Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
What is the scent of love? Is it radiant and smiling like Jean Patou Amour Amour, smoldering and seductive like Calvin Klein Obsession, or intoxicating and ravishing like Guerlain Chamade? For Annick Goutal, the answer is clearly the latter, and Grand Amour serves as a beautiful example. From the tender kiss of hyacinth and honeysuckle to the warm embrace of vanilla and amber, Grand Amour maintains the breathless, exhilarating sensation of surrendering oneself to an emotion that can no longer be contained. …
Created by perfumer Isabelle Doyen and Annick Goutal in 1996, Grand Amour exemplifies the voluptuous elegance that is shared by Heure Exquise, Songes and Passion. The floral bouquet slowly sheds one lush layer after another before revealing a soft like peach skin base. Despite its richness, the composition maintains a wonderfully soaring effect, and yet, Grand Amour is not a bubbly young girl conjured by Quel Amour! She is a woman whose beauty is much more complex and intriguing.
Reclining on the balsamic base of woody amber and vanilla, Grand Amour recalls the elements of Chamade; however, while Chamade plays up the radiant green crispness, the sweetness of Grand Amour conveys a certain disarming tenderness. In an unexpected twist that makes Grand Amour such a fascinating fragrance, a ribbon of myrrh resurfaces under the floral opulence of the heart. Its somber incantation provides a brilliant counterpoint to the headiness of the composition, suggesting that even great love always retains a layer of mystery.
Grand Amour features notes of hyacinth, lily, honeysuckle, heather, broom, mimosa, jasmine, balsams, musk, vanilla, amber. I tend to prefer the EDP versions of Annick Goutal fragrances for their rounder feel, and Grand Amour is not an exception. It can be found at Saks5thAvenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman as well as a number of other retailers, the list of which is available from Annick Goutal.
Painting: Marc Chagall, The Dreamer, 1945.