Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rbaker

Total Reviews: 2585
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Mandragore by Annick Goutal

Yes, the opening blast is a fresh bergamot, whiffs of lemon and a good load of mint - brightness galore? Yes initially, but soon a gentle black pepper and a woodsy note add a touch of spice.

The drydown adds an iris as the floral contribution, but a ginger tone together with touches of a cistus impression continues the line of brightness. There are a lot of green moments, mainly sage and a touch of a grassy undertone.

A darker and again spicier base combines labdanum - quite weak though - with a sweetish anise background.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

This agreeable scent for cooler summer days stars in a nice and fresh manner, but the later stages are characterised by a lack of vividness and a certain generic nature of some of the ingredients. Pleasant it is but not much more, with a somewhat disappointing performance. Overall 2.75/5.
09th December, 2019
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Grand Amour by Annick Goutal

This starts with an ultra-floral opening blast: honeysuckle, honeysuckle, hyacinth, more hyacinth, and a good lashing of jasmine after a while. A gorgeous and intense bouquet, which is bright and positive.

In the drydown I get a lily impression very soon afterwards, and then the Turkish rose develops, but on me the rose is more of an accompaniment of the other floral players. A few moments of a muguet is detectable too at a later stage, as is a hint of a gentle spiciness, a myrrh mainly that has a gently musky characteristic, but is has a green side to it too.

There is always the bunch of flowers that is at the heart of this creation; is remains present until just before the end. In the later stages a very discreet ambery vanilla in the background.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and a very respectable overall longevity of eleven hours on my skin.

This is an intense floral scent ideal for spring evening events. It exudes rich and mature elegance with an aura of brightness, vividness and youthful quality - the ingredients are of a very high quality indeed. The performance is impressive in its balance and the blending is exquisite. 3.75/5
08th December, 2019
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Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal

After a brief aldehydic whiff the first main player enters the stage: Florentine iris. A gorgeous smooth iris; green with a characteristic aroma, and after the first hours exuding a pleasant powderiness. This is a powderiness with a touch gravitas and mature confidence, but is lacks any stuffiness on me.

The second main player arises soon after: a Turkish rose, quite bright, soft and never heavy, but is lacks the soul and character that is evident in the iris; this rose is a touch less deep and shows less texture.

The second half of the development builds on the initial components, but, after a brief appearance of a darker galbanum develops a sandalwood that is quite light and more in the background, but that contributes sufficient to the whole to be taken seriously. Most interesting is the vanilla that I detect during the last hours: a discrete restrainedly sweet vanilla, that, unlike most of its counterparts in other fragrances these days, is not pushing into the foreground or overwhelming the rest, but is skillfully interwoven with the other notes - this vanilla is the perfect team player and masterfully applied.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

This beautiful and rich scent for spring evenings demonstrates that one does no need a large amount of notes to create a great fragrance. That is, if the ingredients are if such superb quality as here, and the blending is as skillful as in this creation. Vraiement pour an heure exquise. 3.75/5.
07th December, 2019
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Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

Petitgrain and lemon start it off, with the lemon being more a lemon ice cream than a juice. Soon I also get a tart orange aroma, establishing the opening as a citrus events, one that is quite bright but not offering a full Cologne-style refreshing blast. Nonetheless, this is a bright and positive start.

Soon the galbanum together with a tomato leaf impression signals a shift into a greener realm, which merges with the notes from the beginning.
A reisinous lentisque is evident for a while, a soft and gentle lentisque that fits in well.

A fig leaf develops now and then, as the next main player, it enters the stage after the first three or four hours. A typical, unobtrusively sweet, nice fig, that is less central in this may than, for instance, in Diptyque’s Philosykos, and that lasts until the end. In the final hours a lemon tree wood is present in the background, but is is of a somewhat nonspecific nature.

I get moderate sillage, limited projection after the first hours, and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A lovely scent for cooler summer days and evenings, composed of good quality ingredients and of interests to lovers of citrus as well as fig-lovers. 3.25/5.
06th December, 2019
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Eau de Monsieur by Annick Goutal

The opening is a citrus affair; mainly a fresh lemon on me, bright and uplifting.

After about twenty minutes the drydown sets in, staring off with a few floral moments involving geranium mainly. Soon, a very soft but nonetheless spicy and musky immortelle can be traced, but the spice and the musk and very smooth and are neither strong nor harsh on me. A comparatively soft oakmoss rises gradually at that stage, an oakmoss that is neither harsh nor strong on me.

