The Goutal's came in today! However, I'm still working on the 15 sample pass that came in earlier this week! I will get them all done as soon as possible!
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I am about to start the Goutal pass, but wanted to let everyone know that there is room for another sampler.
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Hello Everyone! These are my reviews of the Goutals. Hope you enjoy reading them because I had a good time sampling all of them and I learned a lot!
Songes - Songes wears well as a casual or daytime scent.The scent itself is quite bright and sugary. Imagine a bouquet of fresh jasmine and frangipani blooms sprinkled with icing sugar and you have Songes.
This fragrance actually makes me think of a wedding. Not a particular wedding, just an image of a romantic celebration, and Songes could very well be a beautiful and fitting fragrance for such a day. This fragrance has great lasting power, so those people that assume that Annick Goutal fragrances don't last, you should think again. I knew even before testing this fragrance, that Songes would be undeniably hard to resist. If you love white florals or sweet scents, I highly recommend Songes.
Passion - The first initial spray is indeed rather heady and strong, but the scent itself is unlike anything else. The warm vanilla, jasmine and tuberose blend is to die for. The scent reminds me of old fashioned stores filled with lace, rose scented oils and antiques. Passion is such a comforting scent with a slight incense touch in the base notes which settles beautifully on the skin.
Because this fragrance is niche you won't find many women wearing this, hence the reason why I love this fragrance so dearly. The lasting power is fantastic and the warmth in the drydown is unlike anything I've ever tried before. This is a must for lovers of floral scents, or women searching for something expensive smelling yet unique and sophisticated.
Neroli- The orange note is certainly obvious in this fragrance. It's not overly citrusy, more pulpy and juicy with a dash of herbs. It does have a masculine quality to it, however I wouldn't go so far to say that it's unpleasant. The scent tends to be very light and airy at times with a touch of greeness and a likable bitterness. Unfortunately the lasting power is extremely poor, I could barely smell it after an hour on my skin.
Neroli evokes a strong sense of Summer in my mind. Lots of sunshine, cool drinks and warm breezes. It's pretty, but like I said, disappointing in the longevity department. I wanted to see how it would develop further. Vanilla does play a part in this fragrance's drydown, giving Neroli a somewhat sweet aspect that still manages to smell very natural. What I do admire about this fragrance is its ability to smell like a blossom picked fresh from a garden. This is an all-natural interpretation of a beautiful orange blossom.
La Mimosa- The scent of mimosa is something I'm very familiar with. I grew up on a property where this stuff bloomed everywhere. I played under it as a child and delighted in snapping off branches of the stuff, yet as I got older, it gave me dreadful hay fever. Le Mimosa is close to the scent of my childhood, but unfortunately it has been overshadowed with syrupy peach and sugary musk. I see this fragrance as being a delightful, bright little Spring scent, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't expect more from this release.
At times this fragrance is a little powdery and honeyed. To me it doesn't smell like mimosa, instead it smells like the inside of a beehive or another flower altogether. It's pleasant and unique so to say; very sunny, bright and yellow just like mimosa blooms itself, but still to my nose, this is not mimosa. In all honesty it's mostly peach, powder and a dash of icing sugar. It's unfortunately quite linear and predictable after a while, which leaves me a little lost as to how to describe it. It's a fragrance that's trying to follow in the footsteps of the sugary and pretty Songes, but somehow it fails to live up to its proud predecessor.
The drydown is quite musty. Le Mimosa was unfortunately poor in terms of longevity and sillage.
Eau Du Sud- I find Eau de Sud perhaps more herbaceous and soapy; almost peppery, especially in the opening. It's lightly feminine on the skin which is something I absolutely adore. For that fact alone, I agree that Eau de Sud would make a lovely choice for those particularly humid days.
Robin on her blog, Now Smell This, mentioned an interesting smokiness, being quite distinctive, which emerged quite prominently in the drydown. Although I had not noticed this initially, once reading her review and returning to this fragrance, I must agree. The smokiness disrupts the soapy sharpness, which ultimately smoothed out the scent considerably.
