits, this is a bedroom scent for me. I may be dark haired and mysterious to some extent, but I'm too much of a fresh faced minimalist to be able pull this off in public, it will definitely smell out of place on me (like very, very potently glowing, fragrant sweat, but still sweat). Yep, definitely a bedroom scent :) very cozy, comforting and deeply sensual (not sexy, not trashy, no!! okay maybe a very tasteful sort of sexy/erotic)...I'd love my whole room to smell of this...so now, how else can I describe it? for the notes, I get sweet, powdery dried flowers and fruits, oily resins, bitter-sweet woods, silky musk and most of all, one of my favorites, warm, glowing AMBER, on my skin. Old world scent but definitely in a good way. I don't find it to be too strong after it dries down, and it's not loud, or too attention grabbing either...that is, if worn the right way, on the right skin chemistry. Finally, let me just say that Bal a Versailles liquid is like the rich golden, warm sweat that drips from the pores of heavenly beings, heavenly beings unknown to any mortal...then it gets collected and bottled for us to enjoy. That's the clean sort of dirty I'm talking about. That's the clean sort of dirty I wish to come across more often in fragrances.
    08/14/10 10:57:50



    visione

    It has been a while since I wore this wonderful scent. Back in the day, it was a signature scent for me, and never failed me. So when I bought a bottle recently, I was a bit nervous that my memories of this rich, complex, completely feminine scent would no longer live up to my nostalgic love for it.
    Surprise! As I dabbed the first drops on my wrist, I was immediately transported and even felt a lump in my throat - so many memories arose. The initial notes of rich, velvety amber rose like smoke. The amber of Bal a Versailles is NOT a shy, end-note amber "tone"; it is a full-on, heady symphony of smoothness and pure sex appeal - IF you like amber. If not, look elsewhere, because this is THE perfume for amber lovers. As the opening notes move toward the next "movement" of the symphony, there is a floral bouquet dominated by orange flower, roses of all depths, an homage to jasmine is there, and even an herbal, deep, moist green note that binds the florals into a truly sophisticated blend. Moving again, the notes of Bal a Versailles take one into the boudoir, where musky notes yield to the play of a hint of animalic sweetness flavored with the darkest, most intense Barbados vanilla.
    What is most amazing about Bal a Versailles is the staying power. It lingers, dries down, softens, but will not disappear until you - regretfully - wash it away. And unlike many other clingy perfumes that eventually decay on the skin, this one keeps the allure right to the end.
    Several commenter/reviewers have said this is an "emotional" perfume, and indeed it is. It is a classic, but not one that will seem dated or dowdy. It has life and a really womanly sexuality - a come-hither-but-on-MY-terms quality that is extremely powerful and captivating.
    The eau de parfum is the best way to go if you find you truly love this Desprez masterwork, but in any form it is a marvelous experience, and an example of great artistry.
    08/05/10 19:34:38



    sherapop

    When reviewers describe a perfume as "vintage", I'm never quite sure what they are trying to say. There seem to be at least three distinct meanings.

    For some, "vintage" is a polite euphemism for "old lady," a nice way of saying that while it may have suited one's grandmother, those days are now long gone. For others, "vintage" means something like "quirky", along the lines of MA GRIFFE or IVOIRE or some other creation that persists out of sheer stubbornness: there is nothing else like it, and no one would create such a fragrance today, but it still commands respect. Another group appears to use "vintage" to mean "big-time real perfume masterpiece"--along the lines of MITSOUKO or ARPEGE--created by a parfumeur, not an industrial organic chemist under pressure from corporate marketers to produce something that will sell a zillion bottles only to lie idle on the vanity of most, eventually going stale.

    Jean Desprez BAL A VERSAILLES is vintage in the third sense, I think. This edt is so rich and complex, with so many distinct layers to discover, that it evokes memories of a time when perfumers were primarily artists rather than savvy businessmen.

    I could not resist aquiring a bottle of BAL A VERSAILLES after seeing so many references to it by so many people, including perfumers, and I must say that I am not disappointed. This deeply oriental perfume is an A1, bona fide, indisputable classic! I'll be wearing BAL A VERSAILLES this winter, when its big sillage and warm, deep resinousness will blanket me in beauty!

