Isabelle Doyen: 23 posts

Annick Goutal Vent de Folie : Perfume Review

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Creating a best-selling perfume today is as hard as making a profitable one. The increasing costs of distribution and advertising cut so much into the margins that everything else becomes secondary. Which is why you see time and again big brands launching safe, bland perfumes. And not only big brands. As you can see from Vent de Folie, the newest release from Annick Goutal, the aim is to be likable, rather than interesting or memorable. goutal Certainly, there is nothing wrong with likable or simple or easy. I simply don’t  want to overpay niche prices when I can find comparable simple, easy perfumes elsewhere.  Vent de Folie is disappointing not because it is simple, but because it neither captures the eccentric, charming spirit of the Goutal perfume house nor does it offer a good deal for its price. If you want a little transparent floral, you need not spend niche prices; L’Occitane, Crabtree & Evelyn, Bath & Body Works and scores of other reasonably priced brands are just as good, if not better.

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Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien, Neroli and Vetiver Colognes : Fragrance Reviews

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If you’re a fan of citrus colognes, you soon discover nuances in this effervescent perfume genre. Citruses can be classically austere (Hermès Eau d’Orange Vert), sexy (Thierry Mugler Cologne), exotic (Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale), or impeccably elegant (Thirdman Eau Moderne). But if you enjoy colognes only when the mercury levels rise and anything else seems too heavy, they all may smell, well, lemony. That’s why the new Annick Goutal cologne trio–Eau d’Hadrien, Néroli and Vétiver–is great for those who are not sure what they like, but are curious to learn more. It has three distinctly different scents which are easy to wear all year round.

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Cologne collections are nothing new, of course. Hermès has one, Atelier Cologne made its name by blending all sorts of things with citrus, and half of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s fragrances can be worn as fresh colognes. The simplicity, on the other hand, is what I enjoy about Annick Goutal’s play on the lemon, orange blossom and vetiver themes. The lemony Eau d’Hadrien smells zesty. Néroli is a mass of white petals. Vetiver smells of driftwood and sea breeze. All would fit equally well for both men and women. All three are well-crafted, but of course, I have my favorites.

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Annick Goutal Rose Absolue and Rose Splendide : Perfume Reviews

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As I browse through new cookbook releases, I notice that rose is the flavor of the moment, appearing in everything from drinks to desserts. Pastries that would traditionally be perfumed with vanilla, chocolate or coffee are now presented in rose and violet incarnations. While reading a recipe for a rose scented cream puff in the delectable new book Ladurée Sucré, I realized that more so than sweets, I wanted another rose perfume. I craved something pink and unapologetically girly. My search led me to Annick Goutal Rose Absolue and Rose Splendide, two rose fragrances that do not shy away from being pretty and romantic.

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Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee : Fragrance Review

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

The concept behind Annick Goutal Nuit Étoilée—”a starry night” in a reference to Van Gogh’s masterpiece–is so alluring that the idea alone should be enough to make me fall in love with the perfume. Add to this the signature Goutal bottle tinted sapphire blue, and Nuit Étoilée becomes even more irresistible. But while wearing this fragrance over the past couple of weeks, I’ve realized much to my regret that it doesn’t click for me. I enjoy some elements of Nuit Étoilée—the green musky sweetness, the delicious roasted almond of tonka beans, the sheer jasmine interlude, but admiring something on the blotter is not the same as wearing it on your skin. It evokes neither the moonlit forest nor the shimmering stars—it shuts me out of its dream world.

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Annick Goutal Petite Cherie : Perfume Review

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

I have such a strong sentimental attachment to Annick Goutal fragrances that sometimes I cannot appraise them objectively. Annick Goutal was the first artisanal fragrance house I discovered and its unusual fragrances, evoking stories and fantasies that for me felt quite real, made me realize that it is possible to communicate in a fragrant language. For this reason, a bottle of Petite Chérie remained in my collection for years, even though I hardly ever wore it. I simply loved the idea of it—a fragrance created by a mother for her young daughter, capturing the joy and innocence of childhood.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Victoria in Chanel Gabrielle : Perfume Review: Very true. September 19, 2017 at 12:56pm

  • Liz S in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: The autumn chill has come early to London and whilst I am looking forward to bringing out my ‘heavier’ perfumes, I am really enjoying wearing Laura Biagiotti’s Venezia and Serge… September 19, 2017 at 12:52pm

  • Aurora in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: And I’ll quote Lamartine: [Automne] C’est l’adieu d’un ami, c’est le dernier sourire Des levres que la mort va fermer pour jamais. September 19, 2017 at 12:52pm

  • Liz S in 5 Ways to Transition Into Fall: Nora, thank you so much for sharing the poem. It is so wonderfully evocative and melancholy. Just beautiful! September 19, 2017 at 12:39pm

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