I find some similarities between this fragrance and Chanel's Cristalle, although they are not complete replicates.
The lasting power of Eau de Sud, in the eau de toilette concentration is pretty weak unfortunately. This is also one of Annick Goutals lighter fragrances that don't depend upon the wonderful sillage to create a beautiful aura. Eau de Sud is a fragrance for those that enjoy their soft, clean and crisp scents.
Heure Exquise- Annick Goutal HEURE EXQUISE is such a complex and compelling creation, constructed of such high-quality components, that it could easily have come out of the house of Guerlain in the early twentieth century, back in the good old days, long before the devastating coup staged by industrial chemists and venture capitalists. Wow, I'm impressed.
Unbelievably, HEURE EXQUISE actually lives up to its name. This exquisite chypre-like floral approaches the stratum occupied by the likes of MITSOUKO and ARPEGE. You won't find any sour, synthetic sandalwood here. Du vrai parfum, this is just stunning! Rose and iris mingle with a variety of unlisted chypre notes to produce an intoxicating composition with excellent longevity and big, beautiful sillage.
Le Muguet- Le Muguet by Annick Goutal is one of those fragrances that I feel so-so about. Occasionally I catch a waft of it and enjoy its freshness, however most of the time I find it a little too strong.
Le Muguet is most definitely fresh and bright on the skin, yet I find its greenness and touch of sugariness annoying. Perhaps it is the benzoin accord that makes this fragrance's opening so harsh and chemical. The heart turns the lily of the valley note, sweet, soapy and clean. It actually smells quite lovely on the skin, like you've just stepped out of the shower. I wouldn't call the sillage intimate at this stage, but it certainly isn't as loud as the top notes.
I must admit that the bottle is really beautiful, with a striking aqua-marine ribbon. It caught my eye the moment I entered the store. I think this whole range has been re-released, hence the reason why this once discontinued fragrance has recently reappeared.
The drydown is the best bit in my humble opinion. The lily of the valley is much smoother, with a light and delicate woodsy-ness cancelling out that somewhat sharp greenness. I may have enjoyed this fragrance more if the top notes were as good as the base notes. On a more positive note, this EDT lasts extremely well, which is rare for a Annick Goutal. I tentatively recommend Le Muguet for both spring and Summer, and urge people to muster up the courage to experience the drydown even if the top notes encourage you to scrub.
Rose Absolue-Anyone who even considers a perfume with the name ROSE ABSOLUE, can hardly find fault with a composition comprising all and only roses all the time. That's what this Annick Goutal creation is. To be more precise: all rose petals, all the time. There are apparently six different varieties of rose present in this creation, so if you love roses, you'll probably be in heaven.
What is not present is anything but rose petals! This is definitely not a rosebush-in-a-blender (no green elements) or a powdery or an oriental or a fruity rose. No. 'Rose' is the key word here. ROSE ABSOLUE may be the result literally of suspending rose absolute in the usual fragrance solvent suspects. This composition is less complex than Guerlain Aqua Allegoria ROSA MAGNIFICA, which contains aldehydes and some other "adulterants". It is also a lot less complex than Yves Rocher ROSE ABSOLUE, which also used this name, but arguably in error.
Le Chevrefeuille- Le Chevrefeuille is an extremely green scent, almost bitter but lovely all the same.For those who aren't usually wearers of green fragrances, this may take a while to get acquainted with. Le Chevrefeuille is actually quite delicate and fresh. The honeysuckle, jasmine and narcissus gives this scent an unusual femininity while the petit grain creates an interesting grassy and herbaceous finish. The lemon is quite dominant alongside the honeysuckle, however this isn't sour citruses, it's more fresh and energizing, with a definite 'zing'.
Oddly enough this fragrance is not sweet. It's rich and quite brash. I think there's a lot going on which makes it very complex for me.
