Monday, September 6, 2010

L'Air du Temps
























Now, I ask you: Which one of these parfum flacons do you want sitting on your vanity: the exquisite Lalique dove or the newly re-designed -- is it a bird, is it a plane is it what (?) -- thing by the tres, tres branché (trendy, hot, InPhilippe Starck?













Apparently he has been approached multiple times by various parfumers to design contemporary bottles to update their classic fragrances. He has always refused, that is until Nina Ricci asked him to re-think and come up with a new look for the, in my mind at least, most beautiful bottle of perfume in the world, L'Air du Temps. 

It took him two years to design what I suppose is a bird.

I like Philippe, he was a neighbor for many years, he's funny, charming and talented, but I find the weird thing that in mid-October will replace the original flacon for what was all through my college years and my 30s my favorite perfume, a tad triste.

At least the formula has not been changed we're told, which is often not the case with classic perfumes the design houses feel need contemporary notes added to the recipe. Tastes change, they claim.

If it's not too late, perhaps it's the moment to rush out and find an original flacon and buy it instantly. I would imagine they will become collector's items.
























Oh yes, Philippe is quoted as saying he himself always wears L'Air du Temps. 

Perhaps the name itself explains why the powers in place at Nina Ricci decided an abstract, objet was what a new generation of perfume connoisseurs desire.

And I thought everyone was sooo into retro.

26 comments:

Stephanie said...

I'm surprised they are messing with such an iconic bottle. The old bottle is beautiful. I can't tell what this new form is supposed to be. Is it a gold tooth? Is it a bird? Is it a rhino tusk? One thing is for sure, it's not as pretty.

JANE said...

That is truly bizarre. The new version can't hold a candle to the original. Odd indeed. J x

Deja Pseu said...

All I can say is quel dommage!

Marsi said...

Weird. Looks like a talon to me.

Working on your you-know-what today.

xoxox --
M.

Julienne said...

There are two old sayings
'if it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

'It's easier to keep an existing customer than it is to get a new one!'

Young marketing executives have forgotten these wonderful pieces of advise. I suppose one day they will realise, but will it be too late?

metscan said...

Well, I don´t remember the scent of this perfume, but I like Philippe Starck, a multi-designer- he has designed and is designing interesting- just about everything! I like the new bottle. Unfortunately I´m stuck with Prada ( the original ).

SPLENDEROSA said...

This is sad. And, this won't sell.
Betcha!

pasunejeunefille said...

So sad. This perfume has been my signature scent since I was sixteen. The bottle was designed by Lalique for God's sake. I have three flacons on my dressing table. I will just refill them if this design does,indeed, become the new bottle.

LPC said...

I can't even see how it WORKS!

Coco Coterie said...

Nos chemins se sont enfin croises ~
One of my more romantic phrases I've recently learned. Even asking what the weather will be sounds romantic in French. Have a bella day ~ xox Alexandra

Beatnheart said...

I do not like it. classics are classics for a reason. classy classics. get it ....

Belle de Ville said...

This looks like a cult of personality marketing equation...after all it is Philippe Starck, and that designer is everywhere.

Established Yet Tired Brand + Celebrity Designer = Revitalization of Brand = New Business.

This is one of those equations that works on paper but might fail in the marketplace.

Belle de Ville said...

Tish, can you recommend a fabulous restaurant in Paris for a friend of mine who will be celebrating a major birthday there?

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dear.....I do prefer the old one...I remember when I was about 15 years old. I had this fantasy about having a boyfriend that would by me L'air du temps for Christmas...a bottle with the little colombe...that eagle head just doesn't do the same thing for me!!!! I must say however, that Phillipe is one BEAU MEC!!!!! ANita

Metropolitan Mum said...

Gosh, I can't even begin to try and find words for that... translucent thing. No. No. No! It's just wrong.

BigLittleWolf said...

I'm a big fan of Philippe Starck. But that's just butt-ugly. Oops. Sorry. C'est pas beau ça - ni le design, ni l'expression.

Dee said...

I am less than enthusiastic about the new design; I agree with Belle de Ville's comment re: new design and new market. It would make sense that, if one loves the classic bottle (and the scent in it, of course) to perhaps purchase it before it goes aways forever.

Ninca Ricci fragrances were my teenage love. My mom got me L'Air du Temps for Christmas when I 15. She gave me her "Chant du Aromes" (sp?), which I wore for my last two years of high school. This was back in the day, of course. Ricci fragrances are so magical.

Mr. Starck is very handsome man.

I must confess: I just went ahead and purchased the classic fragrance/bottle online. It will be sweet to revisit my old friend.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the original one. Why do companies continue to mess with success?
Sam

knitpurl said...

Too pretty and too feminine for 2010, I suppose, so it was re-designed and dumbed down - definitely a "tad triste". xoxo

Wildernesschic said...

I have to say I love the original bottle, I love old perfume bottles anyhow, and always buy when I find.
xx

"All things French" said...

This is such a sweet perfume and pretty bottle, why change it just for changes sake. oh! by the way Tish how do we pronounce Ricci? as in French or as in Italian ??
~Dianne~

lady jicky said...

God that is ugly! LOL

if you see the silver part as a beak - it looks like one of those sick cockies that have no feathers! Poor things.

I am in Australia where white cockatoo's come from and that is just what it looks like to me :)

Dorky Medievalist said...

Aside from the fact that the wholly unnecessary re-design is tantamount to perfume blasphemy--honestly, I almost think it's a joke--Philippe Starck does not strike me as a good choice to be trusted with the redesign.

I love his designs but they are wholly aesthetic and not at all functional. I'm thinking of the citrus reamer for Alessi that looks like a spaceship (super cool and completely useless) or the ghost chair (lovely & invisible, until it gets fingerprints on it or has someone's derriere squashed into it). A perfume bottle has to be functional and fetching. I don't even understand how this one sits on a dresser.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What are they thinking?
It looks like a sibling of Heckle and Jeckle.

Duchesse said...

Gah! PS's flacon is godawful. Hope they have not messed with the formula as well. So many of the classic scents have been re-designed, as Luca Turin says, "for the desires of the accountant, not the parfumeur".

Rubiatonta said...

As my most beloved Mme. Charlet would say: "Non. C'est tout a fait hideux." (Avec une petite moue.)

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