Perfume Reviews

Reviews of L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci

Total Reviews: 69
The opening is very strong with carnation and cloves and it smells very synthetic to me. I was amost scared off and wondered how this can be named 'l'Air du Temps'.

All I had to do is wait. The strong irritating scents mellow in to a warm powdery, yet oddly, fresh scent. I can feel some sweet flowers and some soft spices. The whole mixture is in fact cozy, but unusual. It lives up to its name, l'Air du Temps.

I still don't like the opening. However, the drydown is lovely enough to encouraging me to wear it again and again. Who knows? I might actually love it after going through my mini.

Originally written in 2013.
26th January, 2018
I used to wear this as a teenager in the 70's . Absolutley loved it and was one of my favourites. Sadly I found it just too sweet last time I tried it about 5 years ago, unless it was just the old reformulation trick.
31st August, 2017
This is an incredible white floral clean smelling fragrance. IT smells like soap, soap from the 1950s. It has enough floral in it to make it feminine. A classic.
12th September, 2016
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Some lovely woman gave this to my 6-year-old as a gift. She said it was her first perfume, I'm assuming in the early 50s. My daughter likes it, but unfortunately, I think it just smells like talcum powder, carnations and hair spray. My least favorite scents in the world. It's in a white plastic bottle - I believe it's the travel spray. Is it the benzyl salicylate that I'm smelling? Or if this had been stored for a long time would the plastic bottle affect it? Can't believe people like this!
03rd August, 2016
L'Air du Temps smells almost... buttery. Strangely, the clove in this is light and feminine (rather than musky or masculine). This is likely due to clove's pairing with its perfect match - carnation. Together, they again prove to be the perfect pair in L'Air, lending a sweet & spicy freshness - clean and somehow crisp, amongst the butter and cream.

Strangely, the rose and iris also lend a powdery quality. I'm confused as to how all of these competing textures are happening at once, but it's an olfactive experience quite unlike all others! Though L'Air seems a bit thick and syrupy to me now, in 1948 it probably was light and airy compared to some of the other popular sillage bombs of the time!
13th June, 2016
Just gorgeous! Unique, clean, sparkly, look at me sort of scent. Just floral enough without being sweet. I feel confident and beautiful when I wear it. I am lucky to currently own a vintage formula. Found myself utterly in love with Lily, Gardenia, Jasmine combination. Nothing like the watered down newer version of mass produced EDT.
28th November, 2015
The opening of L'Air du Temps is a creamy floral, springlike, optimistic and girlish but not too light or insubstantial, nor too sweet. Old fashioned, (I love that there isn't even the faintest hint of fruit in this) but not old lady. I do not have a very sophisticated nose so the only flower I can detect for sure is carnation, the other florals seem to be there to brighten and lift this rather distinctive, spicy bloom.

Unfortunately as the fragrance develops, the carnation wilts - quite explicitly. On me, the smell of decay after a few hours is quite extraordinary. Halitosis, unwashed body and stagnant vase water - luckily this stuff is easy to remove and sillage is not expansive. Every so often I give it another chance, hoping that maybe my body chemistry has changed, but no such luck. I sometimes spray it on my clothes where it retains its freshness better.

I never smelt the original, so I cannot compare. But I find this fragrance so close to being beautiful that I have to wonder what went missing in reformulation, or wether perhaps this was never going to work on me.
03rd November, 2015
This perfume has been totally transformed. It is but a pale imitation of its former self. To me and everyone else I have talked to it smells exactly like Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli. So if you smell Nina Ricci's L'Air du temps save yourself many dollars and simply buy a large bottle of Wind Song cologne at any discount store. Same fragrance just a different make and bottle and a sharply different price.
26th May, 2015
This was my grandmother's scent. I purchased a bottle not long ago. Still great. Love the carnation note.
21st March, 2015
A scent whose bottle (Lalique, doves necking) is almost as famous as itself, L'Air du Temps begins with Neroli and Bergamot, from which emerges its combination of Rose de Mai, Jasmine, Ylang, Carnation and Orris - creating a very very light floral bouquet - as light as the "air" in its title. A number of base notes, including vetiver, cedar wood and musk, softens the nest.

