Love in Paris

A couple months ago in a fit of … something … I ordered a bunch of samples.Not that I needed any more.  Believe me.I think there was a sale?Free shipping? I’d read or heard something about every sample in the package that prompted me to want to try (or retry) it.Anyhow, they got here and I promptly forgot about them.

Now it´s been so long I can´t remember why I wanted them.A review on another blog? Mentioned by a friend? I decided it would be fun to sample each fragrance without researching it and try to guess what placed it on my to-try list.Which on one level creates a bass-ackwards review, but there you have it.I´m working my way through them slowly, and today we´re reviewing Nina Ricci Love in Paris.

The first five seconds after I sprayed on Love in Paris, I thought:ummmmmmmmmmm,NOPE.Whatever I thought might appeal with this one, I wuz wrong.Then I let it sit a few minutes and as usual my feelings for it changed a bit.I am pretty sure I must have read about a spicy gourmand phase in its middle, sweet but not too, with a mildly peppery funky note that reminds me of Sonia Rykiel´s Belle en Rykiel.

Created in 2004 by Aurelien Guichard, Love in Paris has notes of bergamot, star anise, apricot, jasmine, peony, rose, musk, woodsy notes and vanilla.The bergamot is a little alarming at the opening – it´s not clear at all what direction this fragrance is taking, and I was worried it was going to be this fresh citrus deal – before it settles into a musky, floral woods fragrance that is considerably less sweet than you might gather from that list.There is something quirky about it – Love in Parisbeing a really great name because while it is warm and ebullient and youthful, it´s not childish.There is something smoky and wistful about it, like the fading scent of illicit Gauloises in the scarf you brought home from your first semester abroad.Any of you looking for an anise powerhouse – you won´t find it here.I guess I can suss it out having seen it in the notes, but it added more of an aura of spiciness than the dreaded (by me, at least) Good n Plenty vibe to the scent. I also get a long stretch of what smells like tea along with the florals in the middle, which of course pleases me.

I had to dig around to find what must have triggered my interest:Tania Sanchez in The Guide says this of Love in Paris: “conventional at a distance but odd in the details, what could have been an entirely boring floral isn´t at all,” and goes on to add: “An entirely unexpected, pleasantly salty, animalic-metallic note grows more evident as it dries down.Excellent work.”I agree with the comment about the attractiveness of the odd details; on me, though, the whole thing collapses like a souffle after 45 minutes or so, leaving me with a perfectly nice musky floral, whereas I would have preferred the salty animalic bits.I won´t be buying it, and I probably won´t even work through my sample. No matter how quirky the details, it´s just not my style.But it´s nicely done nonetheless and well worth trying for someone looking for a daywear woody/floral that’s not run of the mill, lightly spicy rather than sweet, that won’t annoy the people around you.

  • mary kate says:

    Is this the precursor to chinatown? At all similar?

  • Robin says:

    March, sounds worth trying, but have you ever seen it in person? I don’t think I ever see anything Nina Ricci except that darned Nina apple thingie. I do like Aurelien Guichard’s work.

    • March says:

      I have NOT seen it in person, and it looks okay online, but Tania ragged the bottle in the review and said it looked cheesy.

      The only newer one I’ve ever seen is the apple thingy, which is cute but not my type of fragrance.

  • Debbie says:

    I’ve done that before: ordered or swapped for a sample and then can’t remember why once I had it. Frustrating mostly.

    • March says:

      Hah!!! Nice to know it isn’t just me then. Although …. contemplating … at a guess I would say I have run across as many things I love doing blind sniffage as I have seeking out something that sounded good.

  • Elle says:

    Too bad about the lack of salty animalic bits. 🙁 That sort of description might actually have put me over the edge and had me ordering a bottle unsniffed instead of just a sample. But I’m fiercely trying to break myself of the unsniffed full bottle habit (although tripped up on that just last week ordering Noel au Balcon and a new Montale – aaargh!). However, I doubt I’ll ever break myself of compulsive sample buying. I seem to have some sort of need to have my own little perfume sample version of the Library of Congress.

    • Debbie says:

      Yes, that part interested me a lot too. Too bad. I’d wear it once in a while if I received it as a gift or something though.

      BTW, I love the description of a sample collection similar to the Library of Congress. Thanks, Elle, for the smile.

      • March says:

        Well, your mileage may vary. Maybe somebody else would get the excellent salty animalic bits. It does sound tasty, doesn’t it?

    • March says:

      I gave/swapped/threw 🙂 samples away for awhile and like you have now decided to catalog all of them. Because inevitably someone reviews something and I want to resniff it, or I’m reviewing something and it reminds me vaguely of fragrance x.

      I am a fan of the combined smell of all the fragrance samples that wafts out of the box when I open it. And even though they’re sealed in plastic, my spare closet smells like perfume.

      I am mostly cured of buying unsniffed because an unsniffed bottle purchase almost guarantees I will not like it!

  • Louise says:

    Good Mornin! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

    Ah, the impulse purchase of ultimately ill-suited samps…I always admire you as largely immune to this malady 🙂

    You did a lovely job of describing a scent that you really didn’t like so muc -and gave it a really fair try :d/ -but I think I’ll skip on this one. I’m too busy impulsively buying older classics of late. My new love- Y by YSL @};-

    • March says:

      Hey, I got bored with writing mostly about things I rave about. I remember reading a comment once on MUA to the effect of, those bloggers are always trying to seduce you into buying something! Not this time. 😉 I enjoyed writing about experiencing a fragrance that was, well, ultimately just okay.

    • Musette says:

      Louise –

      Me, too! (good morning, btw – we worked like fiends the bulk of the holiday weekend which, oddly enough, made the Monday After transition much easier)

      I’m tiring of new and niche, though I suspect I will revisit them (and what am I saying, I just bought some new!niche! samps:^o

      but mostly I’m focusing on a lot of classics I’ve tried and then forgotten about. I’m considering a good long look at Chanel again, given my deep and abiding love for BdIles and Cuir de Russie, which is my Own True Love….but it got me thinking about Nos 5 & 18 again as well as leading me back to Bandit. Same with the Guerlains…back to the oldies.

      What older classics you are revisiting?

      And most important: are you coming to Chicocoa?


      • Louise says:

        Hi doll! Sorry about the workin’ weekend…I been visiting with Balenciaga Quadrille, various Balmains (vintage Ivoire, Vent Vert), Le Galion Sortilege, various Patou Ma Collection scents (loving Chaldee)and older Joy, a couple of old Rochas (Audace, Madame), plus other oddities. I have luckily or not found a shop not far away that has many discontinued or hard-to-find scents at a good shop, and a new partner in crime to share and swap these goodies with b-)

        I am hoping to come to Chicago, but a little daunted by the hotel costs-and also need to check with my boss on getting the Friday off. Will let you know verrrrry soon 😡

        • Musette says:

          Vintage Vent Vert?:o Yowza! Older Joy? ka-pow!!! (channeling Stan Lee here:-)….all good stuff. I am all about those, though I just finished up the last of my older Joy Parfum… heart breaks at the thought of it…

      • March says:

        Hey, the classics are well worth focusing on. They’re classics, right? Things that have stood the test of time are always worth romancing (although I tend to do so not in the summer months when it’s stifling hot here.)

        Bandit. After 15 or 20 tries it went from hate to love. 😡

        • Musette says:

          of course it did! It’s Bandit! What’s not to love…though it does take a few more smooches than other frags;)


          I’m keeping fingers, toes and eyes crossed. Perhaps there’s a ‘share’ option? I don’t know if you’re okay withthat sort of thing but I know some folks were looking/talking on the message board about that.