L'Essence (2011)

L'Essence by Balenciaga
Bottle Design: Nicolas Ghesquiere
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7.9 / 10     154 RatingsRatingsRatings
L'Essence is a popular perfume by Balenciaga for women and was released in 2011. The scent is green-fresh. It was last marketed by Coty.

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Perfumer

Olivier Polge

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesGreen notes, Violet leaf
Heart Notes Heart NotesResins, Violet, Vetiver
Base Notes Base NotesWoods, Leather, Moss

Ratings

Scent

7.9 (154 Ratings)

Longevity

7.2 (111 Ratings)

Sillage

6.1 (106 Ratings)

Bottle

8.5 (121 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 09.06.2019
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Reviews

8.0/10
Rickbr

190 Reviews
Rickbr
Rickbr
1
I find this fragrance very interesting, a chic take one a very loved and, due to this, overused essence: violet. What makes me intrigued about it is that i cannot decide if it's more masculine with a delicate side or more feminine with a rough edge. It's both maybe? It tries to find a balance between the violete leaves, the sweet, sugary violet flowers, the slightly rubber and leathery side of some violet materials and the clean, laundry-like aspects that other violet chemicals possess. They aren't very intense, it feels more like a blurred, watercolor impression. Altough there are some woody notes listed, they don't make the base super woody or dry, as if the base followed the fragile balance of soft-rough with some creamy woody impressions and something more discretly dry.
It's a beautiful fragrance, not one that relies on innovation, but one that makes me think that beauty is able to be created with known melodies played on the right way.
7.5 5.0 7.5 8.0/10
Icekat

97 Reviews
Icekat
Icekat
Helpful Review    3
Subtle Elegance of Violet Leaf and Leather
A graceful rider on a white horse is dashing through the morning mist on a beautiful spring day. The calm serenity of green scenery is surrounding her while the birds are greeting the arrival of the first light. The dawn is breaking, softly unveiling the mystery of a new day. The air is filled with a scent of fresh leaves, mist and a gentle scent of leather. This beautiful moment is captured perfectly in the soft, elegant and fresh scent of Balenciaga L’Essence.

The composition is centered on the violet leaf with its gentle green and fresh beauty. It is so soft and calm, cool and refreshing. I love how the composition creates this aura of freshness without going into the laundry or straight-out-of-shower scent category. It is clean but also very sophisticated. As the composition develops, there is a gentle leather scent that is layered on the green notes. The floral presence is only slightly powdery and never overpowering. All notes are perfectly woven together creating this absolutely gorgeous and elegant scent. The scent is not too strong, but it certainly is noticeable and lasts for hours.

This is a great everyday scent. Sophisticated yet subtle and easy to wear. I love this scent and would not hesitate to recommend it. Overall score 8.5/10
7.0/10
Greysolon

88 Reviews
Greysolon
Greysolon
Helpful Review    5
Can violets and leather go together?
Wearing L’Essence provided a number of surprises and, fortunately, most of them were of the pleasant variety. The first surprise was the delicacy of this perfume. For some reason I had it in my head I was in for a big, purple, floral cloud. Instead, L’Essence opens with a very simple and beautifully executed blend of sweet violet flowers and fresh, airy green foliage. There are few things I enjoy more in a scent than a fresh, natural, leafy green accord. After that there is an incredibly long transition time from the opening florals and greens to the blossoming of dry woods, vetiver and mossy notes, to the final landing on a soft leather accord. Seriously, it’s a long development. But it is a beautiful journey slowly gilding down to a leather accord that is about as soft and restrained as you’ll ever find without calling it suede.

With everything going so well the next surprise turned out to be, unfortunately, a hiccup in the construction of the fragrance. Overall, L’Essence is such a beautiful scent that bringing up this point may seem like quibbling. But, to me, the issue sticks out precisely because L’Essence has so many wonderful qualities.

The problem is, that when L’Essence reaches it’s final leathery phase the violet lacks any deep, dark notes to reach down and blend with the leather. Nor is there an intermediary note or accord to link the violet to the leather. The woody/mossy notes are still present but somehow they don’t help join the two. Without any link, I smell the sweet, upper register violet notes and the leather as two distinct scents rather than a continuous whole. Certainly a fragrance can be constructed in that way but here it seems a little clunky given the continuity and beauty of the development. Even as the last of the violet dies away and all that’s left are the woods, moss and leather, my nose remembers the violet like the repetitious snippet of a song and my brain insists on smelling it in relation to the leather.

Forgive me if that complaint seems picayune. L’Essence is a beautiful perfume. In a sense it reminds me of Olivia Giacobetti’s En Passant. Just as I would have found En Passant satisfying had the bread accord been left out and the fragrance was nothing more than watery lilacs and dewy greens, I would enjoy L’Essence just as much if it were nothing more than violets and greenery planted in woods and moss.
7.5 6.0/10
Gold

468 Reviews
Gold
Gold
1
My weird "drydown-experience"
Very good in the beginning - I'd even say wonderful - the first 120 seconds. Green and woody, with a touch of violet. But after two minutes, the gorgeous topnotes are no longer discernible for me. I can only smell a synthetic leathery-mossy heart and then, after 30 min, a rather faint, woody drydown...very faint.
Interestingly enough, I had a similar and weird "Balenciaga-drydown-experience" when I tested "Florabotanica" the other day. I loved the start, but could not enjoy the synthetic woody drydown, in spite of the fact that "Florabotanica's" drydown is much stronger than the one "Essence" is blessed with. Or - am I anosmic to the base used in "Essence"? At least Balenciaga does not release one fruity-floral girly fragrance after another and tries to come up with perfumes for grown-ups. But I'm afraid these fragrances are not for me. And it's COTY behind it all... once again.
10.0 5.0 7.5 6.0/10
Sherapop

1239 Reviews
Sherapop
Sherapop
Helpful Review    3
Woody, Watery Violet
Balenciaga PARIS L'ESSENCE is a slightly tweaked flanker of the popular Balenciaga PARIS, the primary difference being that the flanker contains more wood than the original. This extra woodiness brings L'ESSENCE a bit closer to Dsquared SHE WOOD and Ellen Tracy BRONZE. It's the sort of combination--woody, watery, violet--which people are either going to take to or not. So anyone who likes one of these perfumes is likely to appreciate all the others. They all have a somewhat synthetic sheen to them, but it's not an off-putting one to me. I also happen to love violet and violet leaf, which are key to all of these perfumes.

People who do not like violet will find little of interest here. L'ESSENCE, like its namesake, is light and refreshing, slightly woody, somewhat sweet but somehow simultaneously aquatic. The least expensive of the rash of recently launched perfumes in this style is by far Ellen Tracy BRONZE, which I recommend as a high-value, low price alternative to the Balenciaga compositions, though I expect that their price, too, will drop soon. The bottle of the Balenciaga perfumes is much nicer, to my eyes, but the composition is not very different from the less expensive perfumes of this type.
1 Replies

Statements

Trucklady 7 days ago
The only Polge scent that is sublime, though I am by far a violet fan. Melancholic in the most ethereal way. Mists of Avalon.

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