Friday, October 29, 2010

"Bal A Versailles" by Jean Desprez

From Frangrantica: " Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez is a oriental fragrance for women. Bal a Versailles was launched in 1962. 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 believe that my "Aunt" Mary used to wear this.  She was a friend of the family that would come visit with perfume gushing, and armloads of Avon lipstick samples for us girls.

Because of the time frame, this scent not only reminds me of her, but of the place my father used to work - the Cleveland Playhouse Club.  He was a cook and later chef there and on some weekends he would bring some of us kids along (probably to check orders, or to show us off - we're were quite well-behaved and cute).  I think at some point there was red-flocked wallpaper on the walls.




I purchased my sample of vintage BaV from the Perfumed Court.  I adore it - it's over the top, powdery yet tart, slightly glam and a bit shrill and annoying, but  for certain days it will be just perfect.  Just like "Aunt" Mary!

photo courtesy of Special Collections, Cleveland State University Library (1960?)

9 comments:

  1. Isn't this an evocative scent of aunties and times past generally?

    The weird thing about Bal a Versailles for me is that it has civet in it, and I still like it - own it even! It is pretty much the only civetty scent to insinuate its way into my good books.

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  2. It is, and the final dry down is really nice!

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  3. I have a bottle of the EdC and it's very drrrty on me. Barnyard and flowers. I still love it.

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  4. Have not tried this but now, I'd like to! Barnyard, flowers and civet? Intriguing!

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  5. I bought the modern version of this, in part because I couldn't resist the very good price for something in parfum. :) I see from my notes that I liked it, but wished for more animalic notes. I'm betting that the vintage is much more interesting.

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  6. As one of the all-time Great Orientals, Bal à Versailles is one I dearly wanted to love, and I just - can't. It could be that healthy dose of civet, it could be that's it's all a bit over-much and over-the-top and 'I-am-woman-hear me-roar-it-out-for-you', but I just - can't. What I can do is admire that kind of dedication to all-out. no-inhibitions and fewer apologies perfume, so I do. And I have nothing but profound admiration for those with the ovaries to wear it! Alas, I'm not one of them!

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  7. BaV is smashing as old Extrait. I am lucky to have some- and if I really have...um..."aims" for a specially nice night, I wear this with lots of success. Smile. It just has a lot of hidden qualities (civet) and I adore the contradiction of flowery innocence and beastly power.

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  8. I love Bal a Versailles so much. I have what I think is a newer bottle, and it's dusty, weirdly dry but great. I've smelled an older bottle of the parfum de toilette and it's fantastic. The cologne is my least favorite I guess. I found an older bottle of the edt too and it was much much richer. Olfacta talks about how big a role the musks played in this and those synthetic musks, or the money BAV is now able to spend on them, really leave it feeling listless (maybe the dryness?). I love it either way. I think it's great on a guy.

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  9. kj, tal and martina - definitely the scent for the roar! CF, hoping you get your hands on some of the vintage. Josephine, if you try it, please let us know. Brian, I'll have to try it on the Moth and sniff the present version. Thanks for stopping by folks - blogger must have had a hiccup because I only recently saw your posts!

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