Nina Ricci Nina

I'm so far down the road of perfume thrillseeking by now that the charms of Nina Ricci Nina are almost too wifty-wafty for me to take proper aim with my butterfly net. Nina is not trucker armpit this, yak ballsack that, Barbie-head-meets-Belgian-storm-drains the other. It's tart, sweet cotton, and perfect for teenage girls. It was a struggle to remember if I ever voluntarily wore a fragrance as light, girlish and pleasing as Nina. I fired up the montage machine in my head and mentally flickered through the stops on my perfume history trail in reverse. Musc Ravageur, nope. L'Eau Trois, uh-uh. Divine, naw. Eau Dynamisante, Diorella, Cristalle - no, no, no. Wait -- what was that dome-capped bottle? Rewind and...that's it -- Love's Fresh Lemon! A pucker of citrus on a floral pillow. Sheer, sweet, but never sickening. I loved my Love's Fresh Lemon when I was 15. It didn't make any big pronouncement, it never laid down a manifesto. It just gusted past the nose in a faint puff of sunniness that underscored everyone's good mood. Nina does the same trick for teenage girls today. It's innocent and pretty. It doesn't heave with lurid promises too impertinent for its young wearers. The time for impertinence will come fast enough, anyway. Fumies, what are your innocent/impertinent perfume suggestions?
Nina is available from Sephora.com at $41 for 1 oz

29 comments:

  1. When my five, now six year old makes perfume with me, he always chooses elements things related to food: chocolate and vanilla, lemon, cinnamon, etc, His titles/concepts have been "Chocolate Cake", "Lemon Candy", "Cedar Cinnamon", etc. Our creation this week was like "Chocolate Cake", but with violets, Lemongrass, and Amber, He's starting to develop fuller concepts with this latest frag.
    (Although I think that the Amber addition was my idea to round out the bottom end...)

    His formulas have a minimum of components, even with my additional suggestions to round it out, and of course, Methyl Ethyl Ketone and the like is completely beyond him, but it's been fascinating to witness his innocence and choices for making perfumes that are based around food and sweets.

    He doesn't have any concept about feminine smells vs. masculine smells, it's just what he wants, and wants to put up in my perfumarium.

    (Of Course, Completely Supervised, and warned to NEVER EVER go in there without me.) And my wife is always amazed that the boys always do exactly what I say, and she has not the same influence over them.

    Paul Kiler
    PK Fragrance Arts

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  2. My perfume history in reverse is a bit of a hoot. Late teens/early twenties: big brash orientals (Opium, Cinnabar, Ciara). Early to mid teens: simple single note oils: patchouli, sandalwood, musk (yes, it was the seventies). Childhood: spritzes of classics stolen from my mother's perfume tray (No 5, L'Interdit etc). Innocent fragrances seem to be missing.

    The closest I have in my current collection would be a lovely and little known choice-Apothia Pearl. Shiso leaf, plum blossom, peony, orris and warm golden amber. It starts off tart and citrusy from the shiso note, goes through a soft floral phase then dries to a warm, understated musky amber. I've given two decants to teenage girls and they love it.

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  3. I'd say Gorilla B-Scent, which I wore the other day to meet my accountant, and felt almost young enough not to have mastered long division - and certainly not vulgar fractions.

    If you have still got your butterfly net out, I would recommend La Chasse aux Papillons - a scent so girlish and innocent it hasn't got a base note in its body.

    Promesse de L'Aube is another citrus, pillowy number - a light, fluffy lemon meringue pie of a scent. Can't see any girl wearing that necking pear cider and unsuitable boys behind the bike sheds.

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  4. Paul K - what a marvelous father/son activity: making perfumes! It's imagination meets chemistry, what boy wouldn't love that? I wonder if he might start to venture down the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab avenue, creating scents that bring comics and myths to life?

    Xaryax, thanks for sharing your smile.

    Melissa and flittersniffer, lovely to travel backwards on your perfume history express with you! Melissa, I was quite the torrid 14-year-old in my mother's Revlon Intimate. Hoo-boy. And Flittersniffer, in my case, it wasn't pear cider, it was Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill Wine.

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  5. Boone's Farm! I think mine was apple first, then strawberry. Just perfect with the head shop patchouli oil that we slathered on our wrists at the time.

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  6. Oh, how I loved Love's Fresh Lemon. Somehow they captured exactly what cutting into a lemon smells like. I had just moved to California and it seemed so perfect. Sometimes I look at the vintage bottles in fleabay, but then come to my senses -- no way could it be the same. Love's Baby Soft comes to mind too, lots of people wore it, but it was never for me.

