Annick Goutal Neroli : Fragrance Review

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Agneroli

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Although this spring we have several new orange blossom perfumes, from Lancôme Ô de l’Orangerie to Guerlain Floral Romantique, I still pledge loyalty to an orange blossom fragrance that offers the most authentic tribute to the beauty of this marvelously contrasted note–Annick Goutal Néroli. Néroli is not a complicated fragrance, yet with a few carefully balanced accords, it conveys both the sparkling innocence and the languid warmth of orange blossom.

Created in 2003 by Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen, the dynamic duo behind the Annick Goutal fragrance line, Néroli is built around the combination of orange blossom absolute and neroli. While both come from the bitter orange blossom, different processing methods result in different olfactory profiles. Orange blossom is darker, richer and more voluptuous, while neroli is greener and fresher. Their complementary qualities make for a particularly multifaceted orange flower accord. The composition is accented with aromatic basil and bergamot, while vanilla and cedarwood create a smooth, polished base. While the initial impression of Néroli is effervescent and green, it becomes velvety and floral as it dries down.

In fact, the main reason I prefer Néroli over many other orange blossom fragrances is its pronounced floral aspect. It gives Néroli a delicate, petally feeling, which contrasts with the sharper, greener character of fragrances like Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Christian Dior Escale à Portofino and Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli. While Néroli does not quite reach the exquisite richness of L’Artisan Parfumeur Fleur d’Oranger, it has an exhilarating quality that makes it suitable as a refreshing summer fragrance or an uplifting cologne. On the other hand, this winter it has been among my staple fragrances, which is probably why I fared so well through our incessant snows. Néroli reminded me that the spring is not that far away.

Néroli includes notes of bergamot, petitgrain, neroli, orange blossom, cedarwood, and vanilla. Néroli was originally released as a limited edition along with Le Chèvrefeuille, Des Lys, Le Jasmin, Le Muguet and La Violette. Since then, Néroli has joined the permanent collection. Available from Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Aedes and other retailers. $115, 100ml.

Sample: my own acquisition

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21 Comments

  • key change: Thanks for posting this, V. Orange blossem is one of my favourite scents. How do you feel about its lasting power? April 25, 2011 at 9:02am Reply

  • key change: Oh, and I’m really looking forward to Lancome’s release–I think it’s said to come out in May. This probably means it’ll be in Canada by 2016, but I’m nonetheless excited. April 25, 2011 at 9:04am Reply

  • Victoria: It lasts fairly well, better than most orange blossom fragrance I have. I think that the base notes of vanilla and wood give it a good tenacity. April 25, 2011 at 11:07am Reply

  • Victoria: I like that one very much, since it is true to the original, but with a nice floral twist. And the price point is not bad at all. April 25, 2011 at 11:07am Reply

  • Suzy Q: What timing–yesterday I wore *four* neroli/ orange blossoms scents!

    On one arm: Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger 27 and on the other Grand Neroli. They are totally different, the latter being fresher and friendlier. FdO27 is so skanky/ unwashed body/ animalic I can hardly stand it. Yet…it keeps pulling me in–you know how that goes!

    Later I found a clean spot of skin for AG Neroli. When compared to FdO27 the wood notes are very noticeable. Later still I sprayed both arms with Le Labo Neroli 36, which doesn’t smell much like neroli. Luca T. calls it “metallic floral,” an accurate description.

    Now I’m curious about the L’Artisan orange blossom!

    I enjoyed your recent post about the bitter orange family. It’s fun to learn more about one’s favorite notes. Thanks. April 25, 2011 at 12:04pm Reply

  • minette: this one is so very pretty! i only have a sample, but it makes me smile each time i test it. and for some reason, it made me go search for my bottle of anais anais last time! it made me crave it. odd, but fun… April 25, 2011 at 12:37pm Reply

  • Suzy Q: I forgot to mention that I discovered all the nerolis kind of work together, which is an asset if you change your mind about which one you most want to wear. April 25, 2011 at 1:18pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Love this one, but it is a changeling on me. Most day it is all neroli–a green, orange peel, woody sort of scent. Every now and then I get the petals, too. Those are the best days. ;) April 25, 2011 at 5:46pm Reply

  • key change: Oh, you’ve smelled lancome’s o de L’Orangerie? I tried googling it, but it doesn’t appear to be out anywhere yet. Here’s hoping you’ll review it! :) April 25, 2011 at 6:11pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: I love almost all of the Annick Goutal scents, and Neroli is no exception. There is something so calming and gentle about an orange blossom scent; I think aromatherapists use it as an anti-anxiety scent, and god knows that can come in handy! It’s a very innocent scent, very light and youthful and springy. The ancient Greeks and Romans used to put orange blossoms in a bride’s hair, so maybe we all have a collective unconscious association with it: romance, joy, hope, happiness, etc. Or maybe just a sultry day on the Aegean. Either one works for me! April 25, 2011 at 6:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: I’m very glad that you liked the post on bitter orange family. I find this note fascinating, and it never ceases to fascinate me. Wearing 24 Faubourg today–a fragrance with which I have very tender associations (and which contains a beautiful orange blossom.)

    L’Artisan’s is the most floral of all orange blossoms. Less green and woody than AG. April 25, 2011 at 9:10pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is true, they work together really well and you can blend them at will. Try Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier and Fleurs d’Oranger together. April 25, 2011 at 9:11pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is very uplifting. Makes me smile, whenever I feel sad or under the weather. April 25, 2011 at 9:12pm Reply

  • Victoria: I noticed the same thing. Last year I wore it almost daily to my dance rehearsals. I really grew sensitive to its changes, and I grew to love them too. April 25, 2011 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is already available in France. It will be coming to the US very soon! April 25, 2011 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Victoria: Your description of it is so spot on, and it resonates perfectly with me. I also find Neroli youthful, uplifting, vivacious and simply joyful. It charms me like nothing else. April 25, 2011 at 9:14pm Reply

  • Madelyn E: I love orange blosom too. I count on your feedback when I review a scent. Your opinion is so valuable. I adored Annick Goutal Passion, Grand Amour and now Neroli. I too have a tender association with 24 rue raubourg. I bought it during one of my Paris visits in 1996 .I think I bought it at Hermes too . I am wondering what your association is with it ?
    I think it is a rich, war, opulent scent in comparison with the refreshing and sparkling orange blossom of aG Neroli.
    Reading your review makwes me feel better .Anyway, Maurice Roucel seems to hit the spot with his 24 dfaubourg as Annnick Goutal did with her Neroli .
    Thank you as always for a delightful reminder .I am tempted to buy this Neroli ! April 25, 2011 at 9:25pm Reply

  • Victoria: We have very similar tastes, Madelyn! All of those are among my favorites too. AG Passion and Grand Amour are incredible fragrance, capturing so beautifully the exhilarating, heady sensation. Well, just like one of falling in love! :) April 26, 2011 at 11:12am Reply

  • maggiecat: I love this scent – it is very uplifitng and energizing. I wore it through a particulalry difficult bout of physical therapy, and again in another time of great stress, and it never failed to lift my spirits and keep me going. And it just plain smells pretty too! April 27, 2011 at 3:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: Same for me, whenever I feel stressed out, Neroli never fails to alleviate the tension. It has an almost magical effect on me. April 27, 2011 at 8:31pm Reply

  • Janis: What’s the best neroli fragrance that doesn’t break the bank…or does anyone have a formula for mixing your own oils to capture the neroli scent? I use pure neroli essential oil (smelling) for stress October 18, 2012 at 8:29pm Reply

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