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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