Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs

If you haven't smelled Anaïs Anaïs, you may have at least seen the iconic porcelain milkglass bottle with soft pink flowers all over it. Anaïs Anaïs was launched in 1978, breaking ground for this type of romantic, full-on white florals in its time. Creamy, fresh, heady and sweet, Anaïs Anaïs is a juxtaposition of innocence and darkness as the rich yet airy white floral bouquet (Madonna lily, jasmine, ylang-ylang, iris) rests on an unexpectedly heavy, musky Russian leather base. Michael Edwards wrote in his book, Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances, that Anaïs Anaïs was in fact created and marketed with this duality of woman in mind. The duality-dichotomy is also reflected in their ad campaigns.

Although the madonna-whore dichotomy is not my favorite theme by any means, Anaïs Anaïs is a revered classic. It set a standard for an era and possesses an undeniable beauty that won't be forgotten anytime soon by its worldwide fan base. It's easy to love and wear for all ages, and it keeps the interest of even some discerning perfumistas having good range and many (not just two) facets from a delicate, youthful freshness to a captivatingly mature depth. It's also well-mannered as iris lends a somewhat soapy-powdery impression, although what I get more than powder is the creaminess, simultaneously warm and cool, but never cold or sharp. The overall effect is a great, deeply devoted tenderness. I always imagine a ballerina wearing it.

Although it stands alone as a distinctive and easily recognizable fragrance due to its fame, similar fragrances include Jessica McClintock and Fragonard de Fragonard.

Jan Moran's notes:
Anais Anais (1978 Floral Fresh)
Top Notes: White Madonna lily, blackcurrant bud, hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, citrus
Heart Notes: Moroccan jasmine, Grasse rose, Florentine iris, Madagascar ylang-ylang, orange blossom, bourbon vetiver, California cedarwood, Singapore patchouli, Yugoslavian oakmoss
Base Notes: Russian leather, musk