Cacharel Anais Anais: I Know You From Somewhere, I Mean Everywhere.


Cacharel is a fantastic perfume house of which I am very fond. For around 15GBP, you can buy a decent 30ml bottle of scent in attractive packaging, with a good variety to suit all tastes. I have had a bottle of LouLou  on the go, off and on, since 1988 (used sparingly!).  I discovered the lovely Noa this year: and even Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez only have good words to say about it.  My sister in law loves Amor Amor (original) and always smells lovely in it (note to Cacharel– HOW many flankers?  Whoa there!).  In fact the only ones I haven’t tried are Scarlett, and Promesse, and the only one I didn’t like was Eden (although check out the Perfumed Dandy’s take on it, marvellous!).  Cacharel longevity is usually good and you always get quality in a pretty bottle.

I am wearing Anais Anais today and now that it’s settled down, it’s rather lovely.  However, as you may know, I am  no fan of Iris and when I first tried Anais Anais earlier today, Iris is all I got.  Oh yes, and Lily, of which I am also not a fan.  The combination of carroty Iris and vegetable like Lily was nearly a deal breaker for me and this greengrocer effect lasted a good two hours.  Just my luck.


However,  the basenotes are extraordinary. This is not only because it is a very pleasant, almost ethereal take on Lily of the Valley, Soap flakes and White Musk, but because it’s one of those scents that is so familiar that you almost don’t notice it.  It is as ubiquitous as red brick houses and Heinz and Mars Bars and the Queen on coins.  Icons which are so familiar you almost can’t see them any more.

I was born in 1970 (but look younger, we decided) and Anais Anais was created in 1978.  Rumour has it that it has not been reformulated, which means we are getting an authentic 1970s fragrance here.  It took a while for Iris and her annoying friend Lily to leave the room, but once they did, all was clear. As soon as the basenotes kicked in  I thought “so THAT’s what it is!” It’s the scent of my Primary School teachers, my Mums’ friends, my Mum, several colleagues, my Secondary School teachers, fellow train passengers, and people I’ve stood behind in queues.

It is harmless and pleasant and rather lovely, but to coin a phrase: it’s bloody everywhere. Do I want to smell of perfume that is so widely spread that it is almost government issue?  Or do I want to revive a  clean, floral classic among the fruity vanilla miasma of modern life?

I am genuinely torn. You hardly need me to tell you that Anais Anais is widely available everywhere. Despite that, it’s still good value and it’s still a classic. It’s just a matter of personal taste as to whether you want to run with the pack or be a lone wolf.

8 thoughts on “Cacharel Anais Anais: I Know You From Somewhere, I Mean Everywhere.”

  1. Dearest Iscent
    I remember this strangely antique offering becoming a hit with teenage girls in the 1980s. So, perhaps, it has enjoyed comebacks before and will, no doubt again!
    I love Anais Anais, in part for the memories of the back row of sassy so-and-so’s in fifth form French, but also for the duck egg blue wall of florals and fine washing powder it presents as a scent.
    So unlikely a smell for anyone, let alone pubescent girls wishing to smell sexual, but for some reason it did then and still does so now.
    Starched clean and sexy stuff.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      Once again, you paint a picture with words: “duck egg blue wall of florals”- exactly! Yes this is indeed the scent of the pure, and I laugh kindly at the fifth form girls trying to be alluring but just smelling like clean, pure angels instead.

      It is so very Laura Ashley! (and I love Laura Ashley).

      Your friend

  2. I recently gave my Amor Amor (And the purple one, Tentation) to my niece, not because I didn’t like it, but grew tired of it. I used to love Cacharel fragrances, but not so much anymore. I must add that I do like Anais Anais and I still have half a bottle. I don’t like it very much when I just spray it, I enjoy it only after the dry-down – Lovely!

    1. Hi Melinda,

      Thanks for popping in. You are always very welcome. Amor Amor is lovely, but they went cock a hoop with the hundreds of flankers! Less is more.

      I do agree about Anais Anais- the drydown is lovely, but the Iris and Lily were awful!

  3. The perfume I wear most often (when I can find it after the cats have knocked it off the bedside table and batted it under the bed) is Anais Anais. I love it, but am now worried that due to the carroty Iris and vegetable Lily, I am concerned that I smell like soup. And run with the sheep rather than being a lone wolf. So – scotch broth then….

    1. My dear I can assure you that the vegetable effect only kicked in once I pinpointed my dislike of Iris. Prior to that I hadn’t noticed the vegetable effect at all.

      I can assure you that once Anais Anais has dried on your skin, you will smell wonderful. Guaranteed.

      The more I think about it, the more tempted I am to make this my next perfume purchase. In the words of Kylie, I just can’t get it out of my head. Anais Anais has been around so long, and is so good, that sometimes perfume hunters can’t see the wood for the trees.

      You can’t go wrong with Anais Anais.

  4. I’ve always felt that if you separated the floral accord from the rest of YSL’s Kouros, you’d be left with Anais Anais. In other words, Anais Anais is Kouros without animalic musk, incense, honey, patchouli, and smoky vetiver.

    1. Hi Bryan, you are very welcome here, thanks for dropping by. I love to hear about similarities in other perfumes and I didn’t know about this one. You must have an expert nose to pick out the pretty Anais Anais notes from all that butchness!. I shall definitely try Kouros next time I am out and about near perfume counters.Thank you!

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