Reviews of L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci

    Find out more about L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    ChellyBird's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    it's easy to wear, understated.

    31st January, 2014

    peachply's avatar



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    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~

    27 March, 2013

    buren's avatar



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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 condition.....at 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

    Cricketkitty's avatar



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    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.

    03 September, 2012

    Oviatt's avatar

    United States United States

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    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

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    29 January, 2012

    Dayum's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    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

    hollyhunt's avatar



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    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.

    06 November, 2011

    Zut's avatar



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    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.

    05 September, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    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.

    26 June, 2011

    magali's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    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.

    05 June, 2011

    JeanieE's avatar

    United States United States

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    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)

    18 May, 2011

    fayeee's avatar

    England England

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    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.

    03 April, 2011

    MZJ's avatar

    United States United States

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    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's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    22 April, 2010

    lady love's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    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..

    15 April, 2010

    Jean Patou Fan's avatar



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    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.

    29 March, 2010

    The_Entity's avatar



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    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

    27 March, 2010

    nonnative's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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.

    25 March, 2010

    marika's avatar



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    I remember the real thing. L'Air du temps in its original guise was indefineable. It was heartbreakingly beautiful, like nothing else. Words like haunting, elusive, fleeting, sad, warm, lovely, magical, ethereal, other wordly - maybe ...give one an idea, but for me the words to desribe it have not been invented. Alas it is lost forever. The new formula should not be known by the same name. When I smell it I remember what I have lost and it makes me so melancholy. Reformulating these masterpieces is like someone re touching the Mona Lisa to make her style more palatable to the current market. Someone should be able to buy the rights to these classics and produce them as a niche market. Do you think that would be viable?

    31st October, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    A classic spicy floral that comes across to me as generic. L’Air du Temps one is centered on the “spiciness” of the carnation note. I don’t get the wood or fruit that are supposed to be involved in the opening; I get “carnation” and an ordinary jasmine. The middle goes more floral and begins to take on a rather powdery feel, the uninteresting jasmine remains strong to my nose, and there is a clove note in the background of the florals. The moss, wood, and amber come through for me in the base, and the base seems to me to be unclassically generic. I don’t think that the recent version of L’Air du Temps that I’m smelling now is the wonderful classic of all the positive reviews (Some of the appreciation of this scent seems more nostalgia than love for the fragrance.) Luca Turin gives the explanation of why this version isn’t as good as the vintage fragrance: restriction of an important ingredient. Unfortunately, this downward direction has likely hit more fragrances than this. It’s too bad that these reductions in quality happen, because I can see a very real potential in this fragrance… potential but not actual excellence with this present version.

    31st October, 2009

    Susanne's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    I loved the older vesion but can still love the new one. Still receive compliments from men when wearing the later version.

    19 September, 2009

    Hoppity's avatar



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    This is appalling - sweet, sickly and headache inducing. I'm sure I tried this in the early eighties and liked it. Now all I can smell in it is carnation - always unpleasant in too high a ratio.

    07 August, 2009

    BoB's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    A very classy, elegant and sophistiated fragrance. It has been on my grandma's dressing table for more than 20 years and it really reminds me of my childhood
    with her. A true classic.

    02 August, 2009

    LittleMissWrite's avatar

    England England

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    My mum has worn L'Air du Temps for as long as I can remember. On her, it is a gorgeous, comforting floral. Just smelling it makes me feel like I am 8 years old again, being hugged by my mum after falling over. A few months ago, I tried it out on myself and unfortunately it did not work. On me, L'Air du Temps smells heavy and cloying and gives me an instant headache.

    29 July, 2009

    perfumista's avatar

    United States United States

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    I agree, the formula has been tweaked. I remember this as a warm and spicy romantic fragrance. I sampled it in it's new formulation and it's just generic.

    28 May, 2009

    susan ashley's avatar

    United States United States

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    sophisticated spring floral, elegant, ok for day or evening too. a classic

    08 May, 2009

    mikey_p's avatar



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    I have heard that the original was great. Whilst I can't vouch for that, this is simply horrendous, cheap and nastly from start to finish.

    17 April, 2009

    's avatar



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    This is a hard one for me to smell with a clean perspective.

    Because I REMEMBER 'L'air du Temps', you see. I remember its salty, caustic, peppery personality, when it was so strong.. and so clear... like I imagine the screaming scene in Strauss's 'Elektra' must have "chilled" the opera houses: it was almost physically painful, like hot, bright, perfumed cream being piped into my sinuses... making my eyes tear, but evoking pagodas and promenades and enchanted gardens at the same time!!
    And it came in a gorgeous, heavy, glass flagon with frosted CRYSTAL doves.

    The current "doves" that sit atop the current formulation of 'L'Air Du Temps' are the perfect allegory, in fact, to its "ruination": now fashioned of plastic, a kitsch reminder, a parody... slightly embarrassing...a cheap, brazen homage to something truly fine, now lost.

    It reminds me, too, of that Elvis Costello song, "Veronica", about an elderly woman with Alzheimer's, who doesn't even remember her name, who happened to have been a scintillating, powerful, and dynamic character in her youth... her only remaining link to her past: a photo album and fleeting memories...
    Tragic.

    So, would I like L'Air du Temps if I smelled it in its current version, as a new perfume, for the very first time?

    Yes, I guess so.

    I'd be intrigued by its peculiarity... by its peppery powder...
    by its quirky, frilly, yet not-at-all sweet, feminine appeal...
    by its potent carnation note *morphing* into a *salted* carnation note...


    (But I would need it to be packaged generically to take it seriously.)

    A begrudging thumbs up....

    07 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 02 November, 2009)

    Inkeri's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    I wanted to find a new fragrance for my wedding day - very special scent for a special day. I tried many, oh so many novelties (and classics too), but all of them became disappointments after a while. This one somehow took my heart. I had never had it before, but it felt just right for that day. And I never had it since. Now smelling this brings back the memories of that happy, rainy day some years ago...

    25 November, 2008

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