I loved Anaïs Anaïs when I was at uni, was unhappy that it was discontinued, and a bit doubtful when the original form was supposedly relaunched. I held off trying it for a long time, but finally caved in, and gave it a go.
It's...recognizable. But all I could think of was that the 'relaunch' is to the original what Jessica Simpson's cover of 'These Boots are Made for Walking' is to Nancy Sinatra's original. The general floral structure is there, but it's flattened, somehow sterilized, and despite being a copy, somehow manages to completely miss the point.
The original was soft, with something vaguely, elusively raw beneath/behind it, layered, nuanced, coherent. The new stuff is flat, harshly cloying, artificial, and lacks a heart to pull it together. I'd hoped that the drydown would yield a more pleasant side, but nope. Even the new 'old' label reflect the changes.
15th April, 2015 (last edited: 16th April, 2015)
Aaaah, yes! In 1978, when it first came out, I was only 9 nine years old and I found it at the age of thirteen. However, this turned out to be the second perfume of my then very young life (the first was L'Oréal's Eau Jeune Senteurs Fraiche, which is still produced, but not available in Germany). Anais Anais was the one I used for years, I loved it, and I'm always taken back to the time I was a teenager when I smell it. And it still works with my chemistry. I love it, and always will. It is probably not really a masterpiece, but well-crafted, there's no comparable fragrance of which I know. One also remembers the advertisements of Anais Anais, the young blonde etherial fairy-like girls, pretty close to Davd Hamilton's movies. Not for very day - but great memories!
One of the icons of modern perfumery, both in its simplicity and historically, because it was the first serious scent marketed to the teen-aged girl market.
Incredibly simple composition, dominated first by a blast of muguet (which is reminiscent of Patou's Joy), then calming down to a sweet, sweet heart of mixed florals. Joyous, happy, exuberant. Perfect for ages 16-28, after that a more sophisticated and complex scent is appropriate.
The ingredients as listed by Barbara Herman are different from those listed above by Basenotes:
Top notes: Bergamot, Galbanum, Muguet
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang, Orris
Base notes: Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Musk, Moss, Amber
Turin gives it four stars and dubs it a "fresh floral." He notes that due to its ingredients not being expensive or difficult to obtain, it has not been messed with during the past 36 years. That is all to the good.
The perfect gift for the teen-ager who is entering the world of perfumery.
I gave this one away. It gave me a reeling headache, and once, an ocular migraine. Beautiful bottle.
Genre: Green Floral
Anaïs Anaïs is a breezy, bright, powdery-green floral scent, like a de-fanged Chanel No. 19. It’s very much a “little girl” scent, but it’s miles away from the dimwitted "froot" punch concoctions marketed to teenage girls in celebrity-labeled pink bottles. No, this one is what pretty, clever, and well-behaved twelve year-olds should be wearing out to Sunday brunch with grandma. I think it’s charming. I’ll have to see what my daughter has to say about it…
How a scent can cause an echo, as though it has carved out a quiet space around me.Serene and protective, it's heavenly.
This is "my" scent; I'm so grateful it came along when I was a young woman. It becomes wonderful on my skin, and I rarely wear anything else. From reading the other posts, I think it might work best on dry skin.
Easy to wear, quite girly and light, it's more of day perfume rather than evening
Nice perfume for teenagers (not an insult!)
In the bottle, I love it. On my skin, the chemistry turns it straight to soap; there are enough flowers, spice, and incense/musk to back up the soapiness and make it something special. A nice "wear to bed" scent, or for after the shower. I live in a very hot, humid area, and I imagine that the powdery sweetness would balance into something more sophisticated in cooler, clearer weather. Nice for a tween or teenage girl because it is complex enough to be a good introduction into more unusual perfumes, and decidedly non-sexual, which can be a relief for the parents.
Pros: Pleasant in an innocent way; a bit different from most florals
Cons: Can be TOO different for some"
I oversprayed in zealous enjoyment while still a beginner and thought this a synthetic glorified femine hygiene monster. Sprayed instead on freshly cleaned skin and in colder air, such austere beauty. The perfect scent for a cloistered poetess in Amherst or a governess in love with her tragic benefactor. As a moony-eyed high school art goth I wore Demeter's Funeral Home. Anais Anais is the quintessential goth girl perfume in sheep's clothing, as it takes those lillies and carnations central to Funeral Home and burns sweet sad incense in a soft leather-gloved hand, blowing away dust to make way for stark powder and milky green stems. Put the marketing, iconic as it is, aside and disregard the teenage girl demographic. Anais Anais is most of all literary in that it is linear, associative, bittersweet, concerned with love and death but couched in accessible metaphor, wise but virginal though not too youthful. The namesake Nin's writings I do not detect anywhere in mood or vision, hers an entirely sexualized world. This commercial perfume sold in plastic and largely unchanged since its creation is more spiritual. And more than any of these literary figures evoked, no Lolita here for me in the least by the way--she is much more Angel, I have to recite some of Ophelia's lines during any wearing. Nunneries, primrose paths, morbid mad tragic wistful love. The literary gothic romance.
