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Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women

Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women
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Total people voted: 792
female 25- 25+
male 25- 25+

I have it: 792 I had it: 248 I want it: 423 My signature: 11

main accords
balsamic
powdery
woody
animalic
musky
citrus
Pictures
Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez for women Pictures

Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez is a Oriental fragrance for women. Bal a Versailles was launched in 1962. The nose behind this fragrance is Jean Desprez. 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, lily-of-the-valley and leather; base notes are tolu balsam, amber, musk, benzoin, civet, vanilla, cedar and resins.

Perfume Pyramid

Top Notes
Rosemary Orange Blossom Mandarin Orange Cassia Jasmine Rose Neroli Bergamot Bulgarian Rose Lemon

Middle Notes
Sandalwood Patchouli Lilac Orris Root Vetiver Ylang-Ylang Lily-of-the-Valley Leather

Base Notes
Tolu Balsam Amber Musk Benzoin Civet Vanilla Cedar resins

Main Notes According to Your Votes

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Longevity

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poor 5
 
weak 4
 
moderate 19
 
long lasting 42
 
very long lasting 54
 

Sillage

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soft 11
 
moderate 38
 
heavy 41
 
enormous 47
 

This perfume reminds me of  
Monsieur Lanvin
1 no yes
Chacok
0 no yes

Bal a Versailles Fragrance Reviews

henri345que
henri345que

Review for the edc concentration:

This is one of those rich and complex fragrances from the past that it's not usually made anymore and that doesn't surprise that it has become of Michael Jackson favorites due to its so complex aroma. Bal A Versaille even its EDC concentration is a kaleidoscopic creation that shifts from notes from almost all the families: altough being classified as an oriental i also see a floral side and a mossy, animalic and fougere one too. I usually dislike fragrances which are heavy on animalic aromas, but the richness and fine tuning of elements don't make it this way. This animalic breath is counterbalanced by something more dry and earthy, which is the chypre facet for me, by the oriental sweetness coming from the almond tonka nuances and the vanillic creaminess, and also from the sensual floral roundess provided mainly for me by the the neroli use. The fougere impression is the trickiest one for me to notice, but i see among the other things a commented a subtle barbershop nuance which is typical from fougeres. This is a quick readout, its aroma is much more than this and it seems that i would need more than a few trials to completely understand it. Evern from the EDC Bal a Versailles has a great performance on skin, starting more heavy and animallic and ending more vanillic, balsamic and soft on skin. It makes me want to finish with one of my typical phrases when i like something: fantastic creation, i'd own a bottle.

Oct
21
2014
stacia79
stacia79

I feel like Joan Holloway from Mad Men when I put this on. There are very few scents that inspire me to save them for a "fancy occasion" but Bal a Versailles does that. It was my first experience with some real knock-you-on-your-ass civet. A private and sexual scent and yet it's formal. I don't know how to better describe it than sneaking off to have a quickie in the coat room at a boring political fundraiser. It's a royal scent...powdery crushed wildflowers and sweet incense. It is feminine and soft but also skanky. My bottle ran out and I am so sad about it.

Oct
21
2014
Colin Maillard
Colin Maillard

Bal à Versailles is a marvelous, iconic and perhaps a little underrated chypre rich in civet and grace, a dirty Kouros wrapped into the warm skin of a lady scented with Shalimar – or, except for the leather, the naughty Habanita ready for her début in the high society. Benzoin, vanilla, oak moss, civet, flowers, fruity notes, leather, iris, a slight aldehydic accord, musk... what completely amazes me is that Bal à Versailles is surely skanky and carnally dirty, but there is also this irresistible sense of utter, golden, velvety refinement and elegance, in a really radiant, powdery way, like if you can almost feel the silky scented powder on the dresses of the ladies dancing. Perhaps it is just about that: the smell of dancers in a Belle Epoque ambiance, with all their scents, but also their passions and dirty secrets. As minutes pass - as the ball goes on, one might say... - Bal à Versailles gets increasingly darker and dirtier, with the civet note emerging in its sweaty, irresistibly "urinous" personality, always perfectly blending and hiding in a white fog of talcum and warm floral gracefulness. Great persistence, great scent, great everything.

9/10

Oct
04
2014
mi55anthr0py
mi55anthr0py

(This review is for the vintage version)

I had high hopes for this one, and secretly hoped to experience the bodily "skank" that so many reviewers have mentioned. The opening was spicy, floral, and "fatty," reminding me a bit of vintage Chanel No. 5. It didn't immediately kick me in the sinuses, so I held out hope for this rich blend.

I waited patiently for the drydown, where I got my animalic wish - sort of. Because I did, indeed, get a whiff of skank amid the spices and flowers; sadly, that skank consisted of pure cat pee. Next!!! :(

Oct
02
2014
Ditta70
Ditta70

This is a review of the vintage pure parfum.

When you apply BaV, first it smells as if an animal sat on your face. An atomic blast of civet and all the indole in white flowers, the animalic aroma of cassis, and Jean Desprez only knows what other wild beasts rampage in the first 15-20 minutes. I personally love it, but you must be a certain type to enjoy all this animalia.

Then they fall asleep beside the cozy fireplace. The middle notes are those of softly smoldering insence, still warm but already not burning fireplace, resin, resins, resins... It is a bit dusty, a bit ashy, very much lived in, but wonderfully warm and comforting, and the comforting quality is the one that will be amplified in the drydown: soft, warm, gentle vanilla and spices, more insence and more resins. The drydown is like lying in your lover's arms after passionate love, slowly drifting off the the world of wonderful dreams.

This perfume proves to me, that my nose is perfectly well functioning, thank you very much. I had my doubts lately, even thought of maybe starting to go anosmic, cause a lot of (present day) fumes seemed to disappear from my skin within 15 minutes. I can clearly and continuously smell BaV for hours on end, even if I only apply one drop on my forearm.

I would also like to mention, that BaV in the parfum formulation is not a million miles away from my beloved Habanita EDP, they both share a smoky, resinous vanilla and leather theme.

All in all: big love!

Oct
02
2014
soulflwr
soulflwr

I had always been curious about this one because of the way it's described by most people. I kept seeing words like "shocking", "gothic", "church pew", "dusty attic" I imagined something extremely unique. I finally got a sample of it last year and I was surprised by how warm, cozy and smooth it was. Don't get me wrong, it's strong as far as sillage is concerned. But it's not jarring or spicy or any of that. It's smooth and it kind of envelopes you.

Anyway, this fragrance smells so good I almost want to cry every time I sniff it. I don't know why. I was born in the '80s so maybe it reminds me of some forgotten part of my childhood. Like maybe my mother wore it while it she breastfed me or something lol. Idk. All I know is that it just smells right to me. I love it.

Sep
25
2014
collectyourdead
collectyourdead

The reviews are true: Rather hippie-ish; 70's-80's style. It smells classy, but not like an old lady fragrance, either. Doesn't attack your sinuses or make you nauseated after smelling it for so long. It's chic, elegant, long lasting and happy. I found a large bottle at a perfume store and was surprised. Quite a pleasant scent that I think most people would be able to admire and wear.
Just softly powdery with some musk mixed with vanilla and hints of other things. Reminds me of old trailer parks with non-conformist gals wearing long, flowy clothing.
The longer I've had this, the more I admire it. It's extremely comforting, I don't know why.
Not too strong at all and turns into a lighter scent quickly.

Edt bottle, circa September, 2014.

9/10

Sep
13
2014
jana.hullinghorst
jana.hullinghorst

Bal a Versailles is a beast. Mostly for hippie chicks and bohemians. This isn't something you wear when you want to feel beautiful, you wear it when you want to feel powerhouse sexy! An old school rock and roll bad girl, a main stay at CBGB's.

Sep
01
2014
Mango Plantation
Mango Plantation

Just found a full bottle, 3.4 edt at a thrift shop for $6.00 - holy cow, stuff like that NEVER happens to me, so I grabbed it with both hands and laughed maniacally - annnnnnd then the security dude kept me company after that - at first I thought it was to protect my find, but now I'm beginning to wonder.....

Starts out like an 80's powerhouse - massive scent. Civet, amber, - yummy smack to the face. VERY powerful. Slowly softened, to a deep, powdery, sexy scent - I'm absolutely smitten. Yes it does smell dated, but in the best possible way. It does remind me of Ciara, but it is the Ciara from that time frame - back when you had to buy it at Dillard's and NOT at Walgreens.

On dry down, well over a couple hours later, still powdery, but the civet is coming back a bit after disappearing. Yummy yummy yummy - oooh I can't wait to wear it in cooler weather!!!

Aug
31
2014
therealpaloma54
therealpaloma54

Unfortunately, Bal a Versailles smells like a heavy-duty head shop fragrance, and what's worse, I don't know which notes are the ones with which I associate "head-shop". It's one I couldn't get out of my nose, either.

Aug
13
2014
Rebemario
Rebemario

Interesting how many people have commented on the civet and or indolic notes. My favorite frag. is Joy because of those particular notes. I get no civet which made me a little disappointed but this perfume definitely has something to ponder. It is soft and lovely, sweet but not sugary. Also, it is very long lasting at least on me. I love this fragrance even though I am aware of the "old lady" connection, a bit powdery. Its also pretty cool that it has its history, always a joy to add a perfume to your collection that has a history. That being said, I love it and would wear on any occasion even if someone might think I smell like a gammy :)

Ok,edit: I am straight addicted to this scent. I can now see why all these famous people have or have had this seemingly unassuming fragrance in their repertoire. It is truly a glorious scent. It starts out all bombs and cymbals and then recedes to a very close scent that will drift in and out of your presence until the most succulent and creamy vanilla dry down ends it all. Completely and utterly lovely from start to finish, my new favorite. Ive been collecting them around town at old L.A. perfume shops. There are still stores who order them for those of you who love this fragrance, do not be dismayed! Love love love this lovely scent!! ( and I dont even really like musk scents, thats how good this is)

Aug
09
2014
BooRad0859
BooRad0859

I had to come here to look this up as it was just mentioned in the 1998 movie 'Twilight' with Paul Newman and Susan Sarandon:

HARRY: You knew Lester. You were at his apartment this afternoon. You ransacked the place. Find what you were looking for?
CATHERINE: What are you talking about?
HARRY: What's that perfume you wear? The reason I ask...it was still in the air when I got there.
CATHERINE: Harry, a lot of women wear Bal a Versailles.
HARRY: Smells different on them.

That might be as fine a testimonial for a fragrance as I have ever heard, and now I simply must get a whiff myself.

Aug
02
2014
Rosalind34
Rosalind34

While I usually love Oriental fragrances, I don't like this at all. It's very similar to Ciara, which I also dislike. It might be nice layered with a different fragrance or lotion though. I'm surprised that I don't like it because I gravitate towards unique scents and this is certainly unique, but it's not something I would enjoy wearing w/o layering it with something else.

Jul
09
2014
River
River

Olfactive baroque!
Bal a Versailles is warm, golden, multi-layered, passionate, flirtatious, vivid, loud, bold, extravagant, dramatic, pompous, maybe a bit overwhelming or even kitschy but, at the same time, very wearable.
It has capacity to take you back in time, centuries back.
It's impossible for me to single out every note from the list. Orange flower, ylang-ylang, jasmine, resins are the most prominent, and there is civet, of course, which adds up to the impression of a naked, warmed up female skin and makes it so carnal. In edt version civet intrigues from the background, it's not overly loud or dirty and it's less pronounced in colder weather. If you really want civet, go for notorious edc version.
Bal a Versailles is not for the faint of heart in any of its versions.
I had it and rarely wore it. For me it was like wearing feather clothing - in theory I like that aesthetics, but in real life...I wouldn't dare.
Still, I find it brilliant.

Apr
08
2014
Honeybunny
Honeybunny

Ah-hah, yes, I recognize this scent. I have smelled this on the several oooold couches in the sitting rooms at church. I played and took many a nap on these couches when I was little, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when this perfume put me into a complete, dreamy lull once I tested it on my skin.

At first, I sprayed it on paper and it had an old book/wainscoting/wood varnish-type smell. I like it!-- but not my idea of "perfume."

Then I sprayed it into my décolletage and was very surprised at the sudden warm milky-fruitiness that wafted upward, like the orange equivalent to peach cobbler, but unsweetened. The faded, sour wood varnish plays underneath the cobbler, and here on my warm skin, as Chickenfluff proposes, I think I can say it does indeed also have a smell like light baby bunny pee (and who can say they don't love to snuggle themselves some baby bunnies?!).

This perfume paints a picture of an ageless, delicately-dressed woman sitting in an old Victorian house eating cobbler, her pet baby bunny in her lap keeping her company as she waits for her man to come home so he can make love to her on that very couch. What that says about the couches at my church, I leave to you.

People got VERY SNUGGLY with me when I wore this, too, putting them in a similar cuddly lull. I did not deign to wear this outside and test it on strangers, however-- I'll save that for a braver day given the strong response. This perfume plays on my "id" like none other. I recommend this perfume for a sleep-aid, intimacy-aid, and to stimulate Alpha brainwaves (disclaimer: I am no doctor and only make this recommendation out of my own euphoric state!).

I will happily go through my 2.4mL EDT sample, which I transferred to a tiny Sephora sample spray bottle for ease of use, to wear before I go to bed for a great night's sleep, but I do find it rather flat, a problem I also have with most Creeds. To remedy that, I layered Molinard Jasmin underneath it and...

BOOM.

This perfume has gone from good to OMFG, that's goooood... Why do I do this to myself in the morning?

Mar
29
2014
KaseyC
KaseyC

This fragrance is not easy to be understood. Why? The formulation is complex and certain notes like tolu balsam, civet and resins are dominating so you need to hold your breath longer to get other notes. I easily pick the sandalwood and the rose. But to me other notes seem to be mixed in the bottle chaotically.

I only sprayed once on my wrist and after an hour it still smelled very cozy and comfy around. All in a sudden, I realized I was taken to a church wedding or an important ceremony with people from the high class.

I agree the overall scent is very old-fashioned, soapy and elegant. From the appreciator's/ sniffer's perspective, I like it. Is it wearable? Well, it depends. I don't think I will wear it as my everyday scent. It just does not match my style and character. It is more suitable for chic business women with a classy style.

It's definitely worth owning a classic perfume like this. It's also enjoyable to sniff once a while to get into a classy and pleasant mood.

Mar
28
2014
joe70062
joe70062

This is one I just can't take. I have purchased "pre-loved" vintage bottles and brand new out of the box bottles. No difference. It just smells bad. Sold everywhere from Saks Fifth to Ebay. God forgive me, it just smells bad...

Mar
28
2014
raverdudes
raverdudes

I have been curious about this one for quite a while, but after reading MrCrazyLeg's review, it is definitely my next one. Thank you so much for that fantastic review!

Mar
10
2014
pronose
pronose

very similar to chamade by guerlain! and it's very lasting i remember my wife!!!!!

Feb
26
2014
michelle.p.stpierre
michelle.p.stpierre

If you like Chloe Love, then you might like the powderiness of this although it's not quite as powdery. Also, if you like Gucci Guilty but would like it a bit sexier, you might like this idea I'm going to share here. I wore this back in the late 80's early 90's as an evening fragrance and was actually inexpensive to get. Skanky? Yes, and my skin made it even more, so this is what I did to tone that down some.

After taking my shower, I lightly dusted myself with Shower to Shower deodorant talc in Morning Fresh. It contains lavender. Then I lightly applied the perfume (which btw was strong even in EDC formulation back then). The lavender brought up the sweet herbal part of the scent making it more fresh, and toned down some of the skankiness. The result, it was a man-magnet. It was sexy without being an all-out tramp who was ridden too many times like the village bicycle.

This is a classic that can still be used in more modern times with a little ingenuity and imagination. I know purists will scoff, but fragrance is what you want it to be. After all, it's your skin.

Feb
23
2014
Rizaldo
Rizaldo

Passion!

Feb
21
2014
Red Theodora
Red Theodora

Bal a Versaille used to be touted for the number of ingredients in the formula, over 500 I think. It takes quite a mixture to create a scent of this depth and complexity. It's miles away from the modern fragrances being produced today, and since I live my life as though from a bygone era - I love it for that.

Feb
16
2014
gallian
gallian

It's a lovely scent, enveloping, and very complex, I think it's really a pleasure in the cold season. It 's very sensual IMO, and has good longevity and sillage set. A mythical perfume.

Feb
14
2014
woodlandwalk
woodlandwalk

(Thanks @aphelion for generous sample!)

What a weird perfume! Its reputation for muskiness and its favour amongst Hollywood royalty piqued my curiosity

Sniffed from the bottle it's a pretty and warm-toned floral. On skin the florals develop - a sweet, animalic orange blossom and neroli - alongside toasty-warm amber-tones.

A suede-like note enters - lending a vintage, sophisticated edge with a grounded, inoffensive 'barnyard' note - sweaty leather horse saddle. Nice, I like horses and leather.

