Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Angélique Noire created by Daniela Andrier is one of the three new fragrances released by the house of Guerlain for the reopening of their 68 Champs Elysées boutique. The compositions of these fragrances are radiant and refined, recalling the elegant precision of classical Guerlains as well as elements that are rather un-Guerlainesque. The resulting aura of these fragrances is redolent of neoclassism and heightened by some modern touches.
In a neoclassisist attempt, Angélique Noire takes up the bergamot-vanilla pairing of classical Guerlains and builds the composition around it. It opens with a spicy accord jeweled by tart sharpness of bergamot, which fades into the milky bitterness of almond. The peppery austerity of the top notes contrasts beautifully with the honeyed undercurrent that rises up to enfold the heart. Creamy vanilla punctuated by a dark citrus note is what forms the main facet of Angélique Noire. Its somber richness is transparent enough to notice a swirl of almond and spicy sugared angelica, with a whisper of bergamot lightening the vanillic veil. While Andrier did not create another Shalimar, the fragrance possesses a soft and gentle character, creating a sensation of warm silk and hot flower petals. Therefore, perhaps, it is more correct to classify Angélique Noire as a Romantic composition, rather than a Neoclassisist one, in its hazy and sensitive handling of the notes.
Currently, the fragrances are exclusive to 68 Champs Elysées boutique, however they can be ordered by emailing Antoine-Olivier Metz, the store manager, at email@example.com. 75ml is priced at 140 euros.
Painting: One of the neoclassisists, Pierre-Paul Prud’hon. Head of the Virgin for Annunciation. 1811. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. abcgallery.com