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


  • Reply
    Gerri Tennant
    January 11, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I first wore this in 1977 My the. Partner bought me a bottle and gave his mother the free gift that came with it. She found out and was SO mad. @dragonfly6363

  • Reply
    Tori M
    January 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Have never tried but would be very excited to!

  • Reply
    patsy morgan
    January 11, 2017 at 9:24 am

    i have never try it but would love to i heard it was good

  • Reply
    Angela Kern
    January 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Haven’t tried it but would love to!!! @kerangela

  • Reply
    Susan New
    January 11, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Never tried this fragrance before. I have been wanting to try new ones and this would be a great start! Thank you!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for the chance!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:05 am

    I have yet to try this fragrance. I am pretty picky when it comes to what I wear/use. I have pretty much used the same 3 scents for the last 5 – 10 years… I would definitely like to find something to at least add to my “collection”. I do still love what I wear but I would like a bit of a change from time to time (add a bit of excitement, lol).

    Thank you for this chance!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    My mother’s favourite, I’d love to gift her this version!
    Twitter : @DESPINA_VNT

  • Reply
    Courtney Graham
    January 11, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I have never tried this fragrance but I would love to try something new! This sounds divine!

  • Reply
    Sarah Ann Dela Cruz
    January 11, 2017 at 3:31 am

    I have not had the pleasure of trying this fragrance. It sounds lovely!

  • Reply
    Shania Pavolini
    January 11, 2017 at 3:27 am

    I have never tried this fragrance. I would definitely love to give it a try! Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Christie White
    January 11, 2017 at 3:12 am

    I’ve never tried it before but I’d love to =) thank you very much for the opportunity

  • Reply
    Patricia Green
    January 11, 2017 at 3:11 am

    I have never tried L’Air du Temps before. But I would love to!

  • Reply
    margie cotherman
    January 11, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Thank You for the chance….:)

  • Reply
    Ramona Hupcey
    January 11, 2017 at 1:50 am

    I have never tried this before, but I would love to. It sounds amazing! @callmecoorsie

  • Reply
    Iris M Caballero
    January 11, 2017 at 1:22 am

    I have never used the Nina Ricci. But I’m sure it smells scrumptious and I would be honored to wear it! @iriscaballero10

  • Reply
    Kimberly Pemrich
    January 11, 2017 at 1:19 am

    I have never tried L’Air du Temps before. I would love the chance to try it! I am open to many scents there are not many I do not like.

  • Reply
    Kim brooks
    January 11, 2017 at 1:13 am

    No I have not but I can just imagine how beaufilly it smells ????
    Twitter ID @ESSEXMA

  • Reply
    Misti Hillebrand
    January 11, 2017 at 12:07 am

    I bet this wonderful! Thank you for chance at these awesme giveaways!! Good luck all!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I would love to try this fragrance! I had the pleasure if smelling it but I have not had the chance to buy it. This would be a great surprise birthday gift to me being that the 11th of this month is my b-day.

  • Reply
    Lisa rollins
    January 10, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Have not tried it but would love to

  • Reply
    stacey biscontini
    January 10, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    I would love to wear this beautiful fragrance. I’ve smelled it at the perfume counter but I’ve never purchased it for myself. @sbiscontini

  • Reply
    Debra Gillette
    January 10, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Never have tried it

  • Reply
    Julie Fuller
    January 10, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    No I have never tried it, but would love to wear it I don’t have a Twitter account

  • Reply
    Cliff Plummer
    January 10, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    My fiance was able to try this once and has wanted it desperately!

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