This post dives into the designer sphere with an interesting gem from Balenciaga. When I think Balenciaga, it’s the slouchy, rocker-look City Bag that comes to mind. As it turns out, they may have done a good thing here with perfume, too, by employing perfumers Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Herault to create this floral green fragrance called Florabotanica launched in 2012.
These top IFF perfumers have composed a pretty and wearable fresh rose scent. The vision was for the composition reveal the seductive character of florals alongside the element of danger that comes with them – think thorns on a rose. And yes, the rose is the start in this fragrance, though it would be much less without the cast of green notes.
The flacon containing this dewy delight is modern and fantastic – very original. I’m not a post-modern gal but I do appreciate the geometric graphics here and the coloured segments of glass. If it is supposed to be suggestive of the botanical world, it’s in a very abstract sense.
The scent, and no doubt the bottle, drew inspiration from the bright, bold, and edgy Balenciaga runway collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, who apparently had a floral moment of sorts. His iguana print can be seen on both this dress and the perfume box this bottle originally came housed with, which I no longer have (I tend to toss them). The advertising campaign features the Ghesquière floral print and actress Kristen Stewart as the face of scent. She’s wearing a dress from the floral collection, looking both feminine and tough, which I guess is what they were going for.
- mint, rose, carnation, caladium leaves, cannabis, vetiver, amber
Caladium leaves and cannabis? Indeed unusual, and potentially dangerous. Regardless, this is lovely, natural smelling, vegetable garden in a bottle. I can’t say that any weed has permeated the vicinity after spraying, though. There are lots of water-drenched, crisp leaves after heavy rainfall peppered with the tiniest smidge of some sort of spice. The rain has been so aggressive in its downpour that barely bloomed rose petals have been strewn about on the grassy earth beneath. There is a tepid dampness in the air, and all is well in the universe. This fragrance makes you feel at ease, which is strange, as it literally slaps you with mint and rose at the start and is an energetic, uplifting daytime fragrance.
This is a simple scent, but it’s not linear in nature. It starts off green, dewy and grassy, and then the rose blooms out of the freshness, gradually taking away the wet elements, and the vetiver comes through near the drydown. The mint is never overpowering; it’s more of an accessory to my mind. Which is good for me, because too much mint, is well, too much mint. I think IO Capri from Carthusia goes in the too much mint direction, although I think that’s more spearmint.
If you like fresh, natural rose scents, you could do a lot worse than Florabotanica. This is an understated natural beauty. I give this one a hearty thumbs up, despite not being a fan, generally, of this genre of fragrance. The performance is far from obnoxious, but it does perform, making it well worth the purchase if you like this. You WILL get noticed if you wear this. I have been garnished with compliments while wearing it.
It’s not priced high at all – if you can find it. Unfortunately, I do believe this is discontinued. But perfume discounters will still sell it. I’d be surprised if they didn’t. If you can find it, Florabotanica is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml EDP bottles, and there are some perfumed body care products out there, too – body lotion and shower gel.
If you like Stella McCartney’s rose release, you’ll appreciate this. The roses in her concoctions are also wet and fresh, and I think her EDT is very similar, though not as long-lasting. If you’re not a fan of redundancy, wait until you finish that bottle first if you already own it. There is a flanker of this one, too, called Rosabotanica. That one is less green and has a jammier rose, apparently. But I have not sniffed it so cannot confirm with absolute certainty. Mind, for all I know, all of these are also no longer in production. It would be a shame.
Another shame is that this lovely creation is going to be soon leaving my collection. One of my colleagues fell in love with it when I was wearing it one day, so I said I would give it to her. I have lots of other perfumes, and light florals are not my forte anyway. Ultimately, if I am being completely honest, I am a bigger fan of the bottle than the perfume itself. This be some very fashionable packaging.