Le Club de Balenciaga / Ho Hang Club 
Balenciaga (1987)


Average Rating:  21 User Reviews

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Reviews of Le Club de Balenciaga / Ho Hang Club by Balenciaga

There are 21 reviews of Le Club de Balenciaga / Ho Hang Club by Balenciaga.

Less honey & civet(urine) than Boss (no number one),
not as dark as Dali Pour Homme,
sits perfectly in the middle with good blending, quality ingredients, and additional notes.

My splash bottle decanted into an atomizer was lacking in longevity, but with only 2.5 sprays maybe I just needed another full squirt.

4.5/5.0. Worth every penny at today's prices.
Jan 31, 2020

This, is one of those great, late 80's scents. Masculine to the nth degree. Well made, well-blended. Smooth citrus. Calming herbs. Manly flowers - not cloying or wispy. Earth-like, olibanum & styrax give a low, resinous layer. Leather is cool and refined.

Earthiness increases over time. A smoke-like accord develops. Leather note increases. This, is a marvelous creation. 4 stars.
Mar 23, 2019

Cristobal Balenciaga was once called "The Master of Us All" by Christian Dior, who alongside the late Hubert de Givenchy, had great esteem for the pioneering designer. His daring designs redefined a woman's silhouette in the mid 20th century, for better or worse, but his perfume gets very little attention, especially with the way the house kept stopping and starting over the years, with the masculines even less recognized. Cristobal himself closed Balenciaga's doors in 1968 due to clashes with Chambre syndicale de la haute couture parisienne, but a year before his death, the house was re-booted by the company Marbert as a ready-to-wear label only, heralded by the first masculine scent Ho Hang (1971), before the clothing side went dormant again. 1986 would see another house reboot with the Bogart Group being the new stewards, and with their expertise in male perfumery, Balenciaga would release several very distinct but sadly unnoticed masculines alongside their feminine lines, starting with Le Club de Balenciaga (1987), which would be presented in some places as a new Ho Hang flanker. This "Ho Hang Club" would feel like a rebirth, as all indicators point to it smelling nothing at all like the original from which it borrows a name in some markets. First of all, the amount of notes in this is ridiculous to the point of it being impossible for me to separate them, so I won't try. It's a dark, semi-sweet honeyed floral chypre that was becoming popular for men in 1987. It has the strength of a powerhouse, but a darker style like Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) or Jacomo de Jacomo (1980), just minus the smoke.

Ho Hang Club is definitely late 70's/early 80's super-macho "kitchen sink" construction, but by 1987 this virile style was starting to get padded out by brighter, spicier, and often fruit-topped openings and musks smoothed by patchouli in the base for a sauve attitude rather than an aggressive one. The similarly domineering Lapidus Pour Homme of the same year also made by The Bogart Group is a good example of the flamboyant sweet-talking direction chauvinism in fragrances was taking. Ho Hang Club definitely is not on the level of One Man Show (1980), Antaeus (1981), or Kouros (1981) like Lapidus was, but it does have a similar "piss-take" opening and a musky base, with a styrax/amber/musk trifecta being the most powerful elements in dry down. The top is bergamot, lemon, basil, and coriander; it's pretty standard-fare 80's but it gets honeyed by the styrax (which is a source of benzoin), in a similar way to Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984), but with a bit less patchouli growl. Instead, a bouquet of rosy florals similar to Révillion's French Line (1984) or Azzaro Acteur (1989) come into play, but the rose presence in Ho Hang Club is muted by carnation. Some call this a leather scent, but to me the leather is part of a chypre whole and less present than it is in the oft-compared Maxim's Pour Homme (1988), which itself uses stiff castoreum for the note. Ho Hang Club is just a true abstract in a class by itself. Sillage is not on a typical 80's powerhouse level, but this faithfully wafts off collars and skin all day long, so it's certainly a performer where it really matters most. I'd go so far as to say this is a great all-day scent in fall or winter but whether or not one wishes to smell something this heady all day is up for debate.

Fans of the "Noir/Gothic" style will likely love Ho Hang Club regardless of age, as it has that honey-sweet opening, muted flowers in the middle, and murky base full of unearthly darkness and understated sexual tension. It's in a vein similar to the aforementioned Salvador Dali Pour Homme, Boss/Boss Number One by Hugo Boss (1985), and to an extent the way over-the-top Alain Delon Iquitos (1987). Ho Hang Club trades in the original's bathrobe and loafers for a pair of wing tips and a brandy cordial, making it rest between Dali and Révillion's underdog French Line in attitude. It's unmistakably masculine but it won't rip off it's shirt to prove it like it's classmate Lapidus, and like all surviving Balenciaga masculines, nobody will have any idea what you're wearing outside collectors. Sadly Coty purged all male perfumes from Balenciaga when Kering handed them the perfume license after buying Balenciaga from Bogart (who were idiots for selling it), but Ho Hang Club seems the least sought after of all the old male lines because it is indeed so saturnine. It's a Guillermo del Toro movie in a bottle: Esoteric, gorgeous, but a little bit unsettling. Suggested use is formal romantic wear or just personal time in on days you account to no one. Ho Hang Club isn't low-key enough for offices, but might be nice for a night at a jazz club. Fans of Ho Hang's understated grace might find this less of a dream and more of a nightmare, but for the fans of melancholy and romance with a kick-in-the-crotch bite, Le Club de Balenciaga/Ho Hang Club is a winner. Thumbs up.
Mar 15, 2018

Stardate 20161110:

Musk, patch, carnation, spices.
A great power frag - the likes of vintage Antaeus.

Balenciaga made great masculines - Ho Hang, Ho Hang Club, Pour Homme, Portos.
All amazing and therefore all discontinued

Get HHC while it is still affordable.
Nov 11, 2016

This is an outstanding masculine perfume, an animalic patchouli, seemingly my favorite kind.
Mar 31, 2016

This stuff is extraordinary!! It doesn't say in the pyramid above anything about honey, however it shares a glorious Balenciaga honeyed piss note attractive. Certainly not as well blended as it's younger brother Pour Homme, however it maintains an 80's over the top perfumey, out of control masculine wildness reminiscent of the time. Personally,because of this, I think this edges out the younger,more refined bro. It also is a closer brother to Boss No.1 Vintage.
Under-rated in my opinion.
Jan 14, 2016

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