I've been looking for my signature perfume for a while. I wanted something unusual, slightly mysterious and sexy. So after reading many a review, my choice narrowed down to Miller Harris and the L'Air de Rien.
I ordered a small tester size because
a) it is expensive (70 GBP for 50 ml)
b) the various reviews I read (also here) were quite conflicting and based on these, I wasn't sure if I want to be smelling like manure, sweat or "an old lady richly covered in foot powder and ground pepper AND left in the oven too long" (I HAVE seen a review like this)
And even the positive reviews didn't quite have me convinced that I want to smell like bodily fluids (albeit the sexy ones), kittens or old horse saddles.
I was intrigued though so I ordered a tester size. I have to say - if you're trying this for the first time, I'd recommend you don't spray directly on your skin (which is what I did, of course), it's probably best to spray in the air and step into the mist.
Since I sprayed it directly on my skin, for the next half hour I was enjoying these scents and memories connected to them: a disturbing mix of my glamorous grandpa's aftershaves that I smelled when I was a child and used to snoop in his things in the bathroom. Similar smell: CD Fahrenheit but way more pungent with a touch of some generic drugstore aftershave. NOT nice. Like some old gentleman's perfume they've been using all their life and perhaps had success with the ladies wearing this many years ago. Like in the 60's. I adored my grandpa but I don't want to smell like him or smell him on me...doesn't leave me feeling very sexy.
I wasn't going to give up so easiIy, decided to give it a rest and try the next day. Stepped into the mist. Totally different and EXACTLY what I've been looking for! No sweaty feet, no baked old ladies, not even kittens. Baffled still at how it was possible to get such different experiences!
Unfortunately, I'm not very good with describing scents specifically...I think I'll try to explain how it makes me feel and then I'll try to list people we probably all know that I could imagine embody what this scent is.
It's disturbing (in a good way). Slightly warm (but not like "Mum" - being in bed with a very sexy, intelligent person kind of warm). Mysterious (I do think it will turns people's heads, it gives one an "aura" of confidence...and self awareness I suppose, which is sexy, you'll agree).Unique (NOT what you'd find in a top 10 list of most sold perfumes. Or top 100 or 200.. Original).
This is not what I would imagine on a generically pretty, Hollywood-aproved person. No, not even Angelina.
This evokes someone...refined...experienced...with a sexy, velvety voice. Fanny Ardant, for example, especially like her character in 8 Women. Or like Alan Rickman - this would work on a man as well.
Don't get this if you like florals, citrus-based or strongly peppery scents. This is earthy. And I do agree with others that it's naughty. But refined naughty. Not too exposed (so, not naked), rather a veiled nudity. Complex sexiness, NOT vulgar or...er....porny.
I will most definitely buy this. I'm in love.
EDIT: So girls (and boys). An update on my actual real-life experience with the scent. As I said, I love it. But I think it doesn't react with my skin chemistry in a way that I'd like - I put it on the other day and my girlfriend sniffed my neck intently couple of hours later (she didn't know I had new perfume, I didn't mention it, nor did I mention what it was) and said: ''What is that, talcum powder?'' She said it in a politely neutral way but I knew that she was not impressed.
Yikes!! This is only slightly less horrifying than my tale above about the baked lady covered in foot powder. OK I confess that I probably won't buy it. I do love it but I suppose scent interpretation is very individual and I want to smell sexy and mysterious as I mentioned, not powdery like a baby.
I think that we would rarely want to actually wear our beloved's scent but that doesn't mean we don't love it ON THEM. I would never wear my partner's perfume but I adore it on her. What I'm trying to say is that while she loves her perfume and I love it on her, I love my perfume but she's very much ''Meh'' about mine and I'm not OK with that.
I can hardly be all sensual and be wearing nothing but the scent when her association with it is baby powder. Bottomline is, of all people, I want her to love the way I smell, not have weird and somewhat asexual associations with it (and by extension, me).
