Skip to main content

Anné Pliska – It’s what it is, not who it is…. - September 15, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Image - Rula Lenska -

In the late 70’s, when I was growing up and families still gathered around television sets to watch their favourite shows, there was an ad for Alberto VO5 hair products featuring someone called Rula Lenska. The ad showed a close up of her saying, ‘I’m Rula Lenska’. ‘Who?” my sibs and I would shout back at her image on the TV screen every time we saw her, before breaking into gales of laughter. Who indeed. Poor Ms. Lenska was a star in the U.K. but no one knew who she was in North America. Seriously, no one knew who she was. It reached the point where Johnny Carson used her name as a running joke on his show. I even remember Jane Curtin doing a send up of her in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Rula Lenska became famous because people assumed she was famous even though they didn’t know anything about her. Here’s the thing: I remember Rula Lenska and I remember the ad but I have never – and I mean never – bought a VO5 product.

I fear this experience has marked me in some way. I say this because I developed a predilection for needing to know the people behind the products I buy. As I write this, it occurs to me that maybe this is part of the reason I am drawn to niche perfumes – they have a face – Andy Tauer, James Heeley, Isablle Michaud.

I think this is why I was so hesitant to try cult favourite, highly rated and much beloved Anné Pliska EdP - the Rula Lenska effect, I’m afraid. I don’t know who Anné Pliska is and judging from what I see on the web, neither does anybody else. For a while I thought it was just me, that maybe I hadn’t looked hard enough, searched long enough but no, it’s not just me.

The link from Pliska’s website says this:
"Years ago, I coveted a mixture of fragrance oils that I had prepared on my own. It was a blend of comforting scents, vanilla and patchouli, mixed with mandarin. I love fragrances that are a bit exotic and woodsy, but fresh with citrus.  Many years later I met with Jimmy Bell, world renowned perfumer, and he transformed my personal stash into a unique enticing fragrance that I could share with other women." But it doesn’t say a thing about who Anné Pliska is.

There’s a woman named Victoria who has a blog dedicated to Anné Pliska Perfume but there’s no background or bio of Anné Pliska on it. Robin at Now Smell This wrote: About Anné Pliska herself, I know virtually nothing except that she is based in California, and is apparently very good at maintaining her privacy in the internet age. So, is Anné Pliska a model? A designer? Rula Lenska come back to us as a unicorn? That last one scares me.

But, to paraphrase Woody Allen, and with apologies to Emily Dickinson, the nose wants what it wants and I realised that it’s not who Anné Pliska is but what it is that I need to discover. This breakthrough is why I’m wearing and loving Anné Pliska EdP right now.

Anné Pliska EdP opens with a note of clean, citrusy bergamot and sweet, resinous, warm amber. The bitterness of the bergamot counters the opulent sweetness of the amber, allowing it to weave in and out of the fragrance as it develops. Skin heat opens it up and a note of dark, earthy patchouli adds its own sweetness. I smell rose here, but it’s geranium, which has an aspect of rose and a citrus facet that tempers the sweetness at the heart without dampening the resiny richness. At the base musk makes it smooth and sensuous while vanilla gives it a lick of creamy sweetness.

The drydown is rich, dark, resiny and sweetened just right so that it smells chic, confident and sexy – no wonder it’s a cult favourite! It’s a stunning fragrance any time of the year, but a must-wear in the cooler weather.

I love this the fragrance and if I ever find Anné Pliska’s direct contact info, I’ll let her know in the meantime, let’s hope she reads this blog…..

Still have to work on the VO5 thing though.

Anné Pliska EdP is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.