Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Full-bodied, voluptuous fragrances are as rare today as curvy models on a catwalk. I find it less and less frequent to experience what French perfumers call “gras,” or fat, denoting a certain unctuous richness that characterized fragrances of the past. Although this quality is not always welcome, the multitude of crisp and fresh new launches leaves me craving something with more substance. So once I smelled Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille, I felt like a dieter who has been allowed a slice of chocolate cake.
Mon Parfum Chéri was created by perfumer Isabelle Doyen, as a tribute to both Camille Goutal and her mother Annick Goutal who founded the fragrance house. While it is a departure from other recent Goutal releases such as Ninféo Mio and Un Matin d’Orage, Mon Parfum Chéri possesses the opulent aura of older Goutal classics like Passion and Grand Amour. It blends the darkness of a fruity chypre with velvety iris notes, embellishing the whole with sweet spices and vanilla.
Iris forms the first impression of Mon Parfum Chéri, and unlike many iris accords, which tend to be rooty and green, this one has a strong floral character. I can almost feel the velvety softness of petals as the fragrance begins to develop on my skin. Iris alternates between delicately powdery and pleasantly sweet, with a scattering of cinnamon and clove giving it a beautiful lift. The darker elements of the composition unfold soon thereafter, and the richness of the woods drenched in plum juice leaves no doubts as to the character of the composition. The sensual warmth of patchouli and sandalwood soon supplants the patrician austerity of iris, while vanilla and heliotrope lend the impression of caramelized almonds. Everything is kept in balance, however, from the chilly breath of iris to the lush darkness of woods. Mon Parfum Chéri at once references the chypres of the past and contemporary radiant floral notes. The result is surprising and unpredictable, blending the best of both worlds.
Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille includes notes of violet, plum, patchouli, iris and heliotropine. The official launch is in September, but it is already sold at Bergdorf Goodman. Available from Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Aedes and other retailers in the following concentrations: Eau de Toilette–50 and 100 ml bottle, and Eau de Parfum–100 ml bottles.
Sample: my own acquisition