In my face is flashing signs,
seek it out and ye shall find.
Old but I’m not that old,
Young, but I’m not that bold.
And I don’t think the world is sold
Just doing what we’re told.
I feel something so right doing the wrong thing.
I feel something so wrong doing the right thing.
I couldn’t lie.. couldn’t lie…couldn’t lie.
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive
– Counting Stars, One Republic
In the winter of 1982 I acquired a temporary part time job babysitting a young girl until a full time nanny could be secured for her. She resided with her mother (an attorney) and father (a doctor) in an affluent area on Riverside Drive, NYC within a rather expansive penthouse. My job was to pick her up from her after school dance class, escort her back to the apartment, cook a light meal and help with homework until her mother returned from work in the late evening. These tasks were usually accomplished swiftly, leaving me at least an hour of free time whilst my charge was watching television.
It was in the guest bathroom that I first discovered a large bottle of Ivoire de Balmain, completely full and literally collecting dust. At first I would just open the cap and sniff….a sophisticated and refined chypre. By the third week it was light application of the juice to my tiny wrists. At the end of the month, I had procured a small empty bottle with every intention of decanting some of this glorious perfume.
Bear in mind that up to this point in my young life I had always been an uptight, goody-two-shoes, straight A student. The only explanation that I could fathom for this intent to steal was that a tiny perfume devil was sitting on my shoulder, facilitating this inappropriate action, whispering in my ear that this gorgeous, complex fragrance would only go bad sitting in the bottle unused. I followed through with my devious plot and emptied a quarter of the bottle into my decant.
Despite adoring the hypnotic scent that emanated from my perfumed wrist every time I pressed my nose to it the illegal possession of it haunted me. I was wraught with guilt and when a full-time nanny was finally found I confessed my transgression to the attorney on my last day of employment.
She replied to me rather nonchalantly, ” You like the Ivoire? The bottle is yours, then. But don’t tell my husband as he gifted it to me. I can’t stand the stuff. I will just tell him the maid accidentally dropped the bottle and it broke.” I was delirious with joy! One woman’s trash became a teenage girl’s treasure!
I was recently given a large decant of the original Ivoire de Balmain from a vintage loving friend. I wondered what thoughts would come to mind as I inhaled its beauty over three decades later: decadence, naughtiness and the memory that something so wrong could turn out so right.
Ivoire de Balmain – Pierre Balmain
Classification: Green Floral Chypre
Top aldehydes, chamomile, asafoetida, mandarin orange, violet, artemisia, marigold, bergamot and lemon
Heart nutmeg, carnation, cinnamon, narcissus, pepper, orris root, jasmine, turkish rose, neroli, ylang-ylang and lily-of-the-valley
Dry Down sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, raspberry, vanilla, oakmoss, vetiver and incense.
For tonight’s treat we are gifting away 1 ml of vintage Ivoire de Balmain. Just leave a comment as to whether or not you have ever been “naughty” due to your fragrance obsession.
Winner announced May month end.
The Non-Blonde – Gaia Fisher tried this so you don’t have to; but you should.
Yesterday’s Perfume – “an olfactory meditation on how a clean fragrance can have depth and texture”
Scentsafe compares Vintage VS Modern.
Now Smell This – Robin on the relaunch – Michel Almairac and Jacques Flori were the Perfumers for the 2012 re-release.