So far so good. It feels right for cool evenings, autumnal, feminine, subtle depth, sophisticated with a hint of castoreum lending a furry skin-tone warmth and tingle

It's into the heart and drydown that the odd notes arrive, and this is where I think it really depends on skin and sensitivity to musk, also heaviness of application, it will vary from person to person, hence I'm sure all the varying reviews here!

For me there's a slightly bloody note of decay in the dry-down that makes this difficult to wear. Also, it undoubtedly takes on a slightly masculine air in dry-down (combo of rosemary, vetiver and patchouli maybe) like it's decided to have a sudden sex change after the pretty, flowery opening.

It's turned into something akin to Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligons - a powdery dandified scent for well dressed gentlemen from yesteryear

I've experienced more offensive musks,and this isn't offensive, just a bit odd, and not easily wearable for me.

But I appreciate its personality and I do enjoy an interesting perfume journey, so thanks Jean Desprez!

Opening quite strong but dry down fairly soft. Longevity four hours or more depending on application

Edit: I'm told the vintage is best

Feb
11
2014
HeavyBeatsUK
HeavyBeatsUK

This HASN'T been discontinued, everyone!! You can get it from Fenwick in The Bentall Centre in Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK.

I only bought this because Michael Jackson used to wear it and I was curious to smell it.

I don't like it

Feb
07
2014
carolg
carolg

Absolutely love this fragrance but it seems it has been discontinued. So sad that classics are being culled all the time to be replaced by fruity, bubblegum, gourmand fragrances. Not happy at all.

Feb
05
2014
lanuitblanche
lanuitblanche

This is the scent that would radiate after making out with a new lover on a hot dry summer's day under an orange blossom tree. A thin film of perspiration on the forehead and neck from the close embrace, intoxicating orange blossoms filling your head, and the taste of sweet kisses mixed with the salty sweat...

It doesn't remind me of a formal ball at Versailles, to me it feels more sensual and private, with an intensity that can only be between two people who are alone together in an invisible place. Rather, it's a private weekend tryst in the gardens of Petit Trianon, making love and eating the fruit off the trees, naked. For sure, it's the scent of sexual tension.

Absolutely glorious perfume. This is a review of the vintage EdT.

Jan
26
2014
mjdancer83
mjdancer83

Beautiful, classic fragrance! Soft, powdery, yet sexy, a little dirty, and attention getting. It's not one I wear daily because it tends to attract a little too much attention (actually had a stranger leaning in extra close to me in line at Starbucks smelling me) , but perfect for special occasions and date nights.

Jan
24
2014
AngieGCarp
AngieGCarp

Some may call this a "granny" fragrance...I take offense to that because I am in my late 30's and it suits me just fine. At first spray you may smell that old fashion clash of civet with Amber and balsams but after just a few moments it melts into your skin in a delicious Nag Champa type inscence. Smokey...jasmine. Just lovely. I have chosen this to be a winter scent because it seems like in the heat it could be overwhelming. I love it granny status or not...❤️

Happy Perfuming!

Jan
11
2014
Le_Coeur_Gothique
Le_Coeur_Gothique

It's 1978 in Battersea Park, london. The Stranglers have just finished playing "Nice 'n' Sleazy". This is how the stage smells like...

Jan
01
2014
alansgail
alansgail

I remember my Mom wearing this fragrance back in the 70's.....I was totally and utterly smitten with it! I thought it had the most wonderful, lingering, powdery smell and I adored it! It started my passion for perfume, even though I'm pretty sure hers was the EDC splash.
My mom was never a 'flashy' type woman, but much more understated. She was 100% Swedish. She also loved Chanel #5, Shalimar, and My Sin.
I purchased Bal a Versailles in the tiny perfume bottle a few years ago and haven't been able to recapture that elusive scent that I remember from my mom's.
Tonight while searching on ebay I saw her very bottle that she kept on her dresser!
It was the EDC splash bottle and I ordered it immediately, can't wait to get it.
It probably smelled so scrumptious because, knowing my mom, she probably only put a dab or two on and it was so heavenly, that scent!
I'll update this review when I get my bottle (cannot wait!) and let you know how it compares to what I remember........

ETA, as with many other fragrances, the strength that you use will make a huge difference in your experience. I've tried the EDP with limited success, it just DID NOT smell the same as my mom's fragrance. As a few other's have mentioned here, and it seems especially important for Bal, the EDC may be your best bet because of it's strength. I can't wait to get my bottle and let you know!


Edit: So my fragrance came and I love it! It's just like my Mom had and it's a very light but gorgeous smell.....doesn't last as long as the parfum but I can layer my EDC and it's perfection! This was a good buy!

Dec
30
2014
Ginger Kitty
Ginger Kitty

I have waited a long time to smell this on my own skin. Gorgeous and am a little surprised how for other people it is short lived. Although close to my skin, many hours later it is still working its magic in a very personal and beautiful way.

On the want list which (like so many of us amongst Fragrantica) is getting bigger and bigger every day.

9/10. It would be 10/10 if I can afford a larger bottle :o)

Edit:
Now have it in my possession and thus am blissfully happy with all the memories it evokes from the distant past.

Dec
27
2013
valenceis
valenceis

Many people have already reviewed this one, but I still want to give my two cents. Tonight this stuff is f-ing blowing my mind.

When I was 19, one of my older lady friends was extolling the virtues of this perfume saying it was the sexiest perfume ever made. I, at the time, thought...there's no way something this reputably heavy and powdery could be the sexiest perfume ever made. But for years I couldn't shake that statement. It just rung in my head forever. I thought about buying this and I just couldn't do it. I thought surely I will hate it. Surely I will hate it a lot.

Ex-boyfriend's grandma gave me her empty bottle of BaV a couple of years ago. I sniffed obsessively trying to get some faint impression from it's remains. That was inconclusive. I was going to buy her (and myself) a bottle for her birthday when I noticed this was starting to sell out everywhere. So I immediately bought a bottle out of panic...ahem...for myself. Holy crap, was I late to this party.

This was in the summer time and this was disappearing almost right away on my hot skin but I loved it then. Now that it's much colder, I gave it another spray and my mind is blown. This stuff is so good. The colder temperatures give it more time to develop. I don't detect the funky, fecal stuff everyone else is talking about. It's not a modern composition but it's very much in line with the classic oriental style, which can get a little funky I guess but what would you expect? To me it's rich, smooth, a little tart at the opening and has SO much character. I am smitten with it.

Bal a Versailles is one of those perfumes that make me say, "You have me for life". I am won over.

As for grandma, I just found a bottle of her long lost favorite to send along for Christmas; Borghese Fiamma. I am not totally selfish.

Nov
26
2013
mereltje
mereltje

The vintage BAV smells like an old castle in the time of Louis de XIV with sweat, dusty carpets, old chairs and powdery wiggs.The civet is very present.It brings me back to this time.Its a kind of "dirty" smell, very seductive and sexy...

Nov
13
2013
Jose Marcos
Jose Marcos

@Jht4060, you have just said what I've been thinking for quite a while now. Defenitely women got it all but little by little I am leaving labels behind and moving towards some pretty scents made or intended for women. Today I wore Coco Mademoiselle, it is not that common where I live, very expensive, and no one could say it was a female's scent at all, in fact it reminds a more complex and dense Versace pour Homme, which becomes a bit boring over time. But not with the Chanels, everytime I wear them I smell something new, different, another treasure that's been there but only shines at a particular time. I saw a bottle of Bal in our version of E-bay, I might get it.If Fan di Fendi Extreme doesn't come first ...

Congrats for the very insightful review.

Nov
11
2013
mimi.smell
mimi.smell

Smell of the castle. Very attractive and seductive scent, but I found it not easy to wear.
Too bad I don't live in a castle, I could wear it all the time :-)

Nov
08
2013
jht4060
jht4060

I am slowly realizing that men's colognes are a boring lot compared to the wild diversity of women's perfumes. Why did I ever think all women's perfumes were bright florals or fruit salads? I kept putting off a purchase of Bal de Versailles because honestly that little picture inset creeps me out (as it turns out you can just peel it off and the bottle is very nice). What a dope I am! This stuff is the elixir of the gods (or at least the sluttier ones, and in the Greek mythology weren't they all kind of slutty?). The base in particular is so rich and dense and complex that I am nearly at a loss to pick out specific notes - except for the ever-present civet of course. What a pleasure.

Nov
08
2013
VanillaTabbyCat1963
VanillaTabbyCat1963

My review is based on the current edt.T
Bal a Versailles takes the cake for most complex, luxurious, womanly fragrance I have yet encountered. Oriental or otherwise.It has the ability to evoke opinions that run the full gamut of the spectrum-from beautiful to depraved.

A visual reference that comes to mind for me is from Lynch's Blue Velvet as the camera focuses over what seems to be a placid green lawn, then to a close up beneath it'.s surface teeming with insects.

The genius of Bal aVersailles is that through scent, Desprez transports us to the time of the late Renaissance.A setting of extreme cultural contrast for even the most privelidged,with one foot of humanity in science and art, and the other in the primitive pursuits blood sport and of being on the wrong side of the executioner's axe in the bloodthirsty revenge of political intrigue. Bal A Versailles has a very aristocratic and regal quality that would have very much been in place in Lucretia Borgia's Toilette, as well as The Sun King, Louis XIV

Nov
05
2013
lizziekayy
lizziekayy

Better the second wearing than the first but I am still not keen. Too much harsh smoky incense. There are some spices and amber under there but no sweetness. All smoked out.

Oct
14
2013
kris919
kris919

I always loved this bottle, so I bought it today. This starts off almost cinnamon-y/spicy with some amber, very light and inoffensive. I said to myself...wow, not bad at all..glad I bought this. One hour later though, this turned into an old lady nose bomb sent straight from the bowels of hell to suffocate me and send me to bed with a migraine. I scrubbed 3 different times...it's still there! Somebody call a priest, this needs to be exorcised from my skin !!!
might have to swap this, I know there's tons of people who love it.

Oct
01
2013
deborah.ponzio
deborah.ponzio

I became curios after visiting an exhibition on Italian diva Valentina Cortese in Milan, a bottle of this perfume was on display and quoted as her longtime favourite. I have just tested it on my wrist at the only perfumer shop quoted as selling it in Milan, Mazzolari. At the very beginning it reminds me of Red by Giorgio Beverly Hills, a strong winter perfume. Now that it's settling on my skin it's become more citrusy and different from Red. Smells good and is very strong, likely to kill everybody at work, but I'm not sure that I would buy it.
I've heard that Michael Jackson used this perfume and cannot imagine how any man could, it's so feminine. Must have been excentricity. I see Bal a Versailles as a women-only business. ;)

Oct
01
2013
gishgamesh
gishgamesh

Initially I thought this was disgusting but on second attempt this perfume is amazing. At first it smelt so animalic and almost poopy to my nose, but my judgement was too brash. Now that I've come to love this perfume, I can say that BaV has absolutely beautiful sillage and longevity, with a delicate, lovely, complex and multifaceted sophisticated scent.

If you are initially scared off, please try this again. Spray once and DONT smell yourself up close.... This perfume is strong and intense up close and smelling it directly may be deterring, but the scent aura / sillage is divine.

I kept getting wafts of this throughout the day, and if was wonderful. This is a beautifully crafted, quality perfume. I highly recommend it.

Review is for the current edt formulation in the gold metallic box.

Sep
10
2013
mostafa h
mostafa h

please i wanna know... which perfume smell like this?

Aug
30
2013
roni.thewarden
roni.thewarden

Sadly, a shadow of its former self, BAV has an initial headrush followed by a drydown which is cheap and cheerful. It has lost all its animalic glory and sillage, which is probably as well if it was obtained cruelly.
I will not buy again.

Aug
27
2013
twolmichelle
twolmichelle

Kudos to NoFixedStars, now that's the way to review a fragrance! We get a very specific picture of BAV without rudeness and insults to people who don't "see it her way". Brava. I agree wholeheartedly with her assessments. This is a rich, rich fragrance, not unlike a beautiful heavy damask cloth. So warm and inviting yet almost queen-like, very regal. Those resins, softened by all those flowers, are heavenly. When you look at the amazing "kitchen sink" of ingredients there seems to be something for everybody. This is the perfumer's art at it's finest. For someone who appreciates real quality, owns sterling silver flatware and uses it; owns a set of genuine pearls and wears them, buys flowers for herself just because they are beautiful. Elegance, taste and class in a bottle.

Aug
10
2013
stormyla
stormyla

I first encountered this fragrance about 35 years ago. It was the signature scent of an older woman whom it was my great pleasure to know.

This woman was a tall thin redhead. She looked and acted very much like Lucille Ball. Her voice was a cross between that of Carol Channing and Phyllis Diller. Like Ms. Diller she was always laughing. She drank Gin Gimlets always from long stemmed martini glasses and smoked cigarettes in a long jeweled black onyx holder. This amazing woman was always well turned out and had a joy for life very much like Auntie Mame.

This woman needed no announcement when she entered a room. About 20 seconds before she arrived the room would fill with the most divine fragrance. The entire time she was there waft after waft of her glorious scent would grace your nostrils. Long after she left newcomers would enter the room and say how sorry that they had missed her. No one ever had to tell them she had been there.

About 15 years after she passed away I came across a small bottle of the parfum at an antique shop and just had to buy it. Oh, what a marvelous experience it was the first time I wore it. This incredible fragrance immediately brought memory after memory of this fabulous woman, her laughter, the twinkle in her eye, the chandeliers glinting on her red hair, the candles reflecting in the gold of her bracelets.

Since then I have always managed to keep a bottle of some form of vintage Bal A Versaille in my collection. I don't wear this beautiful fragrance often, not more than 5 or 6 times a year. It is indeed a magnificent perfume, just a wee bit too powdery for me to wear it frequently. But there are days when I wake up knowing that this is the scent that I want to wear that day.

Bal A Versaille, like my old friend is a sunny vibrant visitor in my life, just on the days when I could really use one. It never disappoints or fails to lift
my spirits. The sheer beauty of the fragrance is invigorating.

The thing that I like best about wearing Bal A Versaille, is just about when you think it has disappeared from your skin, suddenly you are caressed by wave after wave of the most beautiful chorus of floral notes. It happens again and again like an olfactory game of hide and seek. I am so happy to have these old friends in my life, even if only for occasional visits!

Aug
07
2013
nofixedstars
nofixedstars

Bal a Versailles is a must-try if you fancy vintage perfumes, and I would suggest a must-try (along with other vintage scents of note) for anyone who is truly interested in the art/craft of perfumery. There are good reasons why some of the older perfumes remain sought after or in current production! And even if, after wearing a scent a few times, you decide that it's not one you enjoy, there is still an educational process that occurs during the experience. As in wine appreciation, or in trying new cuisines, our palates are broadened and our minds opened to new things; new notes/scents or flavors become part of our mental and sensual vocabulary. This is a good thing, not something to fear or approach with apprehension...

BaV has a strong opening. If I say this, it is easy to see how the first couple of moments after applying BaV might send animalic-averse people running for the nearest sink! But a little patience will reveal something lovely. The first notes burst upon the nose in a cloud of musk and civet, underpinned with an almost candy-sweet scent which seems, as far as I can tease it out, to be a combination of the orris/iris root and the lilac and neroli. It quickly becomes very, very powdery. That is more off-putting to me than the animalics, as I'm not overly fond of powder notes. Wait. Breathe. Somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes into wearing, the gorgeous resins begin to appear, transforming the scent into something luscious. Benzoin, tolu, a very rich amber accord, a cognac-esque vanilla, fine woods---cedar, sandal---and some vetiver layer with the previous notes, changing them from a strident clanging of disparate scents into a warm, beautiful composition. All harshness is gone, the muskiness, sweetness and powder tempered into something beautiful and civilized, though with still a feral heart. I have a vintage EdC version, and the musk in it is rather extraordinary. If you appreciate good musks or civets, this is a must-try in the older version. Even if those are not your favorite notes, persistence may be rewarded if you like rich, complex scents. Think of the opening as the cacophonous tuning of an orchestra; you wouldn't think of leaving the concert hall because you know that will be followed by the exquisite sound of the actual music---the opening of a perfume can be similar, bearing little resemblance to the symphony that follows in the dry-down...

BaV is eminently wearable today. I would say it is the great-grandmother of Mona di Orio's Nuit Noire, which I also love. Sillage is moderate on me, but definitely noticeable. Others may find it heavier. Duration is excellent. I plan to try the current formulation, but fear it cannot match the quality of the older one---it would be a hell of a find if it did. This is a magnetic, seductive, deliciously overblown, yet elegant perfume.

Edit: the new version is, sadly, disappointing. Sweet as candy-floss, and lacking the animalic counterpoint of the old one. It was too good to be true...