All in all this is a very luscious and happy fragrance which would wear wonderfully in Spring and Summer. The lasting strength is so-so in my opinion, not terrible but certainly not as lasting as other Annick Goutal's that I've tried. If it's possible to get Le Chevrefeuille in eau de parfum concentration then disregard the price tag because that would be your best option.
Vanille Exquise- It never ceases to amaze me how many vanilla perfumes there are in existence--and that their number appears to be increasing nearly as fast as that of those boasting oud! I suppose that it should not be that surprising, given the ready availability of the substance, as evidenced by the volume of vanilla extract consumed in kitchens each year. The big surprise to me is that so many people should want to smell like vanilla extract!
Vanilla used to be the signature back-drop to classic Guerlain perfumes, but all bets are off now post-Y2K. Since then, vanilla has stepped forward to claim an entire chunk of the grand olfactory map, and most every niche line-up has their equivalent to a vanilla-solifore. To say nothing of the huge group of sweet celebrity and designer vanilla-patchouli scents!
Annick Goutal VANILLE EXQUISE offers the vanilla note in a less-sweet composition with a bit more wood than usual and a slightly Playdoh-ish quality, although I hasten to add that it is nowhere even close to Dior HYPNOTIC POISON, in part because it is so much thinner, with the viscosity of water. In any case, upon initial application, I was struck by the similarity of the woody quality to that of this house's jasmine perfume, which I did not like very much. Here the same base appears to be present, but it is not so strong as to overwhelm the vanilla. Of course, that would probably be pretty difficult to do, but the point is that vanilla and wood are equal partners in this perfume.
The benzoin must be what accounts for what I perceive as a Playdoh quality. It is light and likeable, and overall this is a pretty nice vanilla perfume, as far as vanilla perfumes go. I am not that keen on such simple vanilla perfumes myself, but I'm sure that those who love to smell like wood-tinged vanilla extract will find lots to like here!
La Violette- Annick Goutal's La Violette is quite a delightful take on a natural violet accord. It's a little greener than I expected, but still beautiful nonetheless.Spring comes to mind when I smell La Violette. It's fresh, watery and clean. I detect a hint of crushed mint in this composition, which is a little piercing and green in the opening. It soon settles into a soft, slightly candied violet, which is thankfully not powdery like most violet scents tend to be .It smells like something smelt from nature itself, like the feeling of inhaling fresh blooms. Annick Goutal's soliflores, while not overly complex or rich, really capture the essence of the flower itself. Although linear, La Violette is captivating from beginning to end.
La Violette is an intriguing fragrance to say the least, and a surprisingly strong one at that. I applied this fragrance before bed, and a good 12 hours later I could still catch wafts of it every now and then. I wouldn't dare to wear this in the colder weather as it is such a cheerful and bright scent. All the soliflores from this collection were most likely designed with Spring in mind. La Violette is lovely in an unexpected and delicate kind of a way. It's very concentrated and quite expressive, and for that alone, La Violette is high on my list of recommendations for violet or floral lovers.
Grand Amour- Love is in the air, Annick Goutal’s GRAND AMOUR, to be precise. I was looking for love in what was supposed to be an oriental perfume, but I found it instead in this voluptuous floral green.
GRAND AMOUR opens big and flowery: dark jasmine, heavy lily and dewy honeysuckle mingle together initially, and as the composition settles down, green grassy hyacinth erupts in billowy clouds of sillage that keep traveling up my neck to my nose, as if to remind me over and over again that I really am wearing perfume, not just another frag. At long last, I finally understand the enthusiasm of so many AG fans. Very glad that I did not dismiss this line after three strikes, else I would have missed this.
Eua D’ Hadrien- As I sprayed Eau d'Hadrien, I was immediately reminded of Eau du Sud and for a moment thought that a "switch" was made.Within a few minutes however, I could tell the difference in spite of not having smelled Eau du Sud for quite a while now. There's a light but noticeable cypress note that emerges quickly. It sets it apart from Eau du Sud.
