The 1980s were the Great Decade of the Floriental fragrance, and we reveled in the rich ambery tones of vanilla, amber, sandalwood, musk and patchouli. Perfumes were designed for tremendous scent throw, creating a great wake around the wearer, a scented breeze with each step. They have an intensity that you can almost taste as the heavy florals and rich woods travel down the throat. The 1980’s were not a decade kind to the scent-sensitive individual.
But for the woman who wished to create an environment of scent with which to surround herself, these rich florientals were ideal. Powerful and feminine, thick and opulent, florientals were gracing suited office workers as well as romantic dining rooms. The concept of a “day” fragrance and an “evening” scent were cast aside during the 80’s, and women wore the sexually-charged musky nectars with perhaps a small touch of defiance: “I am a woman always,” they seemed to say,” but I will embrace my sensual nature and still assert my right to choose each moment, each interaction whether to be personal or public. I do not need a chaste appearance to assert my boundaries for me.”
All in all, Anne Klein 2 is not altogether unique for it’s era. The thing that sets it apart is the power behind it’s message: even in the 80’s, not too many perfume companies were willing to risk going to the extreme of using civet. It is, after all, the very embodiment of “animalic” and when combined with the edible personality of vanilla and the dirty sweetness of patchouli, there is nothing subtle about the sensual nature of this perfume.
The top notes are Peach, Rosewood, “Greens” and Lemon, and it does give a refreshing, tart powdery sensation in the opening moments. The alcohol has hardly dissipated before the sultry jasmine, ylang and rose begin their bloom upon the skin, followed soon after by delectable orange blossom and spicy carnation. A powdery-soft bridge of orris brings you swiftly to the base notes of vanilla, benzoin, sandalwood, amber, patchouli and civet, which reveal themselves even as the first bright notes of greens and tartness are floating away, and ever-widening hum of animal heat and silken petals.
Today, Anne Klein 2 would undoubtedly be considered far too aggressive a fragrance for office wear. But on special evenings and during those moments of a woman’s life where she wants her feminine powers to be unmistakably the focus of attention, Anne Klein 2 is better than a swipe of the deepest red lipstick or the sheerest of stockings. The inherent heat works best in colder weather, so use a light touch in hotter climates – do not worry, it will last and last. Wear it when you mean “business” of a certain sort.