Subtle, by 80s standards, the distinguished and lovely Anne Klein II bowed to the decade’s passion for Oriental fragrances with amber-colored hues but comes out unscathed: it doesn’t smell too outré or dated. (Obsession, I’m talking to you.)
It starts off surprisingly green — what kind of green, I couldn’t tell you, because the only notes I could find say “greens.” My guess would be galbanum, because that note goes so well with peach, and because the perfume’s initial takeoff would seem to require a green with that kind of uplift.
Anne Klein II then transitions to a beautiful blend of flowers. Orange blossom and ylang-ylang in particular continue to peek through the perfume’s third stage which is the perfume’s primary character: creamy, ambery, woody and orris-caressed vanilla. It has great lasting power, and as it fades, it turns into a subtle skin scent that anyone lucky enough to be that close to you would appreciate taking in.
I grew up in Texas in the 80s, and I have pictures to prove that it’s no small feat to survive that decade, fashion-wise, with your dignity intact. (Big hair, too much makeup, strange multicolored flower print tops, odd billowy proportions and big shoulders. Awkward doesn’t begin to describe the beauty and sartorial crimes committed in the ‘80s.)
But when I picture the Anne Klein II woman, I see someone who’s wearing ‘80s fashions without embarrassing herself too much. OK, so maybe she has a big-shouldered jacket on over a silk fuchsia blouse while wearing red lipstick and blue eye shadow. She couldn’t help it — it was the 80s! But she looks good, and she smells like Anne Klein II.
Top notes: bergamot, green note, peach, rosewood, lemon
Heart notes: jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, carnation, orris
Base notes: Vanilla, amber, sandalwood, musk, patchouli, civet, benzoin
Perfumer: Yves Tanguy
(Anne Klein [1923 – 1974] was a fashion designer known for creating matching separates for working women. Here’s a cute picture of her.I decided to grab a bottle of Anne Klein II after reading rapturous reviews from women on Basenotes. Anne Klein II came out the same year as Calvin Klein’s Obsession, which is probably why it languishes in relative obscurity. Inexpensive minis are available, but full bottle prices reflect their scarcity: they seem to start at around $150. Yikes.)