Perfume Directory

L'Air du Temps (1948)
by Nina Ricci


L'Air du Temps information

Year of Launch1948
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 322 votes)

People and companies

HouseNina Ricci
PerfumerFrancis Fabron
PackagingMarc Lalique
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group > Puig Prestige Beauty Brands

About L'Air du Temps

L'Air du Temps is a feminine perfume by Nina Ricci. The scent was launched in 1948 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Francis Fabron. The bottle was designed by Marc Lalique

Reviews of L'Air du Temps

We had all kinds of virile leather chypres flying back and forth in the 1940's, giving women some serious growl in their wardrobes, but for all the proper ladies not ready to crack the whip, there was Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps (1948). The story behind the fragrance is rather interesting. Robert Ricci helped conceive this perfume with famed perfumer Francis Fabron because he loved perfume and wanted his mother's house to branch into perfumery. The original presentation (mimicked in current bottles) was designed by René Lalique of house Lalique fame from their special lead crystal, and the dove adorning the cap was meant to symbolize a post-WWII peace. L'Air du Temps or "The Air of Time" is a pretty standard white floral by modern definition but in 1948 was a rather breathtakingly fresh accord, with almost two dozen notes wafting in light mellifluous manner over a soft musk base, in polar opposition to heavy orientals and bitter chypres of the time.

Bergamot and peach lactonic notes lead into orange blossom and centerfolia rose right from the start, but the white and delicate floral balance of L'Air du Temps shifts towards muguet, ylang-ylang, orchid, and gardenia rather quickly. The heart of these flowers remains the bulk of the accord for the longest duration but clove and orris eventually creep in to add some soapy tones to the overall feel. The base is a clean musk and oakmoss flanked with a dry vetiver and warm amber, with crisp woody tones and a tiny speck of benzoin for just a bit more gravity than the musk alone can provide. L'Air du Temps is meticulously-crafted to be optimistic, friendly, and fairly devoid of any overt sexual tones. This is the perfume many often gave to their daughters as their first, and houses like Avon and Coty copied this ad nauseam through into the 70's when greener florals became more fashionable.

Wearing L'Air du Temps is pretty easy even so many years beyond its release even if it does feel a bit traditional compared to modern takes on the white floral style. The biggest giveaway of L'Air du Temps' antiquity is really the lack of fruity sweetness or white patchouli in the base, instead opting for a near-chypre sharpness that will rub some younger noses the wrong way, but overall it still retains a timeless quality. Casual day use is my recommendation and this one is staunchly feminine enough that only the most dandy of CIS men will go near it, but that's okay because not everything can be worn by everyone. Nina Ricci has had many perfumes come and go but clearly "The Air of Time" endures, although I do think the accord has become common enough not to really feel special anymore. Sampling should be easy as this ends up in most perfume shops over the globe, and there isn't enough differences between concentrations or vintages to make a fuss about it. Thumbs up!
18th May, 2019
I own an amphora Lalique bottle from the 80's (I think, if anybody knows how to date L'Air du Temps, please contact me). The fragrance is soft and light floral, with a soapy side. It went through time pretty well. I could smell older versions which were very bitter.
25th September, 2018
I love this, for nostalgic reasons. I also happen to think this is very beautiful, in an old-fashioned way. Crisp, champagne-like opening. Notes of bergamot, peach, neroli, and carnation. The latter not too bitter. The middle is well-mixed. So much so, it is hard for me to pick out more individual notes. Jasmine, rose, and clove stand out the most. The base is blended well, too.

L'air du Temps is one of those classic perfumes that may be out of style but, will always have a place on my bedroom "dresser". It is a reminder of my youth - simpler, happier times.
23rd September, 2018
I get lily and clove, but I definitely think this suffered a vast thinning from reformulation over time. I got a sample vial to remember what it smelled like, as I remember smelling it in magazine strips back in the early 90s. I remember it smelling bigger, but not near the 80s powerhouse level. It's nice but seems like a ghost of it's former self.
18th September, 2018
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

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