Friday, November 23, 2012

Balenciaga Pour Homme

One reason I'm writing a review of Balenciaga Pour Homme is that I just noticed today  that all of a sudden there's a bunch of websites (I just counted three a few minutes ago) selling one-ounce bottles of this, after years of no one having this discontinued frag in stock.  It makes me wonder if Balenciaga has reissued it, or if some distributor just discovered a hidden cache of one-ounce bottles in some warehouse somewhere. 

Unfortunately I doubt it's been reissued.  The 80's and early 90's marked the twilight of the powerhouse fragrance, and I doubt the style will ever come back into vogue.  Balenciaga Pour Homme was perhaps the best of the lot, and was one of the most powerful.  I think the political correctness of the late 80's/early 90's had a lot to do with the decline in popularity of strong, brash fragrances, and the advent of wimps like L'Eau d'Issey and Kenzo Pour Homme.  Granted, the trend in men's perfumes has slowly been moving away from the aquatic style, but I can't imagine an old school monster like Balenciaga gracing department store shelves any time in the future.  Today's average consumer simply can't handle macho frags.  On the other hand, if you love your fragrances aggressive and loud, like I do, then you need to seek out a bottle of this ballbusting powerscent.

Like its soul brother Lapidus Pour Homme, Balenciaga Pour Homme is on the Kouros axis of powerhouse fragrances.  Like Kouros, it's a heavy, toxic brew, blending heady floral notes with strong animalic overtones,  and everything rounded off with honey.  Balenciaga, however, is even stronger and spicier than Kouros, though it's a little less brutal than Lapidus.  With Balenciaga, the volume knob on the patchouli is cranked all the way up to 11, and combined with a deadly dose of artemisia in opening, it creates sledgehammer-like power. 

After the top notes fade, you're left with this potent brew of powdery  green patchouli, incense and honey.  Together they smell strangely animalic, like a mix of every nasty, disgusting bodily secretion imaginable.  A word of caution: this fragrance is going to offend some people.  You could lose your job over this scent.

I wore Balenciaga Pour Homme a lot back in the early 90's, right when I was first getting interested in fragrances.  This was before I knew anything about "power" scents, and I had a small collection.  Back then the only strong fragrances I remember liking were this, Kouros, Givenchy Gentleman and Aramis.  Balenciaga Pour Homme was released in 1990, and I doubt it was ever a big seller for this company, because I remember buying my first bottle back in 1993 in Marshalls, at about $15 for a big 100 ml. bottle.  They had tons of the stuff on the shelves back then, and they had trouble selling them; they were always on clearance.  And this is mainly why I bought it initially - it was cheap, and I couldn't afford to pay $50 for a bottle of cologne.  Fortunately I loved it, and I wore it religiously for about a year or so.  Then at some point it completely disappared, and I regretted not having bought the entire stock at my local Marshalls store about ten years earlier.

I was lucky to be able to score a big bottle of Balenciaga Pour Homme about a year ago for a good price, and I treasure it.  Right at the moment, the one-ounce bottle is selling for about $35 U.S. by online retailers.  That may seem like a lot of money for a small bottle, but this stuff is very strong, so a little will go a long way.  Even if it weren't such a monster, it's still worth every penny for its scent alone, so stock up now while you still can.

MY RATING:  10/10

Fragrance House:  Balenciaga

12 comments:

  1. Lately, I've found that scents with strong patchouli really bother me, especially the camphorous quality. Would you say the patchouli is that strong in BPH? Thanks.

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    1. Oh yeah, definitely. At least that's the biggest note I detect. The way this beast is blended, the patchouli smells green and almost moldy. Sort of the way the patchouli is blended in Krizia Uomo - very harsh. If you don't enjoy top notes or sharp notes, I don't think you're going to like BPH.

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  2. Is it true a certain combination of Kouros and Lapidus will resemble Balenciaga?

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    1. I've heard that, but I haven't tried layering those two. I ought to try it and report back.

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    2. If you get the chance, you should write a post about it(how many sprays of each, how closely it resembles balenciaga, etc.)

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  3. I am buying a 4ml mini of Balenciaga for like $5 just so I know what it smells like. I hope Quorum, Z-14, Azzaro, and many others don't go the way of Balenciaga.

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  4. I just bought a large bottle last week for less than $50. I had never tried it before and kept hearing about this great big monster.
    I love it, but don't find it to be such a big bad scent. Granted I've been wearing all the other powerscents of the 80's since the 80's.

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    1. Wow, less than $50?? If you got it on eBay, I'd be concerned if you got authentic juice. I've gotten screwed once before, buying a fake Creed frag.

      I find it to be one of the strongest power frags I've ever tried.

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    2. I got it from one of the online discount sites. I had a 20% off coupon and free shipping. I gave up on eBay a long time ago... Lol
      I guess that after years of wearing Trussardi Uomo, Krizia Uomo, Dali PH, and Macassar on a daily basis, I am probably not a good judge of what is too powerful anymore

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    3. Once again your review intrigued me and I got a 4 ml miniature just to know.

      You're right-I might lose my job (I'm a tutor and my students sit at armthlength from me). This stuff is so strong, it can get downright obnoxius if you're not careful by applying too much. But the scent alone is worth its money and if you get too lonely this Christmas, just show up at the local Ladies' Night wearing this sucker...

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  5. Something tells me that a company out there has bought the rights to Balenciaga (or perhaps Balenciaga has decided to reissue), because today I was in one of my favorite brick and mortar perfume shops, and he had fifteen 4 ml minis of Balenciaga Pour Homme sitting on the front display. They look new. But then again they're small enough for looks to be deceiving. I don't know, but it seems awfully fishy because I've never seen this frag anywhere before. I wonder if someone is market testing the minis and 1 ouncers just to see if people will buy them, and if so, perhaps gauging if it's a good idea to release regular sized bottles. Let's hope they're selling like hot cakes.

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    1. Yeah, something does sound fishy, and in a good way. It's hard to imagine that this is merely a cache of BPH found in some isolated wearhouse. Too many retailers are selling it now, after years of nothing. Whatever it is that's going on, it's all good.

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