L’Air du Temps parfum by Francis Fabron for Nina Ricci 1948

Hello Fellow Fumies,

Some of you may know that way back in the dimness of time I was a Squirt Bitch for a department store in Sydney’s suburbs, my fragrance section was Guerlain, Oscar de la Renta, Worth and Nina Ricci. At the time I was so dazzled by the Guerlains and Oscars that poor old Nina Ricci got left behind, it was the 1980s and very few people were after such subtlety, especially once I started on my “Make a statement” spiel. I recently purchased some L’Air du Temps parfum just for old times sake. Then, a short while ago on Fragrantica Miguel Matos did a sensational L’Air du Temps 65th Birthday piece and judging by the packaging on my new acquisition it’s 1986-2008 juice, except the parfum has gold doves on the box. Which is a SCORE. Today was always going to be about L’Air du Temps but now it has an extra special reason, Happy 65th Birthday L’Air du Temps.

L’Air du Temps parfum by Nina Ricci 1948

L'Air du Temps Nina Ricci FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, carnation, bergamot, neroli, aldehydes, Brazilian rosewood, peach
Heart: Cloves, carnation, orris root, gardenia, rosemary, jasmine, ylang ylang, violet, rose, orchid
Base: Musk, amber, sandalwood, iris, spices, vetiver, cedar, oakmoss, benzoin

I love a floral, fruity, aldehydic opening of yesteryear, there is so much depth and glamour. It’s spicy and sugared, crisp and warm and fizzy, L’Air du Temps is fun! The parfum version is so much fuller and more powerful in the opening than my memories of the EdT back in the 1980s but the scent is still the same, no not the same but same enough to feel the memories flood back. Both cozy and starched elegance at the same time. Luminous! I am back in time over 20 years and just getting my first perfumista stars.

After the first ten minutes L’Air du Temps takes a definite step towards soft, there become space between the various notes and the wall of scent becomes a lovely warm floral aura that is still spicy and punchy but more restrained. There is so much going on in L’Air du Temps that I find it hard to pick individual notes. The cloves are most discernible and I can smell flowers but it’s a dream of flowers nothing specific. While half the time feeling totally old fashioned and dated it also is still spare and pretty enough through the heart to be at ease in today’s fragrant climate. An hour in and I am softly fragrant, maybe if I was sitting in a small room for a while you’d smell a change in the air but otherwise you’d have to hug me to know I’m perfumed.

L'Air du Temps bottles Nina Ricci FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Amber and sandalwood/cedar are what I smell most of in the dry down, there are other things but I can’t decipher them as notes it’s more of a harmonious background hum. After around 4 hours L’Air du Temps goes so soft I can barely register it but I know that I’m not smelling me, it is definitely other, an amorphous wash that I lose at around 5-6 hours.

How does L’Air du Temps make me feel? Pretty, I feel pretty, no bold statement, very laid back and comfortable. Wearable on any occasion, even close working quarters would not be offended by L’Air du Temps parfum. It is subtle and glamorous without the hard work of appearing to be.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Bois de Jasmin
Fragrance Shop starts at $33/50ml EdTBeauty Encounter has $160/0.25 oz Parfum Classic Flacon Collection Cristal Lalique Bottle
My Perfume Samples starts at $2/ml

Have you worn L’Air du Temps? Does it have memories for you? Share with us please in the comments
Se you tomorrow,
Portia xx
Whoever got the job of creating this ad was both crazy and genius by the look of it. It is still super wow.

22 comments on “L’Air du Temps parfum by Francis Fabron for Nina Ricci 1948

  1. CC ... says:

    Ahhh…this brings back memories of seeing the little winged flacon on my dear aunt/godmother’s dresser. A lot of vintage scents remind me of her. She was (is) one cool chic. She had a little perfume/gift boutique in the 60s! She would go to NYC to buy perfumes and other objects of desire for her little store. How cool is that? I love that I can discuss old Guerlains, Lanvins, etc. with her.
    So … In her honor and in yours, I am going to wear a little vintage L’Air du Temps today so I can feel pretty, too!
    Xox

  2. I’m so glad you reviewed this classic gem. I wore it when I was 20 and again when I was 40 and it’s fabulous at any age. It’s floral without being too sweet and it’s interesting without having to show off (I’m looking at you Dior Poison). It also smells fantastic on your clothes the next day. I wish more people would wear it.

    I remember my Aunt smelling it on me and asking after it and the next time I saw her-she was wearing it too! Now that’s a compliment.
    iscentyouaday recently posted…Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Iris Poudre by Pierre Bourdon: Behold My NemesisMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      It is timeless IScentYouADay,
      The parfum smells amazing on men too. I spritzed some on a buddy last night before went to Trivia and he smelled very delicious babe.
      How nice of your Aunt to wear it after smelling it on you. That is a compliment indeed.
      Portia xx

  3. Jackie b says:

    Very surreal, this video, like it a lot.
    I remember being a spruiker and squirt bitch at DJ’s for a while…we were supposed to spray the customers, not paper strips like today. They used run away from us!
    Oh sorry, the question? Have never tried L d T, but love the bottle

