My Favourite Perfume Turns 70

Designer Nina Ricci opened her fashion house in Paris in 1932, and in 1941 her son, Robert, began the fragrance division. L’Air du Temps was introduced in 1948 to celebrate the end of the war, and became an instant success.

Robert Ricci is quoted as saying, “A fragrance is a work of art, and the object that contains it must be a masterpiece.” The first L’Air du Temps bottle was created by Joan Rebull in 1948 and featured a crystal sun with a sculpted dove cap. Marc Lalique designed the crystal bottle we all recognize n 1951. Forty years later, in 1991, it was named the “Perfume Bottle of the Century.”

L’Air du Temps is a blend of 30 ingredients, including jasmine, bergamot, rosewood, clove, lily, carnation, gardenia, peach, orris, and dusky woods. Lana Turner wore the fragrance. It is a royal favourite of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Sofia of Spain, Princess Michael of Kent, and the late Diana Princess of Wales.

In the film Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Hector makes a creepy reference to it being Clarisa’s fragrance.

I discovered it when I was 20 and I’ve been wearing it ever since!

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