Thursday, January 23, 2014

Patricia de Nicolai: News on Availability and Name Change of Balle de Match

The well known niche brand parfums de Nicolai, working under the aegis of the current president of L'Osmotheque and perfumer par excellence Patricia de Nicolai, has repositioned as discussed previously. In this decision several factors have come in and the effects can be seen and felt in the packaging, brand identity (and "motto") as well as the categorization of fragrances in the portfolio.
In that latter issue, Balle de Match becomes the subject of changes.

via townandcountrymag

The fragrance continues to be produced as an eau de toilette concentration, available in 30ml (36€) αnd 100ml bottles (108€), as is customary for de Nicolai products, but the name changes: from now on, Balle de Match becomes L'Eau de Sport, a cologne for "jeunes sportifs" as claimed on the website. The woody citrus composition, hinging on grapefruit, and an alliance of pink and black pepper, is a refreshing tonic for days when the mood is casual and the style effortless.


  1. I do wish her range was available in a shop here!

  2. Very good information thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up. I fear that the name change removes some of the mystery, and thus the magic, of this fragrance. The name devolved from the French (a name I had to look up) to the quotidian and all-pervasive word "Sport." How very boring. If that weren't enough, it must have been a sub-subaltern who "designed" the new label. Not only does the label look cheap because pasted on (whereas deNIcolai's original was inked/stamped on the glass), the layout and type designs of the old and new are unrelated in the least. We can be grateful, however, if in the acquisition, de Nicolai did not lose control of the juice itself.

  4. Μ,

    yeah, isn't it a bummer.
    I hope that the new direction/acquisition means that a wider channel of distribution is in the cards.



    Always great to "see" you here, darling!

  5. Tqm,

    you know, I agree with you on the name change: it does subtract from the magic. However -as with everything I'm afraid- the eye of the companies (European companies) is on the USA and to the average American (and to many non average I get, judging by yourself) Balle de Match meant nothing whatsoever. This for a company is a stumbling block: you can't have customers having to Google search the names to even get interested in the first place. If it's something in French, it needs to resonate on some level (words like "amour", "adore", "rendez vous", "eau" things like that…).
    Therefore the prosaic name change, to denote "here, we have a sports fragrance as well in our range and lookie, it's an elegant one, not a screechy marine, if you care to sample it".

    As to the packaging, the PdN is notorious for having many changes and none of them IMHO as befitting the brand/concept. Last bottle I placed an order with some time ago also had the sticked on label and on the short bottle especially it looks like a last minute thing… :-( But this is going to be how it's going to be, so we might as well sigh and accept it, I guess.

    I sincerely hope the juice remains as it were. Thankfully, although I was afraid that sinister changes might be under way with the latest "ouds", the reality of the perfumes was surprisingly good. So far, so good. ;-)

  6. The word sport, almost as much as mentions of any shade of blue, typically spells disaster. I have not smelled BdM, but I'm pretty sure it smells vastly better than the average peppery marine abomination that goes under the sport name, so if somebody is induced to buy it, it's certainly a gain.

    The distribution is still pitiful. At least, I think there's now a place or two in NYC that has some of the line. The stores in Paris, especially the one near Hugo, are lovely, but it's not that one can stop by as needed ...


  7. M,

    it's an odd combination: on the one hand the eye is certainly on the vast US market, on the other the channels of distribution seem erratic and not conforming to the new business model (yet).
    We'll see I guess.

    As to the connotations of "sport" I miss the (European) days of yore when sport meant fresh eau de cologne splashed after a shower following some non sedentary activity and iced sour cherry juice consumed on the lawn.
    At least Balle de Match isn't too far removed from that, though I always liked Cologne Sologne and Vie de Chateau better.


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