Turin only gave it two stars, dubbing it a "lily amber," referring to the chemical benzyl salycylate, which entwines these two notes to give the floral heart in "satin: high gloss, weighty drape."

This light floral melange opens with a softly emerging carnation note that anchors its loveliness. This was Lana Turner's signature scent.

Top notes: Bergamot, Rosewood, Neroli, Peach
Heart notes: Clove, Rose de Mai, Ylang, Orris, Orchid, Lily, Gardenia, Jasmine
Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Vetiver, Benzoin, Cedar, Amber, Moss, Ambergris

Lovely, light and very feminine.
20th October, 2014
There are perfumes and timeless perfumes; there are good reformulations and appalling ones. And there are just awful perfumes that can't be talked about.

In the welcome gift box I received from the Perfume Society, there were 80% of awful perfumes we cannot talk about because they are so unsurprising and then there was l'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci, a perfume I had forgotten about because I thought it had been ditched, a perfume that is synonymous to my mother as it is one of her favorite.

I am usually not a floral type of perfume lover but l'Air du Temps is just so vintage and so elegant... The iris in it is present throughout but not overpowering and as for the rest (gardenia, jasmine), they are lingering about like walking through a flower garden in the summer. It is a feminine yet modern perfume that has not lost its appeal and can be worn day or night...

I love it and I am glad I rediscovered it!
14th September, 2014
it's easy to wear, understated.
31st January, 2014
I am just revisiting this scent in my adulthood, yes it sat atop my dresser as a young girl and was just misunderstood. What I have come to appreciate about this scent is the subtlety of it. I can wear this to work and no one will wince or be made uncomfortable by the trail of scent...I appreciate how truly close one has to be to my body to even smell the true essence of it, this in my opinion is quite sensual it does not force itself upon you. I love the faint glow of carnation, rose and bergamot it leaves traces of. Despite some of the scathing reviews I do see this as very wearable in a unique way, it does not scream at you or those around you merely caresses and reminds you of a gentle time. The spring is the perfect season for L'air du Temps but it can be worn year round. I think it stands out as a lady like classic among the sea of overpowering air freshener style scents that we accosted by today. I'm liking it~
27th March, 2013
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I am a lucky lady: at my favorite thrift store I found two vintage Nina Ricci EDT splash bottles almost full, scent in beautiful the moment the one I love is L'air du temps, gentle bergamot, carnation, rose....shadowed by cedar & a little sandal. I can be a little generous with it & it warms well.

The other was Farouche, a piquant floral aldehyde I enjoyed in the summer before without knowing what it was (then I had a little heart shaped mini with a worn label). I'll review the Farouche EDT in the spring, perhaps....
20th November, 2012
My mother used to buy me bottles of this for Christmas when I first joined the work force and could not afford it, for at that time it was still selling at a high price tag. The smell always reminds me of the holidays, New Years Eve parties, etc.