I was given this in 2001, and had not tried it before, despite it being around for so long. I love it; it is a warm comforting sent, somehow reassuring. It is another fragrance that I would call “well crafted”, the notes working in harmony. I would not have thought I would have liked it, if I had looked at the notes first, very floral for me, but something about it just works, in my view a classic.
My memory of this is something a bit too spicy-flowery to be a signature fragrance, but it was pleasant. It's a white cotton sundress sort of a scent.
Wore this to death around 1982. It is completely white floral, I get nothing of the sandalwood or incense on this, but the drydown is fantastic. I associate this with young women, first weddings, etc. If you can get some of the bath gel on Ebay, be sure to grab it, because it almost smells better than the perfume.
it is like lots of flower surrounds you. clean and young.
I have discovered that for me, a scent must have spice to be worth wearing. This one is very light but oh, so nice.
Carnations and incense with lots of powder. Very feminine, youthful and soft.
You know I had to wear this about 5 times before I could get it...to me this is a very white incense fragrance. If you are an incense fanatic this is one for your collection because it is such a different use of incense. This scent is very charming and innocent and somewhat fascinating, aside from being iconic.
19th August, 2011 (last edited: 26th August, 2012)
A white, spicy carnation that is perhaps a tad too spare, sour and powdery to pass with today's girls, despite it's pleasant, soapy realism. I have a scent memory connecting Anais Anais to my pediatricians office when I was barely four years old. It bears the same scrubbed and sterile aesthetic, without being unpleasant.
I thought this was a little too overpowering and powdery for my liking. Not something that I can imagine appealing to me at any age. I wouldn't describe Anais Anais as being powdery and heavy like Chanel No.5, but rather a sourish floral scent. This however has great lasting power. I'm also not a fan of the bottle. They should have made a new bottle design since the original has been around for nearly 40 years.
I decided to give this another try to see whether my opinions might have changed. At first spray I realised why I didn't like it, it smelt rather like the weeds that are so common in Australian fields. It was greenish and sour. However, the drydown of this fragrance which I'd previously missed was rather likable. It wasn't unique in any way, but was rather soapy, powdery and fresh. Still not my cup of tea but not as bad as I previously thought.
This is a 50's scent frozen in a capsule and unearthed decades later. It's like an even more polite Coup de Fouet in that it's prim and powdery and the Carnation in Anais Anais is so prevalently spicy it seems to imitate clove. The incense is interesting in a good way but at the same time manages to make this concoction smell old and a little musty. It's a polite, spicy and smoky powdered green. I like it, though it wouldn't wear well on anybody I know.
The breeze is light, the early afternoon is heavenly and indolent, the air is delicate and smells of rose, the white lacy dressed and soapy smelling young women take their brunch under the trees near the flowery clearing of the college's garden.
This is a timeless, ageless floral, a fresh, soapy lily with an undercurrent of peppery spice to give it depth. l wore this on my wedding day in 1990, (l'm now divorced) & received a mini in a set for Christmas a couple of years back. l enjoyed wearing it again, but it's time has passed for me. l would however recommend this for floral lovers of any age to try.
I have worn this fragrance for to 32 years..wow. I was discussing with my son today who is 22, his experience ala Al Pacino with a woman at a cocktail lounge recently. (he loves this story) He met an older woman, and as she was leaving he held his hand out like the gentleman he has grown to be. and she hugged his neck briefly. He put his face close to her neck and in that moment as I am sure he will every single time he smells this scent his whole life (as his mother has worn it his entire life) he inhales, leans very closely to her ear and whispers.. Anais anais......quietly. ahhh so sweet. She virtually swoons and he says.(and yes he is gorgeous, a german gyspy..) ahhh the scent of a jazz bar, the scent of unknown things the scent that will fool a man, .. when he thinks he has you pegged... the undertones the essence, the basenote of the mystery of this scent comes forth.. She of course hands him her room key(how could she not?!)and he declines.. my son. a jazz blues guitarist. his mama a jazz singer. a blues singer my whole life. My child says mama, that smell is like home, and love and warmth and beauty and Paris. I took him to the factory there. or was it Nice? or GRASSE..well France!darnit
so. we make an experiment this Christmas night... WHAT is it that makes this smell so very compelling.. what is the mystery that has held me captive my entire life, hence my googling the overtones undertones of this scent that is part of me,.and my child. I couldnt explain it.. I tired to before I found the answer.. I said "Steffen I always think I wont like it anymore, or that I wont be swept away every time I smell it.. I've tried to wear other perfumes throughtout the years. well not that much yet. this is the way I descibed it. so clean so floral and yet WHAT was that undertone that made it umm not patchulesque.. but something... something like incense. Now I know. how could I have not?.. sandlewood. yes of course.. How brillant is that? an otherwise boring old lady scent... the sandlewood changes it all. It fools you. it encaptures and compels.