Jun
03
2013
SumoTigerCat
SumoTigerCat

Have owned BAV in many incarnations. My favorite is the vintage Eau de Parfum in the "lyre" bottle. That one is most creamy and luscious. But, even the newer EDTs still send me. A little trick... if you first apply a touch of civet essence, the EDT will rock your world (if you're into that sort of thing, I know I am). :D

May
29
2013
elsie.oliveros
elsie.oliveros

I have known Bal a Versailles for years, and the new formula just doesn't resemble the original, at all. In my opinion, the three greatest of all time, regardless of what they are like on your skin, are Chanel 5, Shalimar, and Bal a Versailles. Of the 3, after their reformulation, only Bal a Versailles was changed to something entirely different from the original. I used to buy bottles of it in Paris, back in the 80s: EDT, perfume, eau de perfume, you name it.....I have tried the new formula over and over, in many different stores, and it's a complete different fragrance, totally. I respect that there are people out there who love what they now call Bal a Versailles, but it is not what Jean Desprez created, not even close.

May
27
2013
susie2013
susie2013

i'm sure i had this as a child, i think my aunt gave me her bottle as i was such a little perfume fanatic. its just the picture on the bottle that reminds me of something.
i need to order some of this to see if it is indeed the same perfume .

May
27
2013
boruvka44
boruvka44

Beautiful. The bad quality Fragonard print on the label looks cheap and kitsch (so does the plastic lira cap), but what is inside the bottle is pure aphrodisiac.
Smells like polished inlaid wooden furniture and floors. Night in dame´s boudoir.
Warm and dry, full, round and soft. Woody, powdery, balsamic sweet.
Remember those amazing hidden doors in baroque and rococo boudoirs? And all those stories behind them. Like the movie Valmont (BaV smells exactly like the bling guitar´s song to me, or just the whole movie:) Or like Lady F*ingham by Oscar Wilde, just without gross obscenity. This is no flirting, no boredom, no teenage fun. This is pure and full lust all the way to the marrow. Adoration.
Silky tolu balsam, beeswax, sandalwood, sweet benzoe with creamy cibet.
Sensual, mature. Erotic like nothing else.

Longevity is very good, still could smell it after a shower.
Silage is moderate, you can smell it just fine, but you are not a walking cloud, it´s intimate.
EDT, most likely the newest reformulation

May
11
2013
ladykarl
ladykarl

The first time i tested this (edt) i got orange blossom with a gorgeous silken chocolatey background and i was swooning over this. This is my second testing and this time i find it to also be orange blossom to be the star but with powdery sidekicks. I like it both times but im hoping to revisit that silken chocolately scent that i got the first time around. This time i am also smelling something more green and almost bitter in the background (possibly cassis/ vetiver). This is far less animalic than i expected and though its clearly more a vintage than modern scent; i dont find it to be overly 'vintage' or 'dated'. Its definitely interesting and definitely worth testing if youre a perfume lover.

Apr
12
2013
Marco Chau
Marco Chau

I have the parfum version of this fragrance and it is just gorgeous. This fragrance has the nicest civet that I can appreciate as I usually get shy away by this particular note. This fragrance just kept on changing and developing on my skin and it was difficult for me to identify all the different notes. However, I'm very positive that I smelled cinnamon in the fragrance after the third hour although it is not listed. It might be the vanilla, sandalwood and benzoin combination. The floral notes are here and there together with the sweet amber and very light musk scents throughout. Bal a Versailles is certainly a new love for me and I'm going to get my backup bottle today before it runs out.

Post note: Love this fragrance so much that I went to the store earlier today and got a 28ml bottle of Parfum for back up and a 100ml bottle of EDP for layering or wear alone in the future.

Apr
03
2013
Christinasegal123
Christinasegal123

I cant say enough about this scent! I think I have the reformulated version but even so I love it... Very earthy, creamy and warm. It makes me feel like playing an old Carol King album and just lay about the house. My top fav notes are in there in deed! Jasmine, Patchouli and ylang ylang....If there is anything I dont like its the lack of staying power, perhaps the vintage last longer. But I have a big bottle to reapply!

Mar
21
2013
Moonclaw
Moonclaw

Bal a Versailles is a lovely scent, very sweet. Use sparingly though because it is quite long lasting. I find the dry down soft and pleasing. This is a nice daytime scent, but it will last long into the evening. The middle notes are a little like Chanel No 5, perhaps a little sweeter, a very feminine scent.

It's not my favourite scent of all time, but I always have some in my collection.

Mar
16
2013
bluemlein
bluemlein

an update.

apart from the fact that bal a versailles is the greatest perfume ever created, i have it on good authority from my cat that it is wildly sexy.

had some BAV in the sheets, quite a bit near the turn, where it touched my neck.

cat comes in. i flip the sheet over the pillow. he usually lies in the middle of the bed so i turn to do something when my attention is drawn by the wild beast,
rolling around, clawing and biting at the sheet over the pillow - bersekr isn't the word. and he's having a great and wonderful time. i am thinking is he going to mate with my pillow? how can he? he's netered. . . i approach to pick him up and he hooks me. great. the bellow of pain issuing from me scared him off, all right, but he was right back. i promise i will not let him near any civets.
(c)Daisy Morant 2013

Mar
11
2013
guest_
guest_

Why on earth does such a lovely, classic fragrance draw such polarizing reactions? I just don't get it. Apparently, urine, feces and body dirt just don't smell like they used to! There is absolutely NOTHING in this fragrance that even remotely copies those aweful, loathsome odors. I suspect today's noses are so conditioned to smell fruit and flowers only, that they cannot process other factors. It is a matter of sophistication, very similar to wine. Many people prefer wine coolers to expensive, dry burgundies. That is a lack of experience and an unsophisticated palate. The same goes for BAV. Yes, you can use that tired old excuse of "dated" and "old lady" if you don't understand something. Truth is, you just haven't arrived yet! Life is about new sensual experiences, and I urge those under 30 to broaden their olfactory sense and enjoy something new to them. I can't add much in the way of new accolades for BAV. It's blend is superb, complex, warm and rich. If we are talking EDP, I think Revlon's Ciara tried to emulate BAV. It is a more brash, loud version, and lacks the richness. If today's fragrances are fat free frozen yogurt, then BAV is creme brulee served in a Parisian bistro by candlelight. I get a little Chanel No5, only spicier and more floral; less ayldehydes. Maybe that's the element that drives young women crazy; they love to hate No5! BAV conjures up an image of an immaculately dressed, mad men era,beautiful, sexy woman; brimming with confidence and poise. She is not so ladylike as to be off-putting, but exudes a warmth that is charming. Anybody out there who finds this image negative? Then definitely stay away from BAV, it's not for you.

Mar
08
2013
migueldematos
migueldematos

Update. My friend's dog went crazy with this perfume. He just started licking my neck! Was it the civet???

Mar
04
2013
migueldematos
migueldematos

I am using Bal a Versailles for 3 days and its drydown on my skin is totally Obsession for Men. I Would say that there are 3 scents in this one. Top notes: Tabu. Heart Notes: Kouros. Base notes: Obsession.

Mar
02
2013
krmarich
krmarich

I easily found a vintage EDC from the 1970s. It bears little resemblance to the current version on the market. Thats France after the revolution. This is before the storming of the Bastille. Its so far beyond anything released today that its gender is irrelevant.

I love Kouros and can see the obvious connection. Joy is also from the same family. These are polarizing classics and now hermetically sealed because of industry standards. Its somewhat ironic that civet was used as a deodorant for centuries and its now forever banned today, replaced by chemicals.

This one is dominated by heavy animalic notes of old school musk(POW!), civet and castoreum. It also contains more notes than I can imagine! This is one of those rococco epics that overwhelms your nose in the best way. Neroli is my favorite note and it seems to be all over this beauty.

The powdery heart is developed with iris, lilac, musk and vanilla. Under the powdered wig effect comes a deep sensual golden vanilla amberness that I have never experienced before. Its all silk ribbons and lace. Over several hours it reveals all of the subtle notes until the civet demands you get undressed. Its unabashadely raunchy. Who needs hormone supplements with classic BAV?

This reminds me of Sophia Coppola's underrated masterpiece Marie Antoinette. This is the French Court invaded by Adam Ant with his Burundi drums pounding out a punk rock soundtrack. Its in your face luxury and hedonism. By all means, you civet fans need to hunt down a bottle. Everyone else should at least catch a glimpse of perhaps one of the last great perfumes ever crafted.

Feb
28
2013
migueldematos
migueldematos

I was anxious to try this and I ordered from Canada, arrived very fast to Portugal. When I tried it, I just didn't get all the strange feelings everybody is talking about. I love it, but it's a sweeter version of YSL Kouros. Not that strange. And it is also very masculine, much more suitable form men, in my opinion.

Feb
28
2013
Hélio Sérgio Rocha
Hélio Sérgio Rocha

***EDT***
Fantastic scent, well done and even though it has been created long time ago, we see it is a remarkable one that still goes timeless and evocative.

It is very very classy, chic, "rich" and sofisticated scent.

From the beginning we get the animalic note - present but softer - plus some citrus notes, soft roses and neroli.

Once the time goes by, some resins takes the lead of this fragrance and it becomes more and more warmer because of the sandalwood and patchouli - creamy part!

It is very complex, as long as the vanilla appears little bit powdery, not so sweet at all, but it makes this scent so nice to wear, so sensual too. I also get some leather here, very soft.

Many people may be afraid of this perfume as we see "civet" written. I say NO, you can get this accord, but it is not strong and we can wear it without fear. It is subtle at the background of this perfume. Only makes its move on the beginning.
The dry is resinous, we get some benzoin, the creamy and powdery notes are still here with some amber feelling and a little bit sweet.

Sillage and Longetity are terrific!
I need a bottle!

:D

Feb
26
2013
sanzioonofre
sanzioonofre

Top notes
Neroli, Rose, Jasmin
Heart notes
Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Base notes
Civet, Musk, Ambergris

This fragrance is much more than an ordinary spicy oriental. It is floral, woody and animalic but not at the same time since it changes very much after each accord becomes dominant on the skin. At first, the velvety floral accord is rather sweet, indolic, spicy and try to hide the fecal smell of the animal notes. The second accord is woody, drier and almost salty. The base notes are musky, sweaty, leathery and dry (like in Joy by Jean Patou). I like it very much and I hope it is going to be always in my collection.
Analogically to me, Bal à versailles is like a pair of leather gloves perfumed with neroli, spices and civet in order to mask the unpleasent smell of the new tanned hide, a true 'Peau d'Espagne'!

Jan
18
2013
guest_
guest_

Top notes
Neroli, Rose, Jasmin
Heart notes
Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Base notes
Civet, Musk, Ambergris

This fragrance is much more than an ordinary spicy oriental. It is floral, woody and animalic but not at the same time since it changes very much after each accord becomes dominant on the skin. At first, the velvety floral accord is rather sweet, indolic, spicy and try to hide the fecal smell of the animal notes. The second accord is woody, drier and almost salty. The base notes are musky, sweaty, leathery and dry (like in Joy by Jean Patou). I like it very much and I hope it is going to be always in my collection.

Jan
18
2013
guest_Vie Cafe
guest_Vie Cafe

I am wearing this in the EdT version which was gifted to me by a fellow Fragrantica member... thank you!

I do not get any of the bodily function odors that a lot of people are mentionning. I do not know if this is a vintage or reformulation as I only have a small vial of this. I keep getting wafts of something that reminds me of my incense drawer plus a clean, well blended pungent civet. I had put off trying this as I was worried it would be a shocking experience like Piguet's Bandit (I know I'll like that one, one day!). But I am finally wearing it! This legendary perfume! I used to have a cheap head shop body oil that reminds me of it... actually, I believe it is not a bad choice of perfume for a pot smoking hippie.

Bal a Versailles just smells beautiful on me. It is powdered wigs mixed with sweaty skin, but a clean sweat. It is very much an oriental to my nose. It reminds me a little of the feeling I get when I wear Amouage Lyric, although not the same scent at all. I am also reminded of the audace of fifi chachnil or my sweet Habanita in the dry down. This is not a very good review of this perfume, more an expression of my feelings, but I am going to order a full bottle right now and take note to never listen to negative reviews ever again.

The dry down gives me a lot of sweetness from the neroli and other feminine flowers mixed with a distinct balsam and now the civet just reminds me of smelling the coat of a freshly washed dog! nothing wrong with that!

Dec
28
2012
shannonny
shannonny

(EDC in white glass bottle) Wow, so surprised by all the "dirty-filthy-piss-leather-armpit-crotch" aspersions on this poor old thing. New to this site, I realize I like old-lady-style fragrances, and that's why I bought this one. [Smelling her wrist...] I guess that's kind of heavy, powdery, animalic even? [Walks over to Zeke so he can smell it...] not strong enough to wake up the cat, but he did kind of start "huffing" it softly as he lay sleeping on his cardboard scratcher. So sue me for being gauche, or two-dimensional, or whatever, but I really like this. It's powdery, flowery, pink, and purty when it fades, and makes my soft palate tingle. Plus, I'm a very, very dry person. On my skin, a hushed, oblique scent lasts about as long as a hand-rolled cigarette. So I need cologne that can hitch up its socks and walk a while with me, and Bal A Versailles does that. Yes: A sturdy, cheerful fragrance, a good old girl, and innocent of the libellous rumors preceding.

Dec
20
2012
ms rochambeau
ms rochambeau

Since these reviews have covered everything there is to say about Bal a Versailles, all I'll add is filthy/beautiful/sublime.

Dec
16
2012
Assiduosity
Assiduosity

Bal a Versailles is a dangerous, irresistibly repugnant scent for men and women prepared to dance the dance of death. For all its wondrous beauty nothing can disguise the beating of its monstrous bestial heart.

There may be flowers and powder a plenty but this is an unapologetically animal aroma with plenty of tooth and claw.

With silage the size of a herd of wildebeest and longevity the length of an elephant's memory this is not a commitment to be taken likely.

Accept its invitation and you are bid welcome to the party of a lifetime, but stay too long and you to may succumb to the guillotine's blade.

But hell is worth the risk!!

Dec
12
2012
Chickenfluff
Chickenfluff

Okay, just a funny little anecdote... As I've really started liking this fragrance, I applied another drop. It occurred to me that my dogs never react to any perfume I'm wearing. Normally, one of them enjoys all types of food smells, including sweet ones, but he never reacted to perfume. Until today... that drop of "Bal à Versailles" made him sniff and then actually lick my wrist. LOL! Enough said!

Dec
08
2012
Chickenfluff
Chickenfluff

I've recently bought myself a cute miniature bottle of this to place on my MJ shrine, since this is said to be his favorite...

As someone who usually enjoys rather juvenile and sweet fragrances, I shuddered studying the notes of this fragrance. Madly in love with Michael, I feared we could never get married after all if he smelled like this. *clears throat* However, when the bottle arrived, I couldn't resist and actually applied just a drop on my wrist... and wow, was I relieved! This scent is not bad at all, even to a fruity-floral lover like myself; it is actually more than tolerable. As the day went by, I found myself sniffing my wrist time and again. The scent turned out to be very powdery and sweet. Old-fashioned, yes, heavy and sort of sharp but far from nasty. Honestly, if this is supposed to smell like pee, it must be that of a baby bunny... compared to some other fragrances out there which are rather reminiscent of the stench of a cougar cage. This is not that type of fragrance. At least not to me.

I would've never expected to end up liking this but that only goes to show that looking up notes and studying reviews can never replace the real thing. So, I guess we can get married after all.

What I also can't agree with, though, is that this fragrance is somewhat 'unisex'. On the contrary, I find it very feminine, but that makes those men who wear it only more courageous.

Dec
07
2012
mereltje
mereltje

I bought a vintage parfum de toilette of BAV. My first thought was that it was an awfull smell. When I smelled it from the bottle it was so sharp, animalic, dark and deep...But when I tried it on I was surprised: at first it wás sharp , animalic, dark and deep, but after a little while it's hidden secret smell showed up. A very pleasant, sweaty, sweet, flowerish, warm perfume. It stayed on for hours and I begin te like it moore and moore...

Dec
05
2012
martynW
martynW

anomie - would you be interested is selling?

Nov
23
2012
anomie et ivoire
anomie et ivoire

I have this in vintage parfum, vintage edt, and vintage cologne. I find all three repulsive, and not attractive-repulsive. The parfum remains palatable: more balanced. As for the others: The civet is so excessive as to be like an absurdist parody of perfume's pretenses to nastiness smelling sexy. A horribly dated bottled fart, the opening of BaV is seductive with only a hint of the skank blitzkrieg to follow, but then comes gallons of maple syrup poured on someone's overactive musk leather-bound crotch. It is said that in the days of Versailles, almost nobody bathed, and those who did were encouraged to do so clothed for modesty's sake. Faces and wigs of the nobles were caked in animal fats and poisonous powders. It is rumored that guests at Versailles relieved themselves in corners and behind curtains, as chamber pots were often too far away. BaV probably does reek very close to what a ball at Versailles did. Of course, for fans of filth, this is a goodie. I like Kouros better: less cat feces, more cat urine.

Nov
20
2012
drummagick
drummagick

My first bottle of BaV was a blind buy and I received it in late January of this year. Late winter is a good time to wear this perfume, but late fall when the weather is turning cold and blustery and the tree leaves are on fire is when it really shines. I'm about to get my wool sweaters out and I imagine most of them are going to end up smelling of BaV before the winter is out. Funny how a perfume can smell so sexy and yet so comforting at the same time.

