Friday, August 12, 2011

Cacharel- Anais Anais

The idea of what is an appropriate tween/teenager perfume has definitely changed since my sister and I shared a bottle of Anais Anais by Cacharel in the mid 1980s. Last weekend I finally got the courage to sniff and spray Katy Perry's perfume, Purr. Let's not talk about it other than to say that it was a Fisher Price kind of an experience. Next to Purr, Anais Anais, the perfume every girl under age 14 used to wear back in the day smells like the height of sophistication.

Anais Anais is a chypre, after all. A green floral chypre that at least in its original version is loaded with the kind of green notes you'd struggle to find today even in grownups' perfume: galbanum, hyacinth and oakmoss. It's quite amusing to remember that this Cacharel perfume was considered innocent, delicate and even a bit boring as young girls couldn't wait to grow up and wear the real perfumes: Poison, Opium and Giorgio.

Smelling Anais Anais today I absolutely love it (see galbanum & co.). The floral heart is smooth and seamless as there isn't one star to the blend. It's white, not sheer though it floats effortlessly and never becomes heady; hence the appropriateness. The lasting power of Anais Anais is great, a testament to the real oakmoss in my old bottle. It has a low to medium sillage, and I clearly remember my sister spraying and spraying and spraying it . Not that I was much better. After all, we had to compete with our friends who were allowed a drop of Giorgio or Enjoli.

Notes: bergamot, galbanum, hyacinth, honeysuckle, orange blossom, lily, lily of the valley, rose, ylang-ylang, tuberose, carnation, cedar, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, incense, vetiver

Anais Anais by Cacharel is still in production. I have an older bottle of the EDP (most of what you find today at the discounters is the EDT) and still looking for the extrait.

Anais Anais perfume ad from
Cacharel ad for French Elle, March 1977
Cacharel ad, French Elle, 1982


  1. I remember Anais Anais very fondly. My Mum had a bottle and would often let me have a spritz. It was so much more sophisticated than Lou Lou. I feel the urge to seek it out for a sniff down memory lane!

  2. This review made me giggle! When I was younger, I remember spraying my mom's Anais Anais on myself and wondering why it didn't knock me down in the way her Paris, Opium, and Poison did. I think I always preferred louder scents! Now that I'm older, I need to smell this again.

  3. This made me nostalgic, I wore this perfume in my early twenties when my sister gave me hers. I loved it and bought my own bottle when I ran out. Anais Anais is the reason why I'm into floral perfumes.

  4. This perfume was HUGE when I was in college. Every restroom and elevator on campus smelled like it. :) I remember I had a male friend who said he thought it was the best perfume a girl could wear.

    I could never wear it, though. It just wasn't me.

  5. My mum used to wear and love Anais Anais, as well. I never thought of it as a scent that very young girls would wear. I bought it for her several times and it suited her nicely.

  6. Anais Anais was my favourite when I was a teen! I had no idea it was considered a "teen" perfume. I just fell in love with it and honestly I thought that was a little sophisticate of me at the time. LOL The way you describes it makes me think I will love it just as much now! Time to find out. ;-) Thanks!

  7. I used to love this fragrance as well. I'd love to sniff it again and see if I feel the same way I used to.

  8. Someone told me that Anais Anais was named after Anais Nin. It was back when I was beginning my senior year in high school and I obtained a copy of Delta of Venus and read it as a teen. Pretty scandalous for that time for me to have done that. I have fond memories of this even though I did not wear it. I wore Halston by Halston back then.


  9. My mum had a bottle of this and I used to sneak a spray too! Best of all, it doesn't give me a headache! I think I've a sample at home - I must retry!

  10. Yet another voice here saying your beautiful review brought back memories. Anais Anais reminds me of getting a gentle hug from my mom. My grandma's perfume was Poison (she passed the love along to me). Their personalities differed as did their fragrance choice. I love Anais for how it makes me think of my mom but it just doesn't fit me the way Poison feel like something I'd wear in my best dream of myself. I'm with Anon who later on read some Anais Nin and developed a whole new concept of who my mom could be.

    Always a very big thank you for your beautiful, eloquent reviews.

  11. That middle image is hauntingly beautiful, and surprisingly sophisticated for a deliberately downmarket perfume.

  12. I also wore Anais Anais as a teenager, that along with Balmain Ivoire that my father brought back from one of his tripe abroad. I must have liked this better because I think I bought a second bottle, and I guess my grandmother liked it, too, because she switched from Norell to this and still wears it today.

    I should give anais anais another sniff.

  13. This post made me wax nostalgic for my H.S. days, I had no idea Anais Anais was a chypre. It was my go-to scent before I discovered other big 80's scents like Mon Parfum and Fendi, it's obvious my love for chypres goes way back. Will have to see about purchasing another bottle.

  14. I had exactly the same experience with Anais Anais when I was young. My mum worked at Fredricks and Nelson and would often get promo products. Sometimes if I was lucky she would pass them off in my direction so I ended up with a candle and tiny bottle of Anais Anais which I LOVED! But somehow in various moves I lost both of them. At an estate sale, a few years ago I came across a full, still sealed bottle and snapped it up immediately. I was surprised to find - like you that this fragrance was just as beautiful of not more so now.

  15. Hi, Gaia! Fidji's Guy Laroche reminds me of AnaisAnais, without its refinement. I think might be due to the prominent hyacinth and galbanum notes in both. I find Fidji more on the woods side and a little bit rude in comparison: "the suntan note", insouciant and sexually impudice, yet powerful and charming. I usually think if they were feminine icons of the '70's, AnaisAnais --> Twiggy and Fidji --> Janis Joplin in The Beach (and I mean the Danny Boyle's film).

    I love Chypres!
    and as every young girl, I used to love AnaisAnais in the past... Now, which I still like the most is its creaminess quality, but it's a 'Nevermore' fragrance for me. I don't want to be more sophisticated than is strictly necessary. I simply want let myself be led by emotional instincts.

    In this sense, my absolute all-time favourite from Cacharel without a shadow of a doubt is LouLou -creaminess quality again! but in a very different way-. Now I realize that it's one of the few big-true love perfume stories I ever had in my life. I recently rediscovered and revived and it's flourishing among so many others to the point I feel like it's the end of the road in my perfume research. Of course I'll continue to love and being interested in fragrance world, but at least now I'm not desperate in finding my HG. It's been a long way from what I was to what I'm now, and the result is the same scent I wore twenty-some years ago during a short period of my teen age, that always has been handy just round next corner, but for some weird (unbelievable) reason I didn't think serioulsy of it any more... I always supposed that my love for LouLou was an overdimensionated memory of mine, but when I smelled again just a few time ago on the store... OMG!! I wanted to kill myself! and now ♥I'm dead!♥


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget