Balmain Extatic: It’s Not Quite What I Had in Mind.



There’s a wonderful Twitter account called Very British Problems that always has something to make me chuckle with its acute observations of British idiosyncrasies.

“It’s Not Quite What I Had in Mind” is translated as “What the Bloody Hell is This?” and those, my friends, are the words that came out of my mouth, unbidden and unedited when I tried Balmain Extatic.


Very Britisj Problems
Very British Problems

Let’s not start with the irritating Franglais misspelling, let’s crowd in and sniff.

If you blindfolded me and asked me to smell this (and please don’t, not my thing), I would have said it was probably a chart topping B List Babe who had just jumped on the fragrance bandwagon and was all packaging and no substance.  If you’d told me it was from the same house that gave me my beloved Jolie Madame, I simply would not have believed it.

Balmain Extatic owes a lot to Lancome La Vie est Belle:  a perfume that’s not my cup of tea but which has caused a big splash and spawned lots of flankers and homages.  Extatic is another homage, although not as well made.  There’s caramel and sugar, fruit and sweetness and loads of fake  synthetic flowers and… frankly, it’s awful.  But wait!  What’s this?  Could it be a fleeting whiff of classy leather?  Nope, sorry, it’s gone.  False Alarm.

Balmain, you’re a class act, you don’t need to do this.


If you like Lancome La Vie est Belle, you might like this too.  Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean nobody will.  You can buy this from our friends at Escentual, or from John Lewis, Debenhams and Amazon UK.  Overseas you can buy it from Sephora and

PS The Black Narcissus writes brilliantly on Balmain Extatic: the title alone made me laugh!



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