Interestingly, whilst the lemony too toes has disappeared a while ago, after a couple of hours I get citrus again in the background, but this time is it more a mandarin that is dimly glowing in the back and which, most unusual for such a type of note, last until nearly the end.

The base adds mainly a woodsy tone that has characteristics of sandalwood in it, but at times comes across as somewhat nonspecific. A soft amber is also resent, a very soft amber indeed, that blends in well with the glowing mandarin in the background.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin, with the second half being quite close to my skin.

A classic summery lemon-infused scent that displays several qualities that declare it as a combined citrus-chypre creation. The ingredients are mostly of a high quality, and whilst the second half falls off a bit as far and the intensity and the typicality of the notes is concerned, the the development is interesting enough to enthuse throughout. Overall 3.5/5.
05th December, 2019
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Rouge Hermès by Hermès

The iris and the rose - a floral duo that opens the foray: a lovely iris that has a green touch as well as a slightly powdery character. A bright rose, like a May rose that is not too heavy but still quite intense.

A bit later there is an ylang-ylang joining in that is a bit creamy and smooth initially, but I also get a soft lipstick notion at that stage. Further into the drydown a raisinous undertone adds a darker and crisp element to the floral side, which is spun out further by the arrival of a wood phase, which mainly consists of cedarwood on me, with touches of sandal coming and going. The discreet sweetness evident so far is enhanced by a vanilla note, but the whole is never intrusive or cloying.

The base completes the descent into the darker zones, as is evidenced by an ambery labdanum that is surprisingly sweetish too, and whose gently spicy character is given added depth by a myrrh impression, which remains, however, a bit thin on me; this myrrh is not very ardente on me.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and an excellent nine hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a complex scent for cooler spring evenings, that exudes confidence and substance of a traditional style. In its complexity it might not do justice to all the ingredients, especially in the second half of its development, but overall it is a very respectable creation. 3.25/5.
04th December, 2019
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Hiris by Hermès

Iris, carrot and coriander are the unequivocal component ms in the opening triad. The iris is delicious in its intensity and quite typical in its character; this a clean iris The carrot is well done too, and the coriander with its slightly tart touches blends in very well. This quite a unique opening.

The drydown add bundles of dry hay, combined with a rose that is rather light, a bit mundane and more in the background on me. Hints of néroli add a bit of brightness.

The iris still is going strong, and does so well into the base. Touches of a dry almond-infused vanilla and of cedarwood are present, but they are very weak compared with the earlier stages. A musky undertone owed to the ambrette seed joins in at a later sees it out until the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

In this autumnal scent it is the first half that truly convinces, be it by the good representation of the iris, or by the original approach that is taken. The second half is less titillating, but it is crafted well always. Overall 3.5/5.
03rd December, 2019
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Calèche Eau de Toilette by Hermès

In the original formulation the opening is a citrus l-based mix in lemon, orange, mandarin and a good dose of neroli on top of it. In spite of an Initial assumption to the opposite, this is not a refreshing citrus mix, but a bit darker and settles.

Most prominently, however, is an aldehyde that is very sharp and crisp initially, and makes its mark not only during the top appearance of the top notes, but throughout Calèche’s whole longitudinal development.

The heart notes are a floral potpourri: I get a lot of muguet, a bright and elegant rose, and an ylang-ylang that manages an intense creaminess that is nonetheless neither thick nor cloying. Iris and jasmine underscore the importance of traditional floral underpinnings in the extensive drydown, and whiffs of oleander round it off. Clearly the florals are at the core of the matter in the longitudinal progress of this olfactory journey.

An incense note, enforced by coumarin and oakmoss - the latter neither harsh nor loud but fitting in well - mark a turn to darker regions, enhanced by a bit of amber and musks in the background, whilst a tonka impression adds more sweetness to what the floral basked already provides - but still steering clear from being too heavy. Towards the end woody notes appear - cedarwood mainly on me. Apart from a dimly glowing vetiver in the back room the base is not such a bright affair. For the second half there is an civilisedly sumptuous powderiness accompanying the mix.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

Whilst this deliciously rich and complex scent for evening outings in spring and autumn is of classic and confident elegance and grandeur. In all its richness it never ceases to be refined. The only drawback is that the sheer load of ingredients - all of excellent quality though - makes and appreciation of all the details nigh impossible. Overall 3.75/5

02nd December, 2019
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Amazone (original) by Hermès

The opening is a floral blast with the heliotrope thrown in; mainly geranium and hyacinth, with the cassie-sweetness being reigned in a bit by the tarter and slightly bitter bergamot impression. I also get whiffs of muguet a bit after the beginning. This is a nice opening.

