Courtesy photo © Thomas Lohr / Nina Ricci
L'Air du Temps Eau Sublime Eau de Parfum Review
L'Air du Temps Eau Sublime is part of a three-fold effort that Nina Ricci is making this year to create renewed interest in the 1948 perfume classic L'Air du Temps. In the fall of 2016, three new variations of the original post-WWII composition have been launched: two in the Collection Lumière, which is positioned as a high-end, luxurious scent library; the lineup is, reportedly, a permanent addition to the house's catalogue.
Eau Sublime is the third variation; it is positioned in the more affordable designer-fragrance section of the market as a Holidays limited-edition housed in a golden glass bottle rather than a crystal one...
All three perfumes have been composed by perfumer Calice Becker, who works for Givaudan. She is well-known for her deft hand with florals - white-floral bouquets in particular. She is the author of J'Adore by Dior.
L'Air du Temps Eau Sublime Eau de Parfum smells like a perfect mix of freshness and lushness. It projects the impression of a perfumed fountain, whose sprays of water are generous, exuberant, very refreshing, yet also richly scented with heady floral essences.
Tuberose is the official flower the perfumer is said to showcase in Eau Sublime; it does not smell as characteristic as you might imagine it to smell. Considered to be a strong floral note, tuberose appears here smoothened out as if it had been ironed delicately, like a silk shirt; it is included for an indirect effect rather than a direct one. On the other hand, the lushness of the white-floral-bouquet accord is a central effect, on which the perfume composition rests. The perfume in the flacon, which seems to offer the twirling lines of the dress of a waltz dancer, lets out sparks of the original L'Air du Temps, but it is mostly a novel experience.
The main white-blossom scent which accents the composition smells at first of a fruity-floral orange blossom; it is most spontaneously reminiscent of Serge Lutens Fleur d'Oranger in terms of its overall personality. A nuance of almond - even of almond macaron - adds a lightly sweet touch to the eau de parfum, which however never veers in the direction of a straightforward gourmand.
As the olfactory bouquet opens up further, a fresh and buttery flower, gardenia-like, emerges, recalling the oh-so-fresh, creamy, and churned-butter-like jasmine-turned-gardenia of J'Adore.
The truth is, you are invited to inhale a semi-abstract bouquet of both radiant and carnal flowers. You may perceive the fleeting evocation of waxy petals of tuberose, or of the velvety petals of a gardenia, but you never have enough time to stop and smell them. The rhythm of the waltz is too vital - you cannot miss a step. Flowers pass by, evanescent like a dream. The floral notes of Eau Sublime hold a power of evocation over your senses rather than are mirrors of the natural world.
The voluptuousness of the carnal and semi-abstract white-floral accord is contrasted with the spiciness of the carnation - a signature note of the original L'Air du Temps. If the perfume smells spicy, it, however never smells strongly of clove - more of a dusting of pepper.
L'Air du Temps Eau Sublime is the beautiful rendition of an intoxicating bouquet of white florals, tempered only by a sparkling freshness, like that of a fountain. While it lasts, you will have few other occasions to discover such an exuberant and gorgeous bouquet of flowers.
Official list of fragrance notes: yuzu, tuberose, carnation, musk.