    The reviews are very polarized, but I side with those who don't find this composition dirty at all. But my reference here is JOY, the Platonic Form of civet perfumes. (-:
    07/22/10 08:05:00



    Wombat
    This is one of my 3 favorite scents, the others being Tresor and a knockoff of Un Bois Vanille. My father bought this for my mother back in the 1960's and she'd wear it whenever she got dressed up. It reminds me of "my mother dressed up in her finest and happy." It's very powerful, though. I love the powdery dry down. I have so many bottles of it that I mixed Poeme and kitchen vanilla into one bottle just for fun. Bal A Versailles reminds me of refined but soft feminine elegance. I don't smell the skankiness others smell! ROFL!! I loved reading the love it or hate it reviews!
    05/10/10 14:47:55

     

    Action

    TOP OF THE BILL!!! AMAZING price online!! When I go to the Skins store in town I pay about 100 euro's for this one!!! Better online, for sure!
    Action
    05/08/10 08:29:49



    Action

    TOP OF THE BILL!!! AMAZING price online!! When I go to the Skins store in town I pay about 100 euro's for this one!!! Better online, for sure!
    Action
    05/08/10 08:29:48

     

    Britney_Spears_Fragrances

    Why are some people on here saying Michal Jackson wore this perfume??? is that true?
    04/14/10 19:58:40



    hollycat

    Surprisingly this scent dries down to a very feminine, powdery, dare I say fresh scent. I do get the animalic notes in the beginning however the dry down is where its at for me. Its not strong or overwhelming in anyway on me. Im pleasantly surprised. Just a womans scent. But always test first. Chemistry is key as we all know.
    04/08/10 16:01:08



    CodyAnn
    Ohhhhhh.....how disappointed and marginally nauseated I am right now.
    I was so very excited to try Bal a Versailles. I had visions of discovering an unusual and remarkable new signature scent. I had read so many detailed and elaborate reviews that I just KNEW I would love this perfume.
    Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
    I ordered at 1.7oz bottle online and waited with baited breath for it to arrive. I recieved a call from my doorman letting me know I had a package, rushed downstairs to retrieve it, tore open the package prepared to let the festivities begin.
    However, what I smelled was NOTHING like I had anticipated.
    The scent was not just strong, but overwhelming and suffocating (and I like strong scents). I was determined to adore this scent so I soldiered on and attempted to let it dry down and then appreciate it. It was not to be. The longer I wore the scent the more nauseous I became. It smelled truly disgusting to me. Old, cloistering...like something that had been sitting in a dark, damp, hot corner in an attic for ages.
    Truly disgusting. I had to scrub it off, then sniff coffee beans to clear the scent from my nose.
    So terribly disappointing.
    04/08/10 15:23:43



    Action

    This is an excellent high quality perfume with unbelievable sillage! GREAT value for your money!!
    04/04/10 01:12:18



    Sassy1

    I haven't worn it for a long time, but I remember it was very strong, a powdery orange stale floral mixed with patchouli. Very heavy, dowdy, overwhelming and suffocating, like dark red brocade curtains in a low class french brothel.
    I love a good floriental and can appreciate loud scents with the best of them, but there is a vulgar tone to this frag I just can't get past.
    04/04/10 00:26:38

     

    guest_black_berry
    I want to buy one for me bcauz its michael's favorite perfume I want to feel his presence so I think its very important fragrance for me
    03/25/10 05:10:06



    Britney_Spears_Fragrances

    What can I say, this perfume is CLASSY! I bought it after a friend told me about it, Oh, by the way the friend that told me to buy this is Louise Robey the Countess of Burford, if it's good enough for a countess it's good enough for me. I love it!
    03/24/10 19:11:36



    mister_chaz

    ha-ha! this one is a clear love/hate perfume))i received this one as a gift: was initially very unsure about wearing it. but yes! it IS a masterpiece: very rich flowery fragrance, warm, woody and musky,i can smell amber notes, and it doesn't smell cheap at any rate . It's not your average "next door girl" type of frag. It also transforms interestingly throughout the day. It has extraordinary lasting power: when i take shower after a long day i can still smell it on my skin. This is perfect for a signature scent, but one must test it before buying))
    02/18/10 17:21:47

