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
    Diane Conover
    January 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I used to wear this some 20 years ago.Was my all time favorite fragrance

    • Reply
      Diana Newsome
      January 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      I’ve never worn this frangrance but I’ve heard alot of people talk about it. I’d love to try this and be able to share my 3xperience with others.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I have never hear of it before, but love to try new things and am a perfume girl.

  • Reply
    Kim M.
    January 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    No I’ve never tried it before, I am always open to trying new items, thanks for the chance

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ingleson
    January 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I have not personally used this but had a friend who did and it spells lovely.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Never tried it but it looks beautiful

  • Reply
    Natalie Yarbrough
    January 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I have not ever tried this before but I would love to try it! @yarbr012

  • Reply
    D. Birdsong
    January 11, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I have not ever tried this before but the description sounds beautiful.

  • Reply
    Brandon Sparks
    January 11, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    It sounds like it smells so so good. My wife has never tried anything like this but would really love to. Thanks for this chance.

  • Reply
    Teena day
    January 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Never tried but want to!!

  • Reply
    Stacy Deal
    January 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I have never tried this perfume! It sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    s powell
    January 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    It sounds like it smells awesome

  • Reply
    Shelley Orr
    January 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I cant say that I have tried L’Air du Temps but Im always will to try new things! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Diana Haggerty
    January 11, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I have never tried this before but would love to win it to try it

  • Reply
    Kristy Smith
    January 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    absolutely amazing smell. Something that cannot be described. Try it!

  • Reply
    Yasmine M
    January 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I have not tried this perfume before, but after reading the ingredients I know it must be an intricate smell of floral & spice with a hint of citrus, and that sounds amazing. @crimeseentech

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    ofcourse I’ve tried it and I would love to wear it

  • Reply
    Donna K Bryant
    January 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve never used this but would love to be able too, it sounds like something that is beautiful to wear!!!!!

  • Reply
    Tara Kosing
    January 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I have not tried before but I bet it is divine !

  • Reply
    Dawn Standley
    January 11, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I have never had the chance to try it. I would love to; it sounds wonderful. Twitter Id: @Elandrya74

  • Reply
    Michelle Floyd
    January 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I have never tried your perfume but I would love the opportunity to try it and wear it.

  • Reply
    Petra Black
    January 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve never tried L’Air du Temps before 🙁

  • Reply
    Maggie Hotchkiss
    January 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    never tried it before, but the bottle looks so cute!!

  • Reply
    Heidi Drew
    January 11, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Haven’t tried it. looking forward to.

  • Reply
    Barb Salame
    January 11, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I’m pretty sure I used to wear this before and would try it again.

  • Reply
    Tina Benites
    January 11, 2017 at 10:54 am

    yes ive tried and love it,its a classic and french parfums are most exquisite! LOVE LOVE!!!!

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