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Anais-Anais – Share the Secret – March 13 2015 New Fragrance Listing

 

We just finished the gigantic jigsaw puzzle I got for Christmas.  I say “we” because it’s definitely been a family affair, exactly as my “Jigsaw Queen” daughter hoped it would be. We’ve all had so much fun doing it, right down to our four-year-old granddaughter, who seems to have inherited her aunt’s talent for finding the inevitable “missing piece” that gets everyone’s shirt in a knot until it snaps into place. It’s such an incredibly satisfying feeling when that happens, and you’re the one that solves the puzzle. High fives all round…

I got that same kind of feeling of solving a puzzle after doing background research on Anais–Anais by Cacheral. I wore this perfume, and all my friends did too, when it was new in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I had no clue whether it was a floral, or an Oriental, or a woody scent – those words didn’t exist in my perfume world then. All I knew was that I loved it, and it loved me, and it was by Cacheral, a French brand that had real cachet at the time. I had a Cacheral shirt – a man-styled silk shirt in Liberty print that was worn with the sleeves rolled, belted or loose so that it was feminine and floaty – and Anais-Anais was made to wear with that fabulous shirt. But now I know why I loved it….

It’s a white floral accord that opens with a note of herbaceous galbanum that keeps it company all the way down through the base. Very green at the beginning, this accord softens into heady lily of the valley and hyacinth mixed with the sweet of orange blossom as it moves into the heart notes. More florals swirl up in the heart – sweet honeysuckle, jasmine, and spicy rose and carnation – which build the sensation of a bouquet of garden blooms picked at the peak of their perfect beauty.

As the dry-down unfolds, the blooms fade, cedarwood and sandalwood adding a creamy dry woodiness to their sweetness, oakmoss and incense and vetiver creating an earthy aspect. In the base, the tender white florals have transformed into a delicious musky sensual accord that is no longer as pure and innocent, but hints of a life waiting to be lived larger.

Anais-Anais was a blockbuster success. Cacheral created the fragrance specifically for young women and targeted their marketing directly at the younger female customer, who quickly claimed it as her own. First of all, the name had a mysterious appeal – Anais Nin was famous as a female writer who broke the rules, the first modern woman who wrote about female erotica (Delta of Venus). Was Anais –Anais named after her, or was it named after Anaitis, a Persian goddess of fertility, as Cacheral claimed. Either story has an undercurrent of the forbidden about it…

And then there was the advertising. - The feminine packaging with its soft pink and green eroticized flower, the romantic ads featuring groups of sweet-faced young women doing semi-erotic things like dressing and bathing together – all innocent but charged with anticipation. Like a dreamy Kate Moss in 2007, with the copy line “Share the secret”…

And then there was the scent, that soft understated floral which still has the charm of its deceptive innocence, is still fabulous, is still affordable and easily available as an EdT. Soft florals are showing up in new niche and luxury perfume launches this year, a welcome switch from heavy ouds and ambers. Anais-Anais is a forgotten gem, perfect for someone starting a perfume wardrobe who wants to explore beyond fruity-florals, perfect for any woman who wants a truly wearable floral. This is a very modern floral, and it’s a classic.

Share the secret…

Anais-Anais is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.