Byredo BAL D'AFRIQUE

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3.9

15 reviews

60% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.5

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.5

Price: $$$$

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on 9/22/2017 10:39:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Just love this fragrance. I find the marigold note in it to be so compelling, the scent itself is simple yet complex if that makes any sense at all. Comforting and alluring. I find it unique and have found no other fragrances that approximate it.



on 8/29/2016 1:28:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Man, does this smell good. It opens with a fresh, creamy lemony note with nary an ounce of Lysol to it. That opening lasts for only about a half hour, then it mellows to a sweet, complicated skin scent (amber + musk) with an undercurrent of cedar spiked with a slight bite of vetiver. My skin really dislikes sweet scents, and Bal d'Afrique is sweet enough to be borderline unwearable for me, but falls just short of that line and stays firmly in "omg you smell delicious" territory. It's uniquely beautiful while still *smelling* beautiful (not always a given), well blended, with decent longevity & throw, and it is very expensive. To me, Bal D'Afrique is a springtime scent, as in it reminds me of mid-to-late March in New York, comfortable in the sun and chilly in the shade, the omnipresent blanket of snow melting, freshening the air, before the olfactory mess of city summer sets in. It has a bright, hopeful feel. That being said, I tend to wear "springtime" scents in the fall and winter, so don't listen to me. I do wish the lemony opening lasted longer. This is full-bottle worthy.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 10/17/2012 1:37:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Bal d'Afrique is a very nice vetyver-heavy blend, of the sort used in Sel de Vetyver by TDC, or Vetyver Tonka by Hermessences. It's got that lemony, almost (and this is going to sound bad but hold on) bug-spray edge the root can have, but it stays very mild and tame throughout its development. Vetyver can be super powerful and have that back-of-the-throat burn in the best way, like a good single malt scotch, but Byredo plays it with a very light hand. The scent opens with a light burst of citrus greenery but very quickly vetyver comes to the party and never leaves. Its edges are caramelized with amber and vanilla, but although the notes may *read* like a gourmand, it's not. It's a very mild-mannered scent, despite its inspiration which was 1920's Paris with Josephine Baker as its muse- who was anything but mild-mannered.
Reading back on this I can see that "mild" is the word of the day for Bal d'Afrique. Nothing wrong with that, just don't go spraying this on and expecting fireworks. Instead it's a very cozy, close-to the skin scent, completely office and elevator friendly (buying back Karma points for all the times I knocked out half a Metro car in my Magie Noire days - the original formulation from way back in the 80's), emminently unisex.
Not much sillage- in fact, staying power is 4-5 hours at best, but many reviewers complain of much-too-short life.
The body cream, is lovely as well- FYI.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I have a sample of this that I just got and I can't stop sniffing my wrist. I really can't describe how good this smells. It's sort of a creamy lemon, but not at all tart and not at all cleaning product lemon scented. It's just creamy and fresh. I want this. This sounds stupid, but it smells like how a lotion would smell. Like if you use a lotion and you have the matching scent, the lotion is a bit more muted and soft, creamier and enveloping. This is really a beauty. I also enjoy Byredo Gypsy Water. Mmm, finally a lemon I don't think is over the top or that smells like Pledge. This kind of smells like a really delicious lemon pastry. But clean and fresh. What a unique scent. I hate the price for Byredo perfumes. I think they're a little over the top for what they are, but the bottles are chic and I really enjoy this. I recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 1/13/2014 10:47:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Ah, the crazy situation where a perfume smells divine in the store and yet changes completely once you have a bottle back home, able to spray yourself with abandon. Such goes the case of Byredo's Bal d'Afrique and myself. At Barneys, it smelled like the penultimate divine cross between sweet/citrusy and yet having spicy musk. However, once a bottle was safely in my claws, it started to reveal heavy cedar and vetiver notes. There was less fruit and more wood chip. I will hold on to my bottle, but, where I had believed for my perfect, signature scent was over - the quest continues on.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

My beloved perfume of all times, hands down.

Smells like nothing else I came across on the market and I am a sucker for expensive, unique perfumes. After almost 6 months of using pretty much only this, I cannot get enough and I am rarely lured by other fragrances (still stick to my favourites of Chanel's Allure EDT - last 6 years, Kenzo's Jungle - about 15 years? and a beautiful one from a small pharmacy/perfumery in Florence - last two years and I am gutted that it is running out).

I must admit it comes up very bergamot - amber, quite warm and soft on me, and the citrusy note is barely there, maybe for the first 10 minutes, then it is just this soft, cuddly warmth.

I have also a bottle of this in the oil version to top up in the evenings if I am going out straight from the studio and I can recommend this version as well, and I have a feeling it is much more long lasting than the spray one?!

3 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

i want to love this so badly, as it's like an upscale fruit cocktail.


Smells strongly of pina coladas to me, lush and tropical. However, as much as i love sweet fruitiness and i do love the fragrance, paying $200 to smell like a B&BW body splash gives me the shivers. On drydown it gets riper and more syrup-y, which sadly also makes it seem more cheap. On the street, it could be mistaken for a *wait for it*... VS SPRAY (the KISS OF DEATH for any perfume snob). I wish this fragrance was a touch more green and less sweet (<---and this is coming from someone who loves sweet gourmands!)


instead, try the other Byredos like Gypsy Water-- a skin scent that is intoxicating (like the soft warmth of Diptyque Eau Duelle mixed with the clean musk of Narciso Rodriguez) For Her), or Pulp, which is still fruity & ripe, but more rich and unique, befitting of the hefty price tag.


on 5/5/2011 10:50:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

There's a sweetness to it that I really don't like.


on 8/10/2012 8:58:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Very beautiful, well blended, refined fragrance that contains many notes that I dislike, in particular, cedar. Yet put them all together and this beauty sings. Goes on with sweet lemon custardy goodness, yet isn't foody or fruity. It has a slight coconut tinge, a saltiness, faint tropical florals and musk. All of this sounds like it's a compilation of cheap body sprays but it's beautiful, restrained and constantly changing. Sillage is moderate, but really builds in intesnity over time instead of fading. Smells very expensive which is fair, because it is. In spite of the fact that I now have more perfume than I could ever use, I feel I must add this one to my collection. A real stunner.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Notes: lemon, neroli, African marigold, cyclamen, vetiver, jasmine, violet, bucchu, cedar, black amber, and musk

This fragrance opens with a melange of citrus and floral notes. The result is a honey-sweet, juicy and bright accord which despite its sweetness is not cloying at all due to a subtle touch of smoky woods. As the fragrance progresses a sweaty facet brought on by cedar emerges. On me this aspect is rather subdued and can only be detected if I press my nose close to the skin. Throughout its development the fragrance sheds more and more of its floral notes, laying bare its herbal woodsy nature. Lasts for more than 4 hours on my skin.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


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