Miss Balmain Perfume Review

Janis Joplin, Summer of ’67, Ball and Chain


Today I will review Miss Balmain, both in the original Parfum and  EdT formulations. This one is credited to Harry Cuttler in 1967, the “Summer of Love”  Meant possibly to endear the house of Balmain to the younger and hipper crowd; this one’s a bit more classy than its contemporaries. Perhaps this was a first scent for Mr. Cuttler, who later composed Revlon’s Charlie, Ciara and Jontue, and also participated in that powerhouse scent Giorgio Beverly Hills along with M.L. Quince and Francis Camail. Little info is available for Mr. Cuttler, but it is apparent that he favored big scents and larger-than-life accords. Perhaps he was an admirer of Germaine Cellier, but who can say?

For me, Miss Balmain is a pretty, but animalically dirty candied leather. The leather-smoke combo is more pronounced in the Parfum; while the candied ,narcotic, flowery facets are more apparent in the EdT.  I also get a tobacco-y vibe from time to time from the Parfum.Both live forever on my skin, and I could easily see this as a signature scent, as long as the person wearing it has the rascality and boldness to pull it off. It’s most definitely a “statement” when I wear it, and can command a room with it’s presence, since the sillage is huge. A few of the younger set might get the “Grandma ” thing from the high proportion of aldehydes in this, but this Granny was most definitely a Rock Star in her day! This could very possibly be the “love child” of Bandit and Miss Dior and is one of my favorite scents. Most of the Balmains are favorites for me. The Parfum is exquisite if one can find it, but even in the modern iteration, the EdT is still lovely, and could never be called pale or timid.

Even after a two hour swim, there are still traces of this lovely scent clinging to my skin. Impressive staying power for Parfum.

Notes for “Miss Balmain” include gardenia, thujone, coriander, aldehydes, jasmine, narcissus, orris, carnation, patchouli, castoreum, leather and vetiver.

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  • Flora says:

    Miss Balmain and I do not get along, at least in the current version – I get old ashtray from the EDT. I love leather and Jolie Madame is one of my favorites, but I am afraid that the “Miss” in Miss Balmain is a chain-smoking, knuckle-rapping schoolmarm who disapproves of me. That said, I have a tiny bottle of the old parfum and it’s really good. Too bad reformulation was not kind to this one; I suspect it was mainly due to needing to cheapen it rather than any IFRA issues.

  • Ann says:

    Thanks so much for this post — a good reminder for me, as I’ve been meaning to try this for a while now, since I’m really starting to enjoy leather scents.

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    How dominant is the jasmine in this? I’m going through a big kick with jasmine dominant perfumes. But I am seeing a lot of notes that I love in this.