This review is for the vintage Eau de Parfum.
Top Notes: Basil, Neroli, Ylang-Ylang, Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Narcissus.
Heart Notes: Honey, Carnation, Tuberose, Jasmine, Orris Root, Lily of the Valley, Bulgarian Rose.
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Benzoin, Vanilla, Heliotrope, Cedar.
Bijan is a decadently rich, delicious, and quite expensive smelling Floriental that is very well blended with the perfect amount of spice. I have to work hard to distinguish individual notes, but the ones I am able to distinguish smell very natural and lush. Bijan is not synthetic smelling at all. This is how I had hoped Bal a Versailles would smell.
Bijan immediately seduces both the senses and the imagination. The development is rewardingly slow compared to so many of today's fragrances. It develops over time like the slow opening of a beautiful rose. Bijan has a classic pyramidal structure.
The ylang-ylang and orange blossom in the top notes are lush and sweet. Then as Bijan slowly develops, I detect gorgeous notes of sweet honey and fresh carnation with hints of buttery tuberose and orris root. The deep dry down is very warm, rich, powdery, and sensual. All of the base notes meld together so seamlessly that it is difficult to tease them apart from one another. They are simply there on one's skin like a soft, rich, silky, beautiful veil. This is a perfume to truly relish smelling either on oneself or on someone else.
I am amazed by the way all of the notes combine to create the most incredibly soft smoothness. They meld effortlessly with one another to form a most intoxicatingly delicious smell. Sniffing Bijan is the olfactory equivalent of running one's hand across the softest most opulent and warm fur one can imagine. This...this is a Floriental worthy of the name!
On top of everything else, Bijan is obscenely affordable--at least in the current EdT formulation. I would expect to pay significantly more for a fragrance of this fine quality.
If you like Florientals/Orientals, this is one that is worth adding to your wardrobe. It is "dress up" worthy, date night worthy, and special occasion worthy. Sadly, they do not make fragrances like this anymore. Bijan is opulent, smooth, rich, warm, sensual, feminine, and dare I say it...sexy. I generally do not relegate any perfume to either day or night wear, but Bijan I think would be best worn in the evening because it is so opulently rich and seductive. A woman wearing Bijan will rightly expect the men in her immediate vicinity to notice her and to gravitate toward her.
The following ratings are for the first five hours or so. Thereafter, Bijan very slowly begins to fade away leaving behind what I envision as the wake of Cleopatra's barge sparkling in the moonlight.
ETA December 2019: Every time I come back to wear this fragrance I swoon all over again. This is the most wonderful, floral amber I have ever smelt. If I were told it was created by one of the legendary noses at Guerlain or CHANEL, I would not doubt it for a moment. It smells so expensive and sexy, but these days it is not expensive at all. If you love, opulent, floral ambers you really cannot do better than this fragrance.
I have several other ambers in my collection, but few even exist within the same universe as Bijan Bijan. It smells wealthy and glamorous, dark and rich. I can imagine a young Ava Gardener, Sophia Loren, or Yvonne DeCarlo wearing this. It is simply stunning. Anytime I wear it, I wonder why I still keep Amber Sultan and a few others in my collection. None of them compete with Bijan. Going out for a very elegant evening this Winter? Rubbing shoulders with the creme de la creme of New York, Paris, Milan society, or just your home town? Put on your finest frock and sexiest shoes. Don your prettiest earrings, and then, apply Bijan. You will turn heads and "knock 'em dead" wherever you go. I promise. :)