Nov
15
2012
celebrity89
celebrity89

I think Ciara tried to copy this one.
Micheal Jackson wore this.

Nov
05
2012
CleoMoore
CleoMoore

First-sniff review: omg, I am in lust!

A tiny spritz of vintage edc on the back of my hand zapped me back to sitting in the front seat of my boyfriend's car as he drove me home after we made out in the back seat of his car; the windows are still fogged over, hair mussed and our faces flushed. He's let me wear his letter jacket. It smells faintly of him, and I'm falling in love.

Wow.

Nov
04
2012
synergypsy
synergypsy

Mothballs, an old closet with old musty furs. And grimey turpentine. I'm so sorry to say, but it's dreadful, a repellant. Shocking.

I never knew MJ wore this, but in a way I can see why. To me, it's a "Try to get too close to me and you'll be sorry" smell. You get a whiff, have to move in closer to see if you actually smelled what you thought you did because you simply can't believe your nose-- and it chokes you. But then again, if Liz Taylor had worn BAV, he was a huge admirer.

Oct
31
2012
Margarita1982
Margarita1982

It is such a heavy smell and Michael Jackson's favourite!!It always has a special place in my heart!

Oct
08
2012
lizzyllane
lizzyllane

This was Michael Jackson's signature scent until the time he started his tour rehearsals for This Is It, in which he was often known to smell of Tom Ford - Black Orchid.

Oct
08
2012
djgirl1976
djgirl1976

Somewhere I have the tiniest bottle of this. Literally a few droppers full. I haven't seen it in years but recall that while it was very strong, it was a warm, creamy, pleasing aroma.

Sep
23
2012
French Boudoir Doll
French Boudoir Doll

EDT~
It favors very strongly to Shalimar. Now since this is a toilette I am comparing it to my Shalimar EDP and EDT....
***This is exceptionally well made and the same great quality as my Shalimar EDP!!!
****Wow!!!! Very perfect....

Sep
22
2012
lovingthealien
lovingthealien

On the various vintage formulations:

The Eau de Cologne is a civet-heavy and very powdery oriental in the vein of Toujours Moi and Tabu.

The Parfum de Toilette is a caramelized amber/tolu with deep notes of rose, similar to Avon Occur!, which is clearly inspired by Bal a Versailles.

The Parfum is an intensely spicy and incensey animalic. I can think of nothing similar to the parfum version.

They are all very, very different, although they have the same amber/resin/vanilla/orange blossom theme.

The new ones vary considerably; they are not apparently related to the original scent by much.

Orange Blossom, a TON of civet, odd musks, and skanky notes that are extremely pleasing/repulsive. They are clearly much less dense and complex than the vintage versions but, viewed as separate creations, they are superb nonetheless.

Sep
21
2012
LANIER
LANIER

Rome January 1962, in the dark corners of the huge soundstage of Cinecittà Studios all eyes are on an extraordinary personage. The man is Welsh, and touted to be the new Olivier. With a good ten years of films behind him he has never really hit it big in the movies. Not like he has on the stage where he is considered a god. That is about to change.

There is a small commotion in the shadows. He and everyone else on the set turn, and his eyes fall upon the luscious curves of the woman who has just unceremoniously sauntered into the pool of lights in the center of the stage. Sheathed in flowing canary yellow chiffon, her eyes of violet blue spangled with glitter and lined with black Egyptian kohl she is every inch a morsel for a monarch. Her eyes with veiled curiosity explore his handsome acne scarred face. She is not impressed and yet slightly apprehensive of his stage training. He takes in her dark glamour in and recalls being tuned to ice by her dismissive glance ten years earlier across a hot star encrusted swimming pool in smoggy Los Angeles. That was the first time Richard Burton laid eyes upon his destiny in the form of Elizabeth Taylor. This time in Rome was the second.

The director, Joe Mankiewicz spoke briefly to both of them then went of to commiserate with the cinematographer and the assistant director leaving them awkwardly alone to make their own introductions. Burton turned and crookedly smiled to Elizabeth. He picked up a cup of coffee and spilled a little as his hand was seized by a hangover tremor. Instinctively she reached out and steadied the cup. Gently her hand cupped his and guided the coffee to his lips. His eyes fell into hers and locked there for eternity.

“Has anyone ever told you that you are a very pretty girl?” He said.

Her heart, imagination and life were changed forever by that simple cliché that fell in perfect calculated grace from the lips of perhaps the greatest Shakespearian actor of his generation.

And so it began the scandal of the 1962 which shattered two marriages, nearly toppled a studio and ushered in the cannibalistic tabloid world of today. It was the romance of the century and inspired a generation of sexual revolutionaries. Not to be left out of the action the Pope got in on the act and branded Elizabeth Taylor a “Sexual Vagrant”. Now THAT is a Movie Star!

What did this shattering moment smell like? Bal à Versailles is the answer. Many famous women from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Queen Elizabeth have worn it, but none more famously than Elizabeth Taylor on the set of “Cleopatra” when she launched a thousand paparazzo’s in the arms of her Mark Antony.

Created in 1962 by Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles is traditionally presented as a female fragrance. Well that was back in the old days of the 1900’s, welcome to the 21st century were such gender identities for fragrance are down right passé. This magnificent perfume fully rounded out by 350 essences is a monster of audacious panache and a masterpiece of design fit for anyone with the balls to wear it. It is bold, and huge in its opening of rosemary, orange blossom, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, rose, Neroli, bergamot, Bulgarian rose and lemon. Heavy hitters are the roses and the orange notes. We move in for our close-up with notes of sandalwood, patchouli, lilac, orris root, vetiver, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and leather. The Leather dominates the heart of the fragrance. If you are a leather lover this is Oscar time at the Kodak Theater and Nicole Kidman has just called your name. When the dry down approaches it is a dramatic movie star fade out. Beautiful notes of tolu balsam, amber, musk, benzoin, civet, vanilla, cedar and resins hold court for the final long shot as Bal à Versailles rides off into the sunset captivating all it has touched with its smoky fingers of desire and fire.

Bal à Versailles is a projection bomb. Once you have it on there is no going back. You commit to this one all the way or not at all. The silage is like incense burners pumping purple heaven full blast on Cleopatra’s barge. It lasts for days without the need for “retakes”. It is animalic, dirty, sexy and just a wonder of a scent that has me in its spell as surely as Elizabeth Taylor had Richard Burton just where she wanted him all those years ago in Rome, right in the palm of her hand.

FIVE GOLD STARS *****

Jul
31
2012
Lotto.Lupus
Lotto.Lupus

Yep, bought it because of MJJ a few years ago. What a classic! Irreplaceable in winter. Very long-lasting, to the point of stinky. If not used sparingly, chances are you're going to smell like a huge rose. First note is that of frankincenses. I have never ever encountered a more unusual combination. And, you know, despite things people say about it, claiming it's a scent only old ladies will appreciate, I think it's pretty unisex.

Coming back to Jackson, I think it suited him to 100%, since all his perfumes seemed to be unisex, he himself was not the macho-type, mind you, despite the explicit on-stage image. I also believe that it might have created a special mixture on his type of skin. Some fragrances create unbelievable mixtures varying from race to race. Anyways, I think Bal a Versailles is a unique smell, unlike Revolution a Versailles. That's a real stinker, I say! ;-)

PS It's amazing, though, that EDP Bal a Versailles is like pure perfume, it is THAT strong! Once sprayed, there's just no way to escape it.

Jul
11
2012
fallingstar
fallingstar

As soon as I found out that it was Michael Jackson favourite perfume, I wanted to get it badly....Looking at the bottle I suddenly remembered that my gragmother had exactly the same perfume when we lived back in times of USSR , and I couldn`t believe that Michael`s smell was so close to my nose from the childhood!
I never particularly liked this fragrance....I consider it "an old lady" smell. It has a heavy amber/musky/floral scent...very vintage. I try to appreciate it now, I think with age our preferences change. I feel comfortable knowing that I own this perfume, which has a great meaning for me.

Jul
11
2012
jtd
jtd

Bal a Versailles went right over my head when I first tried it. It seemed like an old-school, animalic/powdery floriental. Whether you like that sort of perfume or not, the balance of the elements is crucial. Bal a Versailles just missed that balance---not enough powder to hide the skank. But as I eased into it, I got it. If I didn't put it into the Genre-Box, it came into just the right gauzy focus. Sweaty, decrepit, unashamed.

Jun
24
2012
carolg
carolg

I have the EDT on today. It reminds me of Tabu and slightly like Chanel No 5, Picot's Pagan as the Oriental notes are similar. It has an marzipan note that fades and i get the civet and then a nice sweet drydown on my skin.

I wear it as it takes me to a fond memory of a work colleague and friend at the MU in London with whom I have lost touch with called Melissa, who wore BAV.

I would love to have the pure perfume, but budget says no !

Jun
06
2012
mahadewi
mahadewi

I bought the EDT because of Michael Jackson, but I really have been pleased with it, I'm sure the perfume oil would be even nicer and deeper but I do enjoy the EDT. It is very different to other perfumes I've owned and I like the "dirty" smell to it, but also love the sweet rich smelling dry-down. It's not a perfume I would wear everyday and I don't think my husband really has an opinion either way about it, but I like to wear it for myself. It makes me feel "grown-up" and womanly, and takes me away to another time and place :)

Jun
04
2012
Jellybean
Jellybean

Wanted to try this badly because of the name.
Strong manly musky alcoholic perfume. Whhoaaah, too much for me. It stinks up the moment it hits my skin.
Maybe men could pull this one off.
Only for special occasions with lots of airflow!
If you like smell of your armpits after the whole night of ballroom dancing, wearing clothes that don't breathe, then this one's for you!

May
17
2012
benjililin
benjililin

Apparently this was Michael Jackson's sig scent...

May
08
2012
Peachply
Peachply

For me I remember wearing this, always being enthralled every time I put it on....powder powder powder with a little dirt mixed in, fascinating scent.

I just bought the edt from fragrancenet for a great price (a tester) and I am SO IN LOVE with Bal a Versailles again!!!!

I don't remember it smelling quite this sweet but I love it. Warm, sweet and spicy just lovely on the dry down. This is fantastic in cold weather.

I can't stop smelling myself!!!!

Apr
15
2012
mariana1974
mariana1974

This one is very nice, close to the skin, it certainly has a sweaty, bodily note, a good one. Sometimes when I wear it, I wonder if people smelling me know this is known as a skanky fragrance..well I just love it.
It's naughty but not offensive in my opinion, except to people who like to smell as if they just stepped out of the shower. A little bit of naughty can get you very far :)

Apr
12
2012
stella-00
stella-00

This one was a long time in my 'want' list - so many amazing reviews, so many praisals....Well, i got it. 100ml. I normally get all perfumes in that large size if they are available.

Anyway..... This perfume is just WOW.... no words.Cos they stuck....My vocal cords refuse to produce a sound. When my friend asked me- so??? I just answered- 'a wet beaver'. She asked me: 'ffs, - when did u sniff the one, how do u know??' I do not really know why i said that, but it does smell very bad like unwashed dirty fur of dog or beaver or any other alike....It is really untolerlble for about 30 min. It makes you got speechless for a while and hold ur breath... Then after about 20-30 minutes the smell mutates.I really and clearly can smell a sweat odour/stench. By the way, i am very open-minded with perfumes,i have a lot, really, - but this one is a killer. And I really can not smell any flowers there.It is an absolute punch for the nose: wet fur smell+ body odour masterpiecely bottled. The only good thing is - no projection, it is very close to the skin....

Some girls here claiming it is a sex in a bottle ( well i confess,this was almost the main reason i got it), so i haven't tested it yet in that area ha ha, but definitely will. May be it works there??

But beware- this is not a perfume to wear to work or in a public transport.....NO WAY.

Apr
09
2012
parfumesigne
parfumesigne

I wanted a spicy, sweet and heavy perfume, so I ordered Bal a Versaille.
I was very surprised (a bit shocked, actually) by the very strong amber (I think it's amber) which I think is there - and quite strong - from the right beginning. I had expected a more soft spicy and balmy perfume.

But now, after a couple of weeks, I have learned to appreciate Bal a Versaille just the way it is! It is rich, complex and comforting at the same time, and I'm looking forward to put it on after my shower in the evening, and again in the still dark and chilly spring mornings, just before having the day's first cup of coffee while the sun rises outside my windows.

Mar
31
2012
Morticia
Morticia

Strange, mysterious, deep, dark and ...dirty
One of the most complex perfumes i've ever tasted. It has a nice vintage feeling, it's not for everyday use, only for special occasions.

Mar
22
2012
jennifer60656
jennifer60656

The first thing I thought of when I first tried it out was Pepe le Pew. Wait, no, a room full of Pepe le Pews with the wonderful happy horny animal smell. The glorious spicy and floral opening at the same time make me think all the Pepes are at an old-fashioned burlesque with gold lame curtains and a disco ball. Penelope Pussycat comes out and dances with demure feathers covering anything considered indecent.

The weather here in Chicago has been unseasonably warm and I also picture every variety of woodland and prairie critter catching a wift of BAV on the breeze coming from me and gamboling with pleasure.

My little sugar glider (who is neutered)chatters at me when I walk by. He gives it "four paws up!"

Aside from my Snow White in the Woods imagery I want to say this stuff is awesome both in a good and great way. Good because it is pretty but takes nerve to wear. Great because this is what the best of perfume CAN be. It has everything in it but it works wonderfully and is not a mishmash. For as serious as the bottle looks, it certainly has a fabulous sense of humor. It's dirty but not funky (e.g. Womanity which to me smells like a pair of dirty women's underpants). BAV smells like nature writ large,glammed up and holds nothing back!

Totally enjoyable. Wear it for yourself and your furry friends, they'll love you for it.

Mar
15
2012
Minjka
Minjka

Back in 80's,in Soviet Union time, this parfume was sooooooooooooooooo fancy! My mom had it, and it lasted probably 15 years, because she used it only for SPECIAL occasion.
I was sprised to find it here, and that it was created in 1962!
What I remember about this parfume, it had a strong smell.

