Nina Ricci Love in Paris, 2004

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(Image source Wide Walls)

Perfumer Aurélien Guichard

Love in Paris is a tidy, smart floral, accessible yet creatively distinctive. The flower note is broad, a sort of idealized rich, dry white/pink flower. But if the flower is the noun, fruit and herb are the adjectives. Love in Paris has a tart nectarine/plum tartness that keeps it from veering anywhere near syrup. The sweetness itself comes from the anise, not the fruit.

Fruity sweetness is a lingua franca of commercial feminine perfumery, but here sweetness and fruit flavor are separate elements combined to mimic a more vernacular sweetness. Clever, actually. It’s a sly sweetness that would appeal to many noses.

In most designer releases, sweetness is two-dimensional. More volume-up, volume-down than nuance. Do you prefer 8 lumps or 12? Love in Paris gives us a compact but more three-dimensional sweetness that is a perfect backdrop for the florals. Anise also lends that chilly feel that makes the flowers feel just pulled from the florist’s fridge.

I’m a fan of this perfumer, Aurélien Guichard. Love in Paris demonstrates his fluency in designer, niche and traditional house (ie. Guerlain) vernacular. Love, Bond’s Chinatown, Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella show some riffs on similar compositional themes without repetition or monotony. No mean trick in contemporary perfumery.


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