Genre: Fruity Floral
Notes (from the Annick Goutal web site):Blackcurrant buds, mimosa, cocoa, lily-of-the-valley, vanilla.
Eau de Charlotte starts on a very pretty, sweet, crème de cassis top note, while powdery mimosa dominates the fruity floral section that follows. Comparatively little contrast from herbal and green notes leaves Eau de Charlotte smelling smoother, but also more bland, than sister scent Eau de Camille. (Never mind its “adult” cousins Le Chèvrefeuille, and Folavril.) In fact, the more I wear Eau de Charlotte the more I find myself wishing it had a little extra fizz.
Instead, Eau de Charlotte displays a milky quality that I ascribe to lactones. This milky textural element is something this scent shares with sweet florals like J’Adore and Lalique’s Flora Bella (among others), but in the squeaky-clean context of Eau de Charlotte it becomes cuddly rather than appetizing or alluring. The mild, powdery vanilla drydown is paper doily pretty, but could benefit from some more varied content to offset its unrelieved sweetness.
Sweet, soft, and sexless as it is, Eau de Charlotte would indeed work as a child’s scent. On and adult, I prefer more depth and complexity from this kind of bright fruity floral. Eau de Charlotte is cheerful, pretty, and approachable, but Eau de Camille is all that and more: frisky, tart, and a little bit mischievous. Camille got the better deal.
One of my favourites, but I'm intrigued by talk of cocoa and jam-berry notes that others get from this. For some reason, the strongest note that comes out when applied to my skin (pale, European descent) is pineapple!
Whatever the odd chemistry, this really works for me. It's a happy, sunny fragrance, although can be too heavy for summer wear, so better for Spring I feel.
Longevity is good, lasting many hours where other scents would fade off my skin.
I discovered this fragrance in my dentist's waiting room - it was when those magazine scent strips first became popular, and I believe the magazine was Vogue or possibly Town & Country - and since the only time I ever really look at magazines is in some kind of waiting room, I would probably never have discovered this fragrance in any other way, as it is not sold in many stores - Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus are the only brick & mortar stores I've found it in, and none of Annick Goutal's fragrances as aggressively
marketed. I kind of like that, actually - it lends a bit of exclusivity to the whole line. And, as you know, if you own any of her products, these are not inexpensive fragrances! I have read that she uses the highest percentages of natural fragrance essences & essential oils in her fragrances of any other perfume house. They never have that aldehyde-chemical-y bite that so many other fragrances have - they are very natural, yet very refined.
Anyway...I fell in love with this scent immediately & ripped the whole page out of the magazine - very out-of-character for me, but I felt compelled, and knew I HAD to have some of this. I hoped I'd be able to get a sample vial somehow, because those scent strips don't really have enough of the fragrance on them to really get a good idea how it will smell on your skin over the course of several hours. I wasn't able to get a vial, but I did manage to spritz myself librerally with Eau de Charlotte at the Nordstrom's counter, having gone there deliberately not wearing any scented products at all, so I could get a good idea how it would smell on me. I am a brunette with medium-to-olive skin tone, of Sicilian heritage, and there's something about my particular body chemistry that has led me to some fragrance disasters - if I ever love something I smell on a blonde friend, I can practically guarantee it will smell like crap - or at least not as nice - on me. Fortunately, Eau de Charlotte worked well with my body chemistry and it felt like slipping into a garment that had been tailored perfectly to my figure.
The initial top notes at first seemed a little bit frivolous & disappointingly light - too many green notes, I thought - but just for the very first mionutes. Within a few moments, the rich, fruity, complex blackcurrant notes came out, and the slightly bitter, powdery notes of cocoa drew me in completely. The jammy-ness of the blackcurrant contained that raw-sugar essence that is sweet without being cloying or too girlish. The floral notes were subtle, and the soft, powdery dry-down, with hints of vanilla & musk, made it just delicious, feminine, and to me, sexy - the same way a virginal white cotton nightgown with just a touch of lace trim can be sexy. It is not a fragrance that hits you over the head. It's subtle.