The drydown brings out the muguet further and enriches it with other florals, in particular a rose note. Gradually this rose takes on centre stage. It is a rose if medium weight, not quite bright but not dark and brooding either, with a good dash of green rose leaves attached to the flower. Hyacinth and a green jasmine accompany the rose, and a darker orris provides additional depth, with a blackcurrant aroma adding discreet sweetness.

The base still echoes the rose, and a cedar wood impression is added, albeit never very strong. An ambery oakmoss is present, but the moss is quite faint on me. With time the amber becomes stronger; it s a sweet amber that lacks and real harshness - the antithesis to Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute. A vetiver instills a slightly brighter light.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

A complex spring scent for cooler days and evenings that has a floral core with a strong fruity component.
Not extraordinary, but crafted very well. 3.25/5
01st December, 2019
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Lime Sec by Pinaud

A mist delightfully refreshing blast of lime hits me straight up, a green lime that just hits the spot. Very cool!

The drydown adds a green impression, fresh and undertones if fresh grass and whiffs of a herbal aroma. These gradually fade it over a couple of hours.

I get soft sillage, good projection and three hours of longevity on my skin; but the last two hours are very close to my skin.

A fresh and invigorating summer scent that is simple, which is the idea of a summer Cologne, as is the limited duration of the citrus components. As a summer splash this one fits the bill. 3/5.
30th November, 2019
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Jasmin Rouge by Tom Ford

An fresh/floral/spicy blast hits me: The is bergamot-cum-orange brightness contrasting with spicy pepper and ginger-infused cardamom. These two camps balance each other out quite nicely, although after some time the spicy side is moving a bit into the foreground. The jasmine promised in the name arrives too, although initially weaker before gradually assuming a more substantial role.

The drydown continues with the jasmine theme. It is restrainedly sweet, but remains a bit anaemic on me and is certainty not a particular dominant part of this mix. A pinch of neroli adds a bit of warmth, as does, to a larger extent, a smooth ylang-ylang that is sweet in a controlled way and neither especially rich nor creamy.

A touch of herbs - a nigh perfunctory duo of sage and wigs of thyme - lead is the he vanilla dominated base, which is givens a darker side by some cardamom, whilst an ambery but dull leather tries somewhat unsuccessfully to impress. This all is underlined by a generic woodsiness.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

This autumn scent packs together a large array of ingredients, but none of them really impresses truly. The jasmine is never developing it’s full potential, being often drowned in other notes. A similar fate awaits many other components of this blend, whilst some - the leather, the herbs and the amber - are simply too generic to make a mark. A complex concoction whose result is complex and not uninteresting, but a bit haphazardly assembled overall. 2.75/5
29th November, 2019
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Rose Amazone by Hermès

The opening is a marriage of citrus and berry fruits. An orange-mandarin dyad with redcurrant and a nice raspberry impression providing a berry-fruity counterpart.

In the drydown I get a nice and quite bright May rise note, which adds a nice floral component to it. Further down the track the rose and the raspberry dominate the mix, and a blackcurrant blossom is faintly residing in the background when we enter the base.

The base is the most predictable part in the development. Yes, a mundane vanilla, of course, and there has to be amber it it, washed down with the usual mundanely tedious nonspecific woodsiness that is nigh everywhere in the perfume world these days.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring scent is not particularly original and and base is rather mediocre, and the earlier fruity-citrus-rose stages are very nicely done. Overall it is crafted very solidly. 3.25
28th November, 2019
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Calèche Soie de Parfum by Hermès

A dense aroma of orange and bergamot hits me in the opening hit me at the start, and in immediately encased in the liberal lashing of aldehydes. Fairly soon an heavy rose notes arrives and merges with the top notes.

The rose intensifies as the drydown progresses, with the classic Damascene notes being lighter brightness of the May rose. The rose mix is rich, smooth but never really dark or heavy, and the rich sweetness is always balanced and never cloying in all its intensity. Later on an iris impression is added in too, and an almond-like undertone adds an added velvety characteristic.

