Anne Pliska existed before there was niche perfumery. It was even sold at Nordstrom for several years (imagine that!). The fragrance in EDP and parfum concentration was launched in 1987, the same year that gave us LouLou, Moschino and Bijan, to only name a few notable examples. Calvin Klein released his Obsession two years earlier, a spicy oriental that took the general idea of Shalimar and ran away with it (far far away). Anne Pliska grabbed the oriental beast and reined it in a little, smoothed its wilder edges, replaced civet with musk and removed a lot of the noise and distraction. The result is an elegant amber, cuddly, sexy, and very inviting.
The structure is familiar: opening notes of bergamot and orange that give way to something a bit herbal and floral. It starts aromatic and develops into a full blown amber vanilla that feel like heavy embroidered silk. You want to wrap it around yourself, feel the smoothness of the fabric on your body and revel in the way it catches the light. Delightful doesn't begin to describe the easygoing sensuality of Anne Pliska, that takes all that was good about the big scent bombs of the 1980s and makes them easier to wear today.
Anne Pliska used to be a cult favorite and a perfumista's secret way back when the market was much smaller and the internet was younger. Many perfumes were launched and discontinued since then, perfume blogs came and went away, and the little pink bottle was cast aside and forgotten. It's worth revisiting if you tried it once, and even more so if you never have. After all, this is now a niche perfumery legend.
Notes: Bergamot, amber, patchouli, geranium, musk, vanilla
Anne Pliska EDP ($55, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent.
Art by William Clarke Wontner.