I can not comment on L'Air du Temps succinctly. So sit down, cause there comes history!
L'Air du Temps was released in 1948, after World War II, when Robert Ricci (Nina’s son) decided to create a fragrance that reflected the optimistic moment and the promise of a future of peace. It was not the first fragrance of the brand, but it was undoubtedly the one that marked a generation and placed the company in the Hall of Fame of perfumery.
The concept speaks of freedom, but also of romance, through a perfume whose name means, in Portuguese, "The air of time", that is, what hung in the air at that time.
To create such a fragrance, he invited the perfumer Francis Fabron, who combined the classic style of elegant women of the time (until then represented by iconic fragrances such as Chanel No. 5, Joy, Shalimar, etc.) with a necessary luminosity for such a dark period, portraying the romanticism and femininity of women in a new chapter of history.
L'Air du Temps was released in Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, at a time when the compositions were the same (or very close) and what changed was just the concentration of essence in the formulas. For this reason, the bottles were different.
By the way, it is not possible to speak of L'Air du Temps without commenting on the eternal beauty of its bottle and the partnership with Marc Lalique, one of the most promising in the history of perfumery. The famous crystal jar with the two doves, representing peace, was successful around the world and won the title of Bottle of the Century. But what many people do not know is that this famous bottle was only created in 1951, three years after the release of the perfume. Until then, the original bottle symbolized the sun and had a dove carved on the lid, inspired by Fille à la Colombe. For this reason, the most famous model brought a spirally twisted glass, symbolizing the sun and doves on the lid, representing peace and love.
Over the years, L'Air du Temps has won more than 15 versions, among them special editions, but the bottle that is sold currently, in the main stores, has a lid made of plastic.
The composition of the current fragrance, released by the brand itself on its website, lists head notes of carnation and gardenia, full of spicy facets. Then, in the heart, notes of rose Centifolia and jasmine of Grasse, blending nobility and softness. Finally, at the base, the fragrance is caressed by the sandalwood of Mysore and by the surrounding scent of the iris.
Although it does not make any difference to us, I think it is worth remembering how the original composition was, much more complex and considered the first floral-spicy fragrance of fine perfumery, bringing the carnation as the central ingredient. It had, on top, notes of rosewood, aldehydes, peach, rose, bergamot and carnation. In the body, it carried notes of gardenia, jasmine, orchid, rose, violet, rosemary, ylang-ylang, iris root, cloves and carnation. Finally, notes of amber, musk, iris, styrax balm, exotic spices, cedar, oak moss, sandalwood and vetiver came in the bottom of the olfactory pyramid. A luxury!
My Eau de Toilette version is basically made up of three accords: carnations, rose and iris. It arrives floral and strong, looking ardent and, in a way, dated. You can not forget thinking of the perfume worn by the Head of the school or the richest aunt in the family, or even of that visit you barely remember the name, but she was at your house having coffee at some time in the past.
As I mentioned earlier, L'Air du Temps was part of the select group of perfumes used by wealthy women, who displayed their social status not only through the chic clothes of that days but also for their perfume. The difference is that the brand did not have as much tradition as the competitors and brought an air of modernity to the younger and more romantic women of the time.
Today, unfortunately, L'Air du Temps EDT is just a shadow of what it once was. It's shiny at first, but it loses strength very fast, staying close to the skin in about three hours and lasting as far as the nose can smell. It remains beautiful, timeless, floral, flaming, powdery and luminous. It also continues giving that scent of expensive soap, of clothes drying on a sunny day, of courtship on the bench in front of the church, when a simple touch of hands was enough to make the heart jump through the mouth. I imagine what it should be like in the 50's. Today's youngsters will never know how it went.
At the end of the story, the truth is that L'Air du Temps is not a perfume of chronological age. It is a scent of old souls, who meet again between comings and goings, where nostalgia and luxury fit.
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