Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Immortelle, an everlasting dune flower with a distinctive savory maple syrup aroma, is not an easy note. It tends to dominate with its rich spicy warmth and dark sweetness. Annick Goutal Sables (1985) is brilliant, because it manages to build on immortelle without either twisting it beyond recognition or allowing it to assume a rustic demeanor. Even after experiencing the great immortelle compositions like Christian Dior Eau Noire and the playful ones like L de Lolita Lempicka, Sables still holds the crown for being the perfect example of a perfume based on immortelle. …
It is hard to call Sables a classical three-tiered composition, because it is structured more as an accord, a harmonious blend of the constituent parts which reveal themselves panoramically. Yet, the accenting notes are what make the immortelle shimmer and radiate a soft, warm glow. The prized Mysore sandalwood lends its milk froth richness. The woody vanilla accents the sweetness of immortelle. The pepper lends a pleasing dryness.
Among Annick Goutal fragrances, Sables and Songes are my favorites. Annick Goutal created it for her husband, cellist Alain Meunier, trying to capture the memories of summer days spent in Corsica. Perhaps this association makes it seem romantic to me, but whenever I wear it, I feel as if I am wrapped into a warm embrace. And what could be more romantic in spirit!
Sables is rather long lasting, therefore a small spray suffices to perfume me for the entire day. The composition features the dominant notes of Mysore sandalwood, immortelle and vanilla. It is available at Annick Goutal boutiques as well as retailers carrying the line such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
Photo of immortelle (Helichrysum italicum) from Come Verbena.