     

    guest_:)
    oh... chat was one of those very badly insulted on that topic. no wonder she left. maybe she used a translation tool and saw what they were talking about her.
    02/04/10 12:55:21

     

    guest_:)
    those members were talking rude and offending about other members in the middle of the forum, but in their own language, without mentioning names, cause names are understood by all. Such dirt!
    02/04/10 12:12:00



    HOPE007


    At first when I received it, I sprayed in the air and sniffed thought uh it's ok - it reminded me a lot of Royal Secret, and it still does in some ways? But I should know better than to do that and judge a fragrance.

    So a few days later I decide to be more daring and give it a go and spray it on myself.

    At first it was a blast.. then it became pretty... and then after a few more minutes the most beautiful scent developed...

    I was very very pleasantly surprised.

    It does share something with Royal Secret, especially at the beginning - cousins maybe? But they are quite different as they develop.

    Overall I must say I am very happily surprised. I have the EDT currently.
    02/03/10 13:24:39

    *************

    FRAGRANCENET
    BAL A VERSAILLES perfume by Jean Desprez
     
    I love this scent and I also agree - it's a lovely feeling knowing that it's Michael Jacksons favorite as well as Dame Elizabeth Taylor Written by K
    This Bal A Versilles scent is stronger and not as soft as the orginal from Paris France.
    Written by ARS
    Iam quite intrigued that it was first manufactured in the year of my birth. I love its heady sexy decadent fragrance! it is my signature fragrance and has been for five years now! Its a nice feeling sharing the same scent as Michael Joseph Jackson!.
    Written by Michaela
    Bal A Versailles has been my favorite fragrance for years now. I always get compliments when I wear it and my husband just loves it. Although this product has been around since the early 60's I never tire of it. Lovely!
    Written by KCKatwoman
    I bought this perfume because my angel Michael Jackson used it. I know now why he could use it. The scent is very masculine and has a very different smell and not in a bad way. I normally wear Guchi Rush or Karmala and this perfume is nothing like those. I think it actually changes scents as it mixes with your body chemistry. I would love to try Carlos Santanas perfume next. But now at least I know what my man MJ smelled like. It was well known he wore that scent alot.
    Written by Beverly Liebler
    ************
    mj2040
    Florida

    best perfume
    ★★★★★
    5.0
    "I've collected perfumes for years now.But I seldom wear it before...... that changed when I met Bal a Versailles last month. This is very seductive scent. This perfume really turn me on. I wear it all the time even I'm just around the house, before going to bed.I'm addictive to the smell. I will buy more. I will buy the big bottle next time.This is the best perfume."
    MICHAEL JACKSON FREE GIVEAWAY - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!


    Joined:
    Apr 2010
    Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 19:09
    ButterCupADay:
    FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    Unfortunately I can't apply as it only applys to US residents.

    But if you live in the US
    Here is the info. http://www.jeandesprez.com/jeandesprezgiveawayrules.html
    BTW: If you want to source it from the UK, Fortnum & Mason now stocks it. It was worthwhile emailing ;P On ebay I saw 28ml perfume for £75 incl P&P but the one below is £55 for 50ml....pretty good deal I think.
    http://www.fortnumandmason.com/product/bal-%C3%A1-versailles-perfume,110...

    POST COMMENT
    COMMENTS (7)


    Joined: Feb 2010
    Upstate, NY
    United States
    Friday, November 26, 2010 - 21:20
    magnetladi49:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, Me loves my BAV!!!! I may have to do this givaway and also the miniature boxed set is really neat! Choco, I bet Michael smelled so yummy...he was always very liberal with it, huh?...uh, even "down there"...LOL! Big hugs! XXXOOO


    Joined: Mar 2010
    United Kingdom
    Friday, November 26, 2010 - 19:19
    MJs Chocolate Nymph:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    Check your PM adagio



    Joined: Nov 2010
    San Diego, California
    United States
    Friday, November 26, 2010 - 18:43
    adagio:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    can you send me a little piece of paper with the aroma on it MJschoco via mail lol?


