Noël au Balcon (2007)

Noël au Balcon by Etat Libre d'Orange
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Noël au Balcon is a perfume by Etat Libre d'Orange for women and men and was released in 2007. The scent is sweet-spicy. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesApricot, Honey, Mandarin
Heart Notes Heart NotesOrange blossom, Pepper, Cinnamon
Base Notes Base NotesClover, Musk, Patchouli, Vanilla



7.3 (139 Ratings)


6.8 (97 Ratings)


5.8 (88 Ratings)


6.3 (87 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 23.12.2019.
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Very helpful Review    7
Cuddly-warm scent for the colder season
Another budget Libre D'Orange, to which I dedicate a comment. If you disregard Secretions Magnifiques, a brand that I really like. I've only tested four, but more will follow because the pyramids and concepts are very interesting. I also ordered a small bottling a few months ago. Because of the great pyramid and the unusual concept. Christmas on the balcony, a name that naturally seems funny at first and already attracts attention. From the concepts and names anyway, a brand that stands out with extremely unusual names.

The bottle is like any other. I like them, especially the well-known colorful pattern is very respectable and stylish.
I have ordered a small sample mainly because of the great fragrance pyramid and I have to say: Most of the given notes are very good to smell and you don't get any bad surprises. As one expects this one gets one this smell.
It has an extremely fruity start. Apricot and mandarin in a double pack provide a great fruity note. Those who like these notes will love the top note. In addition some honey, which offers the fruits a sweet-cuddly heaviness. The spices here are cinnamon and pepper, but that doesn't seem too extreme. Also the orange blossom, very present here. In combination with the other notes it comes very soft and so it fits well into this soft creation. The base then becomes much softer, which comes mainly from the Patchouli-Vanilla combination. Nevertheless, this fragrance retains its basic DNA over its entire course, which is a good thing because it is an extremely balanced creation. A little orange blossom, fruit, honey, a subtle spice and sweet component. Class.
The performance is good. Especially the durability. She's double-digit with me. The Sillage is however quite very close after approx. 4-5 hours. Nevertheless satisfactory, especially as a "cuddly scent", thickly wrapped on the sofa. But it can also be used for more, because it is noble and balanced. When I smell this scent, Christmas doesn't come to mind, but cool autumn temperatures.

Unisex? You can sign it like that even though it's a little better for ladies. Especially notes like apricot look more feminine to me. But it's not that big a deal. Modern men with the courage to sweet scents will also stand the scent
2 Replies

94 Reviews
Good girls aren't necessarily well behaved
Bright flower blossoms, sweetish, delicately full and sparkling, fruity and clean. Such a clean uplifting waft of something that makes the perfume seems to almost vanish. There is a saltyish note like clean flesh with an ambery musky base balancing the light top end. There is a clean sandalwoodish sort of spicy smoky edge as if someone just walked out of the laundry room and lit a fag outside and only one tendril of smoke got in. The fruity floral reminds me of those little plastic pillows of laundry liquids.

It smells like a ladies fine jumper after she threw it on the bathroom floor after a night out. The jumper has the traces of the evenings entertainment woven into its threads, the party, the distant fags, and the heat of her body. All mingling with her floral scent which had been fresh at the start of the evening but now has seen some fun. Her bath is fruity and bubbly and clean and the two mingle.

This perfume seems like a good girl but actually she might not be. It is floral, slightly naughty for a while and yet clean, all at the same time. The good girl has been having fun and is bathing in fruity lotions but the naughty doesn't quite wash off. It's just a trace.

Now I see the title. This is a wonderful way to smell samples. The stories are in the fragrance.
(I'm blind testing a series of ELdO samples, so these reviews are from nose notes.)

484 Reviews
Greatly helpful Review    6
omg. i just read sherapop's review of noel. brilliant!
Etat Libre d’Orange are known stylistically for their cheeky tone and snarky perfumes. As a brand, they poke a stick at contemporary notions of bland luxury. Branding tailors images to implant in the public mind and then builds a series of associations. But branding also takes into account the self-reference of the branded. We perfume consumers should be watchful and consider how a brand presents and refers to itself. ELDO’s motto, “Le parfum est mort. Vive le Parfum!” (Perfume is dead. Long live perfume!) tells you to expect irreverence and insouciance. ELDO’s topics, or so they tell us, are prostitution, intimate bodily fluids, Sex Pistols, carrion, cross-dressing, yadda, yadda... Depending on your perspective, you might find the brand anarchic or dilettante. My approach in considering their perfume is simply to disregard everything but the perfume and myself.

