Does it matter that Jane Birkin did not wear perfume until Lyn Harris created L'Air de Rien for her (funny, I thought she'd smell like what's left of patchouli oil after three days), or that Birkin wanted to smell like old houses, chests of drawers and her brother's (hopefully clean) hair? Is this another case of us buying a perfume because we cannot afford the other luxury item associated with the celebrity, the Hermes Birkin bag? Is any of the above even relevant when trying to assess a fragrance?
I don't know if I can answer any of this. what I do know is that I didn't get to try L'Air de Rien until about a year and a half after its release (another case of so many perfumes, so little free skin). Once I started testing it, I knew I was going to need it. I have a thing for musky skin scents with a hint of a dirty, dirty girl. Rumor has it that there's vanilla and maybe amber in the composition, but for once this is not what my skin and nose are telling me.
I get a lot of dry, polished wood here, quite similar to one of the notes in Chene by Serge Lutens. This part is almost prim, austere and masculine. But the musk makes it a lot more human, cuddly and quite tactile. You'd want to touch the skin that radiates L'Air de Rien.
I've learned that if I spray it, the scent becomes a bit disturbing. It has so much personality I feel haunted. But when I dab it, the perfume melds with my skin and becomes part of me. I have to say, it's a very pleasant sensation.
This clip is of , a duet by Jane Birkin and Beck is cool (and despite what Luca Turin says, her music is worth checking out):
Photo of Jane Birkin from mooninthegutter.blogspot.com
L'Air de Rien ($160 for 100 ml) is available from Luckyscent and Saks 5th Avenue, which is where I bought my bottle, but if you're lucky, FragranceNet sometimes have it in stock and there's always a coupon code available for them. Just Google.