Mar
15
2012
le mouchoir de monsieur
le mouchoir de monsieur

Attempting to decipher "Bal a Versailles" today presents the same level of complexity inherent in a discussion concerning the ramifications of Biblical translations and all of the different implications and consequences these have had over the last centuries. To begin, nobody knows what fresh BAV would have smelled like were it made, unstoppered and used in the early sixties, at the time of its advent. It is true that, following the classic standards of Haute Parfumerie, the original three concentrations that were initially made exhibited a trio of scents, each one different, and designed to sublimate the other two; thus, Jean Desprez himself would have instructed the wearer to splash on the Eau de Cologne with abandon, all over the body, perhaps even using it as an hair tonic. After a time, the Parfum de Toilette would be applied more sparingly, but liberally, on exposed parts of the body: The shoulders, neck, calves and decolletage. Finally, the Parfum, clearly conceived to be dabbed very sparingly on specific pulse points. Considering the nature of the composition, these would have been the temples, the base of the neck, the crux of the arm, or "saignee" as the French would call it, the wrists, the backs of the knees, and the ankles. It is my own judgement that BAV is one of the rare scents that truly does benefit from an application by hand, and not by atomizer: To atomize the parfum, for example, automatically distorts it. Remember: At the time of its launch, not one of these concentrations was offered in a vaporizer. The EDC could be then poured on, or applied with a sea sponge, as was often done with this type of "Eau," (The first issue of this was called merely "Eau Bal a Versailles.") The Parfum de Toilette, in its lyre shaped flacon, could be "dabbed," eventually decanted into an atomizer and sprayed, but was most likely intended to be applied by stopper or fingertip. The original packaging of this concentration was clearly marked with the words: "A Fragrance to Compliment Bal a Versailles Parfum." Finally, the Parfum itself, was very obviously one intended to be slapped on by fingertip with force, to awaken the veins, and to push the molecules of it into the skin. As is rarely, if ever seen today, each one of these scents is vastly different. The EDC is a light, rosey musk and incense affair, surely the most wearbale by today's standards, the PDT is a rich, heady symphony of smoke and resin, this one clearly the most "dated" of the three, heavy with the "Old Lady" connotations with which all of our modern noses are equipped, and finally, the Majestic Parfum, which is a symbiosis of so many elements that it defies any specific analysis in very much the same way many of the Classic Caron scents do. At the time of its advent, Bal a Versailles was the first commercial perfume of the Twentieth Century to out price "Joy," which previously truly had been "the Costliest Perfume in the World."
The vintage juices available to us today have all taken on a very noticeaebly deeper, darker texture than was originally intended. There is no discussing this, as no perfume, of any concentration, will not loose a bit of its flight beginning in the fifth year of its age, and progressing onward, to grow ever more bleak. There was a moment in time when the House of Jean Desprez, still in the hands of its founders, did itself re-formulate this composition, as it was discovered sometime around the mid to late Seventies that certain ingredients it contained were indeed toxic to the human body in the concentrations originally presented. This re-formulation was once again re-enacted in the mid Eighties, Jean Desprez still purely a French perfumer, for other reasons, these having to do with the increasing costs and outright disappearance of some of its second version components. This leaves us with seven French versions of this famed scent, all of which were of top quality, with no expense spared to maintain the integrity of the original vision of Jean Desprez himself, who was a very talented, if slightly eccentric perfumer, born into a famed Grassois family, the Millots. It is said that Jean Desprez's first composition made commercially available was F. Millot's "Crepe de Chine." The singular qualities of Bal a Versailles translate a desire to compose a kind of "Perfume to end all Perfumes." Monsieur Desprez's other fragrant orchestrations, "Jadanel," "Etourdissant," "Votre Main," "Escaramouche," all resemble one another in that they are truly epic in proportion. Even Monsieur Desprez's "Sport Fragrance," the shared and puzzlingly named "40 Love," (When pronounced in French sounds deceivingly like "Quarante Neuf," (49) or, alternately, "Quarante l'oeuf" (40 Egg) is an exotic and slightly intoxicating take on "Fresh." The very name "Jean Desprez" itself was a "nom de plume," adopted from the famous French legend of a valiant soldier of France who met a particularly gruesome end, courageously Martyred to the Glory, and Omnipotence of France. We can assume that when the rights to the House of Jean Desprez were sold to an American company in 2002, one "Genesis International," based in Florida, the entirely re-constructed scent that was re-launched shortly there after was based on the written formulations which were included in the sale, and preserved samples of all of the original juices, all of which, regardless of how well they had been preserved, would have darkened and lost a bit of their rosy flight as described above. This explains the dark, musky and resinous character that emerges immediately upon application and never fades when analyzing this American "re-do," which most certainly is a more potent, daring, and "dirty" fragrance than Monsieur Desprez ever intended, yet retains a good amount of the endless depth that was the hallmark of this legendary fragrance. Very recently, Genesis International has unloaded "Jean Desprez" onto yet another American firm, this time based in the hills South of Los Angeles in California, which company now owns all of the rights to the name, the scent, the trademark packaging, and proudly calls itself "Jean Desprez Paris." There is presently yet another perfume that has been created by this firm baring the name "Bal a Versailles" yet to be made available commercially, that can be purchased online directly from this firm, which apparently is still in "Alpha Testing Mode," offering generous discounts, free samples, and $90.00 30ml bottles of perfume to those willing to test it out and return the favour by commenting publicly on it in forums such as Basenotes and Fragrantica. (This firm may be contacted through its Basenotes user name, "Jean Desprez Paris.") The saga, then, continues. One thing, and one thing only, is certain when it comes to "Bal a Versailles," a detail which must be computed and not taken lightly when reading all of the reviews and opinions expressed by bloggers and fragrance commentators: There is, nor has there ever been, just one "Bal a Versailles." In the very year of its creation, there were three. Add to that eight more which emerged under the auspices of the original house, which ultimately added an "Eau de Toilette" concentration to the mix, then the further two made available by Genesis International, Parfum and Eau de Toilette. This makes for thirteen different fragrances, all of which harken the spirit of the original, though none, including the remnants of the original itself, all now between 52 and 40 years old, translate the true identity of this scent, which by any judgement had to have been a masterwork to have produced a legend that has remained intact and lasted all of these years and through all of these incarnations. The original slogan for "Bal a Versailles" at the time of its launch ran thus: "Pour un certain genre de femme." (For a certain kind of woman) Today, we can only wonder specifically what "genre" of woman Jean Desprez himself had in mind. The only summation we can make at this point in time is that she was, and is, not just any woman, for in all of its facets, "Bal a versailles" was never once "Classic," nor did it pretend to be. To this day it exudes the aura of very fierce independence, and a veritable slap in the face to the very notions of Perfumery, clearly conceived to entrance those who find a kind of perverted pleasure in the stinging titillations of pain, which, by nature, are very close to those of pleasure.

Mar
11
2012
OVincze
OVincze

Wow, what a fragrance, I love this perfume, this is definitely one you would either love or hate, extremely passionate and honestly it smells like sex to me:))) has this been said? Civet to me is one of the sexiest notes, not urinous or fecal at all but definitely the note responsible for saying fumes like BAV or Jicky smell like sex. Yes, this fume is very attractive but in small doses, anyways it should be an intimate fume, used for intimate occassions. I do not found it offensive at all, I think it should be dabbed on in small doses, it is gorgeously rounded out and slightly sweetened and powdery but never offensive.

Mar
05
2012
FunkyTomo
FunkyTomo

A very pleasant surprise !!

Today i received a very generous pack of samples off a lovely fragrantican . I was only expecting 2/3 samples , so to receive over 20 rare and vintage samples is wonderful. I'm like a kid at Christmas testing all these new olfactory experiences!!

Bal A versailles - I was interested in trying this after reading many reviews saying its a super strong/Old fashioned/civet/skanky perfume. Ive not had much experience with perfumes heavy with Civet, so i'm keen to be able to recognise that note for future reference. I braced myself for a "Stinky" cat litter tray aroma :)

Nothing of that sort here ,and i doubt I'm anomisic as i always know when cats have been in my garden! ( That dammed cat pee smell hangs around forever. I'm more of a dog lover and it annoys me!)


SO , no icky heavy musky animal whiffs here! To me this is a nice perfume. The top notes have a nice sweetness which i did not expect at all. Definite vintage boudoir vibe. Classic , floral and a nice strong sillage. I cant pick out any individual flowers .Powdery , feminine and very wearable.

Not so scary after all !

Mar
02
2012
meowiewowie
meowiewowie

Wow-Wow-Wow! This lady packs a powerful punch! However, I haven't managed to catch any of the "dirt," the "skank," or the "animal" that everybody speaks about! Ever-ready to take a walk on the wild side, I was anxiously looking forward to unleashing this legendary she-beast...

Maybe it's because I've lived with a kitty in the house for the last decade, but I am not getting the carnival of civet which frequently pops up in reviews. BAV is dense, musky, and balmy almighty, but my nose hasn't even considered associating it with anything that goes in a litter box :p

BAV is a strong perfume, but it's strength is rounded out beautifully, creating something powder-soft and unmistakably feminine in the end. It makes sense, considering the fact that it is perhaps best known as a classic fume which *could* be worn by a man, but is most often collected (and cherished) by women.

I have noticed that this juice smells vastly different on fabric, so make sure to scent yourself before you dress if you find it too overwhelming. I've also been known to "hit" michievous frags with a nice, warm hair dryer in order to encourage most impressive behaviour. :)

9/10

Feb
29
2012
ecofreak2001
ecofreak2001

Does anyone else remember the 80's promo on this one...(I don't know if it was for the Latin America?); the most expensive perfume in the world. Back then I was a child and I got the blue box eau de cologne and the white box eau de cologne with the spray. My mom and grandma (Her favorite) used to have it too (in the perfume concentration). My memories of this fragrance are just lovely; very feminine and powdery. A while ago, I was in the store ready to buy it until I smelled it. Must be reformulated because this is not what I remembered...now is way too strong and bitter. I will try to buy one on Ebay (the vintage kind) to compare it. Keep you posted.

Feb
25
2012
tc
tc

Best scent ever. I would love to try and wear it. But being a guy, I'd be scared to try it. But it is elegance in a bottle.

Feb
25
2012
Midnight50
Midnight50

THIS WAS A SUPER PERFUME BUT NOW IT ONLY SHOWS HOW DISRESPECTFUL ARE NEW PRODUCERS: TRYING TO "MODERNIZE" IT WHILE SAVING MONEY ON THE INGREDIENTS THEY HAVE KILLED A PIECE OF ART. IT IS LIKE ADDING A MOBILE PHONE TO LEONARD'S MONNA LISA TO UP TO DATE IT. IT'S A SHAME! I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THOSE PACK OF MONEY MAKERS AREN'T FINED FOR CONTRAFACTION. HEY FOLKS PAY ATTENTION WHEN YOU PAY FOR YOUR NEXT PERFUMES: BECAUSE WHEN YOU ASK FOR A HORSE YOU CAN GET A DONKEY INSTEAD! THE PAST IS OVER, OLD PERFUMES ARE JUST THE GHOST OF THEMSELVES BETTER LOOK FOR SOMETHING BETTER. I'M VERY SAD FOR THIS BUT I REMEMBER A SUPER BAL AT VERSAILLES THIS IS ONLY A POOR PAESANT DANCE!

Feb
24
2012
werena
werena

Since Grazia mentioned another perfume created by Jean Desprez (Révolution à Versailles) I would like to add that I found yet another one this morning in a lovely exhibition of old perfume flacons in the museum Bellerive at Zurich, it's name is "Étourdissant". Unfortunately, I have no idea how it smelled.

Feb
23
2012
twillocks
twillocks

OMG!!! I have finally found this. My mother bought this for me when I graduated and I have been looking and looking for years and NOW I have found it. She bought the atomizer I thought it was beautiful and after years of moving around I lost it. Cannot wait to get a bottle!!!!

Feb
21
2012
artsyrn
artsyrn

I want to LOVE this....but I can say I like it,in SMALL doses. It is strange,haunting,interesting, and very STRONG. To me it is like an expensive liquid hand soap with lots of punch. Wondering what I'd wear with this or where I'd go in this century?

Feb
15
2012
mchell43
mchell43

I got the EDC yesterday and waited 3 weeks as it came from the US. It was well worth the wait! I got this after reading reviews on here and love it! Im just into my 40s and love strong powerfull scents and this is perfect.Not for light perfume lovers. I found myself sniffing my wrists most of yesterday and the smell lasts so long.A very sexy yet powdery smell, a real notice me perfume. I will be buying this again as I love unusual rare perfumes, I like to be different and dont go for best seller perfumes , more stand out from the rest perfumes :) This has to be the best ive found.Next time il go for the pure perfume, more expensive but trust me worth it !

Feb
11
2012
drummagick
drummagick

I received a vintage bottle in the mail today that I ordered off of Ebay. It was a blind buy, I ordered it on the strength of reviews here and elsewhere.

What a gorgeous perfume! On my skin it's a combination of innocence (baby powder) and raunch. It's got this good girl/bad girl thing going on.

I LOVE this perfume!!

eta: getting the drydown now, ahhh can't keep my hand away from my face.

Jan
26
2012
icekat
icekat

Bal a Versailles is definitely a treat. Its complexity is amazing and it reminds me of those times when making a bold statement and creating rich perfumes was a trend. If you like strong, bold perfumes with oriental spicy notes, woods, patchouli and animalistic notes then you definitely should give this a try. This perfume is not vulgar to me and it definitely does not smell cheap though I have to say that it has a bit of a risqué character.

When I tried this perfume on, I was immediately faced with something different and interesting. The opening is strong, heavy and a bit bitter. Neroli, cassia, orange blossom and jasmine create this opulent strong oriental scent mixed with a touch of rose and herbs. I love the scent of cassia and I really can smell it here. The civet note lingers in the background right after the opening and it never disappears. It certainly adds an animalistic undertone to this fragrance from the beginning till the end. The heart notes to me are strong patchouli softened by ylang-ylang, lilac and lily of the valley. Vetiver, resins and woods add another dimension to the heart notes making this composition extremely interesting. There is a powdery accent in the heart notes towards the dry down but it has this spicy nice twist. The dry down is a complicated blend of vanilla and musk with woods and civet overload.
I bought this perfume based on diverse and entertaining reviews on this website. There are many interesting images that this perfume seems to evoke in the reviewers. I thought that it would remind me of a luscious era of Louis the XIV or French Cabaret. But there is something wild and animalistic about this scent that I absolutely love. It feels to me like taking a dangerous and exciting trip somewhere deep in the steamy jungle forest and walking at night amongst the tall overgrown trees, exotic flowers and aromatic plants. The strange sounds of exotic birds are coming from above and somewhere in the dark, lurking in the shadows there are hungry and dangerous eyes of a tiger. This perfume was definitely an exciting experience for me.

Overall score is 8/10. The sillage and longevity are excellent, so a small amount is enough to enjoy the scent. No regrets with buying it blind.

Jan
21
2012
rikkistein
rikkistein

This was my signature scent from the time it was first released in the 60's until it was reformulated in 2002.
I was heartbroken that 'my scent' no longer smelled the way it had always smelled. I used to splash on the cologne with abandon for daytime and use the EDT for evening. There simply wasn't any other fragrance that enchanted me the way Bal did. This fragrance is not for sissies. It is sensuous, voluptuous, warm and enticing but with a very soft, creamy, yummy undertone. I am a child of the 60's and this fragrance fit right in with that era. I wore it through the 70's, 80's and 90's.
What can I say, I'm consistent. I am thrilled to have found the vintage fragrance on a couple of websites, so I can continue the tradition! I have read several reviews and I find them all very enlightening. You either love it or hate it. I can say that I do not like the new version. It's just too heavy. A little goes a long way. But it's still a unique blend of floral, oriental, and animalic notes. Jean Desprez managed to take 350 ingredients and create a symphony of fragrance that captivates and excites those of us who like their perfume a little on the wild side but still very classy. I love that new noses are discovering this remarkable scent; one that I have loved for a very long time. Bravo!

Jan
20
2012
olga1780
olga1780

Seems like every newly written review on this perfume rekindles my interest in it. It happened to me again today. I read a passionale review and ran to put it on. I think I finally figured it out, that it is a matter of the RIGHT AMOUNT that will determine whether it will stink to high heaven or smell heavenly. Most of the perfumes these days have to be applied pretty heavily in order to be distingwishible ( about 6 sprays). But it appears that for Bal A Versailles even 2 full sprays is way too much. This time I used only one spray and distributed in on the neck and wrist pulse points. And for the first time after countless attempts to reconcile with this perfume, I finally reached the desired effect. I didn't get any vile animalistic notes overshadowing everything else. Instead it was an extremely gorgeous oriental with just the right amount of civet, very similar to civet in Sublime EDP by Patou. Ok, live and learn.
For my next dinner out, I will be stinking up the restaurant with Bal A Versailles....and I mean it in a positive way.
This is for the new EDT version.
The only thing I don't understand is how they are going to make any money with such concentration...my 1.7 oz EDT will last me for the rest of my life if not longer.

Jan
14
2012
edpjunkie
edpjunkie

The first few times I sniffed this, I was like,"whoa!....what the...oh wow!....wait....oh,my poor sinuses...but,...WOW!...." It is tremendously likeable, but the initial civet blast (I own the edc) made me think my bottle was 'off'. The scent was still beautiful, so i did a little research and couldn't figure out why it seared my sinuses. I have a vtg bottle with the original civet. I guess putting your nose into a big squirt of this can have the same effect of putting your nose into dirty kitty litter: the civet in this by NO means smells like cat urine, but the astringent effect is the same. I now LOVE this fragrance and just have to waft the smell to my nose until the top notes fade....then my nose stays pressed to my hand.**I read on another site that this is known as the Basenotes salute.:)**

