As is evident from so many fashion houses today, a fragrance is a way to get a fuller understanding of a brand’s identity and style.
This is why the Balmain x H&M exclusive fragrance does, in many ways, complete the collaborative collection. This blend of classic white flowers, a touch of the unexpected woody notes together with the unapologetic white musk, includes so much of Balmain’s history as well as attitude.
Founded in 1945 by Pierre Balmain, the designer brand quickly became known for their ladylike creations. Their dresses were sophisticated, refined and often based on classic, hyper-feminine silhouettes. When Oscar de la Renta stepped in and led the house between 1993-2002, Balmain’s design aesthetics were again redefined with womanly clothes with clear silhouettes and classic cuts, following the couture tradition. However, in 2005 when Christophe Decarnin joined the house, all that changed. Contrary to the designers before him, he went out to create fascinating, flashy pieces bordering on the extravagant. With Olivier Rousteing as Creative Director, Balmain has taken this tradition to the next level; making glitz and couture clash with streetwear and urban elegance demanding attention.
The deep, warm blend of tonka bean and jasmine petals in the Balmain X H&M fragrance perfectly translates this into a scent. There is the strong and ultra-feminine note of jasmine on the top – a typically French perfume flower, powerful in scent but delicate (and rather willful) as a flower. It evokes the thought of classic femininity and distinctive silhouettes.
The heart of the fragrance is woody and almost provocatively masculine, which corresponds well with Balmain’s sense for the unexpected. The base, however, is a confident warm blend of white musk and sandalwood, both sensual and alluring.