Anne Klein II : Long Lost Favorite Perfume

44444

For Dionne, Anne Klein II (1986) was an integral part of her journey into perfume and also of growing into her skin. As we shared emails about the fragrance and as I read her moving story, I learned that Dionne loved incense and woods. She said, “I discovered that even though many florals go sour on my skin, incense and iris and woodsy notes smelled wonderful.” It was then clear why Anne Klein II with its sumptuous blend of patchouli, sandalwood and dark smoky notes would fit Dionne’s perfume personality. Although it was a bit intimidating to find anything approximating such a special and meaningful fragrance, I decided to plunge right into it.

By the time I tried Anne Klein II, it was already off the market, but it seemed so unusual–dark, sultry, but a bit austere too–that I held onto my sample. As I learned more about it, I became even more intrigued. Perfumer Yves Tanguy authored Anne Klein II, but he was also responsible for the bewitching Lancôme Magie Noire, groundbreaking Aramis New West for Her, and my absolute favorite, Jacomo Silences.  Some of Tanguy’s fragrances were done in collaboration with other perfumers, but when I smell Anne Klein II, I get the lush darkness of Magie Noire and the wistful green freshness of Silences. It is like a pleasant moment of recognition when you see a familiar face in the crowd.

The green notes of Anne Klein II are its distinctive feature; juicy and dark, they span the whole range from sliced green peppers to crushed leaves. The green apple note of marigold adds a heavy sweet accent, which makes me think of sticky buds that appear on maple trees in springtime. Give the fragrance some time, and you are rewarded by the deliciously dark layer of patchouli, vanilla, and smoky woods. The fruity warmth of ylang ylang and jasmine gives Anne Klein II its appealing retro flair.

So, a fragrance that would satisfy a lover of Anne Klein II would have to combine the same dazzling green with the seductive richness of vanilla, patchouli, and sandalwood. And a bit of oakmoss, if you must have it all. Well, it’s a tall order in our IFRA-regulated, oakmoss-free world. One idea I would like to suggest to Dionne is Calvin Klein Obsession, a bombshell oriental that has a gorgeous green note. Another is Must de Cartier, which is a sibling of both Guerlain Shalimar and Obsession. Must de Cartier lacks the mossy chill of Anne Klein II, and it is much richer and sweeter all around.

As I was wearing Anne Klein II and matching it to various orientals in my collection, I hit upon Guerlain Angelique Noire. Comparing this fairly streamlined composition to the voluptuous Anne Klein II, I nevertheless found that it satisfied some of my cravings. Angelique Noire has a splendid blend of amber and wood at its core, with the bright green angelica and pepper ornamenting the top notes. It’s modern and transparent, but those who love the contrast of green leaves and vanilla scented woods should try it. Finally, if you want a perfume with the same syrupy richness as Anne Klein II, then Magie Noire is a good choice. It may be more animalic and less floral, but this Lancôme can make a splash even in its post-reformulated state.

Anne Klein II includes notes of bergamot, galbanum, marigold/tagetes, peach, lemon, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, carnation, iris root, vanilla, musk, patchouli, benzoin, and civet. Discontinued and very difficult to find, alas.

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Enjoyed this? Get blog posts via email:

Or, stay updated via:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS

28 Comments

  • Suzanna: I love Dionne’s story–how wonderful she is and what an exceptional post she has written! A beautiful woman inside and out to whom you, V., have made superb fragrance suggestions.

    I’m a big fan of the original Must de Cartier, the EdT meant for daytime. This is, as you know, not the same as the current Must de Cartier, which was based on the nighttime complement to the daytime scent. It has more of a green note than the nighttime version and isn’t as ambery. It is still possible to get minis on eBay, and the full bottles pop up quite regularly.

    And: Non-Blonde Gaia has a fantastic cosmetic blog. Since she and I seem to like the same colors in lipsticks, I have made many an “unseen” purchase based on her posts, with great results. April 27, 2012 at 6:35am Reply

    • Victoria: And did you know that Gaia just celebrated her 6th blog birthday? I love her blog too, and I bought more lipsticks than I care to admit based on her recommendations. I also love similar colors, and I think that you and I share our love for red lipsticks.

      Must de Cartier EDT is brighter, so you are right, you might fit AKII even better. And the green notes are certainly very distinctive. Love that contrast in perfumes, so it was fun to match AKII. April 27, 2012 at 3:46pm Reply

  • violetnoir: V–This fragrance sounds lovely. Funny, I do not remember it, so I will have to look it up.

    Congratulations on your FiFi Award! You deserved it!