However, this doesn't change the essence of my previous review one bit (except I wouldn't 'buy again'). I still recommend you try this and it may just be your staple niche perfume. Perhaps, after my experience, I'd actually recommend you have it OKd by your partner first if you have one, or have your crush smell it:-) The odds actually are quite high that even if you love it, they may totally loathe it (unfortunately). It does cost 70 GBP after all, so I guess a more thorough research may be in order to avoid disappointment. Ta!
Amazing!. I really enjoyed wearing it. It is notes scent that you couldn't smell anywhere but your own body chemistry that works together and made an amazing smell for yourself.
If you don't like smell of floral scents, or even spicy. L'air de rien is the the one that you should look into it.
It's pure earthy smell. Fantastic !
This is one of those perfumes that clings to your body, mixes with your chemistry and becomes part of you. Like sweat and other sexy bodily fluids. This type of fragrance (and there's only a few around) are often sought out and worn by individuals who are confident, cheeky and have an intrinsic understanding of the meaning behind the creation of a fragrance like this, designed to enhance your own smell. This is the only fragrance I have encountered which gave me a little insight into what that fragrance would smell like that caused the orgy in the final scene of Perfume, the movie set in 16th century France. Unlike conventional fragrances, it has very little in the way of floral, sweet, gourmand, spice, fruity or fresh notes. What it does have is warm, sweaty, dry, papery, musty, dusty notes and dirty skin skin skin. They've captured the smell of pure, carnal, unadulterated, unwashed skin. But it's the skin of the unwashed innocent or the recently innocent. And let's face it, we all have moments when we long for that old feeling. So, now you have the 'feeling' of it, you can decide if it's for you because the bottom line always with this type of fragrance is that it's quite simply, a truly great musk. But it wouldn't be much fun if I told you that at the beginning of the review because you have to understand it to love it. My new BF is quite fascinated by my perfume collection and has taken quite an interest in trying to pick which one I'm wearing of a day. When I have L'air de Rien on my body, especially the body cream, he doesn't pick it as perfume. He thinks it's just my unwashed skin he can smell and can I say, it has, um, just ....... the ..... right ........ impact. So beware, the body cream is FAR more carnal than the EDP. They both behave the same erotic way for the first few hours but by the end of the day the EDP dries down to a slightly sweet, musky incense. The body cream remains unchanged and retains every single naughty, provocative, unsweetened element this fragrance possesses. Both are wonderful.
This smells like an incredibly wealthy and gorgeously tousled hippie who's just had great sweaty sex in some fabulous riad in Marrakesh.
What's not to like??!
I love Jane Birkin desperately so even though I am a die-hard floral girl I had to try this. And I fully expected to hate it and not want a bottle but try to bring myself to like it because of the person who made it. And for some reason, upon first sniff I was in LOVE. I don't smell mud or feces or anything like that. To me it smells like a particularly hip thrift store, if anything. The top is almost effervescent, and the base is very dark and almost...fuzzy...in a way. It reminds me of Jane, and if I had an extra hundred or so dollars I'd buy a bottle in a heartbeat. As it is I'll content myself with her daughter's fragrance by Balenciaga (an urban violet).
Notes: French oak moss, Tunisian neroli, sweet musk, patchouli, amber, and vanilla.
This fragrance opens with a sweet floral and animalistic accord: neroli, musk and the smell of horses mingle into an odd concoction that is both strangely appealing and repulsive at the same time. I noticed the horse smell is stronger near the skin; further away it is less pungent and adds an interesting facet to the neroli-musk composition. I could say it is Clair du Musk with an edge, but most of all it smells just like a circus. This is a very cloying fragrance and lasts for more than 6 hours on my skin.
I never thought there would be something I loved as much as my beloved standby, Egyptian Musk, but this might be it! And I totally agree with those reviewers who said this is a love it or hate it perfume. (i.e. It works with your chemistry or it doesn't.)