The opening of Eau d'Hadrien is a blast of slightly shimmering citrus. The grapefruit makes it a bit tangy and the lemon adds a tartness. The cypress note starts coming on after 2 or 3 minutes along with a floral component that I can't say I recognize as the listed ylang- ylang. I'm quite sure it's me and I've noticed that ylang-ylang seems to throw me off in spite of having smelled it countless times now. It goes well with the woody aspect and the citric accord hangs in there for a good amount of time.
Personally, if I had to choose between Eau d'Hadrien and Eau du Sud, I'd choose the latter. Eau du Sud seems to have more depth, but Eau d'Hadrien smells a bit more realistic to me. Some have mentioned furniture polish in regards to the lemon rendition. I get no such correlation. If anything, Eau d'Hadrien is a very good and simplistic wear for the warmer months when you want citrus with a downplayed wood note. Yet another worthy Goutal is Eau d'Hadrien.
Les Nuits D’Hadrien- This is not a citrus cologne, like its namesake, although the opening smacks unmistakably of EAU D'HADRIEN. From there, however, the two creations diverge quite radically. LES NUITS D'HADRIEN contains cypress, but it also contains juniper, basil, and caraway! And then there is the base which is rich enough to be an oriental perfume: amber, musk, patchouli and vanilla? In fact, it really smells nice at every stage of its development, even though it seems like three or even four different perfumes! This Citrus Oriental Aromatic Fougère sounds like a mess, but somehow it works!
Sables- It's a little sharp at first, but Sables begins with a strong burst of pepper, woods and smoke. Although masculine, I thought it was a little too much, somewhere along the lines of the ruggedly masculine yet rich and bold like Yatagan by Caron. Thankfully Sables settles into a divine, sensual blend of woods, spice, caramel and burnt golden syrup. It's almost a gourmand for men with its distinctive deliciousness.I love how the burnt sugar accord doesn't make this fragrance feminine or too sweet. It's perfectly balanced and very sexy, something that I would never tire of smelling.
The longevity and sillage are rather impressive, with this fragrance clinging to the skin for almost a whole 12 hours or more. I highly recommend.
Eau de Charlotte- 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 mimosa 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.
Overall, Eau de Charlotte is unusual, classy, relatively long-lasting, wearable and very enjoyable.
Eau De Camille- Eau de Camille is a beautiful, delicate floral with green undertones. The greenness in this fragrance is neither harsh nor bitter. It's more of a subtle grassy-ness more than anything else. A very crisp and Summery scent. The jasmine and honeysuckle are really pretty. After an hour or so, the floral blend becomes quite clean and soapy, making it an excellent choice for those that enjoy their florals soft and refreshing.
I was amazed at how well this fragrance lasted on the skin, especially for that of an EDT. I usually prefer the EDPs for longevity, however in this particular case the EDT suited me fine.
If strong honeysuckle is what you're after I'd tend to lean more on Le Chevrefeuille for my honeysuckle fix, however for something lighter and prettier, Eau de Camille is perfection.
Ce Soir Ou Jamais- The delicious rose note in this fragrance is almost dewy, being fresh and exotic in a very appealing sense. It is a tad 'antique inspired', however it does not seem so rich and ancient like it's big sister, Rose Absolue.Ce Soir ou Jamais has a rather youthful impression, which I feel is brought about by subtle fruity notes, like pear, that tends to linger softly in the heart. This fragrance is a little bit like Quel Amour!, yet perhaps not as Spring-like and fresh.
I read a beautiful article on the” Perfume-Smellin' Things” blog, that portrayed Ce Soir ou Jamais as being in 3-D. I have to agree that this fragrance has the ability to bring a rose note to life.
I have only experienced this fragrance in the EDT concentration, and from that I would say that the lasting power is quite good and the sillage light yet detectable.
Folavril- The top notes consist of tomato leaf, fizzy citruses and sweet mango. When I say fizzy, I mean fizzy. The opening literally fizzed up my nose with an interesting sourness. It actually took some time for this fragrance to settle, but once it reached the heart, the sour accords were forgotten, making way for a light, delicate and feminine jasmine note. The floral blend is rather soapy and a touch sweet. It's an understated soapiness that's presented here, something not too bland, but clean enough to be fresh. I think you'd have to enjoy fresh green florals to like Folavril. It strikes me as being very green and natural, sort of garden-like on my skin.
