Negative 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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    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

    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

    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)

    18th May, 2011

    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.

    29th 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

    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.

    07th August, 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.

    17th April, 2009

    Truffles's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Too much of the dreaded spice for me. Ick. Could imagine on some horrible starchy bullying spinster school marm.

    22nd October, 2008

    Sirena's avatar

    Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago

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    I recently bought this on a whim, untested. I found it disappointingly harsh and unappealing; it has the feel of musty old clothes stored in a chest.

    24th June, 2008

    JennieJenJamz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Whew-wee! This joins that barf inducer list along with Giorgio and other stinky, bug spray chemical toxic wastes! Boy, this really stinks bad! My sis wore this and that other stinky Giorgio in the 80's. I wonder, did anyone ever tell her she stank? Who the hell am I to laugh? I wore the Red and Tabu! TABU! OMG, the poor choices we had in the 80's! And it hasn't gotten much better! But this is a very strong and sharp scent that doesn't tone itself down at all. Very distinctive and not in a good way at all. It stings the eyes and snot begins to run from your nose on application. Very potent stuff! This is the stuff chemical weapons are made from! It's got to be! This would be perfect for a chemical weapon because it clears the whole room out! Seriously, this is rancid stuff! Every finger down on this stench!

    21st April, 2008

    musse's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Smells ok on others, but in contact with my skin it transforms to a sickening chemical mix of soap and hair-spray.

    15th October, 2005

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Apparently the good Baron de Charlus finds L'Air du Temps angelic. Well if this is the aroma of angels, then please send me to hell right away! If anyone wants to describe that nasty smell of old ladies OD-ing on their perfume - just remember the name of this atrocity. This is really terrible and should be forbidden ASAP. Powder overload with ghastly florals, get it away from me!

    26th September, 2005

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