Un Air de First is much more prim and proper than the perfumes I usually go for but it's very well done.
Composition-wise it's what one expects it to be; a green aldehydic floral. The strange thing is that makes notes that normally don't work for me wear beautifully; the aldehydes are the softest kind I've ever encountered (along with maitresse by Agent Provocateur) and the galbanum is nowhere near as astringent and earthy as I've used to. Also muguet which wears very sharp on me most behaves so well. For that alone, I'm impressed.
Manages to be creamy, airy, soft and fresh like a sophisticated liquid version of Dove soap. The one to pick when in the mood to wear pearls on a bright spring/summer day.
I received a small spray vial of this in Paris last summer and didn't give it much thought. Why create a flanker to an 80s aldehyde powerhouse in 2011? Since I quickly ran through my travel-sized fragrance I brought with me, I gave Un Air de First a whirl, expectations low. Holy galbanum, Batman! I love galbanum, especially the galbanum in Maison Martin Margiela's Untitled. In addition to this heavenly green sweetness, I get a soft jasmine and understated, effervescent aldehyde combo, with a touch of light, ethereal musk. Color me surprised! It falls in the SFW category; not exactly avant garde, but what do you expect from VC&A? Nevertheless, it's got *something*, and that something is mighty nice. It's perfect for someone like me, who likes a touch of aldehydes, but not the shoulder pad aldehydes of No. 5, Arpège, or the original First. I started hoarding the little spray vial, feverishly watching it dwindle. I hate paying retail for flankers, as I almost always end up seeing them at Marshall's or some similar outlet for a fraction of the original cost. I've trolled all the discount stores to no avail. Neiman Marcus no longer carries it online, so I bit the bullet and bought the 3.3 oz size from Saks. I fear that this may be discontinued very soon, and that's a shame. It seems that it was never widely distributed, so it may never even make an appearance at US discount stores. One can only wonder if this would have done better as an original fragrance in its own right, and not simply a flanker to a fragrance of days gone by. We may never know.