Balmain’s Vent Vert (1947, reformulated 1991)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

Vent Vert (1947) is one of those perfumes with a long history and is still available in the market. What it does not have is integrity and foresights from perfumers who were responsible for its reformations over the years. It has gone through at least three reformulations, and Luca Turin announces in his book that Vent Vert, is dead. If it is dead, Balmain reformulated the corpse one more time and has given it a new packaging and a new price tag, 75 Euros for 75ml instead of $50 for 100ml.

The bottle I have, I believe, is the 1999’s reformulation (the dead one), and it smells ok. Actually very good, but as I have read enough negative reviews, I do not dare to say it’s great. (Kind of like saying the latest Adam Sandler’s movie is great very loudly in a movie critics convention.) But I like it as is – a little bit green and bitterness, rosy and a little bit powdery, and I do not feel like spending more money trying to find the vintage vintage versions on eBay. But I can imagine the glory Vent Vert had had when it came out – “With its famous overdose of the ingredient galbanum, which imparts a bitter-green freshness to scents, Vent Vert is herbs, bent stems and roses.”, writes Barbara Herman in her book, Scent & Subversion. Let’s be complacent that I have the better version of Vent Vert at a greater price than the newest one.

P.S. Actually I have never smelled the newest one. I wonder if it is better?

[A reader has informed me that my bottle, in fact, is not the latest reformulation (which is dreadful), but a still good reformulation.]


Balenciaga’s Le Dix (1947)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

Sorry about yesterday’s perfume shop photo posts. The comments spread like wild fire. Another group invited me to post even more photos, and again, an avalanche of comments. Thank you, but I won’t post such stuff again because it made me broke! I went to the shop today and looked for a lot of the perfumes that people told me were super precious and bought some. Now I don’t want to see my next credit card statement in the mail. There are some regrets, but also some surprises. My strategy is to get the ones that only have one bottle left.

So let me share my first delight – Balenciaga Le Dix EDP… probably very vintage? The perfume bottle almost looks older than me. But it was love at first spray! It instantly reminds me of Mr. Bubbles. That cheery pink bubble bath mascot. Aldehyde, peach, jasmine, all float to the top. Then Mr. Bubbles slowly finishes his bottle of champagne and reveals his dirty side – civet, musks, vetiver, but it’s still fun! Thanks to the folks who pointed it out in the photo!

[Originally posted on Facebook Fragrance Friends group. The moderator didn’t like me posting a lot of photos of a perfume shop that carried a lot of discontinued perfumes.]