Another Classic Fragrance Found


Yesterday I acquired a 3.3-ounce bottle of Anne Klein eau de parfum. I’ve been on the lookout for Anne Klein II for a couple of years, but when I saw Anne Klein I was immediately drawn to it. I had never actually smelled either one before yesterday, but I collect classic fragrances because (as you know if you regularly read my blog), I am so disenchanted with today’s fragrances that I have reverted to the enduring fragrances of yesteryear. Or at least up until the early Nineties. The bottle of Anne Klein that I found was still about 3/4 full, still smelled strong, and it only cost me $7.50 at a local consignment store.

According to H & R’s Fragrance Guide, Anne Klein is “a floral scent with top notes of aldehydes, galbanum, bergamot, hyacinth, neroli and cassia, middle notes of jasmine, tuberose, rose, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang, orchid and fruit, with base notes of sandalwood, vetiver, musk, civet, amber, benzoin and vanilla.” In layman’s terms: if Arpege and Jontue had a baby, it would be Anne Klein. It has the aldehyde notes of Arpege, but the sweet floral notes remind me of Jontue.

The Anne Klein aesthetic reminds me of the 1970s woman – not the disco diva, but the successful career woman whose style is simple, classic, yet at the same time on- trend. Sort of like Mary Richards of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Anne Klein was the house’s second fragrance, and the first one to be introduced after Anne Klein’s death. It was introduced in 1984, ten years after Klein died, when the fashion house was run by Donna Karan (who had worked as Klein’s assistant designer and was promoted to head designer). It’s one of the last throwbacks to classic fragrances: before musk and civet were considered politically incorrect. The Nineties marked a return to simplicity in both fashion and fragrance (following an economic recession after the excesses of the Eighties), with Calvin Klein leading both industries. The Nineties gave rise to “unisex” and “unfragrance” fragrances such as CK One by Calivn Klein or Amazing Grace by Philosophy. Anne Klein has since been discontinued, but plenty of bottles abound on eBay. Anne Klein II and Anne Klein’s first fragrance, Blazer, can also be found on eBay, but all Anne Klein perfumes are going for about $100 if not more. Way too rich for my blood. I’m going to continue scouring thrift stores and consignment shops in my neighborhood. As yesterday proved, you never know when you might get lucky.

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