    Hugs! April 27, 2012 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, R! I enjoy writing this blog so much, so that’s already a reward in itself–to be able to do something you love.

      If you like Magie Noire, you might enjoy AKII. Too bad that it was discontinued. April 27, 2012 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Dionne: Thank you for this review, Victoria. I didn’t know that Yves Tanguy was the perfumer, interesting because I love Silences. It’s one of the few greens I can wear.

    The only fragrance on that list I’ve tried is Shalimar, which I really enjoy (though as an 80′s teen I remember the smell of Obsession). It’ll be a lot of fun to try the rest. :) April 27, 2012 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you will find something similar, or at least will enjoy the process of discovering something else. Matching such a complex and oakmoss rich composition is hard, but hey, it had some siblings.

      And thank you for sharing your story! April 27, 2012 at 5:55pm Reply

  • Tamara: Thank you very much for this post and to Dionne for her story. I wore Anne Klein and Anne Klein II years ago and now I want to smell these perfumes again. My husband gave me a bottle of Anne Klein II as a birthday present the first year we were married.

    I also want to join violetnoir in congratulating you on your award. Your blog is my daily reading, you’ve made me discover the world of scents in a completely new way. Thank you for all of your hard work. April 27, 2012 at 5:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Tamara! I’m flattered and touched by your words.

      AKII must be a very special fragrance for you then. I still have a little bottle of Chanel No 19 that my husband gave me for one of my birthdays, and even though it is nearly empty, I can’t throw it away. :) Hope that you will also enjoy sampling some of the perfumes I mentioned above. April 27, 2012 at 5:58pm Reply

  • Undina: Both AK and AKII were “before my time” (not age- but geography-wise) but I enjoyed reading Dionne’s story first and then your review. I think it’s fascinating how perfumed memories interlace our lives. April 27, 2012 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think so too. It’s one of the reasons I loved exploring these long lost perfumes, even though they are hard to find and sometimes may not be easy to wear. The stories make it all worthwhile! April 28, 2012 at 4:01pm Reply

  • annemariec: Wonderful post, thanks. I’ve never smelled the AKs and I doubt I will now. I did have an elegant little Anne Klein watch for years.

    I’m interested to hear that you recommend Magie Noire. So many people have damned the reformulation that I have not bothered with it, as I wore the old Magie Noire in the 80s and don’t want to spoil my memories. But I did pick up a MN tester the other day and gave the sprayer a tentative sniff. I might now summon the courage to give it a spritz! I try to keep an open mind on reformulations, if possible. April 27, 2012 at 7:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: Annemarie, please try it! It’s still such a great chypre, especially if you like that dark, film noir style. Most modern chypres are sweetened to take off that dry edge, but Magie Noire isn’t. Plus, the woods, rose, and patchouli are still there. The new L’Eau de Chloe takes after it as well. April 28, 2012 at 4:04pm Reply

      • annemariec: I did try it yesterday, dragging my daughter into a department store against her will. MN does not have the radiance I remember in the old days and at first I was inclined to dismiss it, but I was surprised over the next few hours at how much I was enjoying it, and I was sorry when it finally faded. So thanks for the prompt.

        That is an interesting point you make about sweet and dry; dry is very much my territory, usually. I am keen to try the new Chloe but winter is closing in here and I don’t think they will release it until spring. April 28, 2012 at 5:33pm Reply

        • Victoria: There are so many ingredients that can’t be used today, and one of them is bergamot oil that contains all of its sensitizing, potentially irritating substances. It smells so rich and lush, and its absence is what I notice the most in some fragrances. I think that the lack of radiance in Magie Noire comes also from the lack of animalics. It used to last for days, but now it fades after a few hours.
          But if I don’t look for differences, I enjoy the current version very much. April 29, 2012 at 11:08am Reply

  • Erika Whitmore: Hi – I am thrilled to read about Anne Klein II fans as I am so crushed that it was discontinued. I remember buying it at (blush) Walgreen’s of all places in 1985 for under 20!! And always got compliments from men and women each time I wore it. It remains my favorite to this day. I would love to purchase it again and see it being sold on eBay from $50 – 500 …I am ignorant to the true authenticity of a parfum from that long ago…is it really possible it could still be any good? Would it have to have been kept under extreme circumstances or should I just relaize they sre all just scams/not worth it and try to find something similar? After reading your blog…I am still not sure – if I can’t buy the real mcCoy anymore in your professional opinion, what IS the closest thing to it? And why DON’T they make a knock-off? (I hate to sound sacrilegious or ignorant but, I mean, SOMEONE must be able to approximate the “recipe”)….non? May 26, 2012 at 8:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t think that they would be fakes (Chanel, Dior, and other big brands are much more likely to be faked, not something as little known as Anne Klein). And unless the perfume was kept in poor conditions, it should still be ok. But I probably wouldn’t spend too much on a bottle of something I couldn’t verify. May 27, 2012 at 12:25am Reply

    • Kitty: Hi there. Read my post below. Look into Jeffrey Dame and eBay. His remake of AKII is called Duality. June 2, 2012 at 9:44am Reply

      • Victoria: Thanks, Kitty! Off I go searching… June 2, 2012 at 9:49am Reply

  • Kitty: I have loved Anne Klein II for years. And it seems that I’ve missed it now for the same amount, or even longer.