It's really the heart of green florals and that sweet mango that makes this fragrance so appealing. In all honesty the opening is perhaps a little too sharp for me. The sillage is so-so, and the longevity chops and changes as it pleases. Some days it lasts, some days it doesn't. I enjoy this fragrance for what it is, a clean, soapy floral with tropical and green undertones.
Un Matin d'Orage- This fragrance is most likely going to appeal to those that enjoyed Songes and Le Jasmin. The dominant gardenia note, while crisp in the opening, especially when alongside the citrus, becomes creamier and buttery towards the heart. The gardenia and the other floral accords in this composition, smell very naturalistic. One can imagine an exact replicate of this scent in a luscious, spring garden. can sometimes be a little too one-dimensional, especially since it doesn't develop too well. The lasting power is also very fleeting which is another slight disappointment. In the drydown, it becomes increasingly soapy. Not to an extent that it's unlikable, however it does resemble a somewhat generic bar of sweet gardenia soap.
While I do honestly like this fragrance, I would have aimed to improve it by making it longer lasting and perhaps more green.
Gardenia Passion- Gardenia Passion smells natural and real to me. Almost perfection in a way. While Fracas is too buttery for my tastes, Gardenia Passion is like traipsing through a florist's shop and inhaling various floral aromas.
Gardenia Passion is rich and powdery once settled. Believe it or not, this fragrance smells absolutely divine on smokers. Despite the belief that white florals smell like 'old ladies', Gardenia Passion does not fuel this idea and instead comes across as being very seductive and elegant on the skin. Despite its tendency to be rather strong, Gardenia Passion is never cloying. It has that real classic appeal, something that screams sophistication and femininity. I might also add that the lasting strength is impressive, especially for that of an EDT.
Duel- Duel is a nicely done aromatic fragrance with hints of leather, citrus, tea and rich tobacco. It's subtly done, and is a wonderful choice for spring and summer wear. Annick Goutal tends to make rather bold orientals or sharp citrus scents, however Duel is not so 'in your face'. Although masculine, it's not strictly so, preferring to adopt a unisex feel, which is both elegant and unique. While I think Sables has more character, I like Duel's refreshing approach. It's clean and light but not in a boring aquatic or citrus after-shave sense of the word. It doesn't smell generic or for that matter, like anything you'd find the average man wearing. It's quite cozy and lovable. The tea note stands out the most for me, followed by smokey tobacco and subtle hints of lemon and lime. It can be quite linear at times, however I'm not too bothered with its lack of development. I enjoy the scent nonetheless.
Perhaps its only disappointing aspect was its lack of lasting power and strong projection. I'm used to Annick Goutal's male fragrances being lasting and bold. In regards to price, Duel is rather cheap when compared to other fragrances from this house. It may be worth trying if your man, or even yourself, wouldn't feel cheated if the fragrance only lasted a few hours and required touch-ups during the day.
Mandagore- Madragore starts out like a cold blast of citrusy eau de cologne. Bergamot is prominent to my nose, and the mint does not detract from the overall citrusy smell, but rather serves to provide the effect of green coolness. The citruses subside quite quickly, and the fragrance warms as the pepper and herbal notes come into play. Iris provides a soft powder that persists throughout the development of the perfume. The scent ultimately settles into a gentle green aromatic, with pepper and ginger providing a bit of a spicy kick. While the cool initial blast suggested to me that this was strictly a warm weather perfume, that effect is fleeting, and the drydown is warm enough for year round use. I personally would have preferred that the citruses stayed around longer, but that is a minor criticism. All in all, Madragore is a very lovely, restrained and elegant fragrance. I see it as a perfect office scent. I can't imagine this offending anyone, but it isn't a common scent that everyone wears either. Projection is medium and longevity medium to good. Absolutely unisex