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Scent of Peace

Scent of Peace: Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps fragrance inspired a war-weary generation to embrace freedom and peace. Its message is more timely now than ever.

 

“A fragrance is a work of art, and the object that contains it must be a masterpiece.” – Robert Ricci

 

 

robert ricci

Maria Nielli, nicknamed ‘Nina’, was born in Turin, Italy in 1883. At the age of 12, her family moved to France where she began an apprenticeship at a dressmaker’s learning the art of pattern cutting, fabric draping and sewing. This work became a passion of hers and she continued to sew throughout her teen years eventually becoming a skilled seamstress. She would fall in love with an Italian jeweler and composer named Luigi Ricci and marry in 1904. After giving birth to a son named Robert, she joined fashion label Raffin where she combined design prowess with business savvy eventually becoming Raffin’s business partner after 20 years. In 1932, at the age of 49, she decided to strike out on her own and launch her own design house simply called ‘Nina Ricci’. It quickly became a family affair: Maria designed the clothing and her son handled the finances. Paris aristocrats quickly flocked to her atelier for the refined and feminine designs.

Nina ricci l'air du temps box

It was Robert’s idea to create a fragrance to celebrate freedom after years of war. It would be called ‘L’Airs du Temps’ (meaning ‘spirit of the times’) and he turned to master perfumer Francis Fabron to create a modern, light floral that would reflect the elegance of Madame Maria Ricci’s gowns. The formulation itself was strictly edited to 30 ingredients: a floral bouquet wrapped in the silken benzyl salicylate, a groundbreaking ingredient that created blooming effect. Add in some bergamot, rosewood, clove, lily, carnation, gardenia, peach, orris, and dusky woods and you have an elegant, spicy-floral for her.

l'air du temps ad

“There is always that special mysterious something that makes one fragrance more seductive than another: there is something of a minor miracle about L’Air du Temps which gives it its distinctive personality,” said Robert Ricci. “In the same way as a dress is designed to enhance the wearer, so a fragrance is created to seduce in the most subtle of ways. Its purpose is to exalt the personality, and achieve the ideals that the wearer sets for herself. It is a ‘protection’ in the same way as a veil. It ‘shelters’ the wearer inside a fragrance aura.”

nina ricci l'air du temps ad

Robert’s idea of using two intertwined doves on the cap was brilliantly interpreted by Marc Lalique in 1951 who designed the crystal bottle. In fact, both families got along so well that the Lalique family manufactured bottles exclusively for the house until the 1950s. (The first L’Air bottle was created by Joan Rebull in 1948 and featured a crystal sun with a sculpted dove cap.) In 1991, the L’Air du Temps flacon was named ‘perfume bottle of the century’ and remains admired and appreciated around the world.

nina ricci l'air du temps

What is astonishing to learn is that in over sixty years, Nina Ricci has never revealed the quantity or quality of the hand-sorted ingredients. Even the maceration time of five weeks remains the same. The formula is still passionately protected.

 

“French perfumery was an art and it is important that it remains one or becomes one again. It is also important that we rediscover the passion for creating the fragrances and visual appeal that, with talent, are vital for the truly inspired creativity that transcends fashion.” – Robert Ricci

Nina ricci l'air du temps ad

This season, Nina Ricci has reimagined the classic scent in a modern version of white flowers and musk.

 

L’Air du Temps – Collection Lumiere

 

L’Air du Temps Eau Sublime Collector Edition, $118

Fragrance style: A radiant interpretation of the iconic L’Air scent

Notes: a sillage of white flowers including carnation that mingles with yuzu, tuberose and musk

The bottle: The twin doves and flacon are dipped in gold

The Giveaway: I gave away a bottle of Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps to one lucky reader. To enter, I invited readers to tell me in a blog post comment below if they’ve every tried L’Air du Temps before? Denae Boucher told us and we drew her name from all entries. Congrats Denae!

nina ricci l'air du temps eau sublime

Nina Ricci fragrances are available in Canada at Hudson’s Bay stores and thebay.com

  • Sheila Chaffins
    January 14, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I have never tried it but I would love to.

  • Leona Coleman
    January 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I just love the shape of the bottle. Cannot wait to use the contents.

  • despina chalkidou
    January 12, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I never tried this fragrance but I would love to! Thank you! #DaveLackie
    @d_chalkidou

  • Renee Weaver
    January 11, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I would love to try it!

  • Cheryll Shubert
    January 11, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve never tried it before but I would definitely use it! The bottle is a work of art…truly stunning! I love trying new scents!! Thanks so much!! Twitter: @cheryllshubert

  • Becky Stilwell
    January 11, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I never tried this fragrance but I would love to! I’ve never tried one of your recommendations that I didn’t enjoy! Thank you! #DaveLackie

  • Misty Farris
    January 11, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I actually fot to try it one time. My sister got a bottle for her birthday so I used it, and it smells absolutely wonderful. She said she gets compliments from people telling her how good she smells almost everyday .

  • Debra Wade
    January 11, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    I have never tried nor smelled this fragrance but would love to try it!! I don’t have the extra money to buy fragrances but I do like to smell good cause so far the only way that I have gotten any was when my sister gave me a bottle of Lovely 3 years ago.

  • kimberly powell
    January 11, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    this would be amazing 🙂

  • Megan smith
    January 11, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I haven’t tried it but I would absolutely love to. As a new mom perfume has been a luxury we just couldn’t afford but I would LOVE to try it and see if it will be my new scent 🙂 plus the bottle is gorgeous

  • rebecca HoLloway
    January 11, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Would love a sample. Luxury perfume is not an option in my home, just can’t afford it. I am the only girl in a house of 4 men please pick me

  • Alisa Stilwell wood
    January 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I have never tried it but would definitely love to

  • Rebecca Bradshaw
    January 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Would love to try it

  • LISA STONE
    January 11, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Love this fragrance….would love to win this….Thanks for the opportunity….@ Momof4boy_s

  • Amy Slover
    January 11, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I’ve never wore this but would love the opportunity to give it a try.

  • Wei Drennon
    January 11, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Never tried but definitely something Id try!

  • Stephanie Mcgriff
    January 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    I have never tried L’Air du Temps before. But I would love to get a chance to experience this beautiful fragrance. Thank you for this opportunity.

  • Merilinda snyder
    January 11, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I have never tried it but i would love to. The story of love and passiin that inspired this is so strong yet soft and delicate and if the scent is anything like it i would live a chance to try it.

  • Deann
    January 11, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I have become complacent in the scent department and would love to try this fragrance. I’m not familiar so that makes me even more excited at the possibility to try it out!

  • Lynda Coviello
    January 11, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I would love to try this.

    • Dianne Lantz
      January 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      Would Love To Try 💋 Thank You for the Chance 💃

  • Darlene Rhodes
    January 11, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I love love love this fragrance. My niece introduced it to me years ago. I would love to win this bottle. Much gratitude for the chance.

  • Carrie Lancon
    January 11, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I would love to try this exquisite perfume.

  • annette sole
    January 11, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I have not had the opportunity to try L’Air du Temps yet but, I am definitely looking forward to enjoying it soon.
    I would absolutely love to win this awesome prize 💖

  • Jennifer Galindo
    January 11, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I have not yet tried it. It is absolutely something I would wear for a night on the town or just casually in the office.

  • Nancy Pope
    January 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Lair du temp is my mothers favorite perfume. It’s her birthday next month. February 23rd. I want to give this to her.

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