Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nina Ricci Nina (original)

The original Nina by Nina Ricci (1987) is a very different scent from the Nina in the apple bottle. This other Nina was a dedication by Robert Ricci to his mother, made with the same aesthetic that created L'Air du Temps (1948): a soapy-sharp and simultaneously powdery, quiet fragrance. My review here is for parfum, but the EDT smells very close, just lighter. As the imagery suggests, Nina is an Aldehydic Floral, a powdery veil of scent comprised to my nose mostly of blackcurrant bud (cassis), iris and greens. I prefer it to L'Air du Temps because it's not as sharp, and it has some soft fruity notes that sweeten it a tad, giving the cool scent a somewhat warm and approachable appeal.

It's kind of an old-fashioned scent, but a beautiful composition made entirely from a neoclassical standpoint, a scent that obviously carries with it heavyweight classical tradition and a message for women to embrace a subdued character, the redefined femininity of the late '40s that began with L'Air du Temps and the New Look in fashion. There's nothing about Nina that really stands out, making it a bit hard to remember, but the whisper of scent it leaves on skin is elegant, tasteful, even a bit youthful yet very ladylike, or Madonna-like (I don't mean the singer, although it has a Like a Virgin vibe to it nonetheless) in its humble, understated effect. To the modern nose, it will smell soapy and like the '80s or before, maybe more like the '70s when green, mossy, quiet, powdery scents were more prevalent. It's discontinued, but if you come across it, it might be worth a sniff.

Nina Ricci Nina (1987)
Top: Bergamot, mimosa, cassia tree buds, basil, orange blossom, marigold.
Mid: Jasmine, mimosa, rose, violet, ylang-ylang.
Base: Iris, sandalwood, vetiver, cassis.