L'Air du Temps I : legend we buy in a bottle

Image: L'Air du Temps by AromaX

Russian version - http://aromax.livejournal.com/12329.html

Nina Ricci was born in 1883 in Italian city Turin as Marie Nielli. She was named Nina in her childhood and her surname Ricci she had got after she was married with a jeweller. Nina Ricci had a son, Robert, with whom she established the House in 1932 to design elegant gowns in Paris. Robert Ricci decided to create perfumes to secure the future of the House. It’s not clear if he was a perfumer himself. From one side all the famous fragrances of the House were contracted out. From another side Robert had a sensitive nose himself and actively participated in all stages of the creative process.

L’Air du Temps was made after the World War II in 1948. It supposed to be a perfume for a young, romantic and desirable woman – the expression of beauty, love and peace. The name of the fragrance “L’Air du Temps” is very multidimensional. It’s based on a French expression that is not easy to translate. The essence of this expression is freedom and ability to enjoy the life.

Francis Farbon is a perfumer behind this fragrance. He made a masterpiece – one of the five greatest perfumes (others are Shalimar, Chanel N5, Arpège and Joy). L’Air du Temps is a classical perfume with clearly defined top, middle and base notes. Its structure is simple, but the whole creation is very complex because of use of the natural ingredients. It’s a floral spicy perfume built around carnation flower supported by classic rose and jasmine combination on sweet ambery base.

The fragrant pyramid of the perfume consists of:
The spicy top notes represented by Bergamot, Carnation and Spicy Rose.
The floral heart made of Gardenia, Jasmine and Rose.
The clinging base notes of Musk, Iris and Sandalwood.

For those who is concerned about the match between the perfume and the style there are some tips found in the book of John Oakes “The book of perfumes”. L’Air du Temps is at best accompanied with pastels and purple tints (all sorts of purple from lavender to violet) of light transparent or glossy fabrics. It’s good for both day or evening use preferably during the spring or summer seasons as it’s not powerful enough for the winter. Perfect for the parties, especially the wedding. I can only add that I was pretty comfortable trying L’air du Temps on my skin sitting in my pyjama on the morning breeze.

The famous bottle for L’Air du Temps with two pigeons on the top (flacon colombes) is created by Marc Lalique. The families of Ricci and Lalique were very close with each other. There even was a time when Lalique created the perfume bottles only for the House of Nina Ricci. Flacon Colombes was made in 1951. During the first years of its existence the fragrance was poured into the “Sun bottles” made by Spanish sculptor Juan Rebull. Robert Ricci was very concerned about the complementarity of the fragrance, its name, its bottle and the way it’s introduced to the world. Two doves as a symbol of love and tenderness were the perfect extension of the fragrance.

L’Air du Temps was an inspiration for Fidji, Charlie, Gucci N1 and in some ways for Anaïs Anaïs.

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