But let’s go back to Robert, the loving, visionary son, the cunning businessman, the creative idealist. He not only was responsible for convincing Nina to finally starting her own couture house, but being passionate about fragrances himself, he was also responsible for starting Nina Ricci’s first subdivision by venturing into the world of perfumery. Coeur Joie, the first fragrance by the house, comes in what has to be the most beautiful bottle in the world. L’Air du Temps, the third fragrance is one of the most well known perfumes in the world. But today’s post has nothing to do with either of these exceptional perfumes. Today we take a look at one of the most beautiful fragrances the House of Ricci has ever produced, yet somehow let go. The fragrance in question is the astounding Nina, created by Robert Ricci in 1987 as homage to his beloved mother. Different sources attribute a different nose behind Nina: others cite Christian Vacchiano as the nose and others Francis Fabron. I personally tend to lean towards Francis Fabron (L’Air du Temps, Capricci, Baghari, L’Interdit, Le Dix) as the correct answer to this dilemma, because his other perfumes –especially L’Air du Temps- match Nina’s sensibilities so well. The aldehydes, the almost fragile femininity, the softness... to my senses, almost all of them bear his signature, which I also perceive in Nina. Smelling L’Air du Temps and Nina together, it feels like they are part of the same story, with Nina picking up where L’Air du Temps had left off. Nina’s aldehydic opening is so astoundingly beautiful that it begs you to come closer and breathe in deeply even as it is applied. Beautifully aromatic peach, surprisingly without a single trace of sweetness gives the opening a fruity flavor, while the effervescent fizz of the aldehydes is studded with citrusy gems that sparkle as bright as diamonds. The combination of tagetes and bay leaf, give the composition an herbal twist and a spicy bite. The floral heart of the fragrance is blended into seamless perfection, bringing to mind images of vibrant femininity instead of lush gardens. The longer Nina stays on the skin, the more it bursts with greenness, as though the goddess of spring herself is rejoicing in her beauty. Nina’s drydown is an apotheosis of oakmoss and civet, glorious and unforgettable.
This is an utterly romantic and feminine fragrance of unsurpassed elegance. Its bottle that has always grabbed my attention, is a truly beautiful work of art, which still has me wondering about its meaning. Perhaps I am biased, for I have loved this fragrance since childhood, but to me, the scent of Nina is extraordinarily addictive. It is a scent that speaks of gladsomeness, but also of fragility. It is romantic and feminine, but at the same time betrays a strong will. The generous doses of oakmoss mean that Nina too, like many gloriously green fragrances, has a certain aloofness. Commitment, loyalty, femininity, romance, sophistication are all words that describe Nina, but the one I always invariably return to for its true definition, is elegance. This classic has now been discontinued, and is getting increasingly hard to find. Its place is taken by the tooth-achingly sweet and as far removed from the original as possible, new Nina. Not many people remember the original, a fact that truly pains me. Today’s Forget me Not has a very special place in my heart. I’ll never forget Nina.
Lastly, this fragrance is both hard to find and I own it, so you know what this means, right? Yep, this combo always qualifies for a draw here on Fragrance Bouquet. When you post a comment you’ll be automatically entered in a draw for a sample of this. The winner will be announced in a week’s time.
To see most of the fragrances ever released by the house of Ricci, visit the official website, choose english, and click on perfume and lastly fragrances throughout the years. And of course, don’t forget to visit For the Love of Perfume to find out which classic Tamara chose to review for this month’s feature!
Images: www.toutenparfum.com, www.ninaricci.fr, author's own