Sunday, August 16, 2009

My vintage scents: House of Balenciaga

Le Dix (1947)
One day I ran across a really cool parfum bottle that looked like a Roman column on Ebay, so I googled Le Dix to see what it is all about. First of all I go to, and find out that this is a 1947 scent designed by Francis Fabron, who also designed L'Air du Temps (1948) by Nina Ricci, Baghari (1950) by Robert Piguet, L'Interdit (original) (1957) all fragrances that are on my wish list. The photo that basenotes has for Le Dix is closer to what I initially bid on Ebay for, but ultimately lost. Not to be deterred I found a smaller bottle of Le Dix pure parfum for a good price ($10.55 plus 2.50 shipping). When the bottle arrived as seen by this photo, I snuck a whiff of the bottle and found it to be full-bodied fragrance, but wasn't ready to wear it.

Yesterday, I took Le Dix for a run. With new scents that I do not know well, I save them for the weekend so I do not get any nasty surprises at work like I did with Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle. Happily my Le Dix experience was very, very nice. via Now Smell This blog, says this is a Floral Chypre.

Perfumeintelligence says,
"Created by Frances Fabron of Roure, a soft rich floral parfum with top notes of bergamot, lemon, peach and coriander; heart notes of rose, jasmine and orris on base notes of vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, rosewood, musk and civet..."

Ozmoz describes it as,
"Delicately flowery, Le Dix unveils a fresh top note of bergamot and lemon.The heart blooms graciously with an accord of ylang ylang, rose and lily of the valley.This refined bouquet ends in a finale of iris, civet, musk and vanilla. Woody notes of sandalwood and vetiver give the fragrance extra elegance and self-confidence."
Angela on Now Smell This, senses the top notes “aldehydes” and “violets”, notes that are not listed in Ozmoz. Bois de Jasmin, agrees with Angela, saying that Le Dix has been referred to as Chanel No. 5 with violets. Since I just received No. 5 edc, I may see if the comparison is really valid or I may wait and get a parfum version of No. 5 to get an apples to apples comparison.

My vote is with Angela, since I do not really pick up the lemon or bergamot in the opening, but do definately get the violets and the aldehydes somewhat. I do pick up a sweet fruit, so perfumeintelligence's inclusion of the peach makes sense. The sweetness is not cloying to me. I am going to have to try this again to notice the opening more as I put it on when I was in a hurry to get somewhere. When I was at my destination the heart was opening up wonderfully. At first smell, the richness and volumptuous nature with its woods and musks, I thought that this is singularly Fall and Winter scent, but it does have some summery feel as well. It is a different side of Summer, whereas there are more citrusy, beachy, and tropical fragrances to open up and celebrate Summer, Le Dix can be the end of Summer scent that anticipates the harvesting of fruits but not in a gourmand way. It is more like the time in Summer that everything that grew in the Summer is coming to its own as the season takes its last gasp. Then I get surprised with whaffs of leather. It was very warm yesterday going to a playdate for my son, and the fragrance held up. It will be interesting how it reveals itself in the cooler seasons.

The scent lasts a great while. I put it on yesterday morning and it lasted throughout the day and into twilight. I refreshed a bit on my chest and it is still amazing mid-morning. It is turning out to a scent of the weekend.

While Le Dix can be dressed down, it has enough sophistication with its leathers, woods, and florals to be dressed up. This won't be the last we hear of Le Dix. This is merely a first impression.

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