    Joined: Mar 2010
    United Kingdom
    Friday, November 26, 2010 - 18:36
    MJs Chocolate Nymph:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    Hey Angel-
    I sent you an email dearest and more to follow soon. I have some BAV which I sent for from ebay, it cost £39 for 7.5ml (parfum) be warned though it's aroma changes on different parts of your skin. If I dab it behing my ears or on the pulse areas of my wrist it's different to when I apply it to the cleavage area LOL which is much nicer than the pulse area. I bet it was gorgeous on ALL areas of Michael though...... even 'down there'


    Joined: Nov 2010
    San Diego, California
    United States
    Friday, November 26, 2010 - 18:28
    adagio:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    I feel like having one big time but my husband picks up the mail... he will think it is for him..


    Joined: Apr 2010
    Friday, November 26, 2010 - 18:17
    ButterCupADay:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    Thanks angel_watcher. I think the set looks like a really nice xmas present



    Joined: May 2010
    ♥ Original member since September 2009♥ (formerly known as XincognitoX)
    United States
    Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 19:54
    angel_watcher:
    Re: FREE Giveaway - BAL A VERSAILLES !!!
    @buttercup - Thanks for the info. I'm already entered.
    Also for anyone who does not want to wait patiently to see if you a winner, there is an manufacturer's special on this site for a Bal A Versailles miniatures gift box of 3 bottles, 5 ml each, in Eau de Toilette, Eau de Perfume, and Perfume for $29.95 +4.95 shipping and handling.
    http://www.jeandesprez.com/Balaversaillesspecial.html
    With "Vision," "Michael," and now this, I have just blown my budget for Michaeling all the way through this holiday season.



    Written by Scentzilla!


    MICHAEL JACKSON HAS ANYONE HERE ACTUALLY BOUGHT BAL A VERSAILLES?


    Joined:
    Sep 2009
    Ireland
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 08:59
    GemmaJackson:
    Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    Or any other scents worn by Michael? I'm going to buy Bal A Versailles, Black Orchid and Orange Spice on Ebay.
    Has anyone got these scents, are they DEFINITELY the ones worn by Michael?
    Actually, if you type in "What cologne" into google, "What cologne did Michael Jackson wear?" comes up third with 1.3million results!

    POST COMMENT
    COMMENTS (13)


    Joined: Sep 2009
    United States
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 10:43
    xnyorkr:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    Flame me - I don't like it. But it smells different on different people, and obviously it worked for MJ


    Joined: Sep 2009
    United States
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 10:40
    Timaran:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I have both. I like them both very much but of the two, my personal favorite is Black Orchid (I'm wearing it now). I expect I'll wear Bal A Versailles more in the summer because to me, it's a lighter and more delicate scent. Black Orchid is stronger and more sensual--it just seems to me to fit more in with the colder weather of winter.


    Joined: Sep 2009
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 09:50
    ♥MichaelMyLife♥:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    hey all....i m feeling proud to say...I HAVE BOTH BLACK ORCHID AND BAL A VERSAILLE.... yes......and when first time i opened and smelled black orchid.....my heart was beating faster like hell.....i was feeling Michael everywhere......its just awesome.....i have one cute lil Michael who is snowmnan that wears black hat and red gloves....i have put black orchid to it.....when you smell black orchid..you actually feel Michael..and this fragrance takes you some amazing feeling..... About Bal A Versaille, this is also very nice...its kinda powdery smell...... but i love black orchid....its sexiest just like him....... Bal a versaille is like Michael with his cutest voice in his bad dangerous era....and black orchid is like him again but with all matured voice.....
    I LOVE YOU MICHAEL......


    Joined: Jul 2009
    Medellin
    Colombia
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 09:25
    luz angelaa:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I have bougth Black orchid, it is great ! smells veryyy good. I´m looking for Bal a versailles too, its more difficult. but not imposible !


