I wear my vintage Byzance EDT by Rochas and it's 1987 all over again, in the best possible way. Big, bold ambery floriental perfumes wafting in the air combating each other in elevators all over the western world. The age of the supermodels, dramatic silhouettes, hair and makeup, everything bordering on tasteless but so much fun!
I don't really miss the 80s or my teenage years. Just the perfumes and perhaps more importantly, the attitude about perfume. People actually left the house wearing Giorgio, can you believe it? Byzance, the 1987 Rochas perfume is like me, a child of that era. It starts very floral. So much so that between the aldehydic opening (the Blond always asks "what vintage is this?" if he smells me when Byzance is freshly applied) and the almost soapy rose-muguet-carnation blend, I'm not always certain at first I've chosen the right scent-of-the-day. Soon enough, though, Byzance puts on its creamy oriental face, complete with smooth sandalwood and deep ambery overtones.
I wear heavy perfumes quite well and this is no exception. All that vanilla and musk in the dry-down take on an animalic sultry attitude. Byzance is rich, elaborate and unapologetic. I don't think it's too sweet or too anything, really. It may have large shoulder pads, but I find that the green notes of the opening and the balsamic spices and resins create a nice balance. This Rochas perfume is fit for an evening gown (or something black, silky and boudoirish). It looks at you through heavy lids and gives a knowing and sophisticated aura. I doubt many men would be brave enough to wear it, but I have a feeling those who dare might be surprised.
Notes: aldehydes, spices, carnation, green notes, mandarin orange, basil, cardamom, lemon, tuberose, orris root, jasmine, turkish rose, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley,anise, sandalwood, amber, musk, vanilla, heliotrope, the kitchen sink and cedar.
Byzance by Rochas can be easily found online. Rumor has it, though, that newer juice smells a lot more soapy and less complex. I tend to believe that.
1989 Byzance ad featuring the stunning Tatjana Patitz from couleurparfum.com.