The base adds wood notes, mainly cedar with the sandal being rather too weak on me. Touches of a mossy hint come and go, but in face of the heart notes it is virtually untraceable. Glimpses of vetiver add a bit of brightness towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

This rich prefume-like creation is a scent for spring evenings. It is intense, displaying confident elegance and is sweet and floral at its core. The performance is good but not outstanding.
27th November, 2019
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Green Tea by H2O+

The opening blast is not so much a blast but a gentle whisper. A green tea impression is present that is light and bright.

In the drydown a vetiver is added, that is equally light, bright and lacks any hint of earthiness, harshness or edginess. The tea and the vetiver go together quite well.

Towards the end a nonspecific woodsy undertone is expressed at times.

I get soft sillage, very limited projection and three hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a green tea scent for warmer spring days, but the tea impression is to weak and too carry the whole in a convincing manner. The other components to too ephemeral and too anaemic to make a more than peripheral contribution. The performance is poor. Still, pleasant it is and not too egregiously synthetic. 2.75/5.
26th November, 2019
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In Leather Man by Etienne Aigner

An opening that smells a bit like a fruit cocktail that has been standing in the sun for too long and has a rotten/fermenting undertone. Grapefruit, yuzu, bergamot, lemon, melon and a pineapple - but more a synthetic plasticine compote that has very little appetizing to it. Maybe that sharp smell is trying to imitate leather.

Then is turns spicy, with black pepper, a reasonable cardamom and perfunctory nutmeg being present. A touch of jasmine makes and appearance, whilst another attempt is made at the leather: it is a fairly weak leather that is smooth on the one side (possible suederal) but has a sharp edge at stages - not gasoline and not pleasant.

The base is spicy, with a nonspecific and smooth patchouli impression and no oakmoss that I can detect. A nonspecific woodsy note - neither clear cedar, nor sandal, nor any other typical version that is presented clearly. An ambery musk combines with the leather towards the end.

I get soft sillage, limited projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.

This autumnal scent shows off a leather that is not very convincing, nor is the fruit punch at the beginning. Very synthetic, very generic and displaying a poor performance. 1.75/5.
25th November, 2019
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In Leather Woman by Etienne Aigner

In spite of the name I am getting more of a fruity dash in the first minutes. A berry fruit initially, with blackcurrant and whiffs of raspberry and touches of cassia cinnamon. Soon a ylang-ylang develops that is very light and not at all creamy.

Very slowly the leather starts showing, but first a floral of jasmine and muguet stands in the way, with peonies and whiffs of oleander lining our olfactory paths.

Then the leather grows stronger and emerges finally. It is a light, soft and sweet suede that merges with the floral fruitiness of the earlier stages. Towards the end this all fades out, with the leather being never unaccompanied - fruit is always there, and in the final stages a faint light ambery vanilla joins the coda.

I get soft sillage, very limited projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

This agreeable fruity leather scent for warmer autumn day in the office is an extremely soft, gentle and ephemeral creation, with sufficient development and complexity to hold one’s attention, but of poor performance - the last hours it is such a close skin scent that one’s rhinocortex needs to be burrowed into the subcutaneous tissue to get a whiff of it. A close shave, but overall it - just - makes it into the positive realm. 3/5.

24th November, 2019
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Lost Cherry by Tom Ford

Cherries, cherries, cherries galore - that is the opening blast; a rich and sweet explosion of red cherries. Soon they become really boozy, and an underlying undercurrent of bitter almonds And amaretto - darker and a touch more bitter than the Ferrero’s Mon Cherie chocolates.

Then, after about an hour, the cherries truly are “lost” - the opening notes collapse spectacularly, and like the echo of an explosion, the amaretto remains. No other contenders have a chance to develop: the jasmin Sambas as well as a Turkish rose- the latter remaining rather a background feature that does not contribute significantly to the development of this creation.

The base adds a tonka impression that is sweet but not too dominant, at times is has a tobacco notion attached to it, without seeing the two taking the foreground as they do in this house’s Tobacco Vanille. Touches of the Peru Balsam con and go, and a woodsy component developed towards the end - more cedar than sandal, but quite weak on me. Whilst a bit of vetiver shines through rarely, this is a vetiver that is as faints as it is nonspecific.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection overall - from excellent to weak - and and about six hours of longevity on my skin, with the last few hours very close to my skin.