    Joined: Oct 2009
    Croatia
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 08:13
    matejuska:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I was reading that Michael wore several of them but Bal A Versailles was his 1st choice. It was not easy to find that perfume and when he didn't have it he used Black Orchid, Joop and others.
    Bal A Versailles is retro perfume, that's one of oldies but to me is very good. It smells more like powder. I have small bottle (sample) of 'parfum de toilette' but I heard that pure perfume is much more better (and more expensive :/ ) so I'm planning to buy it.
    Here you have great pics of them
    http://www.punmiris.com/parfem/Jean-Desprez/Bal-a-Versailles-3972.html


    Joined: Oct 2009
    United Kingdom
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 17:36
    EstherJ:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I bought the Bal a Versaiilles eau de toilette - couldn't afford the parfum. Would love to know what the parfum smells like - am assuming the toilette is a 'weaker' smell compared to the parfum. It has a very strong and I think distinctive smell. Like a classic type perfume and very French. Would love to have smelled it on Michael.
    I also bought the Black Orchid parfum it's very unisex I think and has a more modern smell to it.
    Both are strong smelling scents and hard to describe as everyone smells scents differently. I wear both of them and put them on my pillow at night. Love you Michael.


    Joined: Oct 2009
    United States
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 14:30
    suerteluv:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I bought it last month and I have to be honest I don't like it. I probably would like it on someone else (MJ) !!!... I am not a real purfume girl but I can see why Michael liked it..not a feminine scent...very sandlewoodsy. LOL they say to buy the purfume not the colonge as they are very different. Not cheap either!...and it comes in a tiny glass bottle. Don't buy the body lotion...I did and found it had no scent at all.


    Joined: Dec 2009
    United States
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 13:38
    carein6245:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I have been wearing Bal A Versailles since I was in my twenties. It is a very sensual fragrance and it comes from France. No wonder the girls were all over him. If anyone can remember the Dynstay TV days,Joan Collins used to always say that she bathed in that perfume,that's how delicious it is.


    Joined: Sep 2009
    Ontario
    Canada
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 19:57
    nelly♥:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    thats the only one ive looked for and im hoping to buy it tommorow...hopefully its as good as it sounds i have yet to find a "scent" i like and theres alot of different tones which i love so we'll see


    Joined: Sep 2009
    Pennsylvania
    United States
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 19:37
    BurnThisDisco:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    i ordered a small bottle of it a few days ago and i should have it tomorrow. I found a fairly cheap normal sized bottle on amazon, but i wanted to test it first before i spend the extra money.


    Joined: Jul 2009
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 19:26
    rossish:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    Hey let us know what the smell is like? I was hoping we cold get in Brown Thomas maybe? Or it's hard to find and only on internet


    Joined: Sep 2009
    Ireland
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 11:34
    GemmaJackson:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    Im gonna get a small bottle of it its quite dear!


    Joined: Sep 2009
    Ireland
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 09:16
    MJIrishFan:
    Re: Has anyone here actually bought Bal A Versailles?
    I know Michael wore Bal A Versailles. Someone posted a review of it on this site and said that its a very seductive smell. I do want to buy it myself.

    *****
    from Perfume Posse Bal a Versailles

    (Here’s the scheduled post, with a piggyback at the end about the Chanels!)
    I want my daughters to have a sense of history, so I took them to see Marie Antoinette, because what could be more historic than watching Kirsten Dunst and her posse of giddy courtesans try on satin mules while Bow Wow Wow sings “I Want Candy” in the background? Add some M&Ms and a 20-oz. Coke smuggled in your handbag, and the experience is perfection.

    If that movie had a perfume, it would be
    Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles, created in 1962, a fragrance that manages the rare feat of seeming both older and more modern than its vintage. Notes are: jasmine, rose, orange blossom, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, amber, and civet.

    I find the EDT to be a bit sharp, and it´s missing the velvety depth of the EDP, my preferred concentration. (Where, you ask, do you find this? You can usually buy dinky little bottles of the EDP online for less than $10, which isn´t much of a risk). The top notes smell like Martian candy – the odd, cinnamon-menthol whiff of Necco wafers – before the florals waltz in, and then the floor drops out and you’re into a deep, dark musky incense base. Bal a Versailles is the smell of high artifice – the girl dressed for the ball who will, if you ask nicely, join you in the back seat of your car for a sip from your flask and possibly something more.