So in honor of Etat Libre’s revolutionary tone, I present my own motto for perfume criticism: “Fuck the PR. Smell the perfume!”

I should admit up front that I'm a great fan of many of ELDO’s perfumes, and think the house has a much better than average success for their perfumes. The most successful of their perfumes succeed for the fact that they are beautiful examples of classical genres of perfume. Jasmin et Cigarettes is a gorgeous, husky-voiced woody floral. Rien, a perfectly balanced stark leather. Vraie Blonde, a concise, inventive take on the floral oriental. Fat Electrician and Nombril Immense are clean and beautifully edited takes on the contemporary vetiver and patchouli. Afternoon of a Faun is one of the best nouvelles chypres.

ELDO posit themselves as very current, very contemporary, apart from the mainstream, and on promotional level they are. But their dirty little secret is that they are more traditional than they appear. I think they are neither misguided nor cynical. I simply find that their public representation underestimates the degree to which they are a part of an artistic tradition. ELDO remind me of the 1960s Catholic ‘folk mass.’ Post Vatican II, there was all sorts of fiddling with the window displays in the Catholic Church. This is the sort of redirection that ELDO do: change the set dressing a bit, leave the dogma in place.

Noel au Balcon is a wonderful example. It's sold as a cheeky near-gourmand perfume. It's presented as a considered offering to a thoughtless genre. Perhaps this angle might work on a perfume wearer who is young and ahistorical enough to see the contemporary gourmand genre as classical. I'm old enough to see Noel au Balcon for what it is: a traditional spicy oriental perfume in the grand manner. Resinous and rich, it's filled with vanilla, amber, benzoin, spices. Read any description of Tabu, Emeraude or Shalimar written before the era of the contemporary gourmand and what you’ll find could be a description of Noel au Balcon. The term oriental itself, when applied to perfume, is a throwback. It’s a vestige of the colonial exoticism of Western European of the early 20th century. 100 years ago ‘gourmand’ could just as easily have been the name for these perfumes. Instead, the marketing of the day keyed into the paternalist style of the racism of the era (Quel Exotique!) and promoted orientalism in perfumery.

So, if you’re an upstart line, and don’t want to be identified as making Shalimar for youngsters, what do you do? It’s telling that ELDO avoid the obvious choice in the first place: making an identifiably “modern” perfume. Image-manipulation is shown to be as important them them as it is to any mainstream perfumer. Making a wonderful, but quite conventional, in fact old-fashioned perfume, but selling it as ‘the new thing‘ rather than making a ‘contempo-gourmand’ in the first place exposes the real strategy and reveals the old boys at Etat Libre to be closet conservatives. They would rather change the marketing than change the perfume. I’ll repeat, because this is the critical point in seeing through ELDO’s smoke. It’s more important to make a beautiful perfume, following generations of trial to perfect the genre, than it is to make something new. Even within ELDO’s own line Noel seems staid. Compared to Like This, a more up-to-date gourmand that erases the line between sweet and savory in perfume, Noel might as well be a 40-year-old bottle of taboo.

Of course, ELDO would want to hide all this from you! It defeats the entire premise of, “le parfum est mort.” The key is then, how do you sell it? ELDO’s approach here is hardly new either: Titties. A clever turn of phrase (a full balcony in French refers to a hefty bosom) and surprisingly unclever image (just titties) are the red herring that keeps you from comparing Noel to Shalimar and helps you to swallow the fairy tale, to drink the kool-aid.

If you believe ELDO’s mission statement and anarchic posturing, then they have inadvertently done what Maison Francis Kurkdjian contrive to do, which is to create a traditional French perfume house from the ground up. I happen to think that ELDO, for all their niche-y posing, are simply an excellent perfume house.

I'm not saying fuck the brand. I'm saying fuck the branding. Ignore ELDO’s marketing, but smell their perfume. It’s wonderful.

1 Replies
7.5 7.5 4.0/10

1239 Reviews
Noël chez Pier 1 Imports
Etat Libre d'Orange NOEL AU BALCON reminds me a bit of TILDA SWINTON LIKE THIS in its foodishness. It seems almost edible, except for the other half of the perfume, which wafts of the candle section of Pier 1 Imports around Christmastime.

There is a serious holiday potpourri vibe going on here which makes this somewhat unpleasant for me to wear as a perfume. In fact, while wearing NOEL AU BALCON, I kept hoping that it would have poor longevity, which of course it did not. I think that this scent could be achieved by throwing a handful of potpourri into a pan of fruitcake batter before baking.

There were still a few traces of this perfume following me around many hours after application, and I continued to see images of Pier 1 Imports' candle section at Christmastime in my mind's eye.

Not for me.

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