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Ha Ha Ha! Yes, in those days it was all about getting fragrance on skin. We were so naughty, I bet you were too.
      The beautiful crystal flacon with the parfum is exquisite. A work of art, and holding a gem inside.
      Portia x

  4. catherine says:

    hi Portia
    Your post inspired me to dig out my parfum (left hand) and my more recent edt (right hand) so I can smell both. My mother wore this for years as well as Chant d’ aromes so for me it’s a ‘grown up’ scent. (When I think of the real glass doves thrown out when the bottles were empty I could weep!) In both versions (but more in the parfum) there is a touch of bitterness, the effect of a slight grinding of the teeth which I assumed as a child was something about adulthood. Perhaps I was right. Even in the edt which lasts not at all on me, this is for me deeply old-fashioned and very feminine in a sixties bourgeois stiletto and demure skirt lengths – not a swinging London way. It’s ethereal and as you say hard to identify particular flowers except for the spicy carnation. I love the fact that after a while only the people really close to you know you’re perfumed. The edt is a bit soapy. Thanks for the pix of the packaging and the reminder about this classic – will now remember to wear it!
    catherine recently posted…Sunday Scent Salon 1My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY!! I bet you rock it beautifully. How interesting about thinking of adults grinding their teeth, what a wonderful image. I can see my Mum having a good old teeth grind at me sometimes. All those lovely doves, yes, funny the things we regret letting go.
      Thanks for coming to say hello,
      Portia xx

  5. Jillie says:

    Thanks for bringing back some very old memories. This was one of the scents I used to buy for myself out of my student grant (how naughty I was!), and I remember dropping a bottle on the floor and it soaked into the boards – the room smelled lovely for months to come. I suppose that might be one of the reasons I stopped wearing it. About five years ago my auntie bought me a gift set which I ungraciously stuffed into the back of my wardrobe. You’ve inspired me to get it out and relive my teenage years!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey there Jillie,
      I LOVE that you used your grant to buy fragrance., that is an excelllent story.
      Five years ago the set could be pre reformulation! Lucky you. I hope it brings back only wonderful and fond memories for you.
      Portia xx

  6. Azar says:

    Hello Portia,

    Great post and video too! L’Air du Temps was my grandmother’s favored scent. I remember the various beautiful bottles on her bedroom dressing table. My grandmother was a small but very powerful woman who could easily “bulldoze” her daughters. While fond of her grandchildren, she didn’t put up with a lot of “nonsense”. I was quite a rebel and often incurred her wrath (which was stunning to say the least). I think her favored scent probably made her a bit more approachable, at least for me, but I’ve never worn L’Air du Temps and can’t bring myself use it, even today. Not bad memories but just not who I imagine myself to be.

    Azar xx

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Heya Azar,
      My Grandma was a bit of a gorgon too at times. She was the only person on earth who could dominate me effortlessly. We became best of friends and I was often sent to her when I was naughty, or in school holidays so the family could have a break. She taught me more about respect than anyone.
      We were so close that I was asked to give the eulogy at her funeral, it was one of my life achievements. You know those moments when you say everything right.
      I have no idea what frags she wore really, vague memories of inexpensive powdery florals, naah dunno.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Portia xx

  7. Tatiana says:

    I remember having a bottle of this in the late 1970’s. The beautiful bottle had a place of honor on a glass tray on my dresser. It couldn’t have been too expensive back then or I would never have had a bottle. Then I went to college, broke up with my high school beau and switched perfumes. Wonder how today’s formulations compare to the old.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Heya Tatiana,
      I was chatting with a mate who said the current EdT was a whisper, I’ve always found it to be a whisper though. The Parfum I have is much deeper and more interesting apparently, and it lasts quite well too.
      Portia x

  8. Tara C says:

    My mum wore this and Bal à Versailles… whenever I see those two doves I think of her. She has since moved on to other things, but when I was young this was her daytime scent.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Aha! What a great day/night pairing of fragrance. I wonder if she’d be thrilled or freaked if you rocked up at home wearing it?
      Portia x

  9. poodle says:

    Wow, this is a blast from the past. I honestly can’t remember the last time I smelled it but now you’ve got me wanting to find some and remedy that.

  10. Suzanne says:

    I always thought this fragrance was so glamourous. I never owned it but longed to. Thanks for a great read Portia x

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      OMG! It would be STELLAR on you Suzanne. It’s a shame most of the non naturals don’t work for you. If you ever want to try it, come on over I’ll give you a spritz.
      Portia xx

  11. Sally McSweeney says:

    Hooray! I’m so glad you reviewed this, Portia – it so often seems to get forgotten with the Guerlains and the Chanels and the niches and and and… LDT was the very first “grown up” fragrance I was allowed to wear when I was 12, back in the late 60s. The first bottle I had was the Style bottle. I meandered far and wide over the years on my perfume journey, but always came back to LDT, snatching up different bottles in different concentrations and incarnations, here and there until – surprise! – it became A Collection in and of itself. I now have (cough) 26 bottles…

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Woo Hoo! Sally McSweeney,
      You do L’Air Du Temps like I do Shalimar and Chanel No 5. It’s fun having something to collect. Do you still wear it often?
      Portia xx

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