    I’d put Bal a Versailles on my Required Smelling List for perfume fans, and any nice girl (or boy) who is looking for something darker than a mass-market fruity-floral could get away with the EDP. But I´ve now had a nibble of the parfum, and the parfum … well … the parfum is only for those who´ve turned pro. I could smell it before I popped the vial open, and the base smells of unwashed panties. There, I said it. I´m guessing it´s the jasmine, which is less indolic in the EDP, and maybe they add more of the civet as well. I´m going to quote commenter Maria B. from last week: “Last weekend I put on for the first time the full-strength extrait version of Bal a Versailles. I didn´t get even a hint of the…female…odor Patty and others have mentioned. No. What I got was straight animal butt,´ gender unspecified. Perhaps you´ve had experiences of quietly sitting, minding your own business, when a cat or dog suddenly shoved its butt in your face. That´s what it was like. In fact, the image I kept getting was based on my friend C´s story of humiliation: of turning over in her sleep and kissing her cat, only to find she had kissed her butt. I was nauseated, but I stayed with it. I have learned to do that from all you wonderful perfume instructors. Eventually the butt notes mellowed, and what wafted up instead was a reminder of CURED horse manure that has lain about in the sun for days and become mostly sweet. This calls up some pleasant childhood associations. Eventually what I was left with was an amazingly smooth and strong musky amber. Will I be willing to go through the animal butt accord to get to that payoff? Because of all of you, I probably will, but I´ll keep my arms at…well…arm´s length during the early phase.”

    Now, you see, this is why I love Maria B., although I haven´t met her. Maria is a true perfumatrix. She smells something that goes from cat butt to cured horse manure, and does she burst into tears? Run away screaming? Saw her arm off? Nope. She takes notes and waits for the drydown, “an amazingly smooth and strong musky amber.” My tiara´s off to you, Maria B. I still get unwashed panties, rather than cat butt, but either way – the drydown´s worth it.
    PS My daughters deserve their own blog nicknames, just like their younger sibs Hecate and Buckethead. March the Maleficent decrees: henceforth the elder daughter shall be called
    Diva, and the younger daughter shall be called Enigma. Diva is in the doghouse because she’s discovered my makeup, so she takes my Chanel pressed powder and my brand-new bronze Laura Mercier eye pencil to a friend’s house and comes home with some Wet n’ Wild crap from CVS. (The difference between cheap makeup and expensive makeup? Losing expensive makeup makes Mom ‘get all up in your face.’) Enigma is: just that. She is delicate and tiny and adorable and charming, and she would make an excellent ruler of a small country with a sufficient national treasury. I admire her pluck while hoping secretly that she ends up not being the kid deciding which nursing home I’ll wind up in. Anyway, I’ll be away from this afternoon to Saturday, celebrating a major birthday (not mine) with a friend. See you when I return!
    *****
    from perfume.com
    Reviews of Jean Desprez Perfume and Jean Desprez Cologne

    • Review of Bal A Versailles by Katie Gould OMG!!! I totally love this. It is not too much, yet quite complex. It is my new favorite for sure!!!! I had tried to blend sents before and was looking for exactly what I have found in Bal A Versailles Perfume for Women by Jean Desprez. It is so versatile as it is subtle yet just lovely.
      12 Nov 2009
    • Review of Bal A Versailles by Anne Cathrine Saxlund The scent is wonderful. I have had the perfume only once before, about 35 years ago, but never forgotten it and always looked for it. But first now I have found it again. It is sweet and spicy but does not feel heavy. If a perfume is heavy I get headace and feel sick at once. But this one I could smell all the time and just feel happy!
      28 Feb 2009
    • Review of Bal A Versailles by Joy Schumacher An oldie but goodie!! Floral scent. I am always asked what I am wearing when I have it on.
      29 Nov 2008
    • Review of Bal A Versailles by Pamela Kmiec When I was three years old I was given a gift of a set of perfume miniatures - amongst which was Bal a Versailles. I loved it then, and more and more over the decades. I'm all for variety, and have several scents I enjoy, but Bal a Versailles is the standard by which all others should be measured. It's soft, sophisticated, NEVER overpowering - yet subtly and sensually present. You can't do better than this! Floral, citrus, amber - it's ambrosia.
      21 Oct 2008

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