Anné Pliska's eponymous perfume, launched in 1987, has long been a cult favorite among perfumistas. 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.
I tried Anné Pliska some years ago and didn't love it: it was too cold and amber-y to suit my tastes. Alyssa over at Perfume Smellin' Things suggested I ought to give it another try, figuring that if I loved Fendi Theorema, surely Anné Pliska ought to have a second chance. Her description: "Pliska is like Theorema's chic, stern Aunt, one with a scandalous past that her niece knows nothing about...".
Anné Pliska's affinity with Theorema is strongest in the top notes, which feature lots of juicy orange over a soft oriental blend of amber and vanilla (the notes: bergamot, mandarin, jasmine, amber, patchouli, geranium, musk and vanilla). The orange lasts through the heart notes, but gets drier and more like orange peel than juice, meanwhile, the amber heats up over a warm, woody-resinous base with a touch of patchouli and spice. The vanilla is used lavishly, but there is something cold about it, especially in the dry down, so that despite the gourmand notes it doesn't feel foody in the least.
Alyssa is right about the "chic, stern" part. Theorema's bright orange, deep spices and squishy-creamy undertones make it the perfect winter comfort scent; Anné Pliska is too chic to be comforting (for me, anyway). Theorema is expansive and welcoming, Anné Pliska is sober and sophisticated. Theorema calls for your softest cashmere sweater and a wood fire, Anné Pliska you might wear with a little black dress and high heels.
Anné Pliska is also frequently compared to Calvin Klein Obsession and Guerlain Shalimar, but it is a simpler, more restrained fragrance than either. Moreover, whereas Obsession and Shalimar (love them or hate them) feel firmly bound to their respective release dates, Anné Pliska's comparative austerity gives it a timeless feel — it could have been launched yesterday.
The verdict: lovely stuff, but not me. But do bear in mind that I'm such a philistine that I prefer Shalimar Light (e.g., Diet Shalimar) to the real thing.
By today's niche fragrance standards, Anné Pliska is a veritable bargain at $58 for 60 ml Eau de Parfum, although I should warn that the image above shows the Parfum (also reasonably priced at $68 for 7.5 ml) as the packaging for the Eau de Parfum is too hideously ugly to contemplate.
Anné Pliska is available in Eau de Parfum, Parfum, and Body Creme. For buying information, see the listing for Anné Pliska under Perfume Houses.