I have no idea what this fragrance is made up of, but I get a rose/carnation, spicy floral from it. Light enough to be worn during warm months, but still spicy enough to hold its own in the winter. If you are a fan of spicy florals, you will get a lot of bang for your buck here.
03rd September, 2012
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
Nina Ricci may have come out with some great fragrances over the years but this isn't one of them. Despite the famous Lalique bottle and the phenominal sales history, this simple, linear perfume is sad and doesn't even smell very good. When I was growing up, this was considered to be an appropriate fragrance for a girl just coming into womanhood--it was expensive, French and not too--how shall we say--provocative? Instead it is the olfactory equivalent of virginity. Worse still, of frigidity. This is not the ripe friut waiting to be plucked--this has spinster written all over it. On a young woman it smells pretty, sexless and off-putting; on a mature woman it is just ridiculous. My sister, as a well brought up young lady, was given a bottle of this and it sat for years on her dresser--admired for its frosted crystal stopper but unused, while she went through bottles of her favorite perfumes. A cousin of mine who is a lesbian chose this for her scent early on--not the feminine perfume-wearing type, she liked it because there was nothing remotely sexy or threatening about it. Sadly, now that it has become a cheap drugstore fragrance, it doesn't even have the prestige of the couturier's brand to support it. If you ever wondered how to suck any sensuality out of a fragrance, study L'Air du Temps.
21st August, 2012
Top notes: carnation, peach, neroli, bergamot, rose and Brazilian rosewood
Middle notes:rosemary, carnation, gardenia, violet, orchid, cloves, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang and rose
Base notes: spices, iris, amber, sandalwood, amber, musk, benzoin, oak moss, vetiver and cedar

I disliked this fragrance for so long, despite wanting to like it, and repeatedly testing it, I thought it smelled shrill and headachy and then I tried the vintage.
Let me just say, that whatever yellow water they are churning out these days is not the same L'Air du Temps, the original fragrance by Nina Ricci.
What L'Air du Temps should be is a thick, rich peppery carnation scent with
a healthy dose of gardenia, and not really all that "airy" despite the name.
I also find the Lalique dove/ splash Parfum bottle a little "much", clumsy and awkward to open.
What I did come across online (and am very pleased with,) is a vintage Parfum spray tester.
that provides a big spray of the classic vintage scent without all the packaging. That
has been my experience with L'Air, If you can wrestle the original fragrance from all the subsequent branding and reformulations, it is sheer deliciousness.
29th January, 2012
I cant come to be friends with this one. I find it very unclassy and cheap-smelling. It -even if it sounds a little harsh here- reminds my of some bathroom-cleaners. Its pretty stinging and artificially. nah, would not want to smell it on my loved-ones. (and said them so :). thumbs down
01st January, 2012
Because of its oh-so-standard ordinary concept, a multi-floral, some feel it is boring. But this is my favorite Easter-time perfume, as a splash perfume. It is the Primavera of my scent collection. This scent can make you believe in fairies and the Easter Bunny and the sainted miracles. It may seem simple but it is actually orrnately woven, no minor keys, reminiscent of the good spirited smaller fairy kingdom. It dances well, like excellent champagne at a party. It creates a a grand ballroom where everybody is witty, tipsy, and released from the schackles of sarcasm and side-steps double-entendres that might be hurtful.

It is clear in spirit. I will not wear it in autumn or in winter. It is not a wooly spirit, and fine woolens are my favorite fabrics of all time. This is pure silk chiffon and silk oraganza, a pouf de la pouf of crisp flowery headroom, pale green tendrils lovingly wrapped around your body. It feels no pain, which means it is minus some maturity and depth that my favorite scents revel in. There is no irony or surprising juxtaposition in this perfume, but it is luxurious and elevating, and I like flying with it beginning with daffodil season through summertime.
06th November, 2011
L'air du temps is one of my favourite spicy florals of all times. Unfortunately, where I live, drugstores have been overselling it at ridiculously low prices for over 25 years making it a very common fragrance. L'air du temps ended up being considered a cheap perfume and many women refuse to wear it because of that. It's a pitty. This great classic deserved better.
05th September, 2011
This fragrance is what I'd call a peachy floral. It's quite airy and fresh, and in my opinion, something that not many people will expect from a 40's fragrance.

L'Air du Temps has a strange opening. I can only describe the top notes as having a very strong soapy smell, which isn't very clean, refreshing or appealing. For a moment I wondered why this was such a popular scent.

Then came the array of florals and spicy notes, supplanting the reason why L'Air du Temps is still on the shelves. Peach, rose and carnation are very dominant here. They give off a rich and distinctive smell which is only complimented by the subtle hints of clove and rosemary.

