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 hprints.com
Cacharel ad for French Elle, March 1977
Cacharel ad, French Elle, 1982