As the name says, the initial cherry is lost very soon. It is somewhat overly synthetic. The subsequent notes are not particularly rich or expressive.
Still, better losing one’s cherries than losing one’s marbles. 2.75/5.
23rd November, 2019
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Mandragore Pourpre by Annick Goutal

Bergamot, a whiff of sweet lemon, and a minty flavour - that is the starting point of this composition. It is fresh, but not really refreshing, and the star anise that soon joins in it partly to blame for this. Still, a pleasant start.

The drydown turns spicy, and the black pepper that is at the core of this turn gradually replaces the initial olfactory atmosphere. Sone floral contributions, mainly geranium and whiffs of oleander, and a herbal touch, rosemary, whiffs of basil and some myrtle, come and go, but they are fairly weak compared with the peppery core.

The base contributes and incense that blends well with the spicy side; it is a simple frankincense that is neither heavy nor ceremonial. A soft and rather nonspecific patchouli round of this journey of note.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin, with the last few hours it being a close skin scent.

This creation for warmer spring or autumn days or evenings is quite complex but not super-original. It is crafted well, though, and the performance is good. It is a close shave, but a - just - positive score. 3/5.
22nd November, 2019
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Les Nuits d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

The opening is mostly a bergamot blast, with lots of mandarins and a bit of lemon, but it is less fresh than this citrus bash would make one expect: this is more a dark-ish nocturnal (the name!) glowing and smoldering citrus opening - reminding me a bit of Versace’ Versus.

Soon a sandal tone develops, but at times it is not a very specific sandalwood. A sweeter development sets in, with touches of juniper and whiffs of redcurrant present at times. This combines with a light ylang-ylang that is in the brighter sind’s and lacks any creamy characteristics.

The next important step is a turn into a spicier direction, which is almost singlehandedly achieved by a powerful cumin note. Reaching the base, a soft and ambery patchouli stays more in the background, as does an gentle tonka that is equally unobtrusive. What does not remain in the background is a strong lashing of white musks, which rises to become the dominant component towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

A scent for cooler summer days or evenings and somewhat different for Eau d’Hadrian, it is not exactly a fount of originality, and it is crafted skillfully. The base is a bit too generic, but there is a lot of development longitudinally. Overall still quite a good composition. 3.25/5.
21st November, 2019
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Sables by Annick Goutal

A review of the Eau de Toilette:

The opening blast reveals a good load of cinnamon, but also an immortelle that is rapidly growing in intensity. This one displays the typical spicy-curry aroma that will rule and dominate the whole development of this creation until the end, and is the sun of this olfactory solar system around which the other component circle like planets around its centre.

Let’s look an bit closer at these satellites passing the observer.

At the end of the opening the Mysore sandalwood is noticeable, but it never really goes beyond being a faint accompaniment of the immortelle until much later. A sweetish maple syrupy undertone support the cinnamon in attenuating the spices, albeit only to a limited extent. Other spicy touches come and go, like fenugreek and black (Indonesian) pepper.

During the last hours hits of smoked bacon strips make a brief appearance, as does a somewhat nonspecific black tea impression. A celery sidekick asteroid passes by too. More importantly, an ambery components becomes evident, a dark and rich amber, not without a touch of edge, but lacking the raw harshness I admire in Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute, for instance.

Eventually, the immortelle, now a weaker and more equal player, and flanked by the amber, an added vanilla impression, as well as residuals of the caramel, are the last notes of the night still standing.

I get strong sillage, splendid projection, and a stupendous longevity of fifteen hours on my skin.

This creation, apparently designed by Annick Goutal personally for her husband, is an immortelle-dominated autumnal scent, and whilst this flower tends to overwhelm and nigh suffocate its associates, there is enough underground development to make this an interesting and sufficiently variegated experience to satisfy. The performance is phenomenal. 3.25/5.
20th November, 2019
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Vent de Folie by Annick Goutal

There opening blast is a fruit-floral mix, with the blood orange - not particularly sweet - pairing with the nice geranium note, of which the geranium is more convincing in richness and intensity. A slightly soft and vegetal undertone is present a bit later, probably due to the sweat pea.

The drydown turns into a fruitier direction, surprising me with a passable berry fruit dyad of raspberry and blackcurrant, with the raspberry being a good reflection of the fruit flavour, but the blackcurrant more on the perfunctory side on me.

The third stage now confronts me with another, even more radical turn: a wood base, at times nonspecific and at times touch of bark, cedar bark apparently, which has a slightly edgy character at times, merges with a cluster of white musks, but until the end the sweetness that is there is quite restrained and never really heavy.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and a brilliant longevity of twelve hours on my skin.