Jan
11
2012
nopasho
nopasho

My neck is on the line here. 'Bal à Versailles' by Jean Desprez is the 'animalistic' bomb that makes 'civet' laden fragrances like 'Shalimar', 'Obsession', 'Joy', 'Chanel 5' smell like a cultured flower garden. The animalistic aspect here is pushed to the limit and in that sense it is as radical a fragrance like 'Alien' or 'Poison'. Only this was created in 1962! And still selling like a civet in heat. So this has entered the pantheon of timesless classics of said 'Shalimar', 'Chanel 5', 'Coco'. Not bad for 'a one hit wonder'. Because after this tour de force, maker Jean Desprez' inspiration was gone. Or maybe he was too busy with female attention because of wearing his own frag. Anyway, he never did make another frag on this level. Some facts about the frag. Firstly: the 'natural civet' has been replaced since beginning of 2000 by 'synthetic civet' which is as strong as 'the real thing', I suppose. Where synthetic civet mostly tends to smell quite pungent and harsh IMHO, here it smells very much like the more rounded, intriguing, mysterious, 'stirring', 'exciting', not too instrusive real thing. The makers have of course sweated and worked hard and long to replicate that famed 'civet note' as naturally as possible because it is one of the most important notes and 'the trademark' of this fragrance masterpiece. And they succeeded. Because 'Bal à Versailles' version 2012 is still a 'radical animalistic juggernaut of a perfume' that smells beastly in a good way but it is not tsunami strong or overwhelming like maybe the vanilla in 'Fantasy' or the synthetic fruit in a lot of 'celeb one year on the market and then gone for ever'-frags. No need in BAV for added pheronomes too! Oh yeah, for the soapies amongst the readers: 'Bal à Versailles' animalistic appeal doesn't smell like p**p, p*ss and dirty *nderwear'. The animalistic note is like in 'Boudoir', but turned up a few degrees in heat. But like everyone looks no further with Westwoods 'Boudoir' than the 'sex perfume' label, most don't look beyond the 'animalistic' label with 'Versailles'. And yet, 'Boudoir' and also 'Versailles' are very complex, intricate fragrances that are at the same time wearable. BAV I wouldn't use for daily office wear, unless you want to seduce the manager or the window cleaner, but for 'special occasions' and evening activities. Of course you don't have to douse yourself in 'Versailles'. A little goes a long way. That combined with very reasonble prices online makes 'Versailles' one of the most 'bang for you buck' high quality fragrances. And it is different, alright! You won't pass many people in the street wearing 'Versailles'. Most are even scared of this great frag that is IMHO totally unisex. Most people don't look further than then 'beastly' label. Therefore let's take a closer look at this 'animal-in-heat'-fragrance. To be clear: this is not a sweet frag, but a dry, serious frag in the vein of Guerlain's 'L'Heure Blue' and 'Samsara', Molinard's 'Habanita' and Lutens' 'Cuir Mauresque' and 'Fumerie Turque'. The lovers of breezy, sweet, vanillin 'cutie fruitie flowery pies' won't like this. Lovers of 'Habanita', 'Joy', 'Chanel 5' should try this affordable gem again.
Amazingly there are a lot of notes in this 'beastly frag' that are by the way mixed to perfection.
Top: Rosemary, orange blossom, cassia, mandarin, jasmine, rose, neroli, bergamot, lemon, Bulgarian rose.
Middle: Sandalwood, patchouli, lilac, orris root, vetiver, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley
Top: Tolu balsam, amber, benzoin, musk, (artificial) civet, vanilla, cedar and resins.
A few big surprises. This is a very intricate work of perfumery, not a simple musk or civet bomb. It is in the vein of 'Coco'. Second surprise: a lot of flowers! Third surprise: in the base we have vanilla! Fourth surprise: in the top and the middle there are a lot of fresh notes to counter the benzoin-civet-musk trio. And they do that very effectively.
Despite all the notes, this is not a mess, but a very well balanced, harmonious perfume with definetely an own face and personality.
Like with all intricate frags we have several layers of contrasting notes that work into and against each other and create tension, deepness and fleeting new note-combinations between the 3 levels and then again within each level, that makes this a very vibrant, lively frag that constantly develops and changes on the skin. We have the 'muscle car' base. I have already analysed several 'heavy' frags here on Fragrantica, but this base is without a doubt the most strongly. Tolu: bam!, amber: bam!, benzoin: bam!, musk: bam!, civet: bam!, cedar: bam!, resins: bam!. Only the vanilla tones things down. But this 'base-on-steroids' is countered by also not so shy floral-fresh top: orange blossom, jasmine, rose, mandarin orange, neroli, Bulgarian rose, bergamot, lemon. Some spice is added with the rosemary. This strong top 'flower army' takes on the wild animals of the base. The result is a wonderful, unique mix. The flowery Beauty and the animalistic Beast. And then comes the middle to make a bridge and play wedding counselor between our Beauty and our Beast. The middle makes the compromise with some floral notes: ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, lilac and some woody, spicy notes: sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli. Within each of the three levels you have 'in level' workings. For instance in the top the lush roses against the fresh bergamot/mandarin, the rosemary that spices every note up and fortifies them. In the middle: the natrual sweet ylang-ylang, lilac and lily against the spicy woody sandalwood, patchouli, orris root and all this brightened up by the vetiver. In the base: the 'animalistic' civet and musk against the 'flowery' heavy hitters of Tolu balsam and resins with the vanilla as lubricant.
The result is a far more complex fragrance than the cliché 'animalistic civet bomb'. Look at those flowers! Patchouli! Tolu! Vanilla! Cedar! Vetiver! Bergamot! Neroli! They tame the civet and musk down. Of course BAV is not a sweet fruity floral. It is a dry, resinous, mighty 'beast' (like in 'giant') of a fragrance. You will sure get noticed wearing this! And men as well as women will get a lot of attention from the opposite or same sex. This is more a 'sexual' frag than 'sensual' like 'Boudoir' is. This is an all out, unapologetic, take-no-prisoners, shameless perfume that does what perfumes used to do and are supposed to do: please your own nose, make you more self assured in your attraction towards the opposite or same sex and most definitely attract them! I think more members of the opposite/same sex will approach you with BAV put on in moderation, than you doused in a vanilla, fruit or cotton candy frag. Making hot steamy love with a person reeking of an über sweet popsicle or milkshake doesn't quite stand a chance against this hot, animalistic, pheronome-laden, barely tamed beast. But don't put on too much, then the frag becomes too pronounced. The quality and strongness of this perfume beast is indeed impressive: great sillage and loooongevity! If you are looking for a 'sillage monster', look no further! You won't find many frags with this sillage and longevity.
The smell -moderately applied- is one of deep flowers with a 'civet note' that I can only describe as like a peppery jasmine-cashmere-labdanum-sweet frankincense. Some people have posted here about frags that smell like p**p and p*ss. I'm no p**p and p*ss specialist or expert of the smell of 'bodily fluids' because everyone's fluids smell different. I won't go into further details, but this doesn't smell like p**p at all! As far as I can judge. The 'civet note' smells like a freshly washed and dried pet combined with an earthy note. That's the closest I can get in describing it. But this 'civet note' is mixed with all those other strong notes. The result is a heady, unmistable bold frag that you love or hate. Like 'Alien', 'Habanita', 'Shalimar'. But it is without a doubt the 'naughtiest' of that class of top frags.
The next phrase has been used a lot. Mostly in a vain and meaningless way. But here it is true: this is 'Sex In a Bottle'. BAV is the fragrance that means business, that means: 'sex on the menu'. When you wear this, you can skip the foreplay and must be ready to be torn out of your clothes! I'm just saying: this isn't for wallflowers and pre-pubescent girls. But for women not afraid of the power of their sexuality and people not afraid of how a excited natural body smells. The scent of our animalistic self is firmly rooted in this frag. 'Bal à Versailles' is a beautiful beast. Wear it at your own risk.

Jan
04
2012
Fizzy
Fizzy

If Johnny Depp in Caribean pirate movies were a woman, this would be the scent for her! I can not imagine this scent for a ball, it is too dirty. This is something for bad or nervous, furious girl or woman wearing street style clothes only and loving sex. No french character in it.
Extraordinary sweet, balmy and calming rosemary amber scent, forbidden for the elegant lady.

Dec
28
2011
mimi.smell
mimi.smell

SOMETHING SPECIAL ! I decided to buy Bal a Versailles on the base of all reviews here and I'm not dissapointed. For me this is a wonderful special sweet and powdery roses scent with civet, which may be a little heavy (even disgusting) for someone, but depends of skin chemistry as we know. I'm lucky, on me it's very nice, goregeus actually. But, as I said, it is very special, so you must know "how and when" to wear it.
All in all this is the rule for wearing any perfume.

Dec
23
2011
stacyrenee
stacyrenee

Powdery, yester-year-ness, with a definite mystique about it that will keep you sniffing yourself even though you dont love it, you actually really do, and vice versa..Its puzzling. Wow. This is captivating...the blend of luxurious elegance and vintage skank all at once. Im fascinated by this and I really enjoy it. My husband said it stinks. It really does in a way, but in a strangely enjoyable way. Whether you like it or not, IT IS a must smell fragrance and really intriguing!

Dec
20
2011
ReinaT
ReinaT

Ok, I read about this classic perfume, and I thought, "what's all the fuss?" so, I had to buy it. Concerned as I always am with "reinvented fragrances" I bought two small original perfumes. I read it was "elegant" and also "skank", I thought "what??" but God Bless, it's true! How it's possible for a perfume to be elegant and skanky at the same time, I don't know, but this perfume actually does it. For me, there's a lot of orange in it, very sticky sweet but still pretty, but the musk, it just brings it right back around to being earthy. I can see where people describe it as "dank", there is, there actually is a dankness to it. Weird, but still, enchanting! It's just oh, a sweet little filthy number, and I now see why people describe it like a 1960's orgy, or waking up to crumpled up sheets after having sex the evening before. It's elegant, yes, but it's also naughty. It's very floral and like I say, I smell a lot of orange and musk in it, and also vanilla and civet, and it's gorgeous! Sexy and maybe even a little vulgar at the same time. Sort of like a 1940s Paul Becat painting. I don't know! Maybe more like a sweet and very pretty sweaty dance hall girl. Or a dirty Princess. I will say this, for sure this perfume has the "it" factor. It's got it, and a lot of it. I guess it can be unisex, like Must de Cartier is, but I think it's far more on fruity sweet side for a man, unless he were a very effeminate man. I'm definitely buying more and going for the vintage version because I know it's right. Definitely not too expensive for what I got!

Dec
17
2011
Grottola
Grottola

This review is of the current Eau de Toilette of Bal a Versailles.

I get, primarily, an indolic jasmine with traces of Jicky in it. A tiny, tiny bit of patchouli and some warm, fleshy civet. I also smell vanilla. Very Guerlain-esque. While it's not bad, I'd love to try the vintage stuff - particularly the Eau de Cologne. I heard it has a skankiness to it that cannot be ignored. Still, the current juice (which I got for $9.99) smells like a quality fragrance and lasts a good while.

I'm not the biggest fan of jasmine, to be honest.

Dec
12
2011
alfarom
alfarom

This review is for the EDC diluition.

I usually approach reviews for this kind of classic compositions trying to avoid the usual note explanation. I generally prefer to give an overall idea of what the fragrance smells like and always suggest to any "real" perfume lover to not miss the chance to experience such classic beauties.

Here we go...

Take vintage Shalimar and deprive it of a little sweetness being careful, at the same time, to manitain a solid dose of spicy and powdery vanilla. Add the skanky aspect of Kouros (the urinous honey note plus the civet plus the greased hair musky vibe) and refine it with a consistent Orange Blossoms note on top. Et voilà. AMAZING stuff!

As a friend use to say, Bal A Versailles EDC is like a skanky naughty girl.

Classic but not aged. Terrific lasting power and great projection. If moderately applied does great also on a man. If you'll ever experience a skankier EDC, please, drop me a line..

Rating: 8.5/10

Nov
26
2011
Hollyberri
Hollyberri

Civet, civet and more civet on my skin. I have tried to wear it on more than one occasion but just cannot get past the civet and musk, it overwhelms me.

Nov
23
2011
sistertricked
sistertricked

Wow, this fragrance brings to mind a trip to the mountains, when we fell down, tired of walking, onto a one meter thick bed of dry leaves. The autumnal wind brought forth essences of the wood, while from underneath the most beautiful dark and ambery fragrant leaves exuded a perennial naturally blended woody and vegetal scent, thick and impenetrable. Its amberiness comes from natural decomposition, the mixture is cool, no flowers, the moist juice underneath touching the soil is a dirty, superconcentrated, almost oily (maybe liquefied?) green amber. It takes a unique environment, a unique lapse of time and a unique fusion for such concoction to be created, that it is surprising it was also produced by the hand of the man.
When I wear Bal I greet its oily darkness with pleasure and look forward for its dirty herbal and ambery muskiness. I have never met such a natural amber on my skin. My version is the newest one, but if anyone anywhere in Europe had just a dab of the real thing to share, PM me.

Nov
23
2011
Arabelle
Arabelle

This review is based on the reformulated EDT I purchased from an online auction site we all love to hate. This perfume is the worst I have in my collection. It's way too strong in an unpleasant, headache-inducing way. It transports you to a dirty, greasy workshop where people wear strong perfumes to camouflage the stench.

After a long while, it starts to smell a little better but it still doesn't do justice to its name. I've been to Versailles and this perfume fails to evoke the glamor, opulence, and beauty of its namesake. If you want to experience old world opulence and charm, you're better off with Shalimar.

Nov
19
2011
rinatalove
rinatalove

Makes you smeal as a animal....in reprodaction season...

Nov
14
2011
KFried
KFried

I have a sample of the edc but don't know from what year. Anyway, when I first tried it, it was very powdery, almost exactly just Johnson& Johnson baby powder. I wasn't particularly bothered by this, although it wasn't what I had hoped for or would purchase.

But it quickly hit a note that reminded me of perfumes from the 70's, like Clinique Aromatics, which I don't care for at all. I wish I could nail down what it is so I can avoid it in the future!

Then it took a bad mix with my chemistry and began to smell of urine. I almost scrubbed it, but let it diffuse a bit while I blew my hair dry. Now it just smells like baby powder again.

Not for me.

Nov
14
2011
dhoakohime
dhoakohime

I bought this one through ebay and now i am obsessed to see if i have been cheated or not....i don't detect the flowery notes..i like it a lot still and it doesn't look like a copy or anything..but don't know...GAAAH! I HATE shopping through the net...unfortunately we don't have this brand in spain...if anyone is interested i'd pay for a sample of the pure parfum (which is the one i have) to compare it...

if anyone interested pelase send private

Nov
07
2011
Esscentially299
Esscentially299

The first sniff hits hard! Very much an in-your-face
presentation! Rich and opulent, a little raw. By the second sniff it has begun to bloom and reinvent itself. The third sniff, it transforms into a dark/warm/velvety/vanilla/amber/patchouli lovliness.

The morning after, it still lingers faintly on the skin like the memories of a particularly good night.

Damn this is good stuff! It is best of all in the pure perfume. Definitely worth the extra money.

When to wear it? Whenever you can pull it off.

Oct
24
2011
anniebanannie
anniebanannie

Whoooo! This is one hella of a punch. Sexy. Hell Yeah. Youthful. Nah. Powerful. You betcha. Feminine. Most definitely. For me though? No. This is definitely for someone mature though. I typically don't like saying that, and this is the only perfume I've encountered that I'd give such a label. It is just too strong. The dry down of the vanilla and patchouli is beautiful and comforting, but the patchouli is too prevalent here. It smells almost dirty. The amber is wonderful here. Just so warm and delicious. But all of them together comes up as chemical somehow. I agree with a lot of reviewers here that if you love amber this is certainly worth the try. Nothing comes close to the amber here. In general though, this is just too much in my opinion. I can't describe it in one sentence but I can try... a woman in heat. Or a man reacting to one. Your senses just boil.

I have never been to Versailles, but just looking at the movies that represent time then and the way this smells, they go together. So therefore, aptly named. And considering hygiene back then a fragrance this strong would have been perfect, as people couldn't afford to shower as much as we do today. I tried wearing this and found it too overwhelming. I give points to this in terms of creativity. If this was truly inspired by Versailles, then this is as impressive as it gets.

Oct
15
2011
oOCherylOo
oOCherylOo

I bought a used EDT off eBay after reading a review that sparked my interest by invoking Prince Poppycock. The reviewer was right. This is the sillage you would expect as Prince Poppycock sashayed by. It is unabashedly sweet and decadent. It's a lovely and compelling concoction which will always be a part of my perfume repertoire. I'm hooked.

Oct
06
2011
calyx93
calyx93

I was at a Perfumania store at my local mall buying some pre-reformulation Opium EDT and Kouros when I spotted this in EDT and EDC in the women's section. Being very cheap, I decided to try the EDT - I mean, why not? Being a fan of voluptuous orientals like Opium, Shalimar, Youth Dew, Samsara, Tabu, etc., I figured it would be an instant love affair.

Well, it was and it wasn't. I certainly get the animalic aspect of the fragrance - it almost has an unwashed hair effect - very similar to waking up in the morning with your lover and smelling their head while snuggling behind them. However, I get the distinct feeling that the formula has been cheapened over the years - like the way Tabu has evolved. The florals are somewhat too sweet/artificial and the amber isn't really that convincing - the civet it the base is definitely Firmenich's Civet CNC - good, but not amazing. The musks are also modern ones, not the glorious nitro-musks of the pre IFRA clamp-down.

I put on a few times, then back on the shelf with my other bottles - I was really hoping for a more musky, animalic affair - and then, a few month via Etsy - I found it. The vintage parfum! Now - this is what I read about and have been longing for! Indolic, fatty, musky, vanillic and ambery - with the unmistakable unwashed hair/body effect still apparent in the modern formulation.

I really suggest those that haven't found this to be everything it's cracked up to be via web reviews to seek out one of the cute little bottles of the pure parfum - this is the libertine's moist underthings that I'd read about. It's also surprisingly tenacious - folks were detecting this long after it no longer registered to my nose - and it really gets compliments.

I've yet to try the new formulation of the parfum - the website states that it hasn't changed (oh, really?), but considering how long it's been around, it won't be hard to find vintage examples for many years - I suggest you do. I know that I'll now seek out vintage formulae of the EDT and EDC for some variety in the BAV prism of colors. An added bonus is that it tends to be very inexpensive, even in the older versions. Hooray! I'm off to an orgy in the 60's - bye!

Sep
19
2011
krmarich
krmarich

Its 1962. This new sexy, flirty, powdery now modern classic debuts. Hair is ratted up and soon to be ironed down. Mini skirts debut, perhaps inspired by BAV. I feel that it captures the powdered wig set of another time. Perhaps the 1760s as well as the 1960s fully pay tribute to this grand dame of perfumery!

