The daughter of an Italian shoemaker, Nina Ricci began her love affair with fashion design at the tender age of 12 when she became an apprentice to a dressmaker. By 18, she was lead seamstress at a clothing company, then, in 1932, she created a couture house in her name, opening on Rue des Capucines, Paris. Ricci designed gowns that were charming, irresistible and utterly feminine – especially in comparison to the eccentric gowns that flooded the streets of Paris at the time. Her son Robert, an advertising executive, managed the business and finance – taking the brand from strength to strength.
In 1946, Robert – ever the visionary – turned to fragrance, creating Coeur Joie, a floral-musky scent. This was followed in 1948 by Nina Ricci’s most famous perfume, L’Air du Temps, which captured the passion and elegance of the era. The graceful, twin-dove crystal bottle was crafted by Marc Lalique – marking the beginning of an exclusive partnership between Lalique and Ricci. With Fille d’Eve (1952), Capricci (1961), Farouche (1974) and Nina (2006), success followed success and the house constantly grew, becoming a worldwide symbol for Parisian sophistication. Even today, in the hands of Peter Copping (who worked with Louis Vuitton for 12 years) the haute couture house still remains renowned for its timeless designs and luxury fragrances.
This year, Maison Ricci has added a new fragrance to its historic perfume range with Ricci Ricci – a contemporary twist on the romantic femininity in which the house does so well. It is aÂ glamorous yet audacious fragrance, designed for an urban heroineÂ who is optimistic, lively and self-confident. Like the NinaÂ Ricci woman, she is both sensual and playful and at ease withÂ her age and femininity.
Designed to be worn during the day, the scent is fresh and floral, awakening the senses on first introduction. The central ingredient is belle de nuit, an unusual flower that opens in the afternoon and remains in bloom throughout the night. For this reason, it is also known as the four o’clock flower. Also at the heartÂ of the fragrance is tuberose and centifolia rose, giving the fragrance a sense of richness and passion. The top notes ofÂ rhubarbÂ zest and bergamot bring a fresh and citrus appeal to the scent, while the bottom notes of patchouli and sandalwood areÂ both sensual and mysterious.
The Ricci Ricci bottle builds on the heritage of Ricci’s designs, which were known for the intricate detailing expressed through bows, ribbons and buttons. The sculpted metallic pink ribbon of theÂ bottle brings a contemporary twist to the neat bow of Ricci’s 1950 designs and loosens to become something freer, flowing and asymmetrical. Inspired by the architectural curves of Frank Gehry and the bold sculptures of Richard Serra, the striking pink ribbon symbolises the concept of the modern urban heroine –Â her power lies in the ribbon that she uses to beautify the world with colour, fantasy and poetry.