This spring creation appears a bit lukewarm initially, but a sequence of interesting ingredients and variegated development prevents it from becoming predictable for most of the time. White musks at the end is these days, of course, as predictable as it gets. Overall 3/5.
19th November, 2019
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Rose Absolue by Annick Goutal

This is a pure rose from beginning to end, and the opening blast is the harbinger of things to come. A full, rich and smooth rose mix, with Damascene and Bulgarian varieties prominent, with the sweetness of the May Rose remaining more in the background. Turkish, Egyptian and Moroccan varieties seem to be added a bit later.

This creation comes in two stages on me:
Initially, the roses are bright, a bit sweet not only discreetly so, soft and of medium lightness and weight. Pure and beautiful. After about six hours they gradually peter out.

Just when I had concluded that that is all there is, an olfactory resurrection took place: the fragrance got another lease of life in the shape of a rose potpourri that was moving away from the blossoms and focusing on the wood stems and leaves, green with the aroma of soil, and and ever increasing earthy feel. There is minimal waxiness and no powderiness, but an indolic undertone is present at times. Eventually a nigh- musky and nigh-mossy impression comes to the fore and lasts until the final final moments.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a splendid overall longevity of twelve hours on my skin.

This rose-y spring scent is a hothouse of roses, a walk in a magnificent rose garden. The risk of lack of development, an issue in many soliflores, has been avoided skillfully by combining various contrasting species of this flower. The quality of the ingredients is very good, as is the blending. 3.75/5.
18th November, 2019
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Passion by Annick Goutal

The sweet and rich opening burst of ylang-ylang and jasmine is a beauty. Softly caressing my olfactory capacities, it is of a velvety and quite creamy consistency, and clearly sweet but never too much. Lovely.

In the drydown the floral department remains strong, adding a tuberose to its arsenal. This is a bright and fresh tuberose that lacks any waxy or indolic characteristics. A bit later a herbal undertone is revealed, with notions of tomato leaves and transient whiffs of clary sage being noticeable.

Later on a soft patchouli arises that blends in nicely, but is a little bit nonspecific. An attempt is made to add a perfunctory synthetic non-event masquerading as an oakmoss, which is an insult to any specimen of this lichen that ever populated our planet.

The other import during the later phases of the development is a vanilla note, with a caramelised background that leads to an, albeit less intense, resurgence of the initial sweetness, and is tapering gently towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring creation shows its best side in the early stages of a rich and sweet floral bouquet as a Eau de Parfum, which avoids excessive and sickly cheap sweetness. The second half is less impressive, but altogether it deserves a positive score. 3.25/5.
17th November, 2019
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L'Ile au Thé by Annick Goutal

The opening combines a lovely mandarin notes urge a tea impression that is equally nice. The tea is somewhat light, but of intensive enough flavour to impart a very good tea impression to the opening notes. It is a gentle Darjeeling style tea, not complex enough for a first flush and not very tippy, but it is working very well with the citrus.

In the drydown I get a flowery bend, with an equally restrained osmanthus in the centre of the olfactory stage, with faint touches of white jasmine and transient whiffs of a very light ylang-ylang making transient appearances. In the later stages white musks take over. Agin, all these notes are quite discreet, and nothing in this mix is heavy or cloying.

I get soft sillage, adequate projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring creation is a lovely restrained and subtle tea scent. It lacks the complexity of, for instance, Gucci Pour Homme II, but in combination with the mandarin and the well-matched floral contributions it makes a refined enough tea blend to make it enjoyable in spite of its poor sillage. 3.25/5.
16th November, 2019
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Rose Pompon Eau de Parfum by Annick Goutal

The opening blast displays a rose in bloom, but this solifloral experience only lasts briefly, and a pleasant raspberry joins the rose. This is a nice floral-fruity dyad, which is given additional freshness by a grapefruit and also by whiffs of an orangey nature. The rose is on the brighter side.

The drydown witnesses a change of the rose, with the aroma of the stem and the rose leaves most prominent now; the actual rose blossom is in the background at this stage. Some slightly darker violet impressions add some complexity and development.

The base brings in a restored vanilla, which is not very intensive and hence not in danger of taking over; this is a vanilla that is not particularly intrusive and certainly never cloying. That is true for the mix as a whole, and although the rose is sweet, of course, it is a civilised sweetness that is never very strong.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and eleven hours of longevity on my skin, albeit close to the latter towards the end.

