It is aptly said that “The perfume is not goods; its creation is an act of love. It must reflect the heart of the woman who will wear it.” (Robert Ricci). I learnt this the hard way with my experience with the “L’Air Du Temps” perfume.
My mother-in-law (MIL) is a great lover of perfumes. She sports an exquisite collection of perfumes from Chanel to Charlie…n I envy her for that…lols!!! Last time when I went to my in-laws for a family wedding, I saw her taking out from her wardrobe a nice bottle of perfume with a very beautiful lid with intertwining doves. The perfume was bright yellow in color; the name was not marked in the bottle. She told me that it is one of the classic perfumes of all times and one of her favorite “L’Air Du Temps” from Nina Ricci brand. I was like “whhhatt a liar”….heehehhee (just kidding), as if I did not know that it used to be Princess Diana’s favorite fragrance. Later at the party, I sniffed at her clothes and the fragrance was like ahaaaahhh…..I was spellbound for a moment. The very moment I decided to get a bottle of this magic potion.
After waiting for 4 long months, on my special request one of my friends from Belgium brought the perfume for me. I was really thrilled with this great opportunity to flaunt it especially to my MIL. But all my thrills and joy went into thin air with this L’ Air when I sprayed it on my arm; I found the fragrance not similar with that of my MIL’s, I didn’t find it that great this time. When I told my MIL about this she said the original perfume is reformulated in 90’s or so, and she has got the original one, and though she was one on the other side of the phone I could see the chuckle on her face…grrrrr….
Now let me come to the review…
L’ Air Du Temps is a French expression which means “air of the time,” which is actually same as “it’s in the air” or “it’s what’s on the wind” and has the sense of a present trend, style, opinion or fashion.
Few facts of L’Air Du Temps
• Launched: 1948
• Gender: Feminine
• Brand: Nina Ricci
• Perfumer: Francis Fabron
• Bottle Designer: Marc Lalique
History and background of L’Air Du Temps
Considered as one of the timeless fragrance L’Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci brought a fame to the Ricci house and became and remains until today one of the greatest fragrance creations. L’Air Du Temps was created due to the great passion of the Nina Ricci’s son Robert for fragrances and the art of the master perfumer Francis Fabron. The fragrance was launched after the World War II, in 1948, and the dove on the top is a symbol of peace.
The present perfume lost some of its richness due its reformulation during 1990’s.Green floral benzyl salicylate which was an important ingredient in L’Air Du Temps used to give its floral structure a polished, luminous quality. However, since the use of this material has been restricted, L’Air Du Temps is no longer the same.
Perfume Description of L’Air Du Temps
Before detailing out the ingredients and characteristics of the perfume, I would like to give brief details about the theory of perfume notes in general.
The typical ingredients of almost all perfumes are their top, middle and base notes. The three notes are differentiated primarily by their different molecular weights which causes different rates of development on perfume application to the skin. Top notes are noticed immediately on application. They also evaporate most quickly making their effect short lived. They tend to be light, fresh and uplifting in nature. Middle notes primarily characterize a perfumes family like floral and chypre and are normally warm and soft. They are slower to develop on the skin but also sustains for a longer period. Base notes come last and is retained the longest. These scent notes are normally intense and heavy and relaxing in nature. Base notes prolong the overall effect of the perfume by acting as an effective fixative and delaying the evaporation of lighter notes.
Typical note development time:
• Top note : First 2 to 5 minutes
• Middle note : After 30 minutes
• Base note : After 2 hours
Perfume Notes of L’Air Du Temps
Top note: Bergamot, Rosewood, Carnation
Middle note: Rose, Jasmine, Violet, Iris
Base note: Cedar wood, Sandal, Musk, Amber
L’Air Du Temps gives a delicate trace of an original carnation-scented spicy note. The floral-spicy note of the carnation is in centre of its composition. Bergamot and rosewood envelop the carnation note, refined with the notes of rose and jasmine.
Violets and irises bring a powdery touch to the end note while sandalwood and cedar confer a woody and sensual character. Musk and amber create add the final feminine touch to the composition.
Ingredients of L’Air Du Temps
Alcohol, Denat,Fragnance(Parfum), Water(Aqua), Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Eugonol, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Isoeugenol, Citrinellol, Gerniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citral, Farnesol, Amylcinnamyl Alcohol
My Experience with Nina Ricci L’Air Du Temps Eau De Parfum
The perfume is floral, slightly spicy, and carnation-dominated with a tinge of soft musk. This one is too flowery for my taste, me having preference for fruity and sweet fragrances. I found it really strong and heavy and somewhat overpowering on me. I felt the smell really didn’t suit my persona and body chemistry. Generally, I would say this perfume might not be the best choice for the young audience.
However, I would still rate this as a good perfume. It is very long-lasting and has got a conventional and classic touch. It has a “sophisticated” persona and would well suit a mature woman. That’s why, I suppose I found this perfume very light, lovely and awfully feminine on my MIL. After all as said earlier “It must reflect the heart of the woman who will wear it.”. So when I was floored by L’Air Du Temps the first time, it was basically the personality of my MIL augmented by the sublime character of the perfume rather than its mere fragrance.
As a final note, I would say I simply loved the bottle with the kissing doves; it’s one of the most beautiful perfume bottles I have.
PROS of Nina Ricci L’Air Du Temps Eau De Parfum
• Considered as classic and traditional perfume of all times.
• Gives a clean & fresh flowery feel.
• It can draw compliments; though I didn’t get much…
• The smell is long-lasting and has a fantastic staying power.
• Can be worn at any time of the day.
• Appropriate for casual or formal wear.
• Comes in a nice bottle with a very beautiful lid.
CONS of Nina Ricci L’Air Du Temps Eau De Parfum
• Not a very great smell as the original one.
• For me the smell is strong and overpowering.
• Quite expensive.
• Can be a bit old fashioned for some.
Will I repurchase it?
I don’t think I would repurchase it. Also, don’t feel like keeping the one I have now. I would rather pass it on to my mother-in-law. I hate to admit, but it suits her much more than me….
Every perfume has a different reaction on a person’s body on application. I would suggest others to wear the perfume for a couple of hours to evaluate the effects of all the three notes before making a purchase decision. Best application points: wrist, inside arm at the elbow, and back of the knee. I would recommend L’Air Du Temps to someone who loves carnation and floral scents.