Luca Turin in his book says that Rochas has so many great perfumes, he wonders why they are not as successful as they should be. I certainly didn’t start my perfume adventure with any Rochas perfumes. Their perfumes are often hidden on the bottom-most shelves in almost any perfume shops I have visited, and their bottle designs often have weird or non-distinctive look to stand the test of time. So I am glad that I’ve read Luca’s book to discover some of their greater scents.
I didn’t know the existence of Byzance (1987) until I saw someone posted a picture of her bottle recently. Coincidentally Basenotes.com just posted the article, “Top 10 Discontinued Fragrances for Women” and Byzance is on the list! (By the way, Vocabulary.com says Byzance is an ancient city on the Bosporus founded by the Greeks; site of modern Istanbul.)
Byzance was actually not easy to find in Toronto, an indication that it was popular (and not to mention it’s 27 years old). I finally found a 50ml bottle and my first reaction was, “Ok, I see.” It’s a comforting perfume, doesn’t smell dated, a bit on the mature side, aldehydic but not bombastic, powdery with some light floral. There isn’t a “wow” factor, but applying it makes me feel like I have had a very satisfying shower. I feel pampered. Hang on to your bottle if you have one already.