Balmain La Mome

Ambre Gris by Balmain was one of the first perfumes I ever reviewed for this blog. Back then I was still in my “Oh gosh! Fruits and flowers are so good!” phase. I’ve since grown a bit in terms of taste (or at least I like to think I did) and while I still love my flowers, my clean smells, and my fruits I’ve also warmed to Ambre Gris enough to be excited about La Mome rolling out of my sampler box for a try.

La Mome

La Mome

In Bottle: Roses, violets and an undercurrent of amber.

Applied: A flash of sweet raspberry that opens the fragrance under a fruity, sweet pretense. The rose is quick to fall in and I’m glad for that because I think I’ve had my fill of raspberry for a while. The rose has a lovely soft and classic affect mixing beautifully with an amber note that sweetens and warms the fragrance. I get violets the longer I wear this, giving the fragrance a bit of dusty appeal like I’m wearing a fine fragrance and just dusted myself down with some violet powder. This reminds me of fancy windows for some reason. Windows with intricate little patterns in the glass. Windows that lead to an exquisite sitting room. It’s deceptively simple because this is a much more complex scent than the seemingly easygoing violet, rose and amber mixture.

Extra: A little bit of research yielded an explanation for the naming convention of this fragrance. La Mome means “The Kid” which is a dedication to Edit Piaf.

Design: I love the design of this bottle. Balmain does very well with its packaging. The juice, the color of the juice, down to the materials and the style of the bottle, and the weight of the whole thing are meticulous. I love everything about it, up to and including the little tassels.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Pink pepper, raspberry, freesia, rose, violet, myrrh, iris, opoponax, amber, musk.

Sometime I should sit down and take a good sidelong stare at how my tastes in fragrance have changed over the past two years. I went from a pretty uneducated lover of fruity florals to a pretty uneducated lover of everything else too. I never would have thought a little hobby blog could take me this far.

Reviewed in This Post: La Mome, 2008, Eau de Parfum.

Balmain Ambre Gris

I don’t hate ambergris despite how often I make fun of it. I just find a lot of ingredients (or former ingredients seeing as many of them are now synthetics for very good reasons) to be amusing. Who thought up extracting musk to make fragrances? And how did they come to that conclusion anyway? Similarly, the story of the first chunks of ambergris discovery must have been simultaneously awesome and hilarious at the same time.

Er, anyway, Balmain’s Ambre Gris captures the essence of the note and it did it a little too well. wnqwqf45

In Bottle: Sweet with a musky, spicy, woodsy base that goes into the back of my throat and gets caught there. I get golden, warm and cinnamon in this but it’s definitely not gourmand. I don’t want to eat this at all. The musk is distinctly telling me not to and I’m going to oblige. It just smells fascinating.

Applied: Sweet, spicy and powerful. Ambre Gris packs a big punch as it throws itself in all directs around application spot. This stuff is potent and you do not need a whole lot of it to project yourself. The musks in this fragrance and the sweetness are trying really hard to convince me that this is what real-life ambergris sitting on a beach smells like. There is a very, very minor saltiness to this but I had to work for that one. Ambre Gris is golden, warm, and a bit racy. It’ll also last, and last, and last, and just when you’ve outlasted it, you’ll get a whiff or two and think again.

Extra: Ambergris comes from whales. More specifically, it’s a regurgitated waxy, greyish lump of substance mostly used in perfumery after appropriate aging. Most ambergris in fragrances these days are synthetic, in that they’ve had various compounds mixed together to simulate real ambergris due to a wide barrage of ethical, legal, rarity and expense issues.

Design: Presented in a grey tinted glass bottle, Ambre Gris is topped with a golden, ball-like cap. The cap reminds me of a golden inverse golf ball. I’m fairly indifferent from the look of the fragrance itself. It’s easy, functional, the golf ball cap is a pleasant element.

Fragrance Family: Oriental

Notes: Pink pepper, cinnamon, tuberose,i mmortelle, myrrh, smokey woods , benzoin, white musk, ambergris.

Interesting how I couldn’t pick up on the tuberose but now that I know it’s in there, I did get that slick, slightly floral up-your-nose-and-around-the-corner tuberose kick. Or I could just be making it all up.

Reviewed in This Post: Ambre Gris, 2009, Sample vial.