Scent samplings #1 – Byredo, Bal d’Afrique

This beauty was the first one I pulled out my Bag of Perfume Samples. It is a unisex fragrance launched by the Sweden-based Byredo in 2009.

Paper strip test results: Sweet, strong, different, uplifting. I am in love.

Skin test results:

The opening is sweet and somehow spunky. I feel like this would be a great fragrance to use on a Monday morning. It is somehow addictive. Familiar, but hard to tell in what way. It just makes me happy, which is one of the greatest qualities of any scent I think.

Ok let’s check the notes (from the Byredo site).

Top: African Marigold, Bergamot, Bucchu, Lemon, Neroli.

I know lemon, neroli and bergamot, but I can’t really distinguish any of them in the opening. Whatever that sweet thing is, is too overpowering. The rest two I have no knowledge about.

Heart: Cyclamen, Jasmine Petals, Violet.

It is not much fun not to be a native speaker when trying to understand perfume in English. Okay, cyclamen is the flower I know but have no idea how it smells. Is jasmine petals somehow different from the note known as jasmine? Violet is again, familiar, but not aroma-wise. After the opening has worn off, I start getting a different kind of floral in the background, also a little vetiver is peeking through. There might be some jasmine, or it might be just wishful thinking from my side. It seems to develop quite fast, which makes me worried about the longevity about this scent.

Base: Black Amber, Moroccan Cedarwood, Musk, Vetiver.

It really starts calming down pretty fast, unfortunately. In maybe an hour’s time the initial powerhouse of sweet ends up very understated, taken over a warmer and more comforting note(s) – amber, maybe? I am such a n00b, but that is why I am here, to practice and learn.

In conclusion: Wow. What a fun and addictive scent. However, I feel like longevity will be the deciding factor here because Byredo is not a cheap house. I will use up my sample and I have a Byredo counter near me, so I will have a chance to test the fragrance more before making the decision of whether to purchase or not.