A very agreeable spring rose scent, not without an original twist, that might not be particularly exciting especially in the later stages, but it is crafted well and the performance is good. 3.25/5.
15th November, 2019
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Tenue de Soirée by Annick Goutal

The opening combines an iris impression with an aroma of blackcurrant, and the floral and fruity sides work well together. The iris is not very strong but manages to assert it self sufficiently such as to remain in the foreground.

The drydown soon sees a patchouli rise that is the other main player on this olfactory field. It a a very restrained, very smooth and very soft patchouli, and an antithesis to the harsh and screechy variety I sometimes get in other fragrances like, for instance, Tom Ford’s archetypical Patchouli Noir. The is the smooth type of patchouli.

At times other florals make briefer appearances, namely a delicate iris note and a somewhat nonspecific rose impression, and towards the end I also detect and - again very smooth - soft light suede added into the mix. A bit of caramel comes and goes at times too.

I get soft sillage, just adequate projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

This agreeable spring scent is not really original, and all the ingredients are quite weak in me in spite of liberal application. The performance is not very good. Overall 2.75/5.

14th November, 2019
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United Kingdom

Nuit Etoilée by Annick Goutal

A fresh citrus accord - a ripe lemon and a ripe sweet orange are greeting me from the outset, but soon a wood note sets in - fairly nonspecific but occasional a touch of fir balsam detectable.

Further down the line a mix of musky and fruity notions are present, with a whiff of juniper probably due to the Angelica seed impression. Towards the end, a gentle immortelle is noticeable.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring scent, with the later stages more vivid and convincing that the earlier ones. 2.75/5
13th November, 2019
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United Kingdom

Le Mimosa by Annick Goutal

The opening starts delightfully with a fairly good rendition of a mimosa, a natural and pure mimosa - but this is a brief pleasure only. Soon there are other olfactory colleagues barging in: a - medium ripe- peach impression that is enhance led by transient whiffs of frangipani, with an underlying but quite faint green herbal touch.

Further down the track I get an anise impression with an iris intermingled with it , and towards the and an array of white musks with an accompanying nonspecific woodsiness that lasts until the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.

Apart from the first moments, where hope for a nice mimosa-based experience arises, this spring scent soon declares itself as a concoction of synthetic and mostly rather generic ingredient; most evidently in the second half of its development. In its favour it must be said that its sweetness is quite agreeable and never cloying or heavy, in the same way as this is more a light than a heavy creation overall.
Not bad but not more that middle-of-the-road really. An opportunity missed. 2.75/5.
12th November, 2019
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United Kingdom

Nuit et Confidences by Annick Goutal

From the beginning I get a gentle sweetness; it is the sweetness of an frankincense with a soft white pepper strewn over - all this is given a bright light with a lashing of bergamot.

The drydown adds a vanilla and a tonka that both add sweetness, and I was waiting for the cloying of the sweet aromas to suffocate me but - no, all these usually heavy notes remain restrained and very well-behaved.

The base presents a foundation of white musks, which blend in well with the other components, and a subtle whiff of caramel makes a brief appearance towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

This scent for warmer autumn days is very smooth and all the ingredients are restrained against all expectations, making this a spice-cum-vanilla combination wearable in the office; something that cannot be said of many other products using the same ingredient. These, however, and a bit on the generic side at times, especially the base. Overall not particularly titillating, but an unexcitingly pleasant creation. Overall 2.75/5.
11th November, 2019
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United Kingdom

Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

The opening is a mix of brightness and white pepper - a pepper that is peppery but in a calmer and restrained fashion, but a pleasant spiciness is enhanced by a growing on a blanket of cardamom that gives is a different slant.

Soon a pine impression, with some for moved in, and after that a fruity note arises - rose berry with whiffs of redcurrant, with sage and nutmeg mixed in in small doses. The whole, together with the pepper and pine, takes in a nigh-metallic tone, that at times reminds me of some bathroom cleaners, but the pine in never in one face or very direct in me.

Towards the end a light lentisque note is added, that it very agreeable but never really with any ceremonial characteristics.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and an excellent twelve hours of longevity on my skin.

As an incense creation this autumnal scent is unusually restrained, bright and light, and might be suitable as a day scent for those who dislike the heavier versions. The egregiously synthetic nature of most of the ingredients can be too much at times, but the lentisque is and exception. Overall 2.75/5.
10th November, 2019