I was a nurse for many years and you have to be very careful about scent in that profession. I worked in the ER, and it was a very physical job, I did a lot of moving & thus a lot of sweating, and although I always showered right before I went to work, just the scent of my clean but sweaty skin was not quite right - because I was often intimately close to my patients, and I wanted them to smell something nice, but not perfume-y - when I was right up in their face, so to speak. This was the perfect fragrance. I loved how it made me feel - classy, feminine, refined, joyful, radiant with goodness from my heart & soul. It was not an obtrusive fragrance, but if my patients noticed it at all, they unanimously declared, "You smell so good!" and this made them - and me - smile. A whiff of pleasant scent, a smile, the care you take with yourself & with others - they can help establish the rapport that is so necessary in caring for the sick, the injured, the frightened & the worried. I think wearing perfume & jewelry are things we do not just for our own self-adornment, but also as projections of our personalities, our essence, our souls. Beauty to the eye, to the nose, whatever - they are grace notes that we extend into the world, as gifts for the people we encounter. I think wearing a well-chosen, appropriate-for-the-occasion fragrance is one of the nice things we can do for others, as well as ourselves. Eau de Charlotte is a perfect signature fragrance for me; it is perfect for work or romance - on my own time, I just layered it more by using the scented soap & body lotion, as well as the EDT. My husband liked it - although Angel by Thierry Mugler was his favorite on me.
I think the edible notes in Eau de Charlotte are one of the things that make it very special. The only thing that comes close is actually a children's fragrance, called Tartin
et Chocolat. It has some of the same fresh, fruity notes, along with the cocoa dry down & soft powdery base. But Eau de Charlotte is much more grown-up, and more
womanly in its feeling. I am out of this fragrance right now & am looking to buy some more. Also - all of Annick Goutal's scented soaps are very true-to-scent with the perfumes and this is not always the case with other lines. You will feel very luxurious & pampered after bathing with one of the large, oval, French-milled vegetal soaps that match her fragrances. I haven't seen them sold in awhile, so I am not sure the bath soaps are still available, and even in the early 1990's, one bar was $17, a fortune to me at the time. But it was an indulgence I remember totally enjoying, and just thinking of it brings memories of great warmth and happiness. Well worth whatever the cost; if you love Eau de Charlotte EDT, definitely try the matching bath soap!
A whimsical fragrance that begins lightly green and fruity with blackcurrant . The signature Annick Goutal aroma is always there . Eau de Charlotte becomes sweeter and more jammy, milky as the scent dries down ,all the while remaining ethereal and soft in character. The cocoa note is very subtle .
To me there IS a similarity with Folavril with the light tart green and fruit in the begining but Eau de Charlottle carries her own style though as it is sweeter and a little powdery as it progresses.
One of my favorites from Annick Goutal.
I don't think I could ever refer to Eau de Charlotte as being a gourmand. To my nose, this fragrance is more of a rich fruity floral rather than being particularly 'foody'.
Nevertheless, Eau de Charlotte is a lovely fragrance. It's a surprising scent to say the least. In the opening it's very juicy and intense, however in the drydown it becomes soft and powdery.
Eau de Charlotte opens with sweet berries, which almost resemble the scent of home-made berry jam. Very delicious indeed. I began to predict that this fragrance would mellow slightly and end with a musky drydown, however, as I said before, Eau de Charlotte is surprising, you can't preempt how this fragrance will develop.
In the heart, Eau de Charlotte became quite flowery and feminine. The combination of both mimose and lily-of-the-valley is crisp and refreshing, bringing me to conclude that this would make an excellent Spring/Summer scent.
The vanilla is pretty much all I can smell in the base notes, which certainly isn't a bad thing because vanilla settles on my skin beautifully and just happens to be one of my favourite notes.
Overall, Eau de Charlotte is unusual, classy, relatively long-lasting, wearable and very enjoyable.