Gosh, it takes a while to pull myself back into perfume reviews after the past couple months of moving madness. It takes a discovery that changes my viewpoint, or a desire long held and finally fulfilled, to really get me to write any more. But I'm happy to say that Un Petit Rien scores on both points. I've been intrigued by this flanker to Miller Harris's L'Air de Rien for quite a while now, but have been unable to find anywhere to get a sample, and very few helpful reviews online, except for Katie Puckrick's review. So I finally broke down and bought a bottle during my latest Beauty Encounter order. I'm happy to say it is a win!
Being a dirty-musk lover and someone who really wants backup bottles of Serge Lutens's Muscs Koublai Khan and Annick Goutal's Musk Nomade, along with many more, I've always felt it was a moral failing on my part that I couldn't wear L'AdR. Too much bum-crack, and too much of a fetid lair, not l'air. So Un Petit Rien seemed like the perfect solution, but I kept finding reviews that suggested it was a completely different, blander cologne version of L'AdR. Common sense beat back the yearning for a L'Air I could get with.
Well I needn't have worried. UPR is all up in L'Air's business, with unsweetened neroli to lure you into the musk and slightly ambered oakmoss of it's musty base. It's still a creaky old manse-turned-hippie-squat with moldering books and "stale joss sticks" (as Luca Turin says), but this one is out in the country with wholesome wafts of from the barnyard coming through the windows, along with some encroaching, shaggy green vines. It has a similar quality to Dior's Eau Fraiche--the juxtaposition of good, fresh dirt and citrus with a distinct funkiness in the base. In UPR's case, it's all the awesomeness of L'AdR, but without the year's-worth of dirty underwear in the corner.
You can find Un Petit Rien in the states at MiN New York (which has a retail website) and at the Beauty Encounter website. It is an eau de cologne, so it has less tenacity than L'Air, but I don't find it thin or lacking in oomph at all.