Tag Archives: Balmain Extatic

The Perfume Society Eaux La La Discovery Box: Full Review and Verdict


It’s always a good day when a Perfume Society Discovery Box comes to the door. It usually involves several days of trying perfumes out, often leading me into the tempting and dangerous waters of The Full Bottle Wish List. Like an ever changing Top Forty, positions change by the week and on more than one occasion, a Perfume Society Discovery Box fragrance has shot into the Number One spot. They should give me my own show on Radio Fragrance FM (If only!)

Eaux La La, as you might guess, is French themed. Each scent is either French or inspired by the heartland of Fragrance: Grasse in Provence. Some I had tried before, some were surprises and one, Carven Ma Griffe, is a scent I had been longing to try for ages.  NB all photos are of full size products, not the samples included. (see top photo for contents).

Here’s my round up and verdict:

Agent Provocateur Signature

agent p

I loved this chypre. It’s in a similar vein to Narciso Rodriguez, with big flowers- jasmine, gardenia and magnolia, and a woody, musky base. I reviewed it some time ago here on the blog. Highly recommended!

L’Occitane Collection de Grasse Thé Vert & Bigarade

green tea

From our trusty friends at L’Occitane comes a wonderfully long lasting citrussy cologne style scent with good staying power. I recently reviewed it here. This is perfect for Summer.

Lalique Amethyst Éclat

lalique eclat

I’ve yet to be let down by Lalique and with blackberry, musk and peony, this is a very pretty fruity floral. Full marks for the stunning bottle too. My recent review is here.

Miller Harris L’Air de Rien

l'air de rien

Created for Jane Birkin, this is a combination of neroli, musk, patchouli and amber. Friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird rates it as a favourite comfort scent. I love its complexity. To me it smells like joss sticks and parties in a more bohemian era than this. My review is here.

Balmain Extatic


Described as a floriental, this is a big departure if you’re used to the Balmains of the past such as Jolie Madame and Balmain de Balmain. However, I guess we all have to move with the times. It was too sweet for me, but has many fans. My review is here.

Fragonard Soleil

Marks and Spencer

A generous little bottle with a tiny sun for a lid, this gem is another great summer scent. Fragonard never puts a foot wrong in my book. Here you will find white flowers and a warm amber/sandalwood base. If it was a colour, it would smell of gold. My review is here.

Carven Ma Griffe

ma griffe

Mossy chypres are my favourite genre and this classic exceeded my expectations. Put on your smart suit and gloves and trot to town in ladylike heels. This green and powdery chypre will never go out of style, at least as far as I’m concerned. My review is here.

Atelier Cologne Bergamote Soleil

atelier bottle

This was the first time I’d tried an Atelier Cologne. They have all the ingredients you love in colognes, but excellent longevity. Bergamote Soleil blew me away and lasted nine hours. My review is here.

Judith Williams Life Long Beauty Nourishing Rose Oil.

rose oil

This replenishing oil comes in a handy 10ml roller-ball. It smells beautiful and melts into skin. I’ve been using it at night and it always makes me look like I had ten hours of sleep, instead of the five hours I got after getting glued to a Netflix box set until 1 a.m.

L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream


I’m on Mumsnet more often than I care to admit and this comes up on just about every Style and Beauty thread that ever pops up about the best hand cream. My hands look like tortoises without hand cream and this mini tube smells gorgeous too. Perfect for your handbag.


My Verdict of the Eaux La La Discovery Box? Guilty of Being Fabulous.


You can buy the Perfume Society Eaux La la Discovery Box from The Perfume Society. Boxes are £17.50 for non subscribers and £12.50 for subscribers. There is no obligation to order one every month, like some subscriptions- you just buy one if you fancy it. I have bought all of them!


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 Amazon.com

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