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December 23, 2009



I smelled a vintage Bal once, I loved it, yes, very honeyed, but the new version is nothing like...


Great review. After 50 years Jean Desprez- creator of Bal a Versaille is releasing a new Jean Desprez fragrance. Also have some interesting things going on at their website Jeandesprez.com They will be doing an exclusive pre-launch of the new fragrance on that website.

Jonathan K Mylius

Bal A Versaille, one of the most enduring, romantic, sensual fragrances ever experienced. Perhaps Jean Depres had something intimately inspired by the end result of his creating a "timeless" perfume. There is no one that I don't notice when she has "Bal a Versaille" on....same can be said for Guerlain's "L'Heure Bleu", again one of the most
sensual essences one can become familiar with.....it's the kind of perfume that one asks the individual wearing what "she's wearing"...and you'll probably remember the name from thereon.


Jonathan, I'd love to run into someone wearing Bal à Versailles! I bet it smells amazing in passing...


Enjoying the decant, at home alone; to me it has some of the all-weekend-in-bed-with-someone vibe of Kouros. Amongst the decants you shared with me, I find it to be Intimates slightly unwashed European cousin, and I want to say "don't clean up too much!" Both are lovely. Kouros, well, lovely's not quite the word, but unforgettable is.


Hi Julie,

Interesting point about Intimate. It smells clean and soapy, in spite of what's going on "down there," and yes, I'm referring to base notes! Bal a V. is a little too sweet for me (the honey, I guess), but I do love the place and mood it evokes...snuffed candles, perfume and sweat from dancing. It's pretty great. Glad you enjoyed it! And how wonderful is it that perfume can evoke an all-weekend-in-bed with someone...


I was so intrigued by your review I bought 2 eBay bottles of this...one that advertised itself as vintage, and the bottle is marked only Jean Desperez, and a reformulated mini distributed by Parlux. This is one of the rare cases where the reformulation is head and shoulders IMO above the original. The original is complex and interesting, but definitely powdery and limited, while the Parlux reformulation is an amazing animalic naughty masterpiece. The Parlux bottle I have is an amazing homage to Versailles, and rife with all of the layered smells of that unique place. For those of us who love crazy, beastly, animalic, complex scents, this is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow IMO. The bottle I have that was labeled vintage is also complex and interesting, but a powdery floral and tame. The two scents are so different it's shocking they would be labeled with the same name. FWIW.


Hi Perfumeaddicted. Thank you for the heads up on the Bal à Versailles reformulation. I'm gonna have to try some myself! You're right about the powderiness of the original...Nice that the reformulation puts the skank front and center!


I have a sample vial of vintage Bal a Versailles and all I can say is ah-mazing!! it smells floral and spicy with an undercurrent of raunchiness that I love.It is so animalistic and it ROARS out of the vial and on my skin!! I wish I could have an unlimited supply of this vintage juice!


perfumeaddicted - don't know what you were smelling, but the original is the absolute pinnacle of french perfumery. the reformulation left out numbers of the most subtle ingredients, because of their expense. there is nothing redeeming in "skank". the rather two-dimensional reformulation may appeal more to people who grew up with the overpowering scents such as giorgo and opium, and perhaps feel that the second version of baV is comparatively subtle, but with "skank".

the fact is, however, that the original baV contains subtleties that reveal themselves only very slowly, over time and space. "skank" can't compete with that, in my book. if you want to smell the "skank", feel free to take the second version (which is not nearly as long-lived as the original). and you have to be absolutely certain that you have your editions straight, because much of the silk was used to cover both sizes of bottles. for myself i will treasure the original for what it is. i have NO hope whatever for the "new" baV, which is apparently in slo-mo release by a corporation that manufactures computers, and holds rights to many latino songs, among other greatly varied items. this has been going on for two years; it seems to me that the "giveaway" contest is a way for them to harvest email addresses.
whether their formula will be anything approaching the perfection of the original, i seriously doubt.

Miguel Matos

I also think that the reformulation is much more animalic and sexual. The original has a much sweeter facet.


Thats an interesting switch! Im going to have to try the reformulation, Miguel. Around what year should I start?

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