I chanced upon it last year and found it surprisingly androgynous by todays standards! Amber and vanilla seem to dominate it and the civet is pretty tame. The iris gives is powder. I adore everthing about it from the bottle to the contents. Its still going strong after 50 years!

Celebrity=Elizabeth Taylor

Aug
17
2011
knm812
knm812

I ordered BàV (the EDT) blind as no stores in my area carry this scent, and I had such high expectations that I actually felt nervous when it arrived lest I be disappointed.

In one word: GORGEOUS.

It is soft and warm, and with the first spray, it envelopes you in a beautiful mélange of jasmine and orange blossom with rose hovering delicately in the background. It develops into a lovely powdery amber and has an intoxicating, dark musky dry-down where the civet positively shines! It's just ravishing.

The name Bal à Versailles is evocative of libertinism and is often called "skanky". That animalic base is certainly present and noticeable, but Bal à Versailles doesn't come across to me as "dirty sexy". It's sexy because it is smooth and warm and it melts into your skin. It has a certain velvety darkness, but it remains warm and comforting. Whoever said this scent lingers and smolders...I have to concur.

I'm writing this review while wearing this wonderful scent and I can't stop smelling my wrist! It's good to note, as a bonus, that this perfume is very affordable. Bal à Versailles instantly became one of my favorites. I look forward to trying the other concentrations as I've heard lovely things about the parfum.

Don't pass up the chance to try this beauty! Bal à Versailles will captivate you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
After wearing this for a while...I have to say that I am IN LOVE with the vanilla note in BàV! It's just lovely and I am not normally a fan of vanilla.

Aug
12
2011
Grazia
Grazia

Jean Desprez also created a fragrance "Revolution à Versailles" (1989), dedicated to 200 years of French Revolution.

Aug
09
2011
Henriette
Henriette

WOW! The first reaction smelling Bal à Versailles is WOW! You might like it or not but WOW is the reaction. It is indeed strong, very strong, maybe too strong but even if you do not like it, you can't say it's not made with art. I think the best thing to do is using it with great parsimony, with great economy and in winter only. In summer I would fear I would choke. After the fisrt impact the notes dry down and what I have on my skin is something very reminiscent of Emperatrice Eugenie by Creed. Very complicate perfume, very well structured, certainly not for those who love light scents. It stays a lot on your skin so maybe you must have two-three showers before wearing a different perfume.

Aug
04
2011
Pari88
Pari88

I bought a small sample and i still have it thats how strong this one is. It smells like a pure oil you might buy from an incense shop or the like. It truly smells vintage. My dad actually likes wearing it, he likes oils. It smells extremely vintage, not bad at all, but very very very very strong I cant emphasize on it enough. Not bad...not very unique compared to oils, but unique if your used to fragrances.

Jul
23
2011
Vamy69
Vamy69

Lots of Orange, Sandalwood & Patchouli in this one. The initial blast is very strong but after it dries down it starts to smell quite nice. Powdery Amber is the end result on me with nice lasting power.

Jul
13
2011
jessyparis
jessyparis

the MOST ANIMALISTIC EVER.............
WHO DARES WEAR THIS OTHER THAN A POWERFUL PERSONA ...
WOOOOOOW

All the salvage ingredients are included : leather, civet, amber, musk,cedar and sandal and resins woods, incense,........... WOW WOW and WOW nothing compares to it anymore : probably JOOP !femme, Scherrer N

Jul
13
2011
amberandmusk
amberandmusk

i was hoping for a drama queen in this case but apart from the little weird opening i got powder and amber.
The drydown reminds me Etro's Ambra.
Nothing big or scary on me with this one.

Jun
15
2011
logicmuppet
logicmuppet

I've worn this off and on for several weeks now, because I it took me that long to figure out whether I like it or not. The first dabs are almost like aftershave, very "orangey" and sort of unpleasant. However, there is something hanging around just underneath that initial blast that keeps me interested. Thirty minutes or so later, the unpleasantness goes away, leaving sweetness and powder, but with something powerful and resinous lurking just underneath. I don't smell "sweat" or "skank," just traces of something very rich and primeval. I'm in love with this now.

Jun
13
2011
malia
malia

Dear desertrat, thanks a lot for your information about GOLD. I have it now and i love it! Absolutely! It's truely a special scent. Very rich. I guess it's a smell of gold ;-) I am always noticed and complimented wearing it. Thank you again. Waiting till it will be added to the database.

Jun
13
2011
ATTIA**
ATTIA**

I orderd this on ebay yesterday and it arrived today,i
didn't know really what to exspect i don't really like
orange notes to much and thought it might have domanated the perfume,its nothing like i thought it would be and i love it!! i can't really smell the orange notes and the base notes come out more on my skin. Thats what i was hopeing for i think ill be wearing this mostly everyday.
Just an update about this fragrance ive been wearing this on and off for weeks now,and ive started to wear shalimar again i think i prefer shalimar but i still love this.The 100ml edt is in my bathroom and someone else has started to love it aswell my husband!! he only wears this now at the moment and it smells good on him,some men at work have asked him what aftershave hes wearing but i don't think hes told them because its a womens perfume they might get the wrong idea.

Jun
11
2011
naheed
naheed

Bal a Versailles starts with the vibe of the 80s after shave but on the whole, it screams the scent of 60s for sure. As in the 80s the trend in fragrances had changed a little and only the after shave colognes used to smell like this. After about 15 minutes, it starts to settle on the skin and that feel of after shave manages to calm down. As it settles more,it becomes a little powdery and at this stage vetiver is the note that my nose picks the first among the floral notes, patchouli is also very prominent here. After it has completely settled down, it reminds me of Indian shops where dried coconuts, bars of sandal soaps and powder, spices and nuts are seen and can be smelled. I like it but not very much.

Thank you systeme_d for sharing that cute mini and you saved me from buying it. As I see civet note here and have learned how this substance is obtained so wouldn't like buying a perfume having an animal note. This is my promise to those little creatures. Although, it is said that animalistic notes are not used anymore, especially from these animals, but I still don't believe that.

Jun
05
2011
cisco
cisco

I can certainly see why so many of you are fans of this fragrance. It has wonderful sillage, great lasting power, and a very friendly price point. Unfortunately, it chokes me. I think it has excessive Patchouli. This Patchouli comes on so strong on me that I cannot wear this fragrance without my allergies going nuts. On me, the Patchouli is intense!!!! This is even more intense than Moschino Moschino and that is saying something.

Congrats to all that can wear this because dollar for dollar it is a great deal!!!!

May
30
2011
olga1780
olga1780

Ok, I have one more thing to add....as rich and gorgeous as it is during the major stage of wear....it is also the stinkiest stuff in my collecting on the morning after, like a bad hangover.
I woke up this morning and was like....what's that smell??? (it was my wrist). LOL
But I doubt anyone will be around people after wearing it for 12-14 hours, so no worries.

May
19
2011
bluemlein
bluemlein

everything you read here is true. on some people it smells like a freezie stuck in one's sweaty hair. on others it's all one can do to refrain from looking for the golden coach. to some there's a hint of perspiration, body odour, sweaty dancers and damp, crumpled sheets, even a bit of champagne spilled onto the silks, even a splosh of perfume spilled from its ornate sevres bottle.

that's what it is about, tho. are we going to a tailgate party? nope. are we dancing at a sock hop? or a hootenanny? noooo. we are doing ourselves up in luxury (highly underrated these days) and - with heart pounding in our throats - are setting our too-beautifully-shod feet onto the parquet that emits as much comforting beeswax aroma as do the candles in the chandeliers that glow over the vases of ephemeral rare flowers. we are caught up in the heat of the moment, made hungry by the scents on the air and given a bit of a dizzying tap by the music.

that's what it is all about.

besides, how would you know how sweet something is if you didn't taste at least a teeny bit of rind?

(c)2011 daisy morant

May
18
2011
olga1780
olga1780

This precious little gem just beat all of the perfumes in my collection in sillage!
Absolutely gorgeous! There is something about it that reminds me of Shalimar without its powderiness and citrus notes....probably its smokiness.
This is the only perfume I would never dare to put on more than one spray....and it is only EDT
Regardless of your taste, it is worth experiencing this perfume at least once.

May
18
2011
BIG
BIG

No matter what anyone says, this scent is UNISEX! One my skin there's no trace of powdery notes developing. What i get mainly is amber, civet and musk and it's GORGEOUS!!!

Men can rock this frag, if not even better than women! Ladies, take a whiff of this scent on a man's neck and you'll lose your mind!

May
03
2011
Αλεξάνδρα
Αλεξάνδρα

Decadent!

Not Moulin Rouge, but the small authentic burlesque venue in a dark, dirty alley! Where the faces heavy on cheap make up, tightrope between being artistic or carnivals; and maybe, it's where all those top Moulin Rouge stars begin, or end up...

Bal a Versailles represents this feeling to me. It's not really floral, but out of this dusty patchouli and woodsy accords, there is a clear citrus coming out, over a shy bed of flowers, whose individual notes I cannot decipher.

As I opened it, I noticed the cheap plastic top that crowned a delightful renaissance bottle, but the perfume does not feel cheap (at least, in the end). I think what saves it from being so, is the original sexiness that it oozes, as it doesn't want to be pretty and sweet. It's not a true love thing, but rather a polyamorous kinky practice.

We all have this little "tramp" somewhere hidden inside us- some of us, more pronounced. And that's why we like it...

Apr
28
2011
Angel10
Angel10

Okay Malia! Ima gonna git me sum!

Update: Rec'd my giant bottle, and it is just not my style. Many strange feelings came up, and somebody wore this while I was growing up.

It has a bit of a tinge of school air fresheners to me. I am sorry....maybe I need a nose transplant! It seems like there is something medicinal & tangy at the end that 'lifts up' and hits my nose the wrong way. Can anyone relate?

To Malia: I still love you, and you still have great taste! Something tells me if I smelled it on you I would like it. I have the kind of body chemistry that amplifies 'dirty' notes, and I hate smelling anything but super clean....even if I am myself verrry dirty!! Hee hee!

Apr
20
2011
malia
malia

OH MY GOODNESS!! This is the most delicious and amazing scent ever! I am so happy i finally have it in my collection! People, people, people... i can't even describe HOW much i love this perfume!! Absolutely unique stunning fragrance with gorgeous bottle and box! Ooooh it makes you travel in time and space to a fabulous bal a Versailles where you enjoy life, love and a good perfume!!! LOVING IT!!!!!

Apr
13
2011
Jessethedog
Jessethedog

My all time favorite perfume, a melodious symphony of scent. I do not like the more modern "fractured" scents, the progressive jazz of the fragrance world. I still prefer a sweet melody, with a slightly
naughty descant -- a perfect description of Bal a Versailles.

Apr
04
2011
jean desprez
jean desprez

Greetings to all our Bal a Versailles fans! We are grateful for your continued support while we bring Jean Desprez® into the 21st Century. Our Bal a Versailles® fragrance is a classic scent, but it is time for us to provide an updated alternative. With this in mind we are asking Fragrantica noses to help evaluate the brand new Jean Desprez® fragrance creation. We have created a special link for Fragrantica subscribers to participate, and have provided it to Fragrantica for posting to their site. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. Once again, thank yo for this wonderful site, and thank you for all the loyal years of support for our Bal a Versailles fragrance and the other Jean Desprez® brands.

Apr
03
2011
geekweevil
geekweevil

I found this one initially a very sharp, woody, odd perfume. It took a few tries but then I suddenly 'got' it and now I quite like it.

After a few hours I kept getting wiffs and thinking I was wearing Tabu. I'd never wear Tabu to work but i would definatley wear this one.

If you like to try out classics and don't baulk at the idea of 'old lady smell', give this one a go. It's a very unsubtle oriental that gets more subtle over a few hours. It lasted all day on me. I like it but do not love it.

Mar
03
2011
passionata20
passionata20

Bought it after reading so many fascinating reviews and was extremly dissapointed! It is a very old fashioned scent that will make an old lady look even more older, not to mention a younger lady!!! The scent of dirty and sweaty clothes, that´s how i smell it. Can´t say nothing good about it. Too much of old rose scent, that´s what i get! And it doesn´t get´s better after a while as i was hoping.
Musk, Vanilla, old Rose petals, a bit of citrus in a very harsh combination with a lot-lot-lot of powder!!!!. This combination is enough to scare off any admireres, honestly i do not like it. Neither my friends nor the older lady neighbour liked it! I have tried an eau de toilette version and if you also want to try it, then you definitly should go for lighter version of eau de cologne as someone suggested before! It might be indeed not that harsh as an edt version.
Sniff it first before you buy it definitly!!! I looove the civet note, but here? No, i don´t like this particular civet at all!!!! This civet is powdery which is a bad thing to me. Still the best civet i have ever smelled is "la nuit" by Paco Rabanne.

Please do not remove this comment, since others might find it useful. Not every rewiev should be positive, so people like me wanted to make a blind buy might find it very informative. Thanks.

Mar
01
2011
malia
malia

Oh wow... What a desirable name of perfume is that! And the design of the bottle is very very appealing. I've never heard about it before. After reading all those great and poetic reviews i've decided that i want to have this perfume so very much!!!

Feb
26
2011
stelladelmar
stelladelmar

No france has cautivated me so deeply! beautiful notes of lemon, bergamote, sandalwood at the end, it everlasts! Bal a Versailles can take you to a camp nowhere in france and let you enjoy multiple fragance orgasms!

Feb
24
2011
LoriAnn
LoriAnn

I recently was introduced to Bal A Versailles and from the first intoxicating whiff, I have been absolutely in love ever since! I get many compliments on this fragrance yet no one knows what it is. But everyone who has smelled it, loves it. When I wear it, I feel golden and warm in my own private chamber of luxury known as Bal A Versailles.

Feb
20
2011
MonParfum
MonParfum

I love this fragrance, and first admired it before I was married in the 1980s. It's a mature fragrance, and it is rich and ambery, even along the same lines as Shalimar.
I recall hearing a Radio interview with Britt Ekland, and she described it as her all-time favourite perfume.
A rare fragrance, can be difficult to find...When you do, you'll keep it a secret!

Feb
20
2011
scorpiosheep
scorpiosheep

I have owned a bottle of this for many years, and do not wear it often but when I do, to me, it is the epitome of a true oriental fragrance, and a cut above most of them. Beautiful spices, a warm amber heart, lasts forever, and I think has to be listed as a classic but little known perfume. I don't know anyone who has ever heard of it, so that makes it special for me to wear, knowing I'm not likely to run into it all the time in the street. I don't get the skanky notes, unless you class a seductive, come-hither magnetism as skanky. It brings to mind the end of the ball, when the dancers have a discreet sheen of perspiration, their masks are off and they are eyeing each other in a not too subtle manner.

I think you have to be mature to get away with wearing this; it is not a young girl's perfume or remotely "modern". Do, at least, try it.

Feb
14
2011
deb.pintur
deb.pintur

I first wore this in the 70's it was a gift from Dad. have allways loved the bottle...back then I think the picture on the front was hand painted??? I love the sultriness of the vanilla and amber. It does have a powdery feel but that reminds me of comforting hugs and moonlit nights. A classic perfume which is one of a kind and not for everyone.

Feb
10
2011
miZZpuRRfect
miZZpuRRfect

i can t imagine michael jackson wearing this ??? it s not at all unisex though.

Bal a Versailles is indeed a brilliant and luminous, creamy powdery masterpeace. it smells dated of course - almost the first 15 minutes, but in the best way ever possible, the drydown is just awesome creamy powdery, little sweet and spicy - a gem! i ve a bottle 100ml of this edt (strength 5x edp from nowdays) you need only a few drops to smell good the whole day or night long. i would need ages the go through this bottle.
the bottle itself is a truly masterpiece also ! if someone going nuts for this, and wanna swap for a smaller bottle or another frag, let me know. i glady would have a smaller bottle of this because i have not really so mutch ocassions to wear it but love to have it.
like it best for very special nights out, because it s very opulent, i think about a mask ball or something like that :0) and at home when i feel to because it lingers so creamy soft on my skin, it's also good for sleep. :)

Jan
11
2011
guest_Jean Desprez
guest_Jean Desprez

Thank you for the fantastic comments. We are grateful for clients such as you. We are pleased to announce that Jean Desprez (creator of Bal a Versailles) will be launching their first new fragrance in over 50 years. You can register for advance notice and discounts prior to retail release at the official Jeandesprez.com website.

Dec
14
2010
johnstaf
johnstaf

I love deep animalic perfumes, and Bal a Versailles fits that category. However, I think it lacks the sense of extravagant luxury of the greatest orientals. That's not to say it's a bad perfume -in fact I think it is very good, but it could have been one of the greats -maybe it once was.

This review is for the parfum.

Nov
25
2010
guest_Jean Desprez
guest_Jean Desprez

Thank your for the inciteful reviews. We are pleased to announce that after 50 years, Jean Desprez will be launching a new fragrance. You can register for advance notification and a 50% discount off whatever the retail price will be at www.jeandesprez.com We expect the new Jean Desprez fragrance to be released the first quarter of 2011.