Heading towards the drydown, L'Air du Temps becomes increasingly powdery and warm. The spices become much stronger as the vetiver note commands attention. On my skin the drydown is quite sweet, however on paper the scent can be quite loud and harsh.

The lasting strength is brilliant. It lasted all day and even after a long shower. I don't think this scent will appeal to everyone, so it's best to try before buying. However, I have a lot of time for this scent. It is unfortunate that I cannot try L'Air du Temps prior to its reformulation.

26th June, 2011
One of my first ever grown up perfume. I just love the carnation blast. The bottle was so beautiful too! I still own it today and I never get tired of it. Works all time round- not too soft, not too strong but still remarkable.
05th June, 2011
Tried it on at Von Maur yesterday and for some reason was instantly transported back to 1980, swooning over Scott Baio and playing Atari games and Joni's house. It was kinda neat, 70s-ish smelling for the first hour but dried down to sour milk later. :(

Remember BNers, sometimes the reason a beautiful classic gets re-done and loses that original pizzaz is because some of the aroma chemicals that we used to douse ourselves with have been found to be carcinogenic and are no longer legal for use in fragrances. Sad but true. I do think I recall Joni's grandy wearing the original L'Air du Temps, and it WAS better...(sigh)
18th May, 2011
I first stumbled upon L'Air du Temps in shower gel form, and decided to try the fragrance. A really soft, beautiful scent, soapy and comforting. A timeless classic.
03rd April, 2011
MZJ Show all reviews
United States
This was the first perfume that I eve purchased for myself. I loved it! I used to think that it seemed a bit too frilly for me- too classically floral - but I loved wearing it none-the-less. Maybe I should go back and see if it still feels too frilly!
20th February, 2011
Thalia Show all reviews
United States
I have an old, old bottle of L'Air du Temps that was sitting on my dresser at least 25 years ago, so it contains whatever the '80s formulation might have been. I don't know what it smells like in a new bottle, but this juice on me is just as nonnative describes: a soft, bright, airy floral cloud, not too loud and a bit powdery, that quickly parts to reveal a woody, musky base that grounds it and makes it rather sexy. It's very pretty and likable -- especially with a pretty dress on a sunny weekend when you might be spending some time outdoors. Not too sweet, not too heady, but not dull. Great lasting power, too.
22nd April, 2010
Of all the classics I think L'Air du Temps is the most gentle and soft perfume I tried, is like a delicate summer breeze. Everyone can use it, and we know this is a difficult thing when we talk about others classics. Although in my skin this doesn't last as long as others eau de toilettes of the 40's.

In the first half hour, is an intense and interesting fragrance but then becomes very soft,so fast....Anyway, you will notice that the fragrance still there on your skin playing with your senses and with those of who are near you..

The scent is charming,timeless, feminine and warm. The kind of warmth that inspires freedom..
15th April, 2010
L'Air du Temps has definitely changed. I first tried it in the early 80s, when it was a subtle and quiet white floral, against a spice background; it had a slightly bitter note too, which added to it's uniqueness. Much as I loved the fragrance, it didn't last more than half an hour on me, so I didn't buy it after the first bottle I was given.

I tried L'air du Temps for the first time in many years recently, and found that it is now a nasty sweet candied fragrance, quite unlike the version in knew in the 80s. It's such a shame when a classic like this is changed. As this is the version now being made, I feel I have to give L'air Du Temps a thumbs down.
29th March, 2010
i remember wearing this as a child, i rebought again recently, still has that soft soapy scent which brings me back. only best for daytime wear
27th March, 2010
If my nose is not mistaken the old L'AdTemps was strong, feminine and classy. Still classy, still feminine it seems to be softened into and clean powdery white flower. While on the moillette it's not very interesting, on my skin becomes almost spicy and woody. Incredibly good. Perhaps now one of my favourite.
25th March, 2010