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Nina Ricci Pretty Nina
Nina Ricci Pretty Nina

Nina Ricci Pretty Nina

NOTES: grapefruit, green apple, raspberry, jasmine, Sambac blossom, caramel, apple tree accords, powdery vanilla, sensual musk.

Nina Ricci launched a new, special edition version of the ever-so-popular Nina (from 2006) earlier this year. The fragrance is supposed to be a younger, lighter, and sweeter version of the original version, and those that have smelled it have likened it to a candy store reminiscent of the olden days. I attempted to locate this perfume at my local mall, but without success. Desperate to sample what I figured would be a delectable scent straight from Heaven, I took the plunge and purchased a full size bottle on eBay.

CLASSIFICATION: unique, slightly fruity, slightly floral, slightly gourmand

AGE GROUP: college/mature

SIMILAR SCENT(s): Nina by Nina Ricci

FORM: Eau de Toilette

First, let me just say that purchasing a full-sized bottle of a perfume you have never sampled is a really horrible idea, and is therefore not ever recommended. I have officially learned my lesson. Luckily, eBay makes it fairly easy to make money back on bad purchases, so all is not lost. Anyway, on with the review.

I was expecting, from the reviews I had read, as well as the notes, a very fruity, floral fragrance with a slightly gourmand base. Because of my recent success with other gourmand perfumes, I was very excited for Pretty Nina, as there did not seem to be anything offensive about it at all. I can deal with base notes of vanilla and caramel, especially if a fruity opening is involved.

The opening to Nina is fruity and sweet. However, there is a strong underlying smell of… bug spray. I am not sure what the note is that reminds me of Off Skintastic, but it is present. It unfortunately continues to remain present from the opening to the dry down and beyond.

Please note, for the record, I did NOT care for the original Nina perfume. I can not describe it now in detail, as I only sampled it once months ago, but this perfume did remind me very much of the original. I can’t say for sure if I was able to smell bug spray as the dominant note of the original Nina, but in retrospect, it does seem very possible.

After an hour of wearing Pretty Nina, I can begin to smell the gourmand notes of vanilla and caramel a bit, under that dominant unappealing note (did you ever notice why the worst notes are always the ones that last forever?) The vanilla and caramel are very much appealing to me, but can only be noticed at very close range to the area of application.

As a positive note, Pretty Nina is very long-lasting, and does not fade or change completely over time as some fragrances do. It is also much more pleasant after the dry down.

REPORT CARD

(We highly recommend reading our guide to understanding our grading system if you haven’t already)

First sniff (bottle): D

First sniff (skin): D

Worn scent: C-

Staying power: A

Scent as compared to note(s): D

Bottle: A+

Overall: C-

Pretty Nina is a lighter, sweeter version of the original Nina, from what I can remember. It is not overly sweet, overly fruity, or overly floral, and I disagree with the reviews I have read comparing Pretty Nina to a candy shop. If you enjoyed Nina, but are looking for a summer version of that, Pretty Nina will probably be worth your while.

CLASSIFICATION: slightly citrusy, slighty spicy

AGE GROUP: college / mature

SIMILAR SCENT(s): Nina by Nina Ricci

Nina Ricci and I go way back, oh yes, we do. I own Nina by Nina Ricci (which came out before Pretty Nina), but I’m not a huge fan anymore. As a result, I was planning on being disappointed with Pretty Nina, since it was just a lighter/sweeter (?) version of Nina. Or so I had heard.

I’ll just go through what I experienced in sampling this perfume. When I sniffed it from the bottle/nozzle, I was unimpressed. It smelled just like Nina. I was pretty bummed that it seemed like they didn’t even switch it up. But, I still gave it a fair shot. I sprayed it quite generously on my wrist to truly experience the scent.

Don’t even bother smelling this when you first spray it. This is definitely a fragrance that needs some time to simmer down before you test drive it. Once it soaked into my skin, the spiciness of the original Nina was not as dominant; instead I smelled a surprisingly semi-sweet mixture of citrusy smells and unidentifiable, yet feminine, notes. This stage of my Pretty Nina perfume wearing experience was going much better than I had planned.

While I wouldn’t rush out to buy Pretty Nina myself, nor do I have any desire to ever really wear it again, to me this isn’t so bad. I do agree with Jax that if you’re a fan of Nina by Nina Ricci, you should definitely consider giving Pretty Nina a shot if you’re looking for a bit of a lighter, citrus type version (although I don’t really smell green apple, raspberry, or apple tree accords). It would definitely be perfect for any Nina fan during the Summer months.

Nothing about this fragrance was gourmand to me; then again, the “original” version of this, Nina, also did not seem gourmand to me, and I have read many people classify it as such. I never was able to distinguish any type of carmel or vanilla smell.

REPORT CARD

(We highly recommend reading our guide to understanding our grading system if you haven’t already)

First sniff (bottle): D

First sniff (skin): F

Worn scent: C

Staying power: A

Scent as compared to note(s): D

Bottle: A+

Overall: C

While not my particular favorite, I think any fan of fruity-spicy combinations will really enjoy this.  Unfortunately, I’m generally not a spicy perfume type of gal.  Be warned, though: if you are, this may be a tid bit too sweet for you.  That’s not to say that this is a sweet fragrance overall – just to someone seeking a spicy fragrance with a citrus flare.  Also, as a side note, it sort of smells like random cleaning products to me – like the generic Windex “Summery Breeze” version, or something equally as seasonal and pink-colored.

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