Created for Jane Birkin, L'Air de Rien is a sensual fragrance of great warmth with notes of French oakmoss, Tunisian neroli, sweet musk, amber and vanilla.
"I have never liked perfumes," she says. "I have always preferred to carry pot pourri in my pocket. It was an interesting exercise in finding out what you don't like. All the things usually associated with heady, dark-haired women like hyacinth, tuberose and lily-of-the-valley made me vomit when they were enclosed in a bottle so this one is much more me – I wanted a little of my brother's hair, my father's pipe, floor polish, empty chest of drawers, old forgotten houses." Vogue Interview.
I love this scent. From the moment I opened the bottle I got lost in it. In the bottle it is warm and musky, almost hay-like. Wet on the skin, I get a faint whiff of sharp neroli before my skin eats it up, and thereafter it is just oakmoss and amber. The vanilla isn't too sweet, the musk is incredibly warm. And it's a dirty, dirty, dirty scent, in best, languid, post-coital fashion.
However, it's not for everyone. Lyn Miller has said herself that this is a scent that shifts and changes on skin, varying greatly from person to person. Some reviews talk of it smelling like manure, some like wet dog. There is definitely something animalic about it, but on my skin, it is nothing but good. Even if there is a hint of the stable about it...
As you'd expect, it sits very close to the skin, as it has no need to shout. I've worn this for 5 days on the trot now, despite having plenty of scents to review, and other lovely "signature" scents to wear. (Poor Elixir is sulking, but that's getting another go soon). Because it's not too shouty, I'm happy to wear it in the daytime, have worn it on the school run, like some kind of filthy in-joke between myself and my skin. I'm tempted to layer it with Beyond Love by Kilian and see if the tuberose dances with this (which Birkin would hate but tough, my skin, my toys).
Without a doubt, my love for this ties in with scents like Feuilles de Tabac, and Elixir as this seems to have a definite sense of place and time. It took me an age to get a sample of this, and if you're brave enough then The Perfumed Court may once again be your best bet.