    Innocent now? Uh...vintage Coty L'Aimant, with all that powder, Barbara Bui, or is that too musky? I have a decant of Nina Ricci around here somewhere.

    Boone's Farm? I remember this bottled-sangria swill called Spanada from that time.

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  7. Olfacta, it would be fun to stage a vintage teenage flavors and fragrances party with cheap cherry wine, drugstore perfumes and bowls filled with Bugles snax and Little Debbie cakes. Or not...

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  8. My "innocent" teen fragrances were Yardley Oh! de London, Yardley English Lavender, and Skinny Dip.

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  9. Patty, love the hokey-but-fun sound of that Oh! de London.

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  10. I just can't stand Nina.

    I'm getting dirty hair and sebum from it :/

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  11. Le Critique - What! From Nina? "Dirty hair and sebum" sums up Etro Messe de Minuit to me...and kind of in a good way...

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  12. My mother used to wear Cabochard when I was a child, so this is what I wore in my "innocent" years too. The first fragrance I bought for myself was C'Est La Vie, which I used for 3 years or so. One day I went out for shopping another bottle and just couldn't find it, so I tried a lot of stuff and bought Benetton Colors instead (which I consider my first "innocent" scent, probably because of the peaches). It was also the beginning of my obsession with perfumes, because after that I discovered that it's funnier to have a scent (or more) for each mood instead of sticking to a signature scent. After that, I thing it was Eternity, but after Eternity, things happened fast:)

    Now, many years after that (and more bottles that I can count or remember), when I want to have that innocent teenage feeling again, I go for Petite Chérie.

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  13. "Blueberry Muffin" by Demeter. Layer with the body lotion.

    Jailbait!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. whipsmart84 - I'm wondering if "Jailbait" constitutes a new category of fragrances, slotted between "Innocent" and "PurrrrrOW!"

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  15. Sabrina, I'm glad you brought up Petite Chérie. I'd like to review that one.

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  16. It should. Contenders from my collection: "Soda" by CDG, "Boudoir" by Vivienne Westwood, and "Premier Figuier" by L'Artisan (so milky!).

    "Blueberry Muffin," for the record, is "Flowerbomb" for nymphs on a budget.

    I've been on that budget.

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  17. whipsmart, what an informative dollop of info. You've got me thinking smells in a whole new way.

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  18. Likewise!!!

    I bought Stella after you mentioned (somewhere) that it smells great on a man's skin.

    My grandfather, a WWII fighter pilot, always raves when I wear it. Doesn't suspect a thing!

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  19. Menfolk from that era really know what a woman should smell like.

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  20. ...but not all that sure what a guy should smell like...

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  21. Hold up! Are you backpedaling? You listed "Stella" as a "'cross-dressing' favorite" for men!

    But then again, you listed "Stella" as a "'cross-dressing' favorite" for men.

    Grandpa certainly knows what women should smell like -- and had to contract hepatitis in France to prove it!

    If I'm as sirenlike as the hep donneuse, well, I've got it goin' on.

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  22. ws84: heh - no backpedaling here. Just clumsily reinforcing that "lady's scent" Stella could pass muster on a man, and Grandpa would be none the wiser.

    "hep donneuse" would be a funny screen name. Or not...

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  23. Nina was my first "grown up" perfume when I graduated from high school and it's held a place in my heart. Though I've grown out of it by now. After Nina, I went through a BPAL phase where I can pluck The Unicorn by Black Phoenix out of the lot as my definitive innocent scent. Not so much impertinent. That title would have to go to my guilty pleasure; Viva la Juicy.

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  24. PUCK10 (thanks for that, by the way) - Well, we're living in an era of heightened transparency. Might as well let a screen name put it all on the table.

    Kay - Thanks for mentioning Juicy. Does anyone find their original fragrance reminiscent of the award-winning, rather innocent, and discontinued Gap Dream? A classic.

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  25. ws84 - glad you were able to make use of my PUCK10 discount code for FragranceNet.com. Re Juicy Couture and Dream, I don't recall Dream featuring JC's tuberose, but I was probably paying more attention to Gap Grass...

    Kay, I love that you went from Nina to BPAL.

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  26. what do you think about ricci ricci by nina ricci?

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    Replies
    1. Anna, I've tried Ricci Ricci a few times in duty free shops (the only places I remember seeing it), but it never "sticks" in my memory.

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  27. I know I come in a year too late, but how about Anaïs Anaïs, by Cacharel? That was my childhood fume. I think of it as innocent still.

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