Fragrance of Note: Bal D’afrique By Byred

Fragrances are a slight obsession of mine. In my next life, I’m almost sure I’ll be a perfumer, or who knows, maybe even in this lifetime. There’s something so intimate about expressing yourself through fragrance. The perfume you wear every day becomes an alluring personal signature and is an experience for not only you but those around you. If you’re a regular Life with Lovely reader, you know Bal D’afrique by Byredo is one of my favorite scents. I talk about it religiously on the blog, so I figured that it probably deserves a feature. One of my favorite things of late is when you guys reach out to me and tell me you’ve bought something from the blog. Several of you have mentioned that you’ve purchased Bal D’afrique and are now just as obsessed.



Top: African Marigold, Bergamot, Bucchu

Heart: Cyclamen, Violet

Base: Moroccan Cedarwood, Vetiver

Bal D’afrique is a love letter to Africa with a focus on beauty and fantasy. It was inspired by Paris in the late 1920s when the city was fascinated with idiosyncratic and fantastical visions of African culture, music, and dance. Paris embraced the fabulous Josephine Baker as its muse, and so does this enigmatic and playful scent.


Bal D’afrique opens with soft notes of citrus that lean towards warmth, not the traditional crispness of citrus found in most perfumes. As the fragrance matures, Bal D’afrique takes you through a feminine and musky experience of floral, earthy, and spicy notes. Think…luxurious and rare African incense. Byredo’s perfumes are always very unique. The complexity of this fragrance reminds me of an “it girl” allure. I can’t help but think it would be an Audrey H. favorite.


I find myself smelling my wrist all day when I wear this fragrance. It instantly makes me feel joyful and cozy. It’s also very nostalgic, every time I wear it, I get transported to a different memory – maybe that’s why I fall in love with it more and more. Sometimes this fragrance feels romantic, other times, it feels charming, and other times it feels very lighthearted. One thing that it never fails to feel like is lovely.


As unique as Bal D’afrique is, this fragrance is far from bold. It’s very subtle, making it the perfect choice for everyday wear, a day at the office, brunch with your best friends, or an intimate dinner. It’s well worth treating yourself to a bottle. I personally think it is Byredo’s best perfume and possibly one of the best in the luxury fragrance category.