    Not sure where I got it, but I have a tiny bottle of it. It didn’t retain the scent I remember, but it’s still a joy to have it.

    Jeffrey Dame makes a version of it & sells it on eBay. I might buy it, but I had my time with AKII & sadly it might be time to move on.

    Another fave of mine was discontiued too. Sonia Rykiel. Thankfully I found it, real one, not a fake. I found a fake too but returned it to the mall kiosk with no problem.

    I just found your blog. I’ll be back. Thank you for sharing your love of fragrance. June 2, 2012 at 9:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Kitty, and I look forward to seeing you here.
      I haven’t tried Jeffrey Dame’s version, and now I must. Please let me know if you end up trying it and what you think. June 2, 2012 at 9:42am Reply

      • Kitty: Tell me it’s not crazy to feel like crying whenever you think of your beloved discontinued favorite perfume. Truly, I well up with tears.

        A friend gave me the scent for Christmas one year. My Mom liked it, so I gave it to her even though I would sneak spritses on occasion. After that bottle was finished I think I bought her 2 or 3 more over the years. And got the same for me.

        It was only when ee were all out that I searched for more and realized it was gone. That was in the late 1990′s. When was it discontued anyway?

        Thanks June 2, 2012 at 9:54am Reply

  • Anita Johnson: I really wish they would make Anne Klein II perfume again i loved it I used to buy it for 12.00 a bottle at Burlington Coat Factory it was the best and it smelled so good on me wish they would make it and make it affordable January 8, 2013 at 1:27am Reply

    • Cathy: OMG .. just stumbled on this site in search of AKII .. had no idea there are so many of us missing the fragrance!

      Has anyone found a knockoff that is remotely the same .. and is long lasting?? April 11, 2013 at 7:02pm Reply

  • Karen Camacho: Noooo!!! I’ve just found out my loving parfum is discountued! I’ve been wanting to find it again for so long, my all time favourite… July 7, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

  • Karen Camacho: when will they make it again!!!! PLEASE!!!! July 7, 2013 at 3:27pm Reply

  • anonimo: Es mi fragancia desde que vivo en Estados Unidos y me sienta fenomenal en las pocas veces que la utilizo. Si eres como yo que solo se pone perfume en ocasiones especiales y no a diario este es tu perfume sin duda, da un toque de elegancia y además te hace oler divinamente. Eso si, un perfume como este aparte de para las ocasiones especiales es mejor usarlo de Otoño a primavera, no aconsejo (mucho menos este) usarlo en los meses de calor. July 22, 2013 at 5:51pm Reply

  • Lanihana: I LOVED AK II – used it for years, my all time favorite, then hunted for it for years, and even tried everything similar or so it was said.

    Would love it if we could get a fragrance to match it !! April 28, 2014 at 12:30am Reply

  • Martha Perez: Fue el primer perfume que compre cuando inicie mi vida laboral y fue mi fragancia favorita durante mucho tiempo. La he anhelado por que me trae bellos recuerdos, me encantaría volverla a encontrar. Por favor. August 19, 2014 at 6:15pm Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Anka in Scent Map of the World: Thank you for the link, Victoria! What an interesting project and company, I particularly liked the Logo Description of Dreamair and am curious about the scent archive. In April I… August 23, 2014 at 2:48am

  • Claire in Scent Map of the World: Thanks for the info, Victoria! I’m lacking the vocab to describe the scent yet this website gives all the options.. I think one thing is lacking and I often smell… August 23, 2014 at 1:29am

  • Brenda in Scent Map of the World: Today my Canadian city smells of too much rain the night before…a mugginess that is not completely unpleasant. There is a whiff of fall in the air…most unpleasant for those… August 22, 2014 at 11:17pm

  • Adrienne in Scent Map of the World: My home city is Christchurch, New Zealand. It smells of the dawn dampened darkest red roses, sweet dried summer grasses from the hot dry winds blowing down from the hills,… August 22, 2014 at 10:17pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2014 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.