Anais Anais L’Original by Cacharel 2014

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Post by Gabriella

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Anais Anais was my foundation perfume. As I have explained previously, it was my very first signature scent and thus accompanied me on many rites of passage throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was the scent of my high school travails, my first love, my 21st birthday and countless Christmases. I was lucky in that it was not ubiquitous amongst my coterie of friends and so it was truly my scent, inextricably linked with my character and the foundation for my subsequent perfume journey.

The perfume has not been left unscathed by the passing of time. Over the years, the lovely soap, body lotion and deodorant slowly disappeared from shelves. The EDP also went, only to be relaunched in a new guise some years ago with new Kate Moss ads and then became difficult to find. The current EDT, while still lovely, is but a whisper of its former glory: subtle refomulations have rendered it sunbleached and ghostlike as if someone has taken the pastel-hued maidens of the ad campaigns and watered them down: they have become fuzzy and indistinct.

Anais Anais L’Original by Cacharel 2014

Anais Anais L’Original Eau de Parfum FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Hyacinth, galbanum, orange blossom
Heart: Jasmine, rose, lily
Base: Sandalwood, cedar, incense, amber

So when I heard that Cacharel was relaunching the 1978 classic under the name Anais Anais L’Original, I was excited but also somewhat worried and perplexed. Here was the chance to go back to a great love. But what if it didn’t match my olfactory memories? Furthermore, if Cacharel had this formulation at hand, then why had it persisted in keeping the current EDT on shelves?

All my worries vanished upon first sniff. Memories flooded back and I felt like I had come home. Here it was again, my scent, my bastion of a perfume.

Anais Anais L’Original Hyacinths WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The only difference I could detect between what I was smelling and my olfactory memory is that L’Original appears a to have a stronger hyacinth top note, rendering the composition brighter and rounder. Comparing it to the current EDT, I was struck by the difference between the two: the Anais Anais EDT is harsher upon first spray, the hyacinth is more astringent and the whole composition a little bit more powdery and dry. The sillage and longevity is also markedly different: L’Original sings on my skin as it did all those years ago and lasts and lasts whereas the current EDT is but a mere shadow after a couple of hours.

Anais Anais L’Original Pastel Sunset Versageek FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I’m very thankful to have an old love back. And I’m comforted by the fact that in these days of IFRA restrictions and reformulations that an old classic has been given a new lease of life.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and The Non Blonde
Anais Anais L’Original (available in both EDP and EDT) and Anais Anais EDT are widely available at department stores and online sellers.
FragranceNet has the current EDT starting at $31.19/30ml before discount
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

Do you like Anais Anais? Have you tried L’Original? What was your foundation perfume?
With much love till next time!
M x