Nov
22
2010
FruitDiet
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.

Nov
15
2010
spookyjan
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.

Nov
05
2010
Kterhark
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!

Oct
31
2010
iMaverick
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.

Oct
27
2010
elusivek
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.

Sep
27
2010
hippychick
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!!!

Sep
17
2010
milena
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.

Sep
16
2010
eilismaireg
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!

Sep
11
2010
visione
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.

Aug
05
2010
sherapop
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 acquiring 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. (-:

Jul
22
2010
Wombat
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!

May
10
2010
Action
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

May
08
2010
hollycat
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.

Apr
08
2010
CodyAnn
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.

Apr
08
2010
Action
Action

This is an excellent high quality perfume with unbelievable sillage! GREAT value for your money!!

Apr
04
2010
Sassy1
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.

Apr
04
2010
mister_chaz
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))

Feb
18
2010
HOPE007
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.

Feb
03
2010
kastehelmi
kastehelmi

I second kittykati's review of this one-As for allexa27's review, the 70 year old+ women I know would not let me spray this on them if I tried, hahaha! It takes a certain boldness to wear this out-not just boldness, but stubborness, I think! For me the patchouli makes it an absolute scrubber, go figure. It's dirty as a scent can possibly be-I can see civet cats wandering before my eyes as I smell this-so the patchouli doesn't dominate, as strong as it is-the civet amber and musk make this a zoo of a fragrance!

There are a few sweet flowers, but they are soaked in feral sweat. Unless you're into this kind of thing, just try it once to see for yourself, and pass your sample along!

Jan
29
2010
guest_Heigo
guest_Heigo

Hallo,

I just purchased my first buttle of Bal a Versailles and this is just fabulous!!! Really the scent is getting better in every minute! The first odor is pretty strong but it will get better pretty soon. I know that this is a women's perfume but i just could not resist it!!! So i recommend it for everybody!!!!

Jan
21
2010
loismonahan
loismonahan

This is one of my absolute favourites! I think of the movie "Dangerous Liaisons". Exquisitely powdered, dressed and jewelled, doing nothing but playing elaborate, sensual games. This is what I imagine Marie Antoinette might have worn.

Jan
04
2010
Minnija
Minnija

this one is the worst I ever smelled... I would quit if in my office some of my college would love this and use as everyday perfume

Dec
28
2009
angel73
angel73

I am french and i hate this perfume !
It smells like an old old lady with its animalistic notes...so dark...
i love sexy perfumes ant not a repulsive for men ! sorry for people who love it, but for me it is so old ...and i don't love very much vintage perfumes.

Dec
07
2009
Flora55
Flora55

I really love Bal - yes it's strong, and more than a little retro, but it was made for REAL women to wear, not teenagers, and it is as sexy as it is possible for a perfume to be and still be street-legal. I like that it is clearly an Oriental style perfume but it's not really sweet at all, but rather musky and resinous and not in the least gourmand. An enduring classic for a reason!

Dec
06
2009
guest_ maria joseph jackson
guest_ maria joseph jackson

(yes this is my real name!)

Hello...
I have come to this website looking for some help... if any body here could please tell me where i can find bal a versailles in Colombia (cali colombia!) i would be so thankful!, now that my sweet michael has died i would like to purchase this perfume to have his scent with me...you may write to me to this email address telling me where i can purchase it: mjgarcardona@hotmail.com
thank you all ever so much...
Maria Joseph Jackson...

Dec
06
2009
Nicole79
Nicole79

...Bav opens in a strong - flowery way ! But after that, it calms down and all I can feel on my skin is the smell of flowers, face- powder and red lipstick. I also feel the incense . It is dusty,animalic, dry... powdery, classic. Very XVIII Century. Unique. A vintage perfume...love it !!!

Up date.....
I can't wear it easy though, i think it doesn't suites me , a bit too "retro" for may taste...:(

Nov
30
2009
Malegria
Malegria

I was looking for an ultimate skanky perfume...got a lot`s of advice on the subject from fellow Fragranticans - and voila, here it is, my very own Bal and I have my hands on it.It`s EDT, and I got a great deal on it, too!!!!!!!!

As for it`s skankiness - I am rather disappointed. It is flowery, animalistic...but I don`t see any really skanky sides to it. It`s incredibly floral, very oriental indeed and oh so dry, dry, dry. Old fashioned powder puff dying to touch a face.I love my perfumes a little bit more moist...however, Bal had ultimately earned my respect.The first time I was able to enjoy an obvious vetiver in a perfume and I can easily see it as a day time scent.
Really, guys. Don`t overlook it and give it a chance.

Oct
31
2009
CaraMia
CaraMia

Fool yourself if you will with the haloed pictures on the bottles or with the roses and orange blossom in the opening, but Bal a Versaille is no angel, it is an animalic predator! The lioness may be hiding in a flower garden, but make no mistake she is there. The civet and musk are very present and very sophisticated. The florals are lovely, the woods are grand, but they are merely camouflage for sexy animalics. Nothing wrong with that is there?

Glorious!

Oct
06
2009
elika
elika

I bought it to a friend of mine for the New Year. She opened the package and screemed: "Oh, my God! A perfume and a painting... Splendid! It fills my spirit with freshness and my eyes with beauty! What a marvellous way to start my New Year and such happiness for the next 365 days!"

Oct
06
2009
weegee
weegee

Eau de Excited Crotch. Extrait de Pussy. Parfum de Pudenda. Grrrrrr, snarl, grrrrrrr. Come up and see me sometime. Hubba hubba zing zing zing!

If you want to like Bal a Versailles but just don't after trying the perfume or edt, TRY AGAIN with the eau de cologne. I've done a left-wrist edt, right-wrist edc comparison and the fragrance is identical with the edc just less powerful/overpowering. The edc, amazingly, lasts just as long, too! About 8-10 hours on me.

Oct
04
2009
LadyJedi
LadyJedi

A beautiful old-school oriental with a really poetic name and appeal. On me the dominant notes are the rose and the jasmin. It is pleasant and not overly sweet but still a bit too old-fashioned to repurchase. It stays long hours especially when layered with the body lotion. Now my mother is enjoying it to the max.

Oct
03
2009
guest_the marchioness
guest_the marchioness

Its an "old school" fragance, reminds me of the XVIII th century...exhuberant, powdery, complex, dramatic, and very french. Its definetly not for every day but i love it.
So I will probalby use it for especial ocasions, mascarades or whenever i need to feel like a XVIII century dutchess.

Sep
23
2009
Moyra
Moyra

It was not easy for me to accept the invitation to the fragrant dance that is Bal a Versailles.
I bought it in early spring, when temperatures where I live are already turning toward the torrid. It seemed heavy and somehow "cheap",in the old fashioned sense of cheap=skanky.
For months, I kept it in the "skanky" section of my perfume collection, together with Vivienne Westwood's Boudoir, Habanita and a few others. I didn't touch it during the long, dry, blazing hot summer months. And, once in a while, I would think about who I could give it to...
And then suddenly, for the first time in forever, it rained. It got a little cooler, almost like a preview of late autumn and winter in these parts.The achingly bright days of summer were replaced with dark skies and torrential rains, and I thought, why not?, and tried on Bal a Versailles again.
And now, amazingly, its a delicious amber/benzoin/vanilla/resin-y loveliness, warm and elegant in the same way "Femme" by Rochas is elegant,without a trace of skank, au contraire, there's even a hint of the regal in there, with those deep golden resins.
I was fearing the powdery/flowery notes, however, my skin, as always, gallops through all the flowers and heads straight for the resins. The powdery note, of which I am not overly fond, is very faint.
I was also fearing my two least favorite perfume notes: civet and musk. Thankfully, these were undetectable to my nose.
Note that these comments where evoked by the eau de toilette, which, as an aside, is fiercely tenacious with decent sillage.
Ultimately, the drydown is amber-y wonderfulness, and I will definitely be buying a bottle of the parfum!
Lesson learned: if you hate a fragrance at first, try it again in different weather or a different season.

Sep
12
2009
guest_Noelia
guest_Noelia

Can you tell me a similar fragrance like bal a versailes?Here in Greece is very difficult to find it!!Thank you!!

Aug
11
2009
guest_Kamila
guest_Kamila

Yes, that is Michael's favourite scent. He used it for more than 30 years! I have already bought it....it is so special! I am glad I did get it, and I am glad I can smell Michael.

Jul
24
2009
guest_Lavenderbiru
guest_Lavenderbiru

But the problem is..where can i get this perfume in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? It's really hard to get here...anybody, can u please help me with this...thank u....

Jul
20
2009
guest_Lavenderbiru
guest_Lavenderbiru

Do you know that Michael Jackson's favourite perfume is BAV by Jean Desprez....hmmm, i wonder why he liked this perfume so much...maybe it's because of the classic smell....gonna find it in now....

Jul
20
2009
aromajon
aromajon

classic and v beautiful

Jun
10
2009
F_A
F_A

Long dresses, laces, ribbons, white face powder, corsets, silk, umbrellas against sun, walks in the beautiful garden of flowers and fountains, the beauty of Rococo era - such associations bal a Versailles creates for me. It has something "outta-this-age". The label fits the bottle perfectly!
This fragrance is very flowery, very complex, rich, a bit soapy and powdery in the base. Beautiful piece of art!

Jun
02
2009
Mals86
Mals86

After hearing raves about this one from fellow perfumistas, I snagged a mini parfum de toilette for a very reasonable price and tested it. At first, I found it very "French perfume," with heavy florals so dense that I felt them clustering about my head. But shortly thereafter, the fragrance began to settle and calm itself on my skin, with those rich blended florals becoming less heady. I can pick out orange blossom, jasmine, and narcissus, with a wisp of rose, if I concentrate very hard. Later, BaV turns sweet and warm with amber and musk and balsam, becoming almost embarrassingly sensual, and definitely a boudoir scent. I'd never wear this one to the office!

If you're struggling with the old-fashioned, heavy floral opening, just give Bal a few minutes. Very often, older perfumes take some time to blossom on the skin, and this is one of them. The incredibly sensual, beautiful heart and drydown are well worth waiting for.

I just received this scent in parfum extrait and will report back with any updates when I first wear it.

May
15
2009
Petula30
Petula30

I re-discovered a tiny bottle that belonged to my grandma 20 years ago and I remember I disliked it very much as a child. Now twenty years older I finally appreciate and treasure this beautiful amber and I wish I had more perfumes like this in my possesion.

Apr
07
2009
hollivomitsyou
hollivomitsyou

i was nervously excited to try this one. i can't imagine anyone not HAVING to try it after reading the notes and reviews. i was warned to wait at least an hour before judging it because this one goes on strong! after the grace period, i was so happy with it! i feel the warm sun and a little touch of hay in it, but everything is warm and sweet. strangely, it smells very natural and very noticeable at the same time. i think it is sexy in the same way that it is sexy to see your love in the morning disheveled before getting ready for the day.

Apr
03
2009
Lime909
Lime909

I have only one word for this: CLOYING.

We are all different and that's a good thing, but for me this represents a feeling of claustrophobia. It smells dusty and I have to turn away and gulp in big breaths of fresh air to refresh my senses.

Sorry if this upsets anybody, but that is my honest reaction to this particular scent :-(

Apr
02
2009
jeanol
jeanol

I first fell in love with this perfume over thirty years ago and to this day it remains my favourite. Wearing this is to feel totally female - erotic, sensual, sexual, and above all a woman. A timeless beauty, a classic.

Feb
05
2009
honeypoppyseed
honeypoppyseed

I've been trying to wait off on doing this review bcause there is a lot to consider with this fragrance. Lets start with it's history, this frangrance, much like miss dior, is one that many women has passed along to their daughters, and their daughters after that. It has a lot of classic appeal, heavy civet, musk and cedars... however it's almost a bit too dusty I think for a modern girl. It's definately not a modern fragrance, however, if you are into the pure classics, than this is your best bet. It has a demur beauty that is perfect or those into the romance, and traditions of the past, and that's not a bad thing. It's just important to know your style, and this fragrance is a perfect example of that. While it really warms some people up, it can have strong reactions otherwise as well.

Jan
20
2009
Chatnoir
Chatnoir

Wow! What a complex scent. I was at the local overstock store,and saw Bal A Versailles. I tried a spray, and well, I wasn't impressed. At all. As it settled down, it grew on me. So, I went back and paid my $8, and got a bottle. It smells like a mix of soap and powder, slightly wilted floral arrangements, and musk. It isn't the smell of the ball in full swing, but hours into it, when everyone has stripped off their wraps and gloves, and kicked off their shoes. There is an old-timey decadence to this scent. The more I smell of this, the more I love it.

Dec
27
2008
gyftedgrammy
gyftedgrammy

At first whiff I thought, oh boy, I've smelled this before on pratically everyone. The transformation that takes place just minutes after applying it is stunning. It is VERY powdery in an elegant sense. The amber note is unmistakable. Nothing simple or plain about it; the words classy and refined come to mind. A real head turner.

Dec
23
2008
Miss_Nightingale
Miss_Nightingale

This, I now realise, isn't so much a fragrance of candlelight coquettishness & smiling behind lace fans... this is a powdered courtesan being pleasured on a dining room table that has been freshly polished with beeswax.

I first wore this beautiful Oriental fragrance as a fresh-faced youth, I loved it because I was in love with all things romantically antique. To me it was History in a bottle - the scent of an aristocratic candlelit ball, the Language of Fans, of a past I read about constantly in Georgette Heyer novels and yearned to be a part of.

Of course I was far too young to appreciate it truly; but doesn't that just sum up the folly of youth?!

Many years later from my first breathless encounter with Bal a Versailles, I repurchased a bottle because I was interested to see what I thought of it now. I am very glad to say that - apart from bringing back happy memories of my first experimentations with perfume - I STILL love this, and now I understand it.

Firstly I get a huge rush of amber - if you don't like amber, Bal a Versailles is most certainly not the fragrance for you. Amber is present, in differing strengths, all through the many layers of this perfume. This is excellent news for me as I am an amber freak. For me, this is like flicking through the boring bits of a mundane novel to get straight to the racy parts that make your heart beat faster.

Next I have an almost overwhelmingly sensual blast of orange blossom (this is also a particularly long lasting note on my skin) with a creamy background of woods and slight hints of patchouli & vetiver. This is probably my only complaint with the perfume - I would prefer the vetiver to be punchier by far, but I'm a sucker for deep, dark, mysterious perfumes that waft behind me and scare the innocent.

The drydown is delicious, a warmly powdered ylangylang with the whole lot mellowed with orris root - it lasts all day (or night) long, absolutely brilliant staying power. You have to go a long, long way to beat this powerful, playful, completely entrancing Oriental!

Dec
14
2008
Nuppu
Nuppu

What a lovely, soft oriental gem. Stars little bitter and powdery, on a dry side, but so sophisticated and elegant. Stays close to skin, softly cares and rose up beautiful musky base. Good staying power, over 8 hours and more.

The scent isn't at all aged, it's classy, never loud and I coud wear this even at work in cold season.

Nov
17
2008
elgab89
elgab89

Bal a Versailles holds a very dear memory for me. I was about 12 when I have tried it the first time, a marvelous bottle that me and my best friend found on her mom's cabinet. We were both home alone and we were trying her mom clothes and makeup. Finding this to us was discovering the ultimate lady perfume. I have tried it again in my adult years and my opinion has not changed. Such a sophisticated oriental, elegant and seductive, beautiful floral top notes, it dries down in a very sensual scent.
The name is perfect - the belle du bal, courtesan of the court - arriving at a sumptuous party in the eccentric Versailles.

Oct
27
2008
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

I really like the musky, animalic dry-down on Bal a Versailles. It's very sexy and not too sweet, with warm hints of amber and vanilla. Unfortunately, the opening floral notes smell a little too old-fashioned for me, and linger a little longer than I would like.

That being said, perfumes don't really smell like this one anymore, and I can appreciate the fine quality of this fragrance, even though it's not one I will purchase again. I bought it unsniffed after looking at the notes online, and it was definitely worth trying.

12/10/08 I am editing my review to add that the more I wear this one, the more it grows on me. I may very well be purchasing it again. I hear it's lovely in the Parfum concentration!

:-)

Oct
13
2008
Mitsouko
Mitsouko

These perfume is obliged to be devoted it poem, because it is same poetry. They belonged golden medal, because this artistry of world. But, ad rem: I write about them after month of usage. They are very rich, but they do not crush. They are warm, but not stifling. It is exquisite mixture of flower of orange, jasmin, dried fruits, roses, ambergris, musk, civet. They are elegant, but it is possible to use their within day, because they are very optimistic, joyful. They are classic, but it is possible to regard them as modern. For me this fragrance has color of deep bronze, gold and orange. They are unusually sensual, soft, very feminine. They are exceptional. My english is not good, but even, if it was perfect, I did not did not be able to express unusualness of this smell in words. It one of fine smell. I would carry away it on uninhabited island.

Sep
10
2008

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Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez 4.00 out of 5 based on 792 ratings and 216 user reviews

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