I have a tattoo of that flower. If you knew me Im not the kind to wax profound over perfume.. maybe a sunset, mayhap the look of love in one I love as well. but perfume. Yet.. that is the way of it. In this lifetime it will be the scent of me, my memories my loves.. and in my sons and his children as he told me tonight(naturally he gave it to me for my Christmas present.) he said"mama, I will keep your bottles and I will show my children and they will know how my mama smelled and how much I love you. mom. My grandchildren will know much like my son does about my mother.. something intimate and singular to me..
and yes sister, who posted before me,with such eloquence, it does indeed smell like a smokey jazz bar in Paris and yes the fishnet stockings would naturally be there. and yes. there is more to us than meets the eye.
Merry Christmas all.
May you meet Mystery at every corner, with joy and expectation and may there be more to you as well.. than meets the eye.
I had to have this fragrance after I found out it was named for Anais Nin. I'm a huge fan, so I knew the perfume had to be great to live up to the name. After so many years, I still love it and I still have to wear it every now and then. It reminds of me of reading "Delta of Venus" the first time in my teens. It's like wearing amethyst lavender-colored velvet on my skin. It's the Mona Lisa's smile. It's not that innocent; there's a definite sweetness at first, but if you look closely into her eyes you'll see that spicyness, that latent heat just ready to be released. It's like Paris in the 1930s in the springtime in a hidden speakeasy jazz club, and I'm just itching to do the jitterbug, but I won't just get up and dance because I want to appear ladylike, but after a few drinks I probably will anyway and then you'll find out that I've got on black fishnets under my gown......
My best friend moved away and when she recently visited, she went into my bathroom and saw all my perfume and she said to me, "I love you most because you are the kind of woman who still loves Anais Anais. It's a classic that no one ever really appreciates anymore except you and I, and I love you for that."
American girls get Love's Baby Soft, French girls get Anais Anais. Life is unfair.
I am well past the age of its intended demographic, but I can apply this soft floral and feel a bit younger. It's really lovely.
I first tried the EDT bought at TJMaxx under $20 .I didn't love or hate it but wanted somthing more than just okay.I had thought the top notes nice and the base notes but not the middle heart notes.Then I had a winning bid online for 14 assorted minis Anais Anais was one of them but inEDP form.Now I have "seen the light " with this fragrance ! I'll have to get a full bottle and check for a perfume strength I love the ambery dry down from a chypreish floral.Thumbs up for EDP and higher neutral for EDT or lower.
This is definitely a teenager's perfume, not one for a sophisticated adult! For me its far too simple and ordinary and reminds me of girls at school who thought that wearing this made them all grown up when they were anything but.
23rd April, 2010 (last edited: 01st April, 2011)
This perfume is for me as classic example of how a perfume's success can vary so much from person to person.
I remember at high school, sitting in our hall taking our exams, a bubbly blonde American girl was wearing Anais Anais. It was intoxicating but suited her perfectly and it smelled so nice on that summer's day. Really fresh and clean and soapy. I remember inhaling deeply several times, I'm sure the whole hall smelt it as it was so strong.
I decided to get some for myself, very sure in the fact I liked it, I purchased a full size bottle. Urrrgh! Big mistake! Smelt awful on me - verrrry flowery, but just disgusting, not like on the other girl! I smelt like an old lady or a mature woman. I tried it a couple of times as was so annoyed I'd forked out for a large bottle. It never smelled nice on me though, so I sold it in the end.
Anyway, I will never again make the mistake of thinking that just because a perfume smells nice on someone else, will it necessarily smell nice on me!
As a teenager, my younger sister pledged herself to this perfume so thoroughly that even her bedroom color scheme -- apricot, sage, and forest green -- mirrored the Anais Anais package design. This might have smacked of safe conformity during the 1970's, but for a high-school girl in 1988 it amounted to a revolutionary manifesto. While all her friends subscribed to the horrid, clean-cut, sporty stylings of Colors of Bennetton, she shimmered in a cloud of archaic sandalwood and powdery rose. Wearing this scent, she could stand apart from the crowd while still managing to stay safely conventional. An interesting form of camouflage, hiding a slightly subversive heart
Like many others this was one of the first perfumes I ever owned as a pre-teen! I love it just for the nostalgic value but even though as a smell I think it's still very pretty, as a woman's perfume it just smells cheap.
Such a powdery floral that I swear I smelled like my grandmother. The floral is so strong & nauseatingly sweet that it made me ill wearing it. I tried many times to wear it because I hated the idea of having wasted my money on it (that's what ya get for not waiting to see how the scent lives with you), but I just couldn't stomach wearing it anymore. Finally it had sat around so long that I just threw out the bottle which was nearly full.