Balmain perfumes were ushered into being by the fashion design house of Pierre Balmain. Balmain grew up around fashion, pursued studies in architecture, which he never finished because he spent his time in school sketching out dress designs. His father died when he was 7.
Balmain worked for Molyneux and Lucien Lelong before he started his own design house in 1945. Balmain became known for his bell-shaped skirts with small waists, his ability to do suits as well as formal gowns. Pierre Balmain died in 1982.
Balmain created their first perfume in 1947, Balmain Vent Vert, which was a commercial success during the 1940s and 1950s, and is hailed today as a masterpiece and a must-sniff reference fragrance. Vent Vert was created by perfume legend Germain Cellier. Victoria at Bois de Jasmin describes vintage Vent Vert: "The floral notes temper its ruthless character, yet the disconcerting and unsettling aura remains, making Vent Vert unforgettable. As the composition segues into its base in a classical sequential manner, the darkness of mosses and woods vies for center stage with the brilliant green notes. The interplay of contrasts and harmonies in the composition is simply breathtaking. Vent Vert is a ruffian dressed in transparent chiffon. One cannot help being mesmerized by her."
Another two Balmain perfumes were successful and are still highly regarded today - Ivoire and Madame Jolie. Balmain once commented about perfumes, "“As regards elegance, perfume is more important than accessories, jewels, and shoes."
Balmain continues today under different ownership and will relaunch Ivoire in September 2012.
The perfumes produced by Balmain are:
- Vent Vert in 1947
- Jolie Madame in 1953
- Elysees 64-83 in 1956
- Monsieur Balmain in 1964
- Miss Balmain in 1967
- Ivoire in 1980
- Balmain in 1998
- Eau d'Ivoire in 2000
- Balmya in 2002
- Amber Gris
- La Mome