First of all, thank you, Crystilica, for the adorable kitten bellies analogy. I get it! And I get the origianl intent of leathery, tobacco-y and yet sweet and perfume-y all at the same time. This scent evokes memories - either real childhood ones or, as the Brazilians say "saudades" - roughly translated as the memory of a possibility. On me, it opens up with a masculine note, not spicy but fresh. Then come the sweet and spicy notes. I don't get barnyard but something between warm nights cuddling by the fire or fishing on a crisp day. On me, this develops very softly and sweetly - with almost caramel or vanilla-like undertones to it. I also agree with the reviewer who said this smells differently whether you spray or drip it on. I'm planning on transferring some to a little roll-on perfume bottle.
So the real question is what kind of chemistry do I have? I'm the type that can appreciate all scents (to a degree, anyway) but most mainstream, popular scents do not smell right on me. The only ones I've gotten repeated compliments on are Thierry Mugler's Angel, Quelques Fleur and my fav, Egyptian Musk. (Forget the Chanels and most designer and celebrity fragrances.) If this is you, give this one a try!
Clearly, this is one that must smell radically different to and on different people. I really, really wanted to love this scent; I was so intrigued by the notes and backstory on Luckyscent (“Inspired by her favorite smellsof 'father's pipe, floor polish, empty chest of drawers, old forgotten houses'”). As it supposedly did for Jane Birkin, this brings back memories of my father, too – except the memories are of his family’s farm and the smell of the barnyard. Whooo-whee!! Where’s dad’s pipe and floorpolish and old houses and vanilla and musk?! I loves me some skank, but this tiptoes past the musky territory and galumphs with big old wellies into knee-deep manure for me. To the reviewer a few below who smells kitten tummies – I’m in major awe and envy of your nose! That’s so lovely and appealing, it almost makes me want to try this again :) Sadly, and with some reluctance, I guess I’ll have to keep looking for my own chest of drawers full of kitties…
Well, from all the reviews I had read about this I was expecting something really stinky and assaulting. Stables, skanks and soiled underpants had me scared but perversely wanting to sample it! Well surprisingly I love it! I guess this perfume reveals things about myself I was not aware of( I guess I'm kind of a dirty girl after all). Thankfully it does not smell like soiled underpants on me. Both my dad and my brother thought this smelled like amber incense and woodsy moss .I can kind of smell the stable-like inference in the opening notes( being a horse person its a very comforting and nostalgic smell to me) but people that haven't been around stables might not get that from this. It is wonderfully dirty, musky,sweet and sexy.Someone on one of the perfume forums said it was like " Last Tango in Paris" and I totally agree.
Purrrrrrr..... do you know that smell, the feeling you get from nuzzling into a soft, freshly-washed Persian kitten's underbelly?
That is the smell of this fragrance on me. A very pretty animalic smell. Very elegant, extremely nice. I do not get anything bad from this. The initial notes are of newborn kittens, then a young, pretty kitten's fur, then changes to a slightly more animalic smell, a *little* stronger, (nothing like bad breath, or turds) a slight barnyard accord, like a sheep. The fluffiness gets very distinct for an hour or so on me, then softens to a lovely, soft spiciness to the undertones of this fluffy, fuzzy, silky, Persian kitten's fur. Totally cuddly, warm and inviting, like a kitten stretching out it's little paws in a patch of sunlight on the carpet and you have your face stuffed into it's cozy little underbelly.
Makes me want to just pet this little cat!! I swear I can smell a little tiny long-haired kitty cat in this. Can I pet it, can I have it, pleeeeaase?
It's defintely FB worthy and then some. I want to have a bottle of this the rest of my life, just to remember how sweet my Persian was. He smelled just like this. Beautifully done. If you are in search of a classic animalic with no "urine smell," look no further. Unlike MKK, this is wearable and enjoyable.
Just for the book, I get no leather, hay, or anything stable-like, besides the sheep smell that lasts only about an hour or so. I was surprised to read the description of this fragrance's notes, because what I get is actually a tad sweet- friendly, pretty, cuddly, a hint of inviting spice- very pettable smell from this one.
And chypre? Oakmoss? Really??!!? I get none of that AT ALL. Unbelievable.