Illustration by Candace Napier for Couturing
“An enchanting and provocative scent ”- Nicolas Ghesquière
Bold, quirky, sensational. These are the words that spring to mind when wearing Balenciaga’s new fragrance, Florabotanica.
The quirky perfume name conjures images of long-gone botanical gardens where rare and exotic flora thrived. And in these gardens, unusually-coloured plants from distant countries were brought back by creative biologists to produce something wonderful. These gardens are the inspiration behind the story of Florabotanica.
“It is a secret garden where you find surprising flowers that surpass the imagination. They are beautiful but are they really that harmless? Flowers can be cruel, carnivorous or venomous, contain poisons. What would a perfume that contained the charm and mystery of flowers be like? -Nicolas Ghesquière
The journey into this magical flora wonderland inhabited by strange and exotic plants begins with the fragrance’s outer packaging. The floral design comes from recent Balenciaga collections.
Opening up the box to reveal Florabotanica inside, the bottle design alone is an incentive to make the fragrance yours. Balenciaga has stepped into the shoes of biologists and designed a bottle with a scientific feel. The clear bottle with coloured slides is designed to reflect the science of perfumery. It’s a modern, edgy oversized flask with bold black lines that aims to ‘capture the secret essence of flowers’.
Florabotanica is musky with hints of vetiver, amber and caladium leaf. Accents of rose, carnation and mint add freshness making it ideal for a younger audience. The unusual scents evoke romance and danger. The floral notes are quite strong when first sprayed but soon settle into a slightly spicy, clean scent.
“At first glance, it is a very floral, almost romantic composition. But on closer inspection, a stronger and more obscure character can be discerned. It is a perfume that I like to think of as tender and dangerous”- Nicolas Ghesquière
Appealing to a younger audience, Kristen Stewart is the face of Florabotanica. Balenciaga decided that Stewart embodies Florabotanica as she holds a beauty “both pure and uncontrollable… She is modern and mysterious reflecting the fragrance’s strange botanical garden”.
Despite being aimed at younger demographics, Florabotanica steers away from sickly sweet notes that are often prominent in other ‘youthful’ fragrances. It is a beautiful fragrance for the modern woman.
The new fragrance is the third in Balenciaga’s line that also includes “Balenciaga Paris” and “L’Essence”. Florabotanica comes in 30, 50 and 150ml bottles and is available from Myer, David Jones and Mecca Cosmetica.