L’Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci
When Hannibal Lecter sniffs the air and almost casually mentions to agent Starling, “You use Evyan skin cream, and sometimes you wear L’Air du Temps, but not today,” I remember thinking the sillage on this perfume must be insane. Not that Nina Ricci’s classic needed the extra PR. By the time The Silence of the Lambs rolled around in 1991, this had already become one of the best selling perfumes ever made.
Formulated in 1948, Clarice Starling’s fragrance choice would have already been considered vintage. It makes sense for the maturity and subdued romance of her character—it is also a scent that will make a hundred Death-head hawk-moths drop dead on the spot. I’m talking about the overwhelming powder power that seems to be void of the original spicy carnation notes in older formulations. The iconic doves on the cap of the bottle design were meant to be a symbol of peace in a post World War II world—for the carefree, feminine gal. I’m happy it went on to be part of the powerful and moody Clarice’s identity.
Notes include carnation, rosewood, bergamot, violet, iris, cedar, amber and musk. In real life you'll smell like